How to Build a Strong Employer Brand

Are you struggling to hire and retain the best talent? If yes, it’s likely because job seekers aren’t finding your company appealing.

There couldn’t be a more suitable time to have a strong employer brand than in 2022. With a biting labor shortage raging on because of the COVID-19 pandemic and today’s job seekers being picky about jobs, only employers with a strong talent pull can fill positions without much difficulty.

It’s time to focus on building your employer’s brand; otherwise, you’ll face unending recruitment challenges.

In this article, we’re sharing top employer branding strategies you should implement. Read on!

What’s Wrong with Your Employer Brand?

What is it about your brand that’s making it hard to attract new employees? Start by conducting an audit to establish the kind of reputation you have as an employer.

There are a couple of ways to do this, but your best option is to gather feedback from your current employees. Ask them what they like about working in your company and what they hate. When you send out job offers, encourage those potential employees to leave some feedback if they choose to decline.

With this information, you’ll be in a better position to define the employer reputation your business has built over time. Perhaps your employees think the workplace is toxic. Or maybe your organization isn’t competitive salary-wise.

Depending on what you find, you can then implement specific solutions. If the workplace is toxic, for example, your priority should be to build a positive work environment that supports employee growth. If you’re paying the lowest wages in the industry, you might have no choice but to review them upwards.

Your Organizational Values Matter

Of course, you’re in business to turn a profit, but if your organization doesn’t stand for something, it’s difficult to build a brand that workers would love to be part of. And, it’s not just about having a mission. It has to be a mission that your employees can relate to.

A LinkedIn survey established that over 70 percent of job seekers will decline a job offer from a company with a mission that is unknown, unclear, or one they don’t agree with.

As such, you need to have a profile of your ideal employee and find out what their values are. For example, a good number of millennial job seekers want companies that are big on environmental conservation. From your organizational mission and values, it should be clear that you’re a green business.

Also, keep in mind that the vast majority of workers want employers to take a stand on important issues. So, if your business is always taking a neutral stance on various issues, such as racial justice and abortion rights, you could be hurting your brand.

While it’s admirable to stay true to your core values, it’s important to be flexible and change with the times. As society changes, some of the worker’s values are going to change as well. There’s nothing wrong with making some adjustments so that organizational values align with those of workers.

Maintain an Active Digital Presence

Ever been researching a product only to find that the company that sells it has no online presence? For a second, you probably thought the company doesn’t exist.

That’s the same feeling workers get when they search your organization online and can’t find any traces of it. Consequently, many of them aren’t going to bother applying to your company.

In today’s digital work, an online presence gives your company social proof. It also makes it easier for you to reach potential employees since they’re spending most of their job hunting on the web.

If your company doesn’t have any digital presence, start by building a corporate website. Hire a professional website developer to do the job.

Social media is another vital tool you can use to build your employer profile. However, don’t go creating a company profile on as many social media channels as you can find. Choose platforms that will give you a strategic advantage.

LinkedIn is the go-to because it’s a social network for professionals. For other channels, consider whether your target labor market spends time there.

For example, if your organization mainly hires Gen Xers, Facebook is a good choice. The platform is popular among people from the older generations.

If your organization is eyeing a young workforce, you’ll find better success on TikTok and Snapchat.

Now that you have set the foundation for your digital presence don’t stop there. Job seekers who’re researching your company online want to know your posting frequency. If you post infrequently and don’t engage your followers, your efforts to build an online presence might not amount to much.

Tell the Story of Your Workplace

Before someone applies for a job in your business, they first want to know what the workplace is like. What are the working conditions? Is it a nice place?

Picture Apple’s corporate headquarters, for instance. Anyone who wants to work at Apple HQ can google the place and see what it’s like. This enables them to visualize their workstations and whatnot.

What are you doing to help people who want to work in your company have a similar experience? If you aren’t telling the story of your workplace, you aren’t doing much.

Use videos to capture the inside of your organization and give viewers a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. You can also have Q&A videos featuring some of your employees.

Ultimately, you want to cast your workplace in a positive light. Whether you’re using videos or written content, storytelling will help you strengthen your employer’s brand.

Convert Your Employees into Brand Ambassadors

Your current employees are an invaluable brand awareness resource. In fact, they can make or break your employer’s reputation.

Assume that one employee has 10 people in their professional network. If you have 10 employees, that’s a network of 100 people.

A good number of these people are asking your employees whether your organization is a good employer. If they’re saying negative things about the company, their friends won’t be interested in working in your company. But if they’re saying positive things, many of them are looking forward to joining your firm.

So, how do you control what your employees are saying about your organization? You aren’t going to order them to say nice things if they don’t want to.

You can convert your employees into your brand ambassadors by giving them the best workplace. Implement policies that promote fairness and transparency and support their career development goals. Offering perks such as unlimited vacations and remote work also goes a long way.

Naturally, your employees will feel proud of the company when you do that. They’ll wear happily wear company t-shirts and other merchandise outside of the office, which helps increase brand awareness.

Offer a Personalized Hiring Experience

If you have attended at least a couple of interviews, you know how impersonal the process can be. Maybe your would-be employer was only interested in your skills and qualifications. Or they don’t even call you by name. Ouch!

If your organization is not offering a personalized hiring experience, it’s easy to see why it’s struggling to maintain a strong brand as an employer.

When you’re dealing with choosy job seekers, you have to go out of your way to appeal to them. A personalized recruitment process is one way to do that.

Schedule them to come in for interviews on separate days. And during interviews, delve into their personal goals. Seek to know their story.

Set Up New Employees for Success

Even in a thin labor market, you’ll still find people to hire. They just won’t be the best talent in the market.

How you treat these new employees, especially during onboarding, will make a big difference in not just their productivity but also how they view your company. Both are important, but when your focus is on good employment branding, the latter carries more weight.

Effective onboarding helps new hires settle into their new jobs and hit the ground running without any hitches. They feel supported and properly guided.

In return, they will likely reward your company with positive online reviews. Bear in mind that job seekers are especially looking to know your company’s new hire experience before making a job application or accepting a job offer.

Employee onboarding shouldn’t be hard. At least not in today’s world, where we have technology tools to help with onboarding. See for a good example.

Know What Your Competitors Doing

Gathering competitive intelligence shouldn’t be just about products and marketing strategies. You should also find out what your competitors are doing to gain an advantage in the labor market.

Where are your competitors finding their new hires? Are they partnering with local colleges and trade schools?

Perhaps job seekers are choosing competing companies because they offer better salaries. Or maybe they offer better work-life balance.

Once you have some insight into your competitors’ employee recruitment strategies, you can copy a few if you see something that can benefit your company!

Launch Corporate Social Initiatives in Your Community

Having a corporate social responsibility program works to improve your employer’s brand in multiple ways.

One, CSR initiatives help you to demonstrate your commitment to company values. For instance, if one of your values is diversity and inclusion, sponsoring local events that are geared toward sensitizing people about the issue will not go unnoticed.

Professionals in your local community will know your organization truly believes in diversity and inclusion. Those who believe in D&I will have more motivation to work in your company.

Two, CSR can help organizations increase employee retention. When your employees see that you care about your community, they’ll feel prouder to work for your company and stay longer.

If many employees leave after a few months or years on the job, people will start wondering why your organization has such a high turnover. Job seekers will ignore your job ads because they don’t want to be part of a workplace that’s a revolving door for employees.

Invest in Reputation Management

Try as you might to make employees happy and build a strong brand; you can’t please everyone. There will always be a disgruntled employee who will leave negative reviews on influential job sites like Glassdoor.

A negative comment here and there isn’t an issue for concern, but if they’re becoming more frequent, your brand will take a hit. People looking for employment read those company reviews to get an idea of your company’s culture, salaries, and more.

This is why smart companies invest in reputation management. This involves hiring a professional to keep an eye on your company’s online mentions and take steps to address the negative ones.

Your company will maintain a positive online reputation, which is key to building your profile as the best employer in your region.

A Strong Employer Brand Is a Talent Magnet

Your employees are your most important asset. Although the number of job seekers usually outweighs the number of job opportunities, the modern worker isn’t desperate. They want to find a job in an organization that matches their expectations.

Building a strong employer brand puts you in a good position to not only be a job seeker’s employer of choice but also gives you the ability to pick the best talent in the market. Use these strategies to transform your organization into a force top talent won’t resist.

Keep tabs on our blog for more business advice.

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