Employer Branding: What You Need to Know

During a time when individuals are changing jobs more frequently and when informing yourself on a company is as easy as reading reviews for your favorite restaurant, it’s critical that businesses have a strong employer brand to improve the success of their talent acquisition—and their business.

Employer Branding: An Overview

First, the term “employer brand” refers to your reputation as an employer, not to be confused with your general company brand, which usually targets consumers. An employer brand is what people say about your company—the perceptions and opinions employees and job seekers have of your organization.

Employer branding, then, is the act of cultivating an employer brand. Because this brand ultimately lives in the minds of employees, candidates, and potential candidates, every company has one, whether or not they realize it. This means it’s critical to actively develop and manage your brand so it’s not left in the hands of others, thereby attracting potential employees that aren’t the best match.

Why Your Brand Matters

Reputation is a key consideration for individuals exploring new job opportunities. In fact, according to a study conducted by Glassdoor, the top two factors identified as making a “bad company” are:

  • Pay rates that are lower than the industry average
  • Poor management

While some job seekers would consider working for a bad company, they would require a pay rate above 50 percent of what they are currently making. In other words, companies cannot afford a poor reputation and must actively work on forming a strong employer brand, which includes looking at pay rates and management practices. By doing so, they’re not only able to attract top talent, but they are also able to retain that talent and help employees truly thrive.

Over two-thirds of unemployed, job-seeking Americans would rather remain unemployed than work with a company that has a poor reputation. This means that even boosting pay rates and benefits may not be enough to attract the people you need. It’s necessary to cultivate a strong employer brand that covers everything from job description language to overall work culture.

The importance of employer branding applies to current employees as well. According to a survey conducted in 2015, 92% of employees would leave their current place of employment if given a job offer by a company with an excellent reputation.

Employer branding is not just about recruitment marketing but about every aspect of an employer’s relationship with an employee (and in fact, from even before they become an employee), from brand awareness to the hiring process and beyond.

Creating a Strong Employer Brand

Even if you feel you may already have a strong brand, ongoing analysis and management is a valuable way of uncovering and improving any weak points, which may be silently affecting your employee retention rates, time to hire, and overall costs.

Perform an Audit

Unfortunately, some things that are out of a company’s control often impact its employer brand, such as a potential candidate leaving a negative review for receiving a call for an interview. By performing a full audit, that company can steer the things it can control and form a strong brand that attracts, and retains, top candidates.

The key to a thorough audit is analyzing how the company is presenting itself in comparison to what candidates and employees actually think of the company. Are they aligned? The first step might include looking at job descriptions, social media, onboarding materials, and more. Do these align with the company’s core values? Do they reflect what makes your company unique and the best employer?

The second component of the process should include gathering feedback from current employees and potential candidates. How do the employees feel about the company’s management? Why did they accept the job offer? What do candidates think of your postings on job boards or your career page?

Establish Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

Once you’ve gathered data and feedback, you can begin creating targeted messaging for attracting great candidates, in addition to making your current work environment a great place to be.

Simply put, an EVP details what candidates can expect from the company and what would be expected of them. More than just compensation and benefits, strong EVPs look at important factors such as advancement opportunities and work culture.

While you may not end up advertising all aspects of your EVP, having a clear EVP will help guide you through your employer branding efforts and pay significant dividends in your recruiting efforts.

Define Your Methods

Once you’ve established what you want to say, it’s time to determine how you should say it. To do so, you should be looking at all candidate and employee touchpoints for opportunities to promote your employer brand. These touchpoints might include:

  • Career sites
  • Your company’s website, particularly pages about culture, community involvement, and employment opportunities
  • The application process
  • Employee experiences
  • Candidate and employee communications – tone, voice and engagement

Ready to Start Building Your Brand?

Creating and maintaining an employer brand is a difficult process, but we’re here to make it easier. With our expertise in talent acquisition and management, we take a deep dive into your organization and look at your people, processes, goals, and objectives. In fact, we can perform a full employer branding audit and offer a solution-set of recommendations to improve your perceived employer brand, delivering solutions that truly empower your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a better employer brand.