What is employer branding?

Discover the power of employer branding to attract top talent and improve your company’s reputation. Learn key strategies to enhance your organizational appeal to prospective employees.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Have a quick question? I answered nearly 1500 FAQs.

Introduction

Most people understand the importance of branding in relation to consumers. But did you know that many companies put just as much effort into branding to attract top talent, too? It’s called employer branding, and it is a must-have for organizations that want to hire the right person for the role from the very start.

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is how you brand yourself to job seekers and what your reputation is as an employer. Organizations can leverage employer branding to attract their ideal candidates to apply for jobs. The candidates will have an idea of what to expect from your company and whether they feel the company culture will be a good fit for them.

All of the following things fall under the umbrella of employer branding:

  • Where you advertise your company as an employer
  • The job adverts and how they are written
  • Partnerships with training, education, or accreditation facilities
  • Charity work
  • Job website pages
  • Social media presence
  • Industry news and press
  • Employee achievements
  • The salary and perks your company offers
  • The fit of previous employees and, therefore, what they say about you as an employer

All of these things (and more) add up to the impression that people have of your organization when they are considering applying for a job with your company.

The Benefits of Employer Branding

Anytime you advertise a vacancy or one of your employees talks about work with their friends and family, that is employer branding. Employer branding is happening whether you are actively involved in it or not. These are the benefits an organization can expect to see when they are actively involved in employer branding:

1. Attract candidates who are a good culture fit – Putting information out there about what your company values and what kind of employer you will be means that you will get more suitable applicants from the very start.

2. Employees want to work for a brand they believe in – According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, 69% of employees are more likely to apply for a job if the company manages its employer branding.

3. Employer branding can strengthen your branding in the eyes of consumers – All your marketing efforts and branding impact each other. Your employer branding can further the efforts of your marketing to customers if they are consistent.

4. Employers can control the narrative of their image as an employer – No matter how much you care about your employees, you will have a disgruntled employee at some point. When there is not much information available about you as an employer, that criticism has more weight. Employer branding can ensure that there is a lot more out there that shows you are a good employer, and therefore, it drowns out the disgruntled employees.

5. Attract a diverse employee base – Skilled employer branding will ensure that you attract employees from diverse backgrounds. It will ensure that you show that you celebrate the uniqueness of your employees, and it will ensure that job openings are advertised in places where it would attract people from all backgrounds.

How to Create Your Own Employer Branding

There are a number of relatively simple things you can do to improve your employer branding. We recommend starting with these 5 things – your marketing team will be able to help you.

1. Understand the Basics

Like all branding, employer branding starts with your company’s value proposition, vision, mission, and values. Your branding should be aligned with these building blocks – both consumers and employees like seeing consistency in your messaging.

So before you start writing your employer branding, assemble all this information in one place so your employer branding is informed by your brand image.

2. Gather Information About Your Current Employer Branding

Your company already has a brand amongst employees and job seekers, whether you have been curating your employer branding already or not. Understanding how your company is currently perceived will help you understand where to start with your branding efforts.

A good place to start is by asking your current employees what they think of you as an employer. Send out anonymous internal surveys so your employees can share their honest thoughts on what they like about you as an employer and what you can improve on. Acting upon employee feedback will already raise their opinion of you.

Next, search what people are saying on social media and employer review websites about your organization. You can hire specialist companies who will conduct this market research for you.

Finally, ask your HR department or interviewers what feedback they get from unsuccessful candidates. They might be able to shed light on any frustrations that candidates have about your current hiring and onboarding process. They may also have information about the reasons why good candidates pull out of the application process.

3. Write an Employer Value Proposition

You already have a value proposition for your company from a consumer’s perspective. Now, it’s time to determine what you offer to your employees as an employer.

Your employer value proposition should be factual. It should represent where you currently are now and what you are actively striving towards. Your employees should be able to see your value proposition in action in both their career and their day-to-day.

The role of your employer value proposition is to inspire your employees and attract job applicants who are aligned with the work you are doing. In that sense, it shouldn’t deal with the compensation or benefits; it should relate to what makes the work meaningful.

4. Harness the Voices of Your Employees

Impressions from your current and former employees will hold more weight with job seekers than what you say about the kind of employer you are. Leveraging your current employees is a vital part of employer branding.

There are multiple ways you can include your employees’ voices in your employer branding, including:

Sharing employee testimonials

Asking employees to leave reviews on public pages (like Glassdoor or LinkedIn)

Interviewing employees and creating short videos for your job page and social media

Offering referral bonuses to employees for successful referrals

5. Review Your Onboarding Process

The candidate journey both leading up to and after being hired will be their first impression of your company. Review your employer value proposition and consider whether your hiring process reflects how you want to be seen as an employer.

A simple way to improve your employer branding is to add more transparency into the hiring process by ensuring candidates know where they are in the hiring process and when they can expect to hear back from you. When a candidate doesn’t make it to the next round, a polite email informing them of this can go a long way – if you conducted an interview with the candidate, brief, helpful feedback is best practice.

Once you have hired the successful candidate, your onboarding process should get the employee excited about their role. This is a great way to improve your employer branding, as the employee’s enthusiasm is infectious to the employees who have been with your organization for a while.

6. Provide Employees with Learning and Development Support

It is in your best interest as an employer to give your employees a multitude of opportunities to grow their skills and learn new ones. Not only because the employees become more valuable to your organization, but because employees are likely to look more favorably on companies that support their long-term career goals. This may mean that you lose some employees to new opportunities in the future, but those employees are going out there with a positive impression of your company and may just become valuable advocates.

7. Tell Your Company Story

A vital part of employer branding is telling your story in a way that resonates with your ideal employees. You want to attract the people who will get involved in your company story and take your organization to the next chapter.

Your company story should be shared both internally and externally, through blogs, messaging, videos, and photos or graphics. These should all be high-quality, as they are vital aspects of your employer branding. If your company story is circulated in poor-quality format, then that reflects poorly on your company.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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