Employer brand is the company’s brand facing inwards, mostly aiming for employee retention and recruitment. Furthermore, your employer brand refers to the reputation you have built as an employer with the help of your employer value propositions.
Employer branding is the process of managing your reputation as an employer among your employees, potential hires, and even the rest of the job seekers in the market.
This process is concerned with all the strategies required to position you as a reputable employer. Companies with solo founders can benefit from the founder’s (or CEOs’) personal brand and act as an inherited employer brand in various cases.
It is worth clarifying that employer branding happens in different flavors for each business depending on what the company wants to be perceived as—flexibility may be one thing, or innovation, gracious salaries, great team buildings, a dog-friendly office, or something else. But without revealing this transparently, companies lose on top talent.
Also… employer branding does not focus on the founder or the top leadership alone. Everyone involved in management, human resources, or recruitment should work on the type of branding that is compatible with the brand of the organization.
It is an interesting concept for sure—and a very important one to fully grasp—which is why we should go over these major employer branding essentials that will help you scale successfully.
Why Employer Branding Is Crucial In Scaling
The more your business grows, the faster you need to supplement resources. This covers staff, partners, vendors, and new team roles in management positions.
Whenever a fast-growing business is growing a hundred percent year after year, that very same percentage for a five-person company could mean adding 50 or 100 for a bigger company. Hiring a single rockstar employee is already a challenging endeavor on its own but to make it a hundred rockstars, that gets way more complicated.
The reality is that not every business is ready for growth.
At first, you would be growing at a certain pace until this pace is going to incrementally get faster and faster over time. Note that scaling from five to ten people is different from scaling from 50 to 100. It differs from one industry to another especially when you factor in the size of the company.
Although growing a business stems from an increase in revenue, this also entails the need for a reliable way to have additional resources and be able to serve customers and build partnerships—all while making sure that an effective brand awareness strategy is in place for your company, particularly for your employer brand.
A strong employer brand helps you overcome the obstacle in scaling your business using the right processes introduced by the right kind of leadership levels within your organization.
It will also help you sustain the growth of your business by gaining trust, by landing new partnerships, and by getting the right people to help you scale even more.
Suffice to say, scaling happens swiftly and smoothly through employer branding.
Employer branding has an exponential impact across multiple business areas the more your team scales. It facilitates reputation building, attracts prospects and top talent, speeds up partnerships, and unlocks new opportunities.
But as much as employer branding can “make” your business, it can also “break” your business as you keep scaling.
How to Improve Your Employer Branding
What sets you apart as an employer? That is an important question to ask because promoting your employer brand must start with identifying your key differentiators.
Once you figure out what sets you apart from your competitors, you can improve on the areas you need to improve on and then market your strengths to your target job seekers as you remain appreciated by your existing workforce.
Here are some of the ways you can improve your employer brand.
1. Examine Your Mission and Vision
Contrary to popular belief, an organization’s mission and vision statements are not meant to be some big words you just put on display.
Your mission and vision set the course your company is going to take.
Your mission and vision statements are also what communicate your values as a brand, resulting in the following benefits for your employer brand:
- Unified front for your people and the public
- Strong validation during the recruitment phase
- Company direction in every decision
Without proper direction, your organization can easily lose your values when challenges and confusions come your way.
2. Work On Your Company Culture
Creating a positive work culture is contingent on the values you have established from the very beginning. This is why it is always advisable to build your company culture right off the bat.
Investing in your culture can be very rewarding for your employer branding. If employees feel very inspired to work, they can easily become your brand ambassadors without your having to lift a finger or spend on whatever referral programs just to get them to refer high-performing talents. They will do it for you for free.
But then again, this culture development within your company relies heavily on the business leaders. Make sure that you encourage a healthy work environment by being the primary source of inspiration.
3. Develop Your Employer Value Propositions
LinkedIn Talent Blog sums up the organization’s mission, vision, and culture as the company’s Employer Value Propositions (EVP).
In addition to the mission, vision, and culture, these are what usually make up an organization’s EVP according to the same blog:
- Company location(s) and facilities, accessibility, and convenience
- Overall compensation package
- Career development plan
- Management styles
- Team caliber and quality
- Work quality
- Employee recognition programs
- Value for work-life balance
- Employee benefits (e.g insurance, vacations)
- On-the-job perks (e.g lunch, on-site childcare, flexible time, telecommuting)
- Non-salary financial perks (e.g commuter credits, bonuses, housing subsidies, relocation, assistance)
- Travel opportunities and client exposure
- Community service extensions
- Job security
And since the EVP is also the powerful reason employees have for working for you, it is important to identify your value propositions, test these with your existing employees, and communicate every proposition to your potential employees.
If upon testing your EVP turns out to be a flop among your existing employees, revamp these propositions. See which aspects you need to develop further to make them more suitable for your existing people and appealing to the potential ones, thereby improving your employer branding.
4. Create a Candidate Persona
Glassdoor defines a candidate persona as a semi-fictional representation of a company’s ideal job candidate.
Similar to developing a buyer persona, creating a candidate persona would require that you gather actual data which involves examining your existing employees and researching your competitors.
ZoomInfo lists down the following types of information that are necessary for creating a candidate persona:
- Demographics: Age, location, current job, and income.
- Background: Work and education background
- Qualifications: Relevant skills, certifications, or coursework.
- Personal attributes: Personality traits such as strengths, weaknesses, interests, and fears.
- Goals: Desired career path and goals
- Objections: Possible reasons for rejecting a job offer
- Web activities: Online affiliations, memberships, leisures
The data that you will be able to gather will serve as your resources in tailoring your brand messaging to your ideal candidate or talent.
5. Audit Your Online Presence
About 75% of job seekers research a company’s reputation before applying for a job opening. If these job seekers don’t like what they see, 69% of them will not apply. With this in consideration, there is a need to work on the online presence of your employer brand.
Among the main performance indicators of a strong and positive online presence are the following:
- A high-quality website
- High engagement rate
- Active community participations
- Success stories and testimonials
A high-quality website speaks a lot about the kind of attention you put into your brand image online. People want to work with a company that puts premium on “image” because at the core, they want to work with a company they can show off or be proud of.
You also need to check how you engage in your social media accounts. It is crucial that you treat people in your comments with professionalism. You can be fun or formal, but always professional.
6. Maximize the Use of LinkedIn
According to LinkedIn Talent Solutions, 68% of talent acquisition leaders acknowledge the importance of social professional networks in spreading employer brand awareness.
Of the social professional networks, many turn to LinkedIn. In fact, about 75% of people who recently changed jobs used LinkedIn to make informed career decisions. LinkedIn is indeed the place to be if you want to showcase your employer brand.
But how you will use LinkedIn can have a huge impact on your employer branding efforts and even on the brand itself. I have answered six of the most pressing LinkedIn questions which you can check out as a guide for improving your employer brand showcase on LinkedIn.
But essentially, these tips can be very helpful:
- Create consistent content – you want to always be present when job seekers search for you
- Produce a wide variety of content – post educational or engaging content on top of your job postings
- Refine your Company Page – make sure you have a great Company Page packed with your correct contact details
Other features you can leverage on LinkedIn are brought to you by LinkedIn Talent Solutions.
To amplify your brand on LinkedIn, encourage your business leaders, management teams, and other executives to maintain a strong presence on the network and encourage them to support your company posts.
7. Identify the Best Places to Promote
It is not enough that you have a great employer brand to promote. You also need to know WHERE to promote.
We have already identified LinkedIn as one of the most important social professional networks. However, there are other places online and offline that you can explore for employer branding.
One is your own, internal website or intranet. It is always best to start within the walls of your company. Relentlessly promote your brand and engage your employees all the time. In the process, you can collect feedback directly from your people through regular surveys. The insights you can get from their responses can help you improve your employer brand further.
Your social media pages are, without a doubt, great places for your employer branding efforts. If you do it right, you can promote your products and values as a company, boosting your employer brand presence even more.
8. Organize Workshops and Seminars
The number one obstacle that candidates encounter when looking for a job is that they have no idea what it is really like to work at an organization.
Help them overcome this obstacle by organizing workshops and seminars where you can invite them over.
The best thing about these events is that as you showcase your brand to your heart’s content, you can also spot potentially great hires among those who will be attending and even hire them on the spot. It is a win-win for both the company and the job seekers.
Organizing workshops and seminars is also a manifestation of your company’s desire to invest in the learning and development of your people which is something job seekers would appreciate in an organization.
9. Measure Your Employer Branding
Again, nothing beats actual data when it comes to knowing where your brand stands in the heart of your current employees, and in the minds of your potential employees.
Make sure that you measure the results of your employer branding campaigns by looking at the data involving the following:
It may help even more to look at employer branding holistically by using Brandata’s approach to measuring consumer brands that considers top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel.
Check out the chart below for the key metrics in every funnel.
Depending on the results, optimize your employer branding accordingly.
Indeed, employer branding can be a meticulous but necessary process that every organization needs to work on in order to position well in the talent marketplace.
Employer branding is important for the right scalability, sustainability, and transparency of the business, and for bringing the core of the business to the public. These qualities build trust and that trust helps you scale through new businesses and new partnerships.