Planning, developing and implementing an employer branding strategy can be a complex project. This step-by-step guide offers direction on how to approach it as well as tried and tested techniques you could use.
Having a strong employer brand can set your organisation apart from the competition, help to attract the top talent, reduce hiring costs and improve overall retention.
There are reports and case studies showing that a strong employer brand is a huge asset to any company and can generate real results. But what exactly does it take to build a 'good' employer brand? Based on our experience of working with companies around the globe, we have put together these 7 steps that will help you create a plan of action and get started with employer branding.
In order to develop that strong, relevant and honest employer brand, you need to start by becoming more aware of your current reputation on the market.
Run an internal survey, select a few representatives from each team and invite them for informal interviews as well as paying attention to exit interviews to gather valuable feedback. If you have access to any external resources such as Glassdoor ratings, include these in your “audit”.
All of these actions will allow you to gather the information you will need to build an employer brand.
Follow these 7 steps to create an effective strategy and build a strong employer brand.
1. Set measurable goals for your employer branding
It’s important to specify exactly what it is that you want to achieve with your employer branding strategy. There are numerous measurable goals you can set that will help you to stay on track, measure your actions and show ROI. These are:
To increase job applicants
To improve the quality of candidates
To boost your candidates' engagement with your brand
To build an awareness of your organisation as an employer
To improve your reputation as an employer
2. Build your candidate persona
A candidate persona is simply a semi-fictional representation of your ideal candidate. You can create it by defining the characteristics and traits that you think the perfect hire should have.
Start by describing who your ideal candidates are in terms of their current experience, titles, salaries, location or qualifications. Make sure you understand their life goals and career aspirations. Also consider elements such as what motivates them and what frustrates them.
Are there any common traits? How do they typically search for jobs and how do they consume content?
Building personas will guide your employer branding efforts, help you decide on how to tailor your messaging, choose which aspects of your brand to focus on and how and where to communicate with your prospects.
3. Write down your EVP
Finding out what your current and former employees value about working for your company will help you to create the overall employer brand.
The first step in its creation is to write down all your findings in relation to the aspects that your employees appreciate the most. This written document is referred to as your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and it’s simply a marketing message that states clearly why an employee should want to work for your business (as opposed to your competitors). This may include elements such as: pay, benefits, rewards, perks, career progression, work environment and culture.
Start being as descriptive as you possibly can, then create shorter versions of the same document. Consider working with a professional copywriter in order to find the right language and tone of voice to express your values.
4. Use visual branding
As they say: a picture is worth a thousand words.
Incorporate authentic photos and videos of your employees and office into your employer branding document.
Tip: Encourage your employees to take and share photos of their lives at your company on a regular basis. Create a hashtag for these to be shared on social media and consider rewarding the best photos shared.
Consider creating an employer branding video to show people what it’s like to work at your company. Do you have a casual dress code? Include a shot of your employees wearing jeans and shirts at their desks. Do you have a brainstorming room at your office? Make sure to feature it in your video!
5. Select communication channels
On average, there are 10 touchpoints* between an employer and a candidate before he or she decides to send in their application. Most, if not all, of these should be tailored to reflect your employer brand. Below is a list of some of the channels that candidates use to research potential employers:
Career site or page
Social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube)
Review sites such as Glassdoor
Family, friends or candidates’ networks in general
Current employees (and their current online presence)
*Touchpoints are simply the points of interaction that a candidate has with your company's employer brand.
6. Create more content
Blog posts, Slideshares, graphics and other forms of visual content can be created as you re-purpose existing content to further increase the reach of your message.
Turn photos from your social events into SlideShares or Lumen5 videos and create graphics praising your employees achievements - these can then be shared internally or even on your social media channels. Allow yourself to be more creative when it comes to showcasing your employer brand.
7. Track and measure
In terms of your employer branding efforts, consider selecting metrics to monitor and measure its success.
A data-driven approach to HR has been growing in popularity and with good reason. Being able to track the impact of any changes you make will mean that you’re making more informed decisions and it will help you show the ROI of the work you and your team are putting into the project.
When it comes to building employer branding, there is one key thing to remember and that’s consistency!
Receiving an honest and consistent message about a potential employer is of a high importance to the majority of candidates. Make sure that you and your employees have a deep understanding of your company’s strengths and values.
When communicating with your target audience, always stick to your core beliefs and you will soon start seeing the benefits of your employer branding strategy.