Employer branding is an essential tool for companies trying to stand out from the crowd and attract top candidates

February 20, 2020 at 12:37 PM Tags: employer branding


What is an Employer Brand?

"What’s the feeling you want candidates to have about your brand? That feeling. That feeling that permeates your organization… 1 part values, 1 part culture, 1 part experiences… in essence, employer brand is your unique scent." - William Tincup, President at Recruiting Daily.

With the competition for the best talent getting fiercer by the day, employer branding is an important tool for companies trying to stand out from the crowd and attract top candidates.
Little wonder then, that over 59% of employers say that employer branding represents one of the key components of the organization’s overall HR strategy.

Data from the Harvard Business Review shows that CEOs and HR leaders expect to make an increased investment into their employer brand over the next few years. It's likely to be a key part of most recruiting teams' long-term strategy in 2020.

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How to build your Employer Brand?

Building your employer brand doesn't happen overnight. Not only are there a number of different moving pieces involved, but you need to get everyone in your team on the same page.

For effective promotion of your brand, your company can only attract current and future employees if it has a strategy in place. You need to have an Employer Branding strategy that is true, credible, relevant distinctive and aspirational.

Fundamentally, employer branding is split into two core areas. Things your recruiting team can shape and things they can't.

How can I create an Employer Branding strategy?

Establishing an appealing internal and external employer brand necessitates the understanding of both the talent’s and the company’s needs and wants.

Ask yourself this:

  • What are the career expectations of today’s talent?
  • What are your company’s strategic objectives?

It is recommended that companies take a data-driven approach to erase subjectivity in the crafting of a company’s Employer Branding strategy. After gathering this information, the company can therefore then begin to define its unique identity. In the Employer Branding discipline, this identity is known as the company’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP). The Employer Value Proposition in its essence, is a set of your unique employer offerings. Unique offerings talent value in their career choice.

Employer branding: what you can shape?

The truth is, you can never totally control your employer brand. Companies can cultivate and guide their employer brand through messaging, but they cannot totally control it - your brand boils down to what other people think, what people say about you when you're not in the room. You can only influence this.For companies thinking about their employer branding strategy, there are a few areas that it's critical to focus on:

1. Careers site

The company careers site is one of the first places that interested candidates go to learn more about your company.`

It almost goes without saying that your careers site needs to be mobile optimized. 94% of smartphone job seekers have browsed or researched jobs on smartphones - you need to be ready for them.

2. Application experience

There’s a severe disconnect over the application experience - the average candidate spends 3-4 hours submitting a single application, while 70% companies think it takes them less than an hour. Hardly surprising then, that 60 percent of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of their length or complexity. When you think about the time and resources that are spent getting candidates to the application form, it's crazy to think that most companies lose nearly 2/3 of applicants during the process.

Pro tip

Taking your own application is the easiest way to walk a mile in your candidates’ shoes and see what needs to change. Apply with a fake name and details, and take an honest look at your process. Does it make you more or less enthusiastic to work at your company? How does it make you feel about your employer brand?

3. Social media

Social media is currently the most widely used channel for companies looking to build their employer brand and attract applications. This isn’t surprising when we look at some of the data:

A social recruiting strategy clearly drives results, but what is the best way to integrate it into your employer brand?

Being “social”

Social media gives candidates a channel to interact directly with your brand and employees and provides a window into your organization. The value of this shouldn’t be overstated. 9 out of 10 candidates would apply to a job when it’s from an employer brand that’s actively maintained.

4. Employee advocacy

Your employees are your secret weapon. We live in an age of unprecedented transparency - your employer brand has never been more shaped by the genuine stories and perspectives of your employees and alumni.

Candidates see employees as a window into the true nature of your organization. The way you leverage your team has never been more important... Is it any wonder that candidates trust the things that employees say more than your corporate messaging?If you can encourage employees to share their own story, in either written or video form, it can be hugely valuable to your employer brand.

Employer branding: The things that you can’t control

Your true employer brand includes factors that are outside your direct control.

Things like:

  • Media: how to different outlets talk about you?
  • Friends and family: what does a candidate’s inner circle think about you?
  • Consumer experience: what experience do people have when they buy from you?
  • Consumer marketing: what is the messaging and approach of your marketing department?
  • Word of mouth: what’s the word on the street?

The good news? Many of these factors are impacted by the things that you can directly influence.

Focus on aligning your recruiting brand closely with your consumer brand and providing a great candidate experience. Get this right and you should see a positive impact across these areas.

How it can help your business?

With the help of a strong employer brand, your company will be able to increase the number of quality applicants, reduce your costs per recruitment and differentiate yourself from competitors. Do you want to develop the skills to able to craft, develop and execute an Employer Branding Strategy?

Not only do we help people and companies to understand their Employer Branding. Similarly, we also want to make these strategies available for everyone. Therefore, to fully utilize the power of your brand, you need to understand the fundamentals. First of all, how you combine internal and external perspectives to create your Employer Value Proposition, how you should target talent and last but not least, using data to take these decisions.


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Written by Alison.B