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Your Definitive Guide To Effective Employer Branding

In a nutshell, employer branding is all about selling your company. Not to clients, but rather to current and potential employees.

An effective employer branding strategy will not only reinforce the idea that your organisation is a great place to work, but will instil your company’s mission and values into the people who can make or break your business, your employees.

Marketing departments tend to focus their efforts on perfecting and polishing the face of the company seen by the public, and rightly so. But by not projecting the company brand internally, you won’t be fostering company culture and a sense of identity within the organisation. Instead, you would be missing an important piece of the puzzle.

These are the 7 topics we’ll cover in this article:

Table of Contents

    What is employer branding in HR?

    Employer branding involves projecting a positive image of the company, promoting its values, creating a sense of identity and teamwork, outlining a clear employee value proposition and aligning the employer brand with the public company brand.

    In other words, get people wanting to work for you.

    What is the first thing consumers do when they are making a decision about buying a product or service? They turn to online reviews to get an idea of whether or not it will solve their problem or fulfil a need they have.

    These days, with sites like Glassdoor, the exact same thing happens when people are looking for employment. They turn to these employer review sites, amongst others like LinkedIn, to get an idea of what it’s like to work at different companies.

    That’s why when it comes to human resources and recruitment, you need to develop a strong corporate brand in order to stand out from the competition and attract top talent.

    And once you’ve attracted the top talent in your industry, you need to motivate your workforce. Creating a strong internal brand that illustrates the value of working for your organisation is one of the best ways to do just that.

    But employer branding goes beyond just recruitment.

    It’s a way of instilling company culture and outlining what it means to be a part of the team.

    Importance of employer branding

    • 75% of people looking for employment take your employer brand into considerations before applying for a job
    • 52% of potential applicants search through your websites and social media channels to learn more about what it’s like to work for you
    • 50% more qualified candidates apply – According to a study carried out by LinkedIn Talent Solutions

    They are three striking statistics.

    That just goes to show exactly how powerful an effective employer branding strategy is.

    But, the same LinkedIn study goes on to state that only 55% of the world’s leading recruiters actively focus on developing their employer brand.

    That means you have the chance to employ the most qualified people in your industry, and even tempt them away from your competitors, just by actually implementing an employer branding strategy.

    Infographic about employer branding statistics

    Source: LinkedIn

    Effective employer branding isn’t just important when it comes to hiring new talent though. It’s also important for retaining and motivating existing employees.

    With a clear set of values in mind, a sense of company identity and a solid employee value proposition (EVP) in place, you can expect to get more out of your workforce.

    Somebody who feels part of a worthwhile mission and who has had a positive brand experience, someone who feels like they have a real chance to progress in their career within an organisation they value, will always be more efficient and effective than somebody who doesn’t share those same feelings.

    It’s especially true when it comes to millennials. A study by Deloitte showed that 83% of millennials are actively engaged when a company fosters a positive and inclusive culture.

    Employer branding examples

    Here are 5 ways you can implement an effective employer branding strategy.

    1 – Creating internal promotional material

    Circulating things like a company magazine, newsletter and starter pack for new employees is a great start and a good base to build upon.

    A magazine, for example, would enable the creation of a collaborative internal culture and strong team spirit as well as highlighting the company’s values and mission in the form of a (bi-)monthly print and digital publication.

    An example of a branded newsletter and magazine

    An example of a branded company newsletter (left) and magazine (right) – © WE ARE PYTHON LTD.

    Other internal promotional materials could include:

    • Employee handbooks
    • Email surveys
    • Wellness infographics 

    Implementing even one of the ideas I just mentioned is a great start. But driving home a consistent message across a combination of different platforms is when a company’s internal identity really starts to take shape.

    2 – Creating an internal digital platform/forum

    One of the most powerful tools in the world today is social media. Globally, 11 new people start using social media every second. That is an almost unimaginable rate of growth and it demonstrates its effectiveness at attracting people and ultimately spreading information.

    That’s why, drawing on the success of professional social media sites like LinkedIn, we prioritise creating a bespoke company forum/chatroom for our clients as part of their employer branding strategy.

    Internal digital platform profile page example

    What the profile page of a bespoke forum could look like for your company – © WE ARE PYTHON Ltd.

    Example of starting a new thread on a bespoke company forum

    Example of a ‘start a new thread’ page – © WE ARE PYTHON Ltd.

    Example of the employees page on the bespoke company forum

    Example of a ‘current employees’ page – © WE ARE PYTHON Ltd.

    Having a large scale corporate structure can often lead to impersonal connections being made between employees. Particularly employees in different departments. With that in mind, the aim of creating a bespoke professional forum is to improve professional relationships. It also boosts employee engagement and provides transparency throughout the company.

    But creating an online forum has other advantages.

    It opens up the possibility of easily giving and receiving feedback.

    Review and feedback page

    Example of a review and feedback page – © WE ARE PYTHON Ltd.

    Employees can track their progress and development within the company in a user-friendly way through the main dashboard. Receiving feedback from key team members has never been so easy. It also provides an opportunity for employees to check on their development and adjust goals according to their desired career trajectory.

    3 – Career portal

    Start new employees off on the right foot by introducing them to your brand and company culture from the get-go. A custom-made website portal, designed specifically with recruitment in mind, is one way of doing it.

    It’s a good idea to align the recruitment process of new talent with the company’s internal branding strategy. That way you’ll have the ability to attract potential candidates who agree with your values.

    You’ll be able to better engage with, convince and convert applicants into productive team members. Team members who will understand what it means to be a part of your organisation. But, only if you expose them to your employer branding strategy from the very beginning.

    4 – Video strategy

    Creating unique and engaging video content is another example of effective employer branding.

    Of course, as with all things marketing related, we can look to Apple as an example of how to create a well-polished piece of content that perfectly captures the essence of the company in this short 6-minute internal marketing video.

    The video focuses on one aspect of what they do, in this case, their retail store experience. It then dives home their vision of what it means to the company. It also shows how it adds value and the important role it plays in achieving that.

    Using video as an internal marketing tool is nothing new, as you can see here in another example from Apple when, in 1984, Steve Jobs played the role of Franklin D Roosevelt in a tongue-in-cheek internal promotional video.

    5 – Social media

    Dedicated social media accounts for recruitment are an often overlooked tool in the employer branding arsenal.

    We all know about the benefits of LinkedIn when it comes to employer/employee communication and the recruitment process. But what about utilising other platforms like Twitter or Facebook?

    Google, another giant of the tech industry and one of the top employer brands, runs a dedicated Twitter account called Life at Google. They use it to not only advertise job opportunities but to let potential applicants get an insight into what it’s like to work at the company by posting photos, quotes/endorsements from current employees as well as short first-hand blog posts about day-to-day life at Google.

    It’s all about the Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

    Employer branding, corporate identity, internal marketing. Whatever you want to call it, it all boils down to one thing, the employee value proposition.

    The EVP is what you as a company can offer in return for time, skills and commitment. And a good EVP doesn’t just involve money.

    In fact, money is just one aspect.

    An enticing EVP focuses on five main areas: Compensation, Opportunity, People, Environment, Benefits.

    Employee value proposition infographic

    Compensation

    A competitive compensation package is at the heart of a strong employee value proposition. But it alone doesn’t make a strong EVP. The main things you can offer as part of a competitive compensation package are a good salary, the possibility of receiving raises, a retirement plan and bonuses.

    Opportunity

    Opportunity to grow within a company is perhaps the second most important factor when it comes to EVPs. The chance of promotion, career development, flexibility and training/education are key to maintaining a positive employer brand.

    People

    Having likeable individuals within the team, from co-workers to managers and right up to the CEO, helps retain employees. At the end of the day, working with people you like is fundamental to your commitment to the job.

    Environment

    As an employer, what work environment can you provide? To offer a strong EVP you need to be able to ensure a good work-life balance, recognition of achievement, a clear corporate mission, trust, engaging challenges, a sense of team-work and a generally positive environment.

    Benefits

    Time off, holiday pay, insurance and other perks are all things people look for in a company. A good benefits package will help attract the best talent within your industry.

    Quick-fire employer branding FAQs

    Employer branding frequently asked questions

    When did employer branding begin?

    Employer branding, as a concept, has always been an important factor in business. But it was in the early 1990s that the term was first used. However, when it comes to hiring, motivating and retaining talent in the modern age of social media, and the need to have a 24/7 whiter than white online presence, it’s been pushed to the forefront of CEO’s and marketer’s minds more than ever in recent years.

    How to implement employer branding on social media?

    It’s a good idea to follow the example set by big players in the tech industry on this one. Set up dedicated social media accounts focusing on showing what life is like within your company. Occasionally advertise job openings and make sure the employer brand is aligned with the overall corporate brand.

    Does employer branding work?

    Done right, yes. There are a ton of studies and academic research papers that demonstrate the effectiveness of employer branding.

    What does employer branding mean?

    In a nutshell, it’s your company’s internal image and the way you are perceived as an employer. If employees value your organisation, it can have a positive effect on company culture and overall productivity. It means you are effectively selling your company as a great place to work.

    How does employer branding increase employee retention?

    Employer branding has been shown to increase employee retention by improving a number of key areas: brand values, induction and training, internal brand communication, organisational culture, rewards and benefits, brand commitment and employer brand management. – Employer branding and its influence on employee retention: A literature review.

    How does employer branding help in recruitment?

    52% of people search through a company’s social media accounts and website before applying for a job. A solid employer branding strategy will ensure you are in a good position to convince people to apply.

    How to develop/improve employer branding?

    Social media campaigns, creating a variety of internal promotional material and opening clear communication channels between employees and management are just a few examples.

    How to measure employer branding?

    Building an internal review system, tracking sites like Glassdoor, monitoring brand mentions on social media and measuring employee retention statistics are 4 examples that have proven to be effective at measuring employer branding.

    Our employer branding strategy

    The typical employer branding strategy that we implement for clients is divided into 3 phases. With the 3 phases being spread out over 12 months in total. That way, we are able to review each aspect of the strategy on an ongoing basis. At the beginning of phase 2 and 3, an in-depth analysis is carried out to evaluate the previous phase.

    Below is an outline of what we do, but final strategies are tailored to meet the individual clients’ needs.

    Phase 1

    The initial phase heavily revolves around creating internal marketing material such as handbooks, magazines, newsletters, wellness content etc…  This gives us a chance to introduce the new brand to existing employees, build confidence in the brand and prepare for phase 2 when we begin marketing the employer brand to talent pools and on social media.

    We will also conduct the social media research stage for targeted content, create high production value videos such as interviews with employees and “a day in the life of” style videos ready for the phase 2 marketing stage.

    Phase 2

    The second phase of our strategy focuses on the creation of social content to market the employer brand to the wider public. We will begin creating long-form written content to share online as well as promoting the video content created in phase 1.

    Phase 2 is also when we launch the bespoke online forum/communication portal. Creating branded, custom-made digital platforms takes time. But after launch, team members will be able to make use of the employee development dashboard to track progress towards their goals and provide valuable feedback.

    Internal marketing material will continue to be circulated as in phase 1.

    Phase 3

    In the final phase focus will shift towards the recruitment process. After building the employer brand in phases 1 and 2, we market the company to potential applicants. By this point, a dedicated career portal will have been launched and integrated with the other parts of the strategy.

    It’s at this point everything comes together to reinforce the brand. Internal marketing material will continue to be created along with social content, both on the internal branded forum and external platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn.

    WE ARE PYTHON – Your employer branding agency

    We specialise in working closely with clients to develop a bespoke employer branding strategy that exceeds their needs. With offices based in both London and Stratford-upon-Avon, we are always available for a chat. Or if you would prefer to discuss your needs over the phone, feel free to get in touch here or call/email us on 02080 165 981/[email protected] (London office) or 01789 332 567/[email protected] (Stratford-upon-Avon office).

    After we have talked about your goals and learned more about your organisation, we will put together a free no-obligation proposal for you to look over before going any further.

    We look forward to hearing from you!

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    Written by: Charlie Gardiner

    Hi, I’m Charlie, Content Writer and SEO here at WE ARE PYTHON. Over the years I’ve managed a number of successful blogs and helped them grow their traffic by staying a step ahead of the competition when it comes to finding innovative ways to attract organic visitors. Without trying to sound too cliche, I really do have a passion for SEO. Being able to reach people across the globe and help them solve a problem is what drives me to produce the most engaging and helpful content I can. A fun fact about me is that, aside from being an SEO geek, I’m also a qualified scuba diving instructor. So, in my spare time when I’m not behind a computer you’ll often find me underwater somewhere!

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