What Is Employer Branding? (Plus How To Build a Brand)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 7, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Today, every organization has a reputation among clients, employees, and even competitors. This perception plays a vital role in the business's success, just as the quality of products and services. As a human resource manager, understanding employer branding allows you to create a positive employer brand that helps you attract the best talents, retain them, and promote a positive reputation for the business. In this article, we answer "What is employer branding?", explore why employer branding is important, highlight how to build an employer brand, and provide tips to optimize the process.

What is employer branding?

Employer branding involves the process of improving an employer brand. An employer brand refers to the public perception of a company as an employer. It involves how potential employees and the general public perceives an organization's work culture. Usually, an employer brand results from factors such as internal communication mechanisms, strategies for employee appreciation, and the onboarding process. Employer branding allows a company to improve this perception among shareholders, employees, and candidates.

Importance of employer branding

An effective and practical employee branding is essential to every modern organization. This is because employee branding allows a company to hire and retain high-quality employees. This ensures that a company is more likely to meet its business goals and objectives. Usually, potential employees want to work in the best environment to maximize their talents and receive adequate benefits based on their contribution. As such, they consider factors like its culture, mission, initiative, and brand values.

Employer branding ensures that you can showcase to potential employees that you possess the best ideals and your company is the best place to work. It allows you to attract the best talents in a competitive industry, reduce your recruiting cost, and ensure increased productivity. As a hiring manager, you need to prioritize employer branding because it affects how potential investors and customers perceive your company. Usually, clients are more likely to partner with organizations that value their employees because they feel such a company is likely to value them.

How to build an employer brand

Follow these steps for how to build a positive employer brand for your company:

1. Assess the company culture

You need to assess the company culture as it affects the overall effectiveness and trajectory of the branding process. This involves getting to know the organization's business, mission, vision, and values. With this, you can identify the type of talent and environment that you need to achieve business goals.

2. Evaluate the employer brand

Next, you need to evaluate the current state of the employer brand. This involves assessing the perception and experience of current employees. This is because they're in the best position to offer a comprehensive and honest review of the employer brand. Usually, you can find these perceptions on social media pages and online reviews where colleagues talk about their workplace experience and opinions about workplace culture to future candidates.

You can also talk to them directly by holding personal meetings with other employees to get their opinions and areas of improvement. In some cases, employees might find it difficult to express their opinions due to fear of bias. In such situations, you can conduct anonymous surveys to get an independent opinion. For example, you can ask questions that allow you to determine if the employees are happy with their compensation and benefits and have access to professional development in the firm.

3. Promote the employer brand

Once you complete the evaluation, you can identify areas of improvement. Next, as the human resources manager, you need to promote the employer brand and create a strong brand. To do this, identify both short-term and long-term strategies that engage ideal candidates across various communication channels. You can then publish these contents to improve public perception.

Some of the content you can publish include:

  • Highlight company values: You can create content that highlights company culture and values. By doing this, you can let prospective employees know what makes the company an impressive and desirable workplace.

  • Tell a story: Your content is more compelling when it can affect people's emotions. When promoting the company, you want to provide content that appeals to people's feelings through storytelling-you can talk about the company's journey to its present state.

  • Creating personas: You can create personas that depict the company's ideal candidate and use it as the foundation of the content. You can consider factors like employment preferences, skills, work history and career goals when doing this.

4. Establish an employee advocacy program

The best advertisement a company can offer about its employer brand is through its current employees. As a human resource professional, you need to transform employees into company ambassadors. You can do this by offering incentives to employees when they refer exceptional candidates. This can spur employees to make extra efforts to convince the best minds in their clique to join the organization.

Related: Complete Guide on How To Become a Brand Ambassador

5. Maximize social media

Social media is now a vital aspect of every marketing effort, so you can also promote an employer brand. For instance, you can use various social media platforms to share content about the company's mission and values. You can also use it to announce the recruitment process. Doing this ensures candidates consider the company accessible and flexible. In addition, you can create a social media profile specialized to a company's recruitment process to make it more effective.

6. Use catchy job descriptions

Your job post is the first contact point between the company and potential candidates. This is the best time to promote the employer brand. You can do this by providing a comprehensive job description that identifies what the company expects from candidates. You can also include humour to showcase an accommodating workplace.

7. Create an effective onboarding process

The onboarding process plays a vital part in the overall experience of an employee. You need to ensure you design an onboarding process that's comprehensive and effective. Consider employee diversity when designing the onboarding process. You also need to complete the onboarding process early to ensure employees enjoy a seamless transition to the workplace.

Related: Guide To the Process of Recruitment

8. Evaluate the results

You need to constantly evaluate your results to determine if your strategies were effective and successful. Relevant metrics that you can use to assess your strategies include:

Employee satisfaction

An essential part of a good employer brand is employee satisfaction. Hence, to determine the effectiveness of your strategies, you need to consider the degree of employee satisfaction in a company. Again, you can use anonymous surveys to obtain honest and independent information about this.

Source-of-hire

This allows you to analyze the medium responsible for attracting company hires. This allows you to concentrate the efforts of the human resource department in further optimizing those channels. You can also identify channels delivering poor results and take steps to improve employee perception on such channels.

Retention rate

Retention rate refers to the degree to which employees remain at an organization. Usually, a high retention rate is proof of a good employer brand, and a low retention rate shows that the company needs to improve. You can analyze the retention rate following your strategy to determine if there's any improvement.

Related: How To Calculate Employee Rate of Turnover (With Examples)

Ratings and reviews

Reviews and ratings are public figures or comments that summarize an employer brand. For a good employer brand, a company needs high ratings and good reviews. You can regularly assess these values to determine if your strategy had the desired effect.

Tips to help you build a positive employer brand

Here are some tips to help you build a positive employer brand in a company:

Provide opportunities for personal and professional development

Personal and professional development of employees is important to promote a positive employer brand. As such, a company needs to afford its employees opportunities to develop themselves as professionals. As the human resource manager, you can organize specialized training programs to allow employees to gain new skills. You can also offer easier and cheaper access to conferences and professional certifications.

Read more: 5 Personal Development Tips To Progress Your Career

Provide a personalized experience to employees

Catering to the individual needs of employees demonstrates that they're important. In turn, this improves their loyalty and commitment to an organization and its business goals. In addition, you can create a personalized experience for employees by recognizing their individual contributions to work. For instance, monthly awards for the best employee show employees that the company appreciates their efforts every month.

Encourage best communication practices

Communication is an important aspect of every organization as it affects every aspect. You need to encourage the best communication practices among colleagues to ensure a positive employer brand. In addition, promote open communication between superiors and subordinates and ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities.

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