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Employer Branding: How and Where To Build an Attractive Image in the Job Market

6 minute read

One of the stats from a 2018 Randstad US survey shows 86% of the interviewed employees would not apply for or continue to work for a company that has a bad reputation with former employees or the general public. Additionally, 65% of them would likely leave if their employers were being negatively portrayed in the news or on social media because of a crisis or negative business practices.

How do you create and use an attractive employer brand? In other words: how do you build a reputation that attracts and retains the talent you are seeking? In this article, we will try to provide some useful advice.

Employee Recognition - Blog imageWhat is an employer brand?

The term was first used in the early 1990s and has since become widely adopted in HR management. There are many definitions around, all quite similar. To pick one: an employer brand is the image of your organization as a place to work in the mind of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market, such as active and passive candidates, clients and others. Employer branding is how you market your company to job seekers and internal employees.

The benefits of a strong employer brand are many. In this LinkedIn article, you will find an abundance of stats that underline this conclusion. They are also so apparent that we do not have to dwell on them. So, let us talk about some of the practical challenges and possibilities to build a reputation as a top employer.

It is all about storytelling.

As with all branding, creating a strong employer brand is about good storytelling. Think of how you want your organization to be perceived in the job market, and spread the message. But realize that the most significant storytellers are your employees. You will have to live out your story to turn them into ambassadors. Your employees can make or break your employer branding in the age of social media.

How to develop and promote your employer branding strategy

The first step, of course, is to be a good employer. The second step is to promote what you are doing to be a good employer.

Know your key values

It is critical to start by focusing on the mission statement of your company, values, vision, and culture to craft a strong employer brand. You can read more in Employee Motivation: The Importance of Core Values about the importance of these basics.

Ask your employees

Are you fully aware of the reputation your company has among job seekers and your employees? Conduct an internal employer brand audit and ask your employees for feedback. An easy and effective tool to use – especially, if you employ many non-desk workers - is an employee communication app. Your audit should uncover your employees' favourite aspects of your company culture, as well as any areas for improvement.

Decide on an Employee Value Proposition

Once you have a list of true values, you should create an Employer Value Proposition or EVP. This is a marketing message and a promise, summarizing the set of values you offer your employees, and answering the question: “why should I want to work for this company?” Here you can read the EVP’s of 7 leading companies, including Hubspot, Google and Nike.

Pay special attention to your onboarding process.

A negative impression during the first days can have unwanted consequences. In fact, people who have poor onboarding experiences are twice as likely to look for different opportunities.

Choose the channels to promote your employer brand.

There are many places to communicate the values that label you as an attractive employer. You can think of:

  • Your career site
  • Employee referral programs
  • LinkedIn company pages
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat

The variety of channels at your disposal also asks for a diversity of formats to tell your story. You can use videos, photos, slideshows, blogs, and other forms of messaging to ensure you are reaching your target audience on whichever platform they want to be reached.

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Let your employees tell your story.

What job seekers want to know most about your employer brand is how the employees at your company experience it.

  • Leverage your employees to be your ambassadors.
  • Conduct employee interviews and ask for testimonials to share on your website.
  • Stimulate employees to post activities like company outings and other perks on their social media accounts.

Create and communicate the diversity

If you want to create a strong employer brand, it is critical you show your commitment to building a diverse workplace. As you can read in Diversity in the workplace, a work in progress, up to 80% of the people value diversity. Besides many other benefits, having a diverse workforce is an effective way to extend your brand's reach to new groups of candidates.

Conclusion

With employer branding, a company is perceived as an employer of choice, both by job seekers and employees. To make effective use of your employer brand, it is advisable to create an Employee Value Proposition based on the key values that shape your workplace culture and, subsequently promote this message in as many ways and as many appropriate places as possible. Employer branding is storytelling, and the best storytellers are your current employees. Make sure to find out what they think of you as an employer, and enlist their cooperation to promote your company as ‘the place to be’.

Interested to know how to improve employee loyalty and relationships? Download our research study here!

Rob is a content writer, copywriter and novelist. His work for Apple, WWF, Mercedes-Benz and many other brands has been awarded with prestigious creative awards.

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