Developing your nonprofit employer brand with ReachOut Australia’s Maxine Bartlett

Bianca Compagnoni
28 Feb
Reading time: 5 minutes
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Employer branding has become an effective solution for nonprofits looking to address the current talent shortage, with notable organisations such as ReachOut Australia seeing great success.

For this nonprofit, which provides online mental health service for young Australians, a focus on employer branding has helped them maintain and grow their brand. 

“Our aim is to have all our audiences want to engage with us and feel like we are a brand for them,” explained Maxine Bartlett, Senior HR Manager.

Source: ReachOut.

Nonprofit challenges

Not knowing what it’s like to work at an organisation is the number one obstacle experienced by job applicants.

As Mark Puncher, CEO and Founder of Employer Branding Australia said in a recent article, “employer branding isn’t about impressing people. It’s about educating them about the reality of the work.”

Take Gen Z as an example. They are making waves in the workplace as they want to feel that they’re contributing to a greater purpose by providing value. They want to work for an organisation that they feel makes a positive impact.

In addition to visiting careers pages, 59% of candidates will also check a company’s social media channels to get insights into the work culture and environment. 

“We know that employer branding can be difficult to get just right,” said Maxine. At ReachOut the focus is on highlighting “our clear vision, and our successes and achievements.” 

“The move to a single brand gave us the opportunity to be ‘louder and prouder’ of our achievements in our employer branding,” she added.  

Employer branding benefits 

Building an employer brand not only improves messaging and awareness, but there are other benefits:

1.Shorter time to hire

Job seekers won’t have to search extensively to understand what your organisation is about and why they should apply. With compelling employer branding that sells your message effectively and clearly, it can help you identify, attract and retain the right talent, faster.

Consider this. A strong employer brand leads to 50% more qualified applicants, which is important to consider, especially where highly competitive sectors have niche skill sets and are therefore in demand.

2. Lower turnover and increased advocacy

By presenting a compelling employer brand that attracts the right candidates, new hires can potentially become strong advocates with the added bonus of providing referrals, saving time and money. 

More engaged staff equals increased productivity and lower employee turnover; in fact, according to LinkedIn, companies that invest in employer branding experience a 28% decrease in staff turnover. 

3. Better candidate and employee experience 

“We’re thrilled that so many candidates tell us they’ve been following ReachOut for a while and looking for opportunities to work for us,” noted Maxine. Through ReachOut’s branding and messaging, they’ve stood out to young people as they “are at the heart of everything we do. And it shows,” she added. 

With an authentic voice and look at the centre of their brand and content, it translates to young people actually wanting to engage with ReachOut, who “ feel like we are a brand for them.”

Source: ReachOut, celebrating Wear It Purple Day.

What to do next

Here’s a checklist to help you improve your employer branding.

  • Have a compelling EVP – people want to know why they should consider applying to work for your organisation. Convey your mission, values, and work culture. Ultimately, it’s everything you can offer as an employer, in exchange for the skills and experience your employees and candidates can bring to the table. Communicate your EVP through your careers page, job descriptions, social media and company profile sites like Glassdoor.
  • Use social media and embrace the future of technology. Update your careers page by including video, images, employee reviews and FAQs.  
  • Provide your team with resources and opportunities, as well as acknowledge their efforts. Happy and fulfilled employees mean more brand advocates and internal referrals!  
  • Authentic employee experiences are a great way to bring your employer brand, purpose and values to life. Tell authentic stories by sharing events and milestones and include the people who made your organisation what it is today. Provide them with a platform to share their stories through video and content, and promote them on your careers page, blog and social media channels.
  • Be specific when writing job ads, and don’t forget to go mobile
  • Take a chance and stick to one single voice. A few years ago ReachOut took the big step to have a single brand voice, look, and feel. “This aligned our branding across multiple platforms and channels and made it much easier to maintain it.” The personality traits that differentiate ReachOut for young people according to Maxine include approachability, trust, authenticity and optimism.

She recommends having a clear picture of what your brand is and what you want it to be. “Each organisation will take a different approach,” she explained. “At ReachOut, we have also made use of the expertise through organisations’ marketing, communications and fundraising teams; they’re great at demonstrating the value of our organisation to different audiences,” she added.

Interested in learning more? Register for our webinar which we hosted with Uber on “Employer Branding: The Secret to Attracting and Retaining Exceptional Talent.”

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