8 Tips to Improve Your Employer Brand Strategy

Employer branding is defining how workers choose their next job.

Companies are holding their HR and marketing teams accountable for building unique brands to attract and maintain talent. So much so that, the HR Trends Report 2021 found that 39% of top employers measure how new hires’ employer-brand impressions align with their experience after joining.

Continue reading for more insights to help your organization’s employer branding.

What is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the process of creating and promoting a company’s image and reputation as an employer to attract and retain talented employees. It involves developing and communicating a company’s unique values, culture, and mission, as well as highlighting the benefits and opportunities it offers to employees.

A strong employer brand can help a company stand out in a competitive job market, attract top talent, and reduce turnover. It can also improve employee engagement and loyalty because employees are more likely to feel a sense of pride and connection to their employer.

Employer branding strategies may include showcasing employee testimonials and success stories, highlighting company perks and benefits, promoting a positive company culture, and using social media and other marketing channels to reach potential candidates. Effective employer branding requires a commitment to creating a positive work environment and treating employees with respect and fairness.

Key Elements of an Employer Branding Strategy

A well-defined employer branding strategy can help you stand out as an employer of choice. Here are key elements to include in your employer branding strategy:

Define Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP): Your EVP is the unique set of benefits and values that differentiate your company as an employer. It should highlight what makes your organization special and why top talent should choose to work for you. Identify your company’s key strengths, such as work-life balance, career development opportunities, or a positive company culture.

Craft Your Employer Brand Story: Develop a compelling narrative that communicates your company’s history, mission, values, and vision. Share stories that reflect your company culture, showcase employee achievements, and highlight the positive impact your organization has on employees’ lives and the community. Make sure your brand story is authentic, relatable, and resonates with your target audience.

Enhance Your Online Presence: Optimize your company website and career pages to reflect your employer brand. Use engaging content, employee testimonials, videos, and photos to showcase your company culture, work environment, and employee experiences. Leverage social media platforms to share employee stories, company updates, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your organization.

Employee Advocacy: Encourage and empower your employees to become brand ambassadors. Encourage them to share their experiences, achievements, and positive stories about working for your company on their personal social media accounts. Employee-generated content adds authenticity and credibility to your employer branding efforts.

Candidate Experience: Ensure a positive candidate experience from the moment someone applies for a position until the final hiring decision. Communicate promptly and transparently, provide clear job descriptions, and offer a smooth application process. Keep candidates informed about their progress and provide constructive feedback. A positive candidate experience creates a favorable impression of your employer brand, regardless of the hiring outcome.

Employee Development and Growth: Highlight your commitment to employee development and growth opportunities. Emphasize training programs, mentorship initiatives, leadership development, and career advancement opportunities within your organization. Demonstrating a supportive and growth-oriented culture attracts ambitious and motivated candidates.

Diversity and Inclusion: Showcase your commitment to diversity and inclusion in your employer branding strategy. Highlight initiatives, programs, and policies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity within your organization. Communicate the importance of creating an inclusive work environment that values diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences.

Employee Benefits and Perks: Clearly communicate the comprehensive benefits and perks you offer to employees. This tactic can include health insurance, retirement plans, flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and additional perks like gym memberships or employee discounts. Make sure candidates understand the value you provide beyond just a competitive salary.

Tips to Improve Your Employer Brand Strategy

1. Mentor Junior Staff

Developing a strong employer brand requires the implementation of creative solutions. For instance, providing mentorships for junior staff members is an insightful way to allow more leadership opportunities and create a sense of purpose.

Not only does this demonstrate commitment to staff development, but it also gives potential employees an insight into the dynamic and supportive team-based culture that exists within the business.

Michael Alexis, CEO, swag.org

2. Send Thank You Notes to Job Candidates

No one likes to be passed over for a job. It hurts our pride and can be emotionally devastating if you really wanted the position.

So, make the letdown a little easier on candidates by sending them a thank-you note. And don’t just send them an auto-generated email, send a handwritten note. To the extent your HR team has the capacity, make sure every candidate who applied for the position, or at least interviewed, is sent a handwritten note thanking them for taking the time to apply and interview. 

Encourage them to stay in touch, look for future open positions, and reapply down the road. This type of personalized touch can go a long way toward generating respect and warmth after losing out on a desirable job.

John Ross, Chief Executive Officer, Test Prep Insight

3. Focus On Employees’ Satisfaction and Support Them

A strong employer brand is built upon the experiences and perceptions of current employees, so it’s important to prioritize their satisfaction and well-being in the workplace. This can involve offering competitive benefits and compensation packages, providing opportunities for growth and development, and fostering a positive and supportive work culture.

By prioritizing employee satisfaction and well-being, businesses can attract and retain top talent and build a positive reputation as an employer, which can help to attract even more top talent in the future. Happy and fulfilled employees are more likely to be productive and engaged, which can positively impact business results and contribute to overall success.

Zach Goldstein, CEO and Founder, Public Rec

4. Story Building With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can improve an employer brand by allowing companies to tell their story through strategic media publishers online. You can reach a wider audience through media publishers that have established followings. Then, target specific audiences, such as those interested in careers in a certain industry or geographic location. This targeted approach can help companies better reach and engage the audience they want to attract as employees.

By partnering with established media publishers, companies can improve their credibility and gain credibility by association. This can help build trust in the employer brand and make it more appealing to potential employees.

Brian Hawkins, Marketing Manager, GhostBed.com

Let’s take a brief break to learn more about employer branding.

5. Emphasize Glassdoor Reviews

Glassdoor allows current and former employees to publicly share their feelings about your company. This is why building a good reputation on Glassdoor is essential for improving your employer brand.

Not many potential employees will care if you say something nice about your business in your job ad. But if your Glassdoor page has plenty of five-star reviews, you’ll stand out. So when you’re having staff meetings, encourage employees to post reviews on Glassdoor. If you already have a positive company culture, you’ll build a good employer brand.

Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money

6. Share Decisions that Affect Employers Or Job Seekers

Remember that you are hiring people, not resumes. Transparency about a typical day at the position you’re hiring for will allow candidates to see if you’re a good match.

Share whether you hire early-career professionals, how you reward extra-mile contributions, your remote work policy, and your commitment to professional development in advance. Spark candid conversations on your careers page, job postings, and onboarding process about how you empower your people to flourish.

Jon Torres, CEO, Jon Torres

7. Get Progressive With Benefits

It’s not hard to find out what job seekers are looking for in company benefits nowadays. If you want to improve your branding, then you can start by aligning your compensation and benefits policies to be more in line with mainstream demands.

You can both survey existing employees and do external research to find out what workers are looking for and adjust to meet those goals. Not only will this help improve your company branding, but it will increase the retention rate of employees you already have. Every worker wants to be in a place that provides good pay and job satisfaction. Become that place and your image will take a big leap forward.

Max Ade, CEO, Pickleheads

8. Focus on DEI Initiatives 

A crucial tip for improving an inclusive employer brand is to ensure that company values are not just a slogan but are reflected in everyday workplace policies. This involves clearly articulating the organization’s commitment to building an inclusive environment and establishing a culture of equity and inclusion.

Companies should also consider issuing updates on their DEI initiatives, highlighting success stories and any improvement areas that need more focus or attention. Finally, organizations can increase accessibility by providing equal opportunities for career growth, such as allowing employees to attend professional development workshops or access resources for career advancement.

Vivian Acquah, Inclusive Workplace Wellness Advocate, Amplify DEI

How to Measure Employer Branding

Evaluating the effectiveness of your employer branding efforts is crucial for optimizing your strategies and attracting top talent. Here are key metrics and methods to consider when measuring employer branding:

1. Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Conduct regular surveys to gauge employees’ perceptions of your company as an employer. Assess their satisfaction levels, engagement, and alignment with the company culture. This feedback helps identify areas for improvement and showcases the impact of your employer branding initiatives.

2. Candidate Experience Feedback: Gather feedback from candidates who have interacted with your hiring process. Analyze their experiences, from initial contact to final decisions. Understand their impressions of your employer brand and use this insight to refine the candidate experience.

3. Social Media Engagement: Monitor the engagement and reach of your employer branding content on social media platforms. Track metrics like shares, comments, and likes to understand audience engagement and the resonance of your brand’s messaging.

4. Employee Retention Rates: Measure the retention rates of new hires and existing employees. High retention rates often indicate a strong employer brand, showcasing that employees are content and aligned with the company’s values and culture.

5. Talent Acquisition Metrics: Analyze the quality and quantity of job applications received. A strong employer brand typically attracts a higher quantity of qualified candidates, making the hiring process more efficient.

6. Employer Brand Perception: Leverage external surveys or market research to understand how your company is perceived as an employer compared to competitors. This insight helps in benchmarking and identifying areas where your brand can improve.

7. Performance Indicators: Assess the impact of a strong employer brand on business performance metrics, such as productivity, innovation, and overall company performance.

FAQs About Employer Branding

Q: How long does it take to see results from an employer branding strategy?
A: The timeline for seeing tangible results from employer branding efforts can vary. While some immediate impact might be observed in candidate interest, it often takes several months or even years to see significant changes in retention rates and overall brand perception.

Q: Is employer branding only for large companies?
A: No, employer branding is valuable for companies of all sizes. Smaller companies can leverage their unique culture, values, and growth opportunities to attract and retain top talent.

Q: Can a negative employer brand be reversed?
A: Yes, a negative employer brand can be improved with consistent efforts to address issues, enhance company culture, and communicate positive changes transparently.

Q: How does employer branding impact recruitment costs?
A: A strong employer brand can reduce recruitment costs by attracting more qualified candidates organically, leading to fewer resources spent on sourcing and advertising roles.

Q: Can employer branding affect company culture?
A: Yes, employer branding is closely tied to company culture. A well-defined brand that aligns with the actual workplace environment can reinforce and shape the culture by attracting individuals who resonate with the company’s values.

Q: Is employer branding a one-time effort or an ongoing process?
A: Employer branding is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, evaluation, and adaptation to remain effective. Companies evolve, and so do their employer brands.

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