How to Develop Your Senior Living Employer Brand Whether you realize it or not, your senior living organization has an employer brand. Your brand is your reputation as an employer, and it’s also how you articulate what it’s like to work at your organization. In other words, it’s how you show your workplace culture, online and offline. To understand the state of your current employer brand, take a look at what you say online about working at your organization, what others say, and what your public-facing online presence reveals about the employment experience. After that, ask yourself these questions: Who controls our employer brand? Why would someone want to work for us? Take Apple, for example. Everyone knows what they do, what they stand for, and the kind of employees they want. Why? Because they do a great job promoting their culture and what they’re all about. When you have a strong employer brand, like Apple, recruiting top talent is easier. According to a leading applicant tracking system provider, 94 percent of job seekers said they would be more likely to apply for a job if the organization is on top of their brand online. A good reputation and online presence can help you stand out from your competition. Standing out in the senior living industry has become even more difficult as competition for top talent in the industry has increased. Senior living organizations need to clearly express and articulate why a candidate would want to work for them, since there is competition for the same pool of candidates. To control your employer brand, utilize the following tips. Make it Obvious A brand that’s confusing is not strong at all. In everything you do, be clear with how you communicate, especially when talking about what your organization does. Make it simple for people to understand what you’re all about. When a potential resident, resident’s family member, or a potential employee visits your website or looks at your social media, they’re looking to understand what your organization is all about, what you do, and how you do it. So, help them out and provide all of that information in an easy-to-see location. The two organizations below are great examples of this. Southwest Airlines The Southwest Airlines’ careers page does a great job of attributing what their employees do to a higher purpose and cause. They also clearly state their purpose, vision, and mission all on one page. This is exactly what potential candidates are looking for, and is also important for your residents to know, as well. Lifespace Communities Lifespace Communities is a good example of how to get your brand across to potential residents. Referring to residents as “world changers,” attracts senior living individuals that are motivated and accomplished. They make it obvious who lives in their communities and what their community is about. Who wouldn’t want to work with “world changers?” Align Your Marketing Strategy with Your Brand Strategy To develop your employer brand, take some cues from your marketing strategy. Your brand can be built by posting on social media, creating videos and ads, and more, to help you attract new talent and residents. Besides your website, social media is another good way to build your brand. SHRM revealed that 84 percent of organizations now use social media to recruit employees, and has increased by 54 percent over the past five years. And, in an Aberdeen Group survey of job seekers between the ages of 18 and 34, 73 percent said they landed their last job through a social media platform. To reach even more job seekers, you need to be using social media to engage and attract them. That means posting ads, videos, and more. This is also a great place to promote your blog and other marketing content. If you don’t currently manage your social media accounts or have a social media presence, now is a great time to start. Post regularly and share what your organization is doing. Obviously, you don’t want to say the same thing every time, but when talking about what you do and who you are, don’t waver. Conflicting messages can lead to confusion and disengagement. If you say that residents are your biggest asset, but then the next week you say that your employees are, you’re showing that you have a brand in conflict. Be consistent, don’t contradict your brand, and your audience will see that your organization stands for something. Branding Pays Off In the end, an investment in your employer brand can provide many benefits to your organization. According to LinkedIn’s Ultimate List of Employer Brand Statistics, organizations that have incorporated a brand strategy have seen a 28 percent decrease in employee turnover overall, along with a 50 percent cost-per-hire reduction. Developing your employer brand can lead to better candidates and more potential residents, allowing you to keep your workforce and occupancy rates up. Communicate what your organization does clearly, and promote it on social media to start building your brand. How are you using social media to support your employer brand? Lisa Welshhons Lisa Welshhons has been with Aureon HR since 2000 and has more than twenty years of experience in human resources, serving the senior living industry for over sixteen years. Lisa has a bachelor's degree in public relations and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).