Strengthening your employer brand has many financial and recruitment benefits, which we will get into shortly. But first, it’s crucial to understand how employer branding benefits your employees too. A strong employer brand helps marketing teams set their strategy, gives sales teams a passion for the product, and allows leaders to communicate company values more efficiently.
Here, we cover how to improve employer branding and so you can help current and future employees connect with your company on a deeper level. The sooner you understand the value of a strong employer brand, the sooner you can achieve it and reap the recruitment and retention benefits.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding is the identity and reputation of an organization and its leaders. Much more than just a logo and merch, employer brand shows potential business partners and employees what they can expect from the company and leaders. Related to but different from company branding, employer branding represents company culture, employee experience, mission, values, and personality.
Why is employer branding important?
Employer branding is essential for many reasons. A strong employer brand helps companies attract top talent, retain that talent, reduce hiring and marketing costs, and improve productivity. Communicating the qualities of a great workplace boosts sales and reach, but only if every employee, manager, and leader can identify their employer’s branding and communicate its value well. Your employer brand becomes more influential and beneficial with more people on board.
How to improve and build and strong employer brand
Building an employer brand or improving your current identity starts with intention. Here, we identify ten ways to strengthen your brand. Play around with all ten tips to see what impacts your business, recruitment, and productivity the most. Remember to measure progress and keep your people at the forefront of all decision–making conversations.
1. Audit your employer brand
First things first. It’s helpful to start with an employer brand audit. Explore what current and past employees have to say about the company, even if you think you already know the answers. Often leaders are so involved in running their businesses that they need to be aware of outside opinions. Plenty of employer review sites, like Glassdoor, SiteJabber, and Trustpilot, allow you to explore how others see your employer brand. Take all feedback with a grain of salt, and always use it as a resource for growth.
2. Ask for employee feedback
In addition to internet reviews, asking your employees for regular, structured feedback is essential. Anonymous employee engagement surveys help companies gather feedback and understand larger trends. Using a trusted third-party survey provider makes it easier to interpret and analyze employee surveys. Outsourcing the process gives leaders more valuable insights and encourages higher levels of employee honesty.
No matter how you gather employee feedback, using the insights in a productive, growth-oriented way is essential. Otherwise, you risk increasing negative feedback about the brand and how it handles employee opinions.
3. Simplify the application process
Keep the job application process simple and rewarding to attract top talent. Make it easy to apply for a position at your organization. One of the main benefits of a strong employer brand is improved employee recruitment. Remove unnecessary steps to strengthen your talent pool and chances of finding the right fit.
4. Establish core values and a mission
Now more than ever, people care about finding a company that matches their own values and vision. Candidates choose job offers from companies with current, strong, and unique values. Maintaining those core values ensures that your employer brand matches current goals and company culture. Use that vision, market differentiators, and individual employee values as inspiration. Core values should be communicated often by leadership and reflect employee feedback themes.
5. Invest in company culture
Company culture has a massive impact on employer branding. The two concepts are interrelated but different. Company culture identifies how an organization shares values, beliefs, personalities, and practices with its employees. On the other hand, employer branding is how current and future employees perceive that company (and its culture).
Investing energy, money, and time into your company’s internal experience, aka company culture, has excellent benefits for recruitment, retention, performance, and your ability to market those topics. In summary, investments in culture help employer branding and vice versa.
6. Improve benefits and perks
Employee benefits and perks contribute to company culture and talent attraction. If someone is on the fence about a job application, company benefits and perks can be the deciding factor. Great benefits convince job seekers to apply, while sub-par benefits point them elsewhere. Highlighting salary ranges, benefits, training and development opportunities, and employee appreciation efforts is a great place to start. If you aren’t sure what benefits to highlight or improve, ask your current employees.
7. Use social media
These days, most job seekers use the internet to explore employer brands and influence their job application decisions. A positive online reputation helps companies stand out against the competition and attract top talent quickly. Social media is a great way to promote your employer brand and extend your reach. Sharing company differentiators, community efforts, employee accomplishments, and well-being initiatives will surely boost your employer brand.
8. Leverage employee ambassadors
Employee ambassadors are another essential tool for expanding your company’s reach and reputation. Most strong employer brands have passionate employees who spread the word for them. Whether intentional or not, employee ambassadors promote the company brand meaningfully and personally. Take time to explore the world of employee ambassadors and how they can help your company stand out.
9. Be transparent
Employees, job seekers, and other brand critics are smarter than you think. Dishonesty and insincerity speak louder than positive promotion and will impact how others view your brand and its leaders. Companies with excellent employer branding are transparent and use employee surveys for fact-checking all values. Another great resource for maintaining honesty and transparency? Onboarding and exit interviews can be super helpful.
10. Update policies as needed
And finally, the last way to improve and build an employer brand is accuracy. As time evolves, so do your employee policies. It’s crucial to update your policies on all platforms whenever something changes. For example, while it wasn’t important a few years ago, mentioning workplace flexibility and remote working expectations is vital. The main goal here is to minimize surprises in the application process by staying up-to-date on all changes.
Invest in your employer brand with Top Workplaces
Achieving recognition as a Top Workplace brings significant benefits to your employer branding efforts. It showcases your organization’s commitment to fostering a positive and engaging workplace culture, which can attract and retain top talent while improving your reputation. The increased visibility and competitive advantage can also help build your company brand, positioning your organization as an employer of choice in the job market and enhancing your overall brand image.
Does your company deserve recognition for its people-first culture? Nominate your organization for Top Workplaces, the employer brand and recognition program that offers awards in 60+ regional markets as well as national awards for culture and industry excellence.