Building an employer brand and attracting awesome talent
Help your company stand out as a great place to work so you can attract – and hire – the best and brightest talent for your team.
First things first – what is an employer brand?
In short, your employer brand is how you’re perceived as a place to work in the eyes of potential job candidates.
It’s closely related to the idea of employee experience, but with employer branding, you’re keeping an eye on outward perception of your company, not just the wellbeing of the people already working there.
As an employer, you have public visibility – which means you already have an employer brand. But building a strong one is all about taking ownership of what’s already there and using it to your advantage.
How is it different from a ‘normal’ brand?
Your employer brand forms part of your overall brand identity and ties in with it closely, but the strategic emphasis is a little different.
Instead of thinking about external audiences who may want to do business with your company, focus on people who may want to work for you. Working at your company is the product, and they’re your customers.
When you develop your employer brand, you enhance and promoting the things you have to offer as an employer, from the quality of your canteen to the salary benefits and work-life balance your staff enjoy.
Employer brand touchpoints
Like your company brand, your employer brand will come across in every aspect of your business. But there are certain points where it can really make or break a hire, and it’s worth focusing your efforts here.
Pay special attention to your employer brand:
When writing job ads
Make sure your job ad isn’t just a list of requirements and benefits. Instead, make it a taster for life in your company. Describe the kind of job satisfaction your staff experience, the pace of work and the team dynamic to help candidates picture working for you.
You can also include some small but vivid details like the sunny office, the range of backgrounds in the team, or staff events like lunches and away-days. If you have a company tone of voice guide, you can add a section with tips on how to write job ads and other employer brand content.
When designing the application process
Your online application process needs to be as smooth and stress-free as possible. If you use an online application form, look out for UX stumbling blocks like mandatory questions or character limits that could frustrate candidates and cause drop-outs.If you’re providing a contact for questions about the role, make sure that person is available and ready to answer emails and phone calls promptly, so that candidates can see you’re well-organized and easy to work with.
On the careers section of your website
This is your employer brand HQ, and you can use it to really expand on what you have to offer. Photos, videos, testimonials and case studies can all work well here.
On third-party sites
Make sure you’ve registered as an employer on career-focused sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, where candidates will be researching you. Having a presence on third-party sites means you can answer any questions and respond to reviews.
Your social channels are also rich ground for employer brand building. You can post behind-the-scenes content, day-to-day employee experiences and early heads-ups on forthcoming vacancies.
Your job interview process is a big part of your employer brand, and it’s probably the part most likely to stick in people’s minds when they apply for a role. If you’re friendly and welcoming, you follow up with feedback (even if the candidate wasn’t the right fit) and you’re respectful of their time and effort to attend, you’re on to a winner. Keeping candidates hanging around, cancelling and rearranging a lot or failing to answer follow-up emails are not so good for your brand.
Remember, the people who didn’t get the job will also have an impact on your employer brand. They’re likely to share their experiences with friends, colleagues and recruiters they talk to, which will all have a knock-on effect in how you’re perceived.
Ways to get it right
Make staff your stars
Authenticity is the name of the game when it comes to employer branding, and who better to paint a truthful picture than your existing staff members? They can act as ambassadors for your company on social media, provide testimonials and stories for your careers page, and be available to answer questions from potential candidates (e.g. on an Ask Me Anything page or a social media takeover.)
Actively seek feedback
Employee or candidate experience is like customer experience – it gets better based on the feedback you receive. Try following up interviews with a short online survey about the application experience, or make it part of your onboarding process for new hires.
Know your value
What makes you different from other companies? Knowing your strengths as an employer means you can play to them – both by promoting them to potential candidates, and developing your employment offering into something desirably unique.
For more on making your company a fabulous place to work, check out our guide to building your brand culture
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