An effective employer branding strategy can help you build a solid reputation, both internally and externally. It strengthens your position in the employment market, and it helps you attract quality talent to your business. Building a positive employer brand is also a great way to keep your workforce happy. And this is important for a number of reasons. For one thing, according to a study published by Forbes, happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. They are also far more likely to stay at your company in the long term.
However, in order to get the most from your brand as an employer, you need to communicate it effectively. After all, there’s no point in building a narrative about your company if nobody knows about it.
In this guide, we will share 5 essential tips to help you better communicate your employer brand. We will also share a few examples of successful employer branding strategies to show you how the right approach can benefit your business.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Importance of employer branding
Employer branding is the process of building your reputation as an employer. It reflects whether or not your business is perceived as being a good place to work. Whether you have intentionally built your brand in line with a clear strategy, or you have left it to chance, the job market has an opinion about who you are, what you stand for, and which values make your organization unique.
Your employee brand is built on a number of aspects. These include the perceptions of your past, present, and future employees and your candidate and hiring experience. It also takes into account your employee value proposition (EVP). This is the value you offer employees in exchange for their experience, talents, and skills. What’s more, your employer brand is reflected in every stage of your employee lifecycle, from your hiring practices to the learning opportunities you offer employees, and the environment you create for your workforce
The better you are at building and promoting your employer brand, the more likely you are to attract and retain a talented and productive workforce. In fact, a positive brand is the only way to stay relevant in a competitive job market. It’s also the foundation of building a strong company culture where employees can thrive.
All this means that it is essential that you define clear strategies for both internal branding and external branding. This includes establishing guidelines and processes for internal communications, social media marketing, and the collection of employee feedback.
5 employer branding essentials
As we just mentioned, like it or not, your employer brand already exists. It is based on the perceptions of your past and present employees, as well as the opinions of the wider job market. Before a candidate decides whether or not they will apply for a position at your company, they will already have an informed opinion about who you are as an employer.
The good news, though, is that you have the power to shape your employer brand by implementing a proactive external and internal communications strategy.
The right employer branding communication strategy can help you:
- Enhance your brand image and reputation
- Appeal to a wider talent pool
- Improve your candidate and employee experience
- Develop employee engagement and build a thriving workforce
But what exactly does an effective employer branding communication strategy consist of?
Let’s take a look at 5 essential tips for building and communicating a solid employer brand.
Know and understand your audience
The first step, before you define your employer brand, is understanding who your audience is and how you can best appeal to them.
Start by identifying a few key profiles that represent the typical candidates that you want to attract to your organization. Which skills and characteristics do they possess? What core values are they looking for in an employer? What are the best channels to reach them? Which content types would best resonate with them? In terms of employee experience, what are their expectations? Are there any specific perks or benefits that would help you stand out from your competitors? Be as specific as you can here.
Once you’ve done that, you can identify which parts of your company culture you need to highlight through your employer brand in order to meet these expectations. That way, your employer branding communications strategy will appeal to the specific profiles that you want to recruit.
Internal and external employer branding
It’s also important to remember that your employer branding communications strategy shouldn’t just be focused outward. External branding is essential, but it’s equally important to include internal branding tactics in your approach. You want your employees to feel that they are an important part of your employer brand. In fact, with the right strategy, they can be your biggest promoters.
A good way to help your employees feel connected to your organization is by using an internal communications system to keep them in the loop. This doesn’t have to be anything too technical. Just make sure there are open lines of communication in your organization. Your employees should be notified of any important developments in your business to help them feel that they belong.
Also, make sure that the image you promote through your employer branding communications strategy aligns with how your employees perceive you. This will help you create a positive and transparent company culture that drives engagement. In contrast, if a candidate joins your company with unfounded expectations of who you are as an employer, then they are likely to be very disappointed once they join the team. And this could seriously damage the trust and reputation you have developed in the job market.
Create compelling content
Once you understand who you are and who your audience is, it’s time to develop compelling content to sell your employer brand.
Your content should promote the benefits that you have to offer as an employer. It should convince potential candidates that you can offer them a great employee experience if they join your company; that you are a great place to work.
Once you’ve defined your employer branding content strategy, you need to identify which channels would be best for sharing your message. Social media is a good place to start. For example, you could post regular employee spotlights to promote a sense of team spirit. Or you could share stories about how your company has evolved over time through a company newsletter. Sharing short videos about everyday life at your organization can also be a great way to show candidates what your company culture is like. Whatever formats you choose, make sure your content is positive, appealing, and compelling.
It’s also a good idea to have an attractive and user-friendly website that highlights your core values and culture as an employer. Use your “About Us” section to explain who you are and what you stand for. You could even include a few employee testimonials here to help showcase the benefits of your employee experience.
Improve the candidate experience
The candidate experience is another important element of your employer branding communications strategy. For one thing, how you treat your candidates is a direct reflection of how you treat your employees. If you don’t offer a positive experience at each touchpoint in the hiring process, then you will probably put a lot of candidates off. Plus, if a candidate has a bad experience with your hiring process, they are likely to tell others about it. And this can quickly damage your reputation.
Start by creating a roadmap of the entire candidate journey. Identify each interaction that might influence their opinion of you as an employer. This includes the research phase, the application process, interviews, job offers, and onboarding. Are you giving a positive impression of the company at each of these stages? Is there room for improvement?
If you’re unsure, you could start sharing candidate surveys to get feedback directly from the people who have experienced your processes firsthand. You might be surprised by what you uncover.
Gather and listen to feedback
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you collect regular employee feedback to monitor your evolving employee experience. This will help you understand whether your workforce views you as a good employer. And this is usually a good indication of how the outside world perceives you, too.
There are a number of internal communications tools you can use to collect employee feedback. For example, you can share regular pulse surveys, create anonymous polls on social media, or put a suggestion box in a common area. You could also share regular eNPS surveys to find out how satisfied your workforce is. These are all highly effective ways to gather honest feedback. Then, once you’ve gathered all this valuable information, you can include your insights in your employer branding strategy. That way, you will know exactly what messages you need to communicate in order to build a solid brand.
Examples of great employer branding
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of successful employer branding strategies that have helped two well-known brands make names for themselves as great places to work.
Patagonia’s employer branding
Outdoor retailer Patagonia has built a powerful employer brand and company culture. It has done this by continuously communicating its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and making sizable donations to charity. In fact, it has done this so successfully that the company is now widely regarded as a pioneer in CSR. And this reputation has helped to further promote the company’s employer brand.
The retailer has also developed a unique Patagonia company culture that has added value to its employer brand. Essentially, Patagonia has nurtured a culture of sustainability in line with its core value of “using business to protect nature”. For example, its hiring policy is centered around finding candidates with interests and experiences that reflect the ethos of the company. And it has implemented a series of sustainability initiatives that positively resonate with its employees, such as paid leave for employees who volunteer for environmental NGOs.
All this has helped Patagonia develop a global reputation as a trailblazer in successful employer branding strategies.
Zappos employer branding
Zappos is another example of how organizations can benefit from strategic employer branding. The online shoe retailer has established itself as an organization that goes the extra mile for its customers, and for its employees. In fact, one of Zappos’ core values is “building a positive team and family spirit”. And this has helped it develop a committed and highly motivated workforce.
A big part of the Zappos employer branding strategy centers around its onboarding process. Every employee that the company hires undertakes 4 weeks of training. Once they have completed this training, they are offered a check for $2,000 if they choose to leave the company. The aim of this strategy is to weed out employees who are only there for a quick buck, and instead, build a workforce of individuals with a genuine interest in working for the company.
Employees who choose to stay are then offered a number of employee perks and benefits, including team-building activities, discounted food and drink, and a culture that encourages employees to be themselves. And the strategy seems to work as Zappos has reported increased employee happiness, decreased churn, and lower overhead costs since its launch.
Employer branding with Factorial
One of the most important aspects to keep in mind when you launch and communicate your employer branding strategy is how you are going to manage your people and your processes. You need a system that helps you streamline your internal procedures so that your employees get the best possible experience at each stage of the employee lifecycle. That way, you can promote a positive employer brand from the inside out.
Factorial’s ‘all-in-one’ centralized HR software platform includes a vast array of features that pushes your company to the next level. Our applications include time tracking, time-off management, applicant tracking systems, shift management, performance management, reporting and analytics, and document management. Factorial’s solution also includes features that improve your internal communications and enable you to collect valuable employee feedback. And these aspects are vital when it comes to employer branding.
Let’s take a look at these last two points in a bit more detail.
Internal communications features
Internal communications are key to any business’s success, regardless of its size. With a strong internal communication strategy, businesses can build a community, promote transparency, and inspire their employees.
With Factorial’s internal communications tools you can:
- Launch internal events and communicate plans.
- Share internal messages to keep your team on top of the latest news and events.
- Distribute weekly summaries to your teams to keep them up to date with what’s happening in the company, such as birthdays, upcoming absences, etc.
- Send reminders about upcoming tasks and deadlines.
- Encourage employees to create their own communities.
- Facilitate teleworking and digitization to help your remote employees feel less isolated.
- Help everyone feel like their voice is heard.
- Improve your overall employee experience and, above all, communicate your employer brand to all levels of the company.
Feedback: Surveys and eNPS
The other feature of Factorial’s people management software that can help your employer branding strategy relates to employee satisfaction and engagement. Or, to be more specific, employee feedback surveys and your eNPS.
In order to build a solid employer brand that you can promote externally, you need to continuously improve your employee experience. After all, the happier your workforce is, the more likely that other people will want to work for your organization, especially if your hiring strategy relies on an internal employee referral program.
The best way to identify what your employee experience is like is by asking your employees what they think of you as a company. And this is at the core of what an eNPS survey does. An eNPS can help you understand how engaged your employees are and what they like or dislike about working for you.
The process for calculating your eNPS is simple. You just have to share a survey with your employees consisting of one key question: “How likely are you to recommend your workplace to your friends and family on a scale of 0-10?”. And you can do this straight through the Factorial eNPS app.
The feedback you collect from your surveys can then help you understand if you are creating the right culture and working environment. That way, you know exactly how to improve your employee experience and boost your overall employer branding strategy.