There’s a lot of buzz around employer branding, and for a good reason: organizations need to have a strong brand identity. But how do brands get it right, and why does it matter so much? We asked marketers, human resources, and talent acquisition professionals worldwide for their employer branding tips and what works for them.
Be authentic and use a consistent narrative
Being authentic is a rule of thumb when it comes to employer branding. Ensure that the story you’re telling online mirrors the actual employee experience. Make it consistent throughout all your communication channels, keep it interesting and accurate, and adjust it when needed.
Employer Branding Specialist at Cadent Gas Limited
Storytelling. Not only does storytelling help to share the stories of the people within your business, but it helps to show your audience what makes your organization a unique place to be, in an authentic and trusting way through real-life stories. By mastering storytelling, you will be able to attract candidates who feel a connection to the shared stories and can see themselves creating similar ones within your organization.
Director Global Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding at Staffbase
Be real: Attracting talent asks for authenticity and clarity in employer branding communication. Constantly work on a great company culture (yes, this is way harder than just providing attractive benefits…), empower your employees to become employer ambassadors and be very clear on what you are expecting from your future talent.
Head of People and Culture at Swat.io
Authenticity is the key. Start with strengthening your culture for your team first, and think about building a brand to attract candidates as a second step. An authentic approach where people feel seen, heard and valued will help establish a trust culture. It will strengthen you as an employer where talent wants to stay and grow, and future talent wants to join.
Vice President of Recruitment – Marketing, Digital & Executive Search at Culture Recruitment Group – USA
Attracting great talent requires an interesting and well-articulated narrative. The quality of the narrative depends on the uniqueness of the story, the ‘real’ culture, the journey and the vision, and any supporting sound bites that add weight to its credibility and believability. The applicant journey has multiple touchpoints, and every one of them needs to build excitement and interest. Applicants will also do their due diligence (glass door, people they know etc.). It clearly helps if employees, ex-employees, and the search agency representing them genuinely love or loved working for the company and that positive sentiment is consistently echoed in the briefing, the interviews, and any direct or indirect channel where the company is represented.
Freelance HR-Generalist at bCapable
In a candidate market, companies need to be clear about what makes them unique as an employer. Communicate your uniqueness in an authentic, clear and appealing way. Ask your employees what makes you stand out as an employer and why they like working for you. This is the only way you can implement good employer branding in your company and continue to attract applicants and employees in the future.
President at Digital Marketing Recruiters
Employer branding is key when it comes to your recruitment game. Candidates are not only seeking a new role, but a new work home that encompasses their values, desired work environment, and fulfills their personal mission to help others. They are also evaluating the benefits offered and how that feeds into the overall brand of the company and its treatment of employees. It’s important that the company website, Glassdoor profile, and other review platforms are updated regularly and are reflective of the overall brand, culture and mission of the company.
Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Specialist at Zühlke Group
The ability to communicate the company culture that is lived internally, externally is one of the best ways to attract new colleagues to your company. It should however, always be communicated in a genuine and honest way and truly reflect that which is present and lived in your company.
Delight your employees and turn them into brand advocates
Employer branding starts from inside the company. Create a great workplace, and you’ll retain the great talent you already have in your organization and get them to advocate for your brand — what better way to promote and market your company than through your employees’ voices? And what better channels than through their social media accounts?
HR Manager at Schwan-STABILO Business-Partner GmbH
Be friendly and attentive internally and externally. Our current colleagues are the most important ambassadors for employer branding. We should be friendly and attentive to each other and support each other. In this way, we create a pleasant atmosphere and trust and invest in our employer brand in the best possible way.
HR Manager at EMaymar
Always start employer branding from your employees, give them freedom and flexibility and avoid micromanagement. Promote your brand by showing your existing employee activities in terms of their job satisfaction, so you attract relevant talent and also get potential candidates to show interest in working with you.
Collect photos and social media posts about team activities, day-to-day office life, new employees, office pets, and more on a social wall. Then, embed it on your careers website to give potential candidates a glimpse into what a day looks like in your company.
Executive Talent Acquisition Leader at Tencent
In employer branding, everything counts, such as word of mouth, having a great product (company culture) per sé, and personalizing every message. Still, more than everything else, companies have to take care of employees, and they will naturally build the employer brand outside the company.
Talent Acquisition Enablement Manager at Electrolux
The first thing that is rarely mentioned in regard to employer branding is that this is as much internal as external. A lot of employer branding-related actions are only focused on the external market, but the greatest force and impact comes from within each organization. Word of mouth and happy employees can be your best evangelist if you make an effort. My general advice is to go for articles, events, and collaborations but always remember your employees first. They can be the most impactful branding investment you make.
Global TA Lead, Talent Marketing & Experience at MessageBird
Stay laser-focused on building things that will bring value to both your internal customers (recruiters, hiring teams, and employees) and your external audiences (candidates and existing brand associations). In Employer Branding there’s always the risk of being distracted by the noise and distancing from what really matters, which is attracting and retaining great talent.
Marketing Advisor & Consultant
As per LinkedIn’s talent blog, with a negative or non-existent employer brand, organizations are likely spending 10% more per employee hired versus when top candidates want to work for you, and recruiting costs drop by roughly 43%. Internal employer branding is as important as your external, customer-facing brand. A company that invests in their internal brand creates evangelizers out of their team. If you can build an internal brand that your team is proud of and feels is an honest representation of their experience, the ripple effect externally will be visible through a return in every aspect of the business – from pipeline and deal size to hiring and retention.
Focus on diversity and inclusion
If you want to attract top talent, then it goes without saying that you need to have a diverse and inclusive employer brand. Don’t stop at the narrative, though. Instead, put in the work and actively welcome and support members of marginalized communities and reap the benefits.
Employees from different social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds have varying perspectives, each with their own take on how to solve problems and tackle challenges. Recruiting diverse candidates with relevant skills and knowledge ensures your company has what it takes to work successfully in our multicultural society.
As a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, when reviewing a client’s employer brand, my focus is looking at whether an employer appeals to underrepresented as well as wider groups. A diverse employer brand has a career page that considers all abilities, showcases an honest representation of their current culture and employees and they are transparent about their DEI goals. It’s important for an employer brand to be consistent across multiple channels such as social media pages, external articles, employer reviews, careers pages, and any other external comms. Hence, candidates or clients get an all-inclusive view on what a company truly represents. Remember, people viewing your employer branding value honesty vs. what might appear to look good, so address any bad press or reviews, make changes, and allow us to see the progress you have made towards making your employer a more appealing company for all.
Enterprise Partnerships Manager at Springpod
A company’s commitment to, and policies on equality, diversity and inclusion are important factors in determining how an organization is seen by applicants, employees and other stakeholders. Having diverse perspectives present for every major decision in combination with a variety of strengths and skills leads to the most successful projects. An inclusive workforce brings a diversity of ideas to help navigate the rapidly changing and complex nature of modern business. Establishing ED&I as a cornerstone of your employer branding strategy and wider company values is not only advantageous to the business, it creates the most stimulating working environment possible for current and future employees.
DevRel Consultant & Content Specialist at Grumpy Girl Communications
The most important thing for employer branding is company culture. If your culture is terrible, marketing can’t fix that for you. Word will spread, people won’t bother applying, and new hires will quickly notice the discrepancies and leave again. A truly diverse and actively inclusive culture will help you attract diverse talent. Just stating that you value diversity isn’t enough. You have to put in the work and actively welcome and support members of marginalized communities.
Establish an employee referral program
An employee referral program is a recruiting strategy in which employers encourage current employees, through rewards, to refer qualified candidates. Referred new hires are often a better (culture) fit. They are more engaged, less likely to leave, and more productive. In addition, the more transparency there is in your referral process, the more likely employees will share their contacts and make referrals in the future. So be sure to create a program where submitting and tracking referrals through the pipeline is accessible for all employees.
Employer Brand Lead at AllSTARSIT
Promote the company’s internal referral program, but get the basic rights first! Do not underestimate the power of the company’s Referral Program. It encourages employees to refer qualified candidates from their network, and the employee receives a reward on the company’s behalf. According to AllSTARSIT’s statistics, over 75% of referred candidates are relevant. So from my perspective, it makes a lot of sense to move in this direction. But Referral Programs can only be successful if current employees are happy with the company culture, team, responsibilities, perks, mission, and overall atmosphere. So work hard on getting these basic things right before promoting the Referral Program within the team.
Live up to your company values
When created and implemented thoughtfully, core company values can become defining elements and benefit an organization. But remember that you must go beyond putting these values on paper to reap these benefits. Your brand must live its values daily and ensure they are present at every touchpoint of the employee experience.
Head of People and Culture Austria at Zühlke Group
Living up to the company’s values is maybe the best employer branding you can get. That indicates that the values are targeted in the direction of your employees. At Zühlke, work-life balance is not just a buzzword. It means not all-in contracts, flexitime, or working from home (even if home sometimes means outside Austria). The value behind it is outstanding performance. As a quality-driven company, it’s clear to us that performance can only be guaranteed if our people are able to live a well-balanced life, where work plays one of several roles.
Trust your employees and allow them to work autonomously
Trust should be one of the central core values in any organization, and it’s an essential pillar of employer branding. Trusting your employees can bring significant benefits to your organization and your workers. Trusted employees feel more valued, which will help to make them feel more engaged in their work, and every business needs an engaged workforce to be successful. This will also promote a greater sense of job satisfaction for workers and lower staff turnover rates.
According to The Neuroscience of Trust paper by Paul J. Zak, compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.
Growth Strategist & Operations at VRULL GmbH
We work in an industry where competing for talent surpasses a good salary package. Trust, freedom, and flexibility of working with us remotely from anywhere in the world is the competitive edge we rely on to attract and retain new talent. Hire someone because you fully trust them to have the ability to make our team better and make sure people feel seen, appreciated, and valued for their contribution. Give employees the freedom to structure their work hours in how it fits them best and the flexibility to work from anywhere. Happy employees will help your employer brand grow in a natural way.
Talent Acquisition Consultant at apsa personnel concepts gmbh
There are actually more aspects that I want to highlight. At apsa we highly value our culture of collaboration, respect and trust. On top, we offer 100% individual freedom when and where to work in Austria. If you feel like starting work in the morning, visiting Salzburg for lunch, spending time with your kids in the afternoon and finishing your tasks in the evening, just go for it. As long as our objectives are met and the work is done, we don’t interfere at all. All of our employees work as autonomously as they like.
Use employee-generated content to tell your story
Show what it’s like to work at your organization by sharing photos and employee-generated content (UGC) that highlight the real experience. Not only does this content perform best, but it’s helping people set realistic expectations about the opportunity.
According to a study by Edelman, an employee’s voice is three times more credible than the CEO’s when talking about working conditions in a company.
Let employees tell your story and reap the benefits. Download our employer branding bundle and learn how brands collect and integrate employee-generated content in their employer branding strategy and how you can easily do it too.
Examples of organizations rocking employer branding
NETZSCH Pumps & Systems
An excellent example of how to use social walls for employer branding. The company integrated a social media wall into their booth at an education fair focusing on traineeships.
Combined its Own Business Day event with a global hashtag campaign — and not just any global campaign, but a social media campaign with both an internal and an external phase. METRO collected a lot of employee-generated content throughout the campaign and made a significant impact.
To celebrate their 10th anniversary, BearingPoint organized an internal employee engagement campaign called 10 Days of Caring. They used a social wall to display brand & employee-generated content at their offices worldwide and motivated employees to participate in the philanthropic campaign.
Launched an innovative Corporate Influencer Programme, in which employees post on social media using the #TeamLV1871 hashtag. Their posts are collected on a social wall displayed at the company’s headquarters.
Your free Employer Branding Strategy Template for 2023
People don’t want a job anymore — they want an experience that makes them feel like they matter and are part of something bigger than themselves.
As our experts well pointed out in the employer branding tips they shared, it’s not just about attracting great talent; it’s also about retention. Employees who feel like they work for a great company will want to stay there for a long time. And when employers can provide their employees with a great experience and make them feel valued, they’ll want to come back every day.
Collect and use employee-generated content as part of your employer branding to tell your company’s story. This article will inspire you to revisit your employer branding strategy. Download our Employer Branding Strategy Template to ensure you don’t miss any important aspects.