Employer Branding.

Employer Branding: What It Is & How to Get Started

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the practice of influencing how current employees and the larger workforce perceive a company’s reputation as an employer. While branding in general targets the perception of consumers, employer branding specifically focuses on a company’s prospective hires and internal employees. As a result, it is a communication approach designed to retain high-performing employees and attract top talent.

What Is Employer Branding and Why Does It Matter?
Employer Branding Strategy
What Is Employer Branding and Why Does It Matter?
magnet attracting employees
Image: Shutterstock

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the practice of managing your reputation as an employer among job seekers and internal employees. It’s everything you do to position your company as an organization that people really want to work for, which is sometimes called an employer of choice. And it’s essential for attracting and retaining high-performing employees.

What Is an Employer Brand?

Your employer brand is your organization’s reputation as an employer. It’s what job seekers and employees really think of you. And though it may not be tangible, your employer brand is an asset that requires serious attention. Because the reality is, you already have an employer brand, whether you’re actively managing it or not.

What Does Employer Branding Look Like?

Employer branding involves investing in the touchpoints that signal to job seekers and employees what you’re truly like as an organization. Some of these touchpoints include:

  • The careers page on your website
  • Your company blog and social media presence
  • Third-party company review websites
  • Your interviewing and hiring processes
  • Employee experiences


Why Is Employer Branding Important?

Virtually every candidate out there — whether they’re active, passive or somewhere in the middle — will consider your company’s reputation before applying. Employer branding is not only important for recruitment, though; it also impacts employee engagement, employee retention and even profitability.

The value of strong employer branding includes:

  • Winning over on-the-fence candidates
  • Strengthening employee retention
  • Positively influencing brand perception
  • Acquiring top talent
  • Making it easier for employees to refer their friends to open roles
  • Attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds
Employer Branding Strategy
employees talking
Image: Shutterstock

How to Get Started With an Employer Branding Strategy

A strong employer branding strategy will allow you to positively influence the conversation around your organization, ultimately enhancing its reputation among job seekers and your existing workforce. But how do you create an employer branding strategy? Below we break down the process.

1. Analyze Your Existing Employer Brand

You can’t hope to influence or manage your employer brand if you don’t know what people think about you, so an employer brand audit is the first step.

First, examine everything you’re saying to candidates and employees that could impact their perception of the company. Your job descriptions, career page, social media profiles, acceptance and rejection letters, onboarding materials, internal communications, performance reviews — if it exists, analyze it.

Next, get some feedback from candidates and employees. Remember, the idea here is to understand how they really think and feel about the company, so be sure to ask questions that will provide meaningful information.

Once complete, the employer brand audit will help you identify and correct the gaps that exist between how the company is presenting itself and how it is perceived by candidates and employees.

2. Define Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

After you’ve completed your employer brand audit, you’re ready to craft your employee value proposition (EVP). In simple terms, an employee value proposition is a quick explanation of what the employee gets out of joining the company, and what the company gets out of having the employee. You can think of your EVP as the guiding light of your employer branding efforts. While you may never share it publicly, your EVP will shape your communications moving forward.

Developing your EVP is no small feat, but fortunately we’ve covered the topic in depth to help get you started.

3. Build a Memorable Careers Page

Your career page is the anchor of your employer branding materials, making it one of the most important touchpoints with potential candidates. Compelling photography or video, employee testimonials, your core values and more can all help convince candidates that you’re the place to be, so spend some time dialing it in.   

4. Write Effective Job Descriptions

Job descriptions may not sound like the place to let your personality shine, but they’re often the first interaction job seekers will have with your company, so make sure they reflect your desired employer brand.

5. Create a Great Candidate Experience

If you’re lucky enough to convince a great candidate to apply, at some point you’ll interact with them offline. Whether it’s an initial phone screen or in-office interview, the experience that candidate has must align with your employer brand or you’re almost guaranteed to lose them.

6. Engage Your Current Employees

One of the most effective ways to bolster your employer brand is by empowering your employees to speak about their experiences working with the company. One way to encourage this positive word-of-mouth is to set up an employee advocacy program.

7. Amplify Your Company Story on Social Media and Company Blog

You can’t control your reputation. But, you can do your best to shape the narrative of your company — and there are a variety of channels in which you can tell your story. These channels include social media, podcasts and your own company blog.


How to Improve Your Employer Brand

If you want to establish a stellar employer brand, you have to walk the walk. That means creating a positive workplace environment that not only attracts high-end workers, but keeps them there.

1. Revisit Your Compensation Philosophy

Job seekers and employees alike appreciate when companies offer fair and competitive pay, as well as make a point of maintaining equitable compensation practices. This is one of the quickest ways to bolster your employer brand. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.

2. Review Your Recruitment Processes

Strong employer branding is built on top-notch recruiting processes. That means not only sourcing the best candidates — and paying particular attention to diverse recruitment strategies — but putting measures in place that ensure the entire process is smooth for candidates from start to finish.

3. Offer Career Growth and Professional Development

People want to work for companies that will invest in their development as professionals, giving them opportunities for advancement and growth. This strategy will not only attract top talent but will encourage your best workers to stick around for the long haul, fortifying your reputation as an employer of choice.

4. Prioritize Employee Well-Being and Work-Life Balance

Nothing can damage an employer brand faster than news of a toxic work culture spreading around. Thankfully, the opposite is true too: A positive work environment, one in which employees feel valued and supported, with the right amount of work-life balance, will strengthen your employer brand.

5. Retain Your Top Employees

A high amount of voluntary employee turnover — especially at the top — is often a signal that something has gone wrong within an organization. One of the most surefire ways to enhance your company’s reputation is when people notice that your workers, especially high performers, have longer tenures.


Employer Branding Examples

Employer branding is something you can proactively manage in a number of ways, whether that’s through:

  • Career pages
  • Company culture videos
  • Company blog
  • Social media content

If you want to see employer branding in action, check out these real-life examples.

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