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How to Build Employer Branding

A strong employer branding strategy can mean the difference between a candidate accepting or passing on an offer. Discover how to work with your client to develop an attractive employer brand.

Offering a decent salary is a given in recruiting. However, candidates are now looking for more than just money when they’re weighing job offers, and employers need to step up. The importance of employer branding in recruitment cannot be overstated — especially in today’s job market.

Competition is high, and employees are quitting at record rates. This makes finding and hiring the best people for the job more challenging than ever. For reference, in January of 2021, 69% of corporations in the U.S. — as opposed to 10% in the year 2010 — struggled with finding top talent. It’s important to take the time to develop an employer branding strategy, as a strong employer brand can mean the difference between a candidate accepting or passing on an offer.

What Is Employer Branding?

An employer brand is how a company is perceived by others. It’s also the management of the company’s reputation as an employer. Everything from social media to job descriptions plays a factor, so crafting the perfect brand takes time. You need to ensure your clients know how these seemingly small things can not only affect their ability to attract new hires but also retain current ones.

So, How Is It Beneficial?

Did you know that 69% of job seekers would reject an offer from a company with a bad employer brand whether they were employed or not? What about the fact that 95% of candidates consider a company’s reputation a key factor when deciding which jobs to apply for? That’s how essential employer branding is, so it’s not surprising that 75% of hiring managers say employer brand matters. People simply don’t want to work for companies that mistreat their employees, offer poor job security, or have a bad reputation.  

Having a strong employer brand can enable your client to:

  • Give prospective employees an authentic view of the company
  • Stand out from competitors
  • Receive more applications for an open position, because the majority of job seekers read company reviews before they even decide whether they want to apply for a job
  • Attract high-quality candidates without needing to raise starting salaries, as research has shown that by companies can attract 41% of full-time workers in the U.S. without offering a pay increase as long as they provide three or more of the following qualities: professional development opportunities, present or past employees that have positive things to say, job security, the same values as the candidate, and the opportunity to work with a better team
  • Retain current employees by keeping them motivated and engaged, which leads to better performance and overall experiences

What Makes A Good Employer Brand?

While every company is different, good employer brands have some things in common, which include:

Honesty and consistency. One of the worst things a company can do is lie when it comes to their employer branding. Often, employer branding comes down to marketing, but your client also needs to internally reinforce their employer brand to ensure the image they present is aligned with reality. If it doesn’t, they’ll instantly lose respect and credibility. New employees may feel betrayed or even quit. To see the greatest return on an employer brand, take the time to position your clients’ employer brands carefully.

Clear communication of the company’s values. In addition to a competitive salary, workers want to feel their work has meaning. 73% of workers wouldn’t apply for a position with a company whose values didn’t align with theirs, which means companies need to be transparent about their vision and principles. Plus, communicating these values to prospective employees today will hold the company more accountable in the future.

Highlights the perks of working for the company. Candidates don’t just want a fair salary. They also want to know that their employer invests in their people. As a result, employers offering healthcare, retirement benefits, a healthy work-life balance, profit sharing, career development opportunities, and other perks are more attractive. If your client has any benefits, make sure to highlight them.

How Can You Improve Your Clients’ Brands?

To improve your client’s employer brand, work with them to consider every aspect of recruiting before you even begin posting job descriptions. You can also create an Employee Value Proposition (EVP), which are valuable tools in any employer branding and recruitment strategy. Essentially, EVPs answer why candidates want to work with the company and what the company expects of employees. Companies with EVPs are 93% more likely to outperform their peers financially, so it’s worth taking the time to create a well-defined EVP.

If your client doesn’t have a pulse on their current employer brand, advise them to perform an audit. Listening to current and former employees can help check if staff experiences match the branding. Engaging internal stakeholders will also make the employer brand development process more authentic and thorough.

You can also encourage your client to share their origin story to clearly show current and potential employees who they are and what their mission is, develop employee career paths, offer more benefits, or invest in more training to improve their employer brand.

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