The Ultimate Employer Branding Best Practices

Employer Branding Best Practices Hero

Employer branding is how a business markets itself to potential and current employees. It promotes a company's reputation as a desirable workplace, describing its culture, values, and mission.

The rise of social media and employer review platforms allows for far greater visibility into a company's culture and employee experiences than ever before. These platforms promote a more transparent business environment, enabling potential employees to easily assess a company's culture and employee satisfaction. This shift underscores the importance of employer branding in attracting and retaining top talent.

In this article, we’re going to dive deeper into what is employer branding, review the benefits of employer branding plus the disadvantages of employer branding, and share some employer branding best practices.

What Is Employer Branding

Employer branding is your company’s identity, specifically its reputation and perception by employees and prospective talent.

The success of employer branding is intricately linked to a company's culture. A brand that authentically mirrors a company's working environment and values will resonate more deeply with both potential and current employees. This synergy between employer branding and company culture is crucial, especially when candidates are increasingly seeking workplaces that align with their values and aspirations.

68% of workers in the U.K., France, Germany, and Ireland strongly prefer employment with companies that align with their values. This inclination is even more pronounced in the U.S., where 87% of workers prefer value-aligned workplaces. These figures signify a prominent shift towards making employment choices based on shared values.

Typical employer branding objectives include building a positive company image, attracting and retaining top talent, and nurturing a strong company culture. To achieve these objectives, employer branding initiatives can range from internal culture-building activities and external marketing campaigns to comprehensive employee engagement programs.

For example, in a post-pandemic world, flexible work schedules have become increasingly important. Platforms like Nectar facilitate flexible work arrangements by allowing employees to exchange kudos regardless of location or time zone. This ensures team members feel a consistent sense of belonging and value, irrespective of their physical workplace or schedule​​.

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Source: Nectar Employee Recognition Software

The Benefits and Disadvantages of Employer Branding

Employer branding has many benefits. However, it also has its disadvantages. While those benefits outweigh the disadvantages, it’s important to be aware of both.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of employer branding first.

Benefits of Employer Branding

Employer branding offers numerous benefits beyond talent acquisition. One of the primary advantages of effective employer branding is the enhancement of recruitment and retention. A robust employer brand plays a crucial role in reducing the time and costs associated with hiring. When employees feel connected to the brand that they work for, their likelihood of staying with the company increases, reducing turnover rates and associated costs.

The influence of a well-crafted employer brand extends to the company's overall reputation. It positions the organization as an employer of choice. A positive employer brand also boosts employee morale and engagement. Employees take pride in being associated with an organization that is well-regarded in the industry, which fosters a more committed and productive workforce.

A strong employer brand offers a distinctive edge for companies operating in hard-fought markets. It differentiates a company from its competitors, making it more appealing to both high-quality candidates and those with niche talents. Organizations with strong employer brands often report lower recruitment costs and improved financial performance.

According to some estimates, a good employer brand can lead to as much as a 50% reduction in the cost per hire. Meanwhile, companies with higher employer brand rankings see an 11.6% increase in shareholder returns.

Disadvantages of Employer Branding

The disadvantages of employer branding are more like challenges. For many companies, they face challenges such as:

  • Limited Resources. Creating and maintaining a strong employer brand requires a substantial investment of both financial resources and time. This makes it hard to invest more in employer branding.
  • Lack of Employee Engagement. Trying to motivate your employees to become advocates isn’t easy, especially when there’s a lack of resources to keep them informed and engaged.
  • Remote/Hybrid Workforce. Keeping a remote/hybrid workforce engaged can also be challenging due to schedules/different time zones, and lack of in-person interaction.
  • Company Culture Misalignment. When the external image projected through employer branding does not align with the internal reality of the company (or vice versa), it can result in employee dissatisfaction and high turnover rates. This often stems from an inauthentic portrayal of the workplace environment or the promotion of values that are more aspirational than reflective of the authentic company culture.
    Poster seen on a Lululemon store regarding the comments made by their former CEO
  • Over Promising and Under Delivering. Another challenge is over promising and under delivering. Employer branding campaigns that promise more than what the company can realistically offer, set up unrealistic expectations, leading to a trust deficit among employees. When employees recognize that the branding is more of a marketing strategy than an authentic reflection of company values and practices, it can lead to disillusionment and decreased employee morale.

A recent example of this can be seen with Lululemon’s founder, Chip Wilson, discounting the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Despite Wilson no longer being involved with Lululemon, they will likely suffer a setback from his harsh views.

Fortunately, we have some employer branding strategies that can help your company overcome those challenges.

Employer Branding Strategies

Companies that understand the importance of employer branding have solid employer branding strategies in place. To achieve their employer branding objectives (e.g., retain staff, attract top talent), they utilize the following employer branding strategies:

Built Trust and Credibility With Authentic Messages

Authenticity is essential for building trust and credibility among current and potential employees. Crafting messages that accurately reflect a company's values, culture, and employee experience is vital.

For example, if work-life balance is a core value, it should be adequately demonstrated in a company’s operational policies and mirrored in its branding efforts. Authentic messaging will resonate with the audience and attract candidates whose values align with the company's values.

Transform Employees Into Brand Advocates

Another best practice in employer branding is engaging employees as brand advocates. Through their authentic voices and experiences, employees serve as the most credible ambassadors for a company’s employer brand.

Encouraging employees to share authentic insights into their work-life balance and experiences on social media can significantly boost the company's reputation as a desirable employer, as seen in this example from The Home Depot:

The Home Depot encourages their employees to share their insights and experiences in the workplace

Source: The Home Depot 

Ensure Consistent Messaging Across Platforms

Consistent messaging across platforms helps you establish a strong employer brand. Uniformity across your website, social media channels, job postings, and even internal communications reinforces your company's identity and core values. Such consistency aids potential candidates in grasping a clear understanding of what your company stands for and fosters a sense of reliability and trustworthiness.

Employer Branding as a Competitive Advantage

Now let’s examine some of the concepts that you can leverage to build a competitive employer brand. Here are eight ways to help give your employer branding a boost:

  1. Employer Value Proposition (EVP). At the core of employer branding is the development of a strong employer value proposition (EVP). An EVP that articulately conveys what a company stands for, the benefits it offers, and the culture it nurtures, is essential for effective employer branding.

  2. Identify Company Values and KPIs. To determine what’s working and what needs to be modified, you need to identify company values and KPIs. Some key metrics that align with company values include retention rate, cost per hire, candidate experience, employee experience, and employee referral rate.

  3. Determine Leadership Responsible. Choose who will be responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining your company’s employer branding. Decide if it will be HR, communications, or marketing. Knowing who is responsible will help avoid too many cooks in the kitchen and the potential for branding misalignment.

  4. Offer Professional Development and Training. Investing in your employees and society at large by offering professional development opportunities, fair compensation, and a supportive work environment can enhance a company's appeal. A commitment to corporate societal issues like sustainability and community involvement can also elevate an employer’s brand.

  5. Use Social Media Channels to Enhance Your Brand. Choose relevant social media channels for your employee ambassadors to share content and engage with their audiences. For many brands, LinkedIn is the first social media channel that comes to mind because it offers the ability to highly target decision-makers.

  6. Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace. Showcasing a commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment reflects a company's values and appeals to a broader range of job candidates. This involves highlighting initiatives and policies to support candidates from diverse backgrounds and disadvantaged groups.

  7. Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility. 65% of job seekers and current employees prefer to be associated with a company committed to social and environmental responsibility. Showing a commitment and involvement with social and environmental issues will go a long way in building trust and engagement with current and potential employees.

  8. Leverage Employee Advocacy. A solid employee advocacy program can strengthen your employer branding. It can increase employee engagement, which in turn, increases brand awareness.

Elevate Your Employer Branding With GaggleAMP

To effectively use employee advocacy to strengthen your employer branding, consider using an employee advocacy tool like GaggleAMP.

GaggleAMP helps companies amplify their brand message effectively by offering tools for employee advocacy and social media engagement.

Our services underline our effectiveness and transformative impact on employer branding efforts. These tools are about engaging employees, making them brand ambassadors, and harnessing the collective power of their networks for a broader and more authentic reach.

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Source: GaggleAMP

We enable companies to significantly enhance their visibility and engagement by leveraging social platforms to strengthen their overall brand. Our approach positions us as a vital ally for businesses aiming to elevate their employer brand in an increasingly competitive and socially connected marketplace.

Schedule a demo today to see how GaggleAMP can enhance your employer branding efforts and position you as a leader in the competitive job market.

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