How to create an awesome employer brand (and why you should!)

Workplace wellness
Estimated read time: 5 mins
Published: 25/08/2023

In Part 2 of our Guide to Acing Recruitment, we revealed ways to attract more candidates to your roles. One tactic is to create an employer brand that really packs a punch.   Employer branding in recruitment is a powerful tool that can influence a person’s decision to join your team over a competitor’s. It’s like the magic ingredient that helps businesses attract and hire the best people and keep them happy and engaged.  In today’s competitive job market (read more about this in our first blog!), building a reputation as a credible employer should be a top priority for small businesses. So, let’s dive deeper into the exciting world of employer branding. We’ll cover what an employee brand is, the benefits, and how to build a strong employer branding strategy in six simple steps.     

What is an employer brand?  

All companies have an employer brand – even yours! It’s how you’re perceived as an employer and how you promote your small business as a place to work.  ‘Branding’ is usually linked with marketing and how you market your business to prospects or existing customers. Think of employee branding in the same way. But instead of attracting customers, it’s all about showing off your offerings to potential and current employees.  Building an employer brand with real personality showcases your values, culture, work environment, and employee perks. It highlights what sets you apart from competitors and why candidates should choose your company over others. That means bigging things up like career growth, work-life balance, employee development, inclusivity and diversity policies, and everything else that makes your company special.  Done right, your employer branding strategy has the power to attract outside talent and boost engagement within your existing teams.  

Why create an employer brand? 

In times of economic uncertainty, employer branding is even more crucial, especially when there are skills shortages and fierce competition among companies for the best talent.   Here are 4 reasons why employer branding in recruitment is key: 

  • Attract top talent: It’s simple, really; people want to work for a company with a good reputation and treat employees well. Get your business known for all the right reasons, and people will be lining up to join your team. 
  • Higher engagement and retention: When your staff are proud to be part of your brand and believe in your values, they’ll stick around for the long haul. A strong employer brand helps create a positive vibe at work, motivating your team to go above and beyond. 
  • Boost your reputation: An awesome employer brand attracts potential employees and positively influences customer perception. This can stick in people’s minds even if they’re not looking for a new position yet – it’s about playing the long game! 
  • Save money: A genuine and honest employer brand increases your chances of attracting the right people from the get-go. So, you’ll save money in the long run with a more efficient recruitment process and a higher chance of retaining staff. 

How to build a strong employer brand   

As you grow your business and build an all-star team, use this six-step approach to help create your employer branding strategy.  

1. Discovery: Assess the situation  

First, it’s important to understand how potential candidates and existing team members see your business. This will help you figure out what areas to build on and improve. Ways to find this out include:  

  • Anonymous staff survey for honest feedback   
  • External perception surveys for an outsider’s perspective  
  • Checking out employee review sites like Glassdoor   
  • Keeping an eye on company mentions and post comments on socials  
  • Seeing what your competitors are doing to learn from them or differentiate yourself.  
  • Auditing the candidate journey to look for areas where you can improve the experience.  

2. Define: Be clear on your values

Identify your company’s ‘personality’, values and what you offer as an employer. This is called your employer value proposition (EVP), and it helps paint a picture of your company culture, the perks of working for you and what your business stands for.    Your EVP brings together all the fantastic things about your company and shows off what makes you different. Once you have your EVP, it becomes the guiding light for your content to promote your employer brand.   Articulating your company’s values and what sets you apart as an employer helps potential candidates align their values with your brand and attract those who resonate with your mission.  

3. Advocacy: Involve your team  

Ask your teams for their opinions and keep them in the loop to help turn them into brand ambassadors. Communicating your employer brand internally ensures your staff are on board with your messaging, which helps keep things consistent.    Empower them to share their positive experiences on social media or participate in industry events as representatives of your company. This personal touch can have a huge impact on attracting talent.   Also, reward your people for helping you find other talented people. An employee referral scheme is a great way to raise your employer profile and attract the right people.  

4. Communication: Create a brand toolkit  

Keep your internal and external communication game strong with an employer brand toolkit. This set of guidelines explains your goals, EVP (all the cool stuff that makes you stand out), and the elements that make up your brand.    This toolkit ensures everyone understands the assignment and keeps your messaging on brand across all your channels.   

5. Implement: Launch your brand   

It’s time to bring your shiny new employer brand to life! Apply the brand to your recruitment process, including job ads and website careers page. Plus, make sure your employer brand reaches every touchpoint from recruitment to onboarding and development and beyond.   Start creating engaging and authentic content that shows off your employer brand. Share stories, testimonials and experiences that highlight the uniqueness of your workplace. Use social media, your website and other channels to showcase your company’s personality and values to potential candidates.   And, most importantly, practice what you preach. You want your employees to really ‘live’ the brand you’ve created. So, apply workplace changes (if needed) that promote growth, recognition, inclusivity and work-life balance.  

6. Measure: Check your progress  

Your employer brand isn’t a set-and-forget strategy. It’ll constantly evolve, and it’s essential to regularly review and check the progress of your employer brand campaigns.    Measure metrics like the following to learn which aspects work well and what could be improved to continuously enhance the overall employee and recruitment experience:  

  • Online ratings and reviews  
  • Retention rates  
  • Feedback from new joiners  
  • Job acceptance rates  
  • Exit interviews  
  • Employee surveys and workshops  
  • The number and calibre of applicants.

Get started today 

Creating a kick-ass employer branding strategy doesn’t happen overnight – it takes effort, but the rewards are totally worth it.   There’s no time like the present to start building the right messages and get them out there in the world. By doing so, you’ll stand out from the crowd and attract candidates with the skills, values and attitudes you’re looking for in no time. Incorporating workplace wellness into your employer branding is also a fantastic way to drive employee engagement, satisfaction and loyalty. Check out Part 4 of this series for ways to manage your team’s mental health and wellbeing. 

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