Employer Branding: Strategies, Measurement, and Examples
Studies show that 95% of candidates look at a brand’s reputation before sending out their applications.
A company’s reputation influences not just the public’s view but also its potential employees.
Unfortunately, few companies know how to create an effective brand strategy and implement it. Join us as we break down employee branding, how to develop effective strategies and how you can use it to improve productivity.
📇 What is employer branding?
Employer Branding is the process of creating and balancing your reputation as an employer amongst the active and passive job seekers, stakeholders, and customers.
Simply put, it's what your employees and talents think of your company as an employer. It's the things they say about it to their family and friends.
Although intangible in nature, it acts as a great asset in positioning yourself as an attractive employer. It refers to the image or reputation your company conveys as an employer. It's the perception that the public has of your organization.
Is there a difference between employer branding and HR marketing?
There's a thin line differentiating Employer Branding from HR Marketing. What separates them is: HR Marketing mainly focuses on attracting talents for a specific role, a specific team, or a defined set of responsibilities.
Employer Branding, on the other hand, is a promise the company makes to its current and prospective employees.
Internal vs. external employer branding
Internal Employer Branding
Internal branding refers to the strategies a company drives to motivate its workers. The aim is to make them comfortable in the work environment by offering incentives. These incentives can be in the form of:
- Financial bonuses, e-vouchers
- Gift bonuses, such as tech gadgets (monitor, earphones, etc.)
- Rewards for outstanding performance
Internal branding aims to boost employee motivation and engagement, increasing employee retention and overall productivity.
External Employer Branding
External employer branding is the inverse of internal branding. It aims to create and maintain a credible brand reputation for the general public. External branding directs its strategies towards creating a positive image as an employer.
💡Why is employer branding important?
1. Attracts new talent and boosts employee retention
According to research by LinkedIn, companies with a positive employer brand can attract 41% of full-time US workers without any pay increase. In addition, job seekers are easily attracted to organizations that put their beliefs into action, offer development opportunities, and a chance to work on a better team.
Employer branding also attracts the best candidates to your organization, resulting in higher productivity levels.
Lastly, employer branding boosts employee retention.
2. Reduces recruitment costs
Bad Employer Branding costs over $7.6 million in additional wages for companies with 1000+ employees. This includes the cost of back-filling vacant roles, money spent on job boards, and offering higher salaries to attract new employees.
If you have a strong employer brand, not only will candidates proactively approach your organization, but they will stay for long. They will see themselves growing in your company rather than quitting for a better opportunity. This will consequently reduce recruitment costs down the line.
Also, candidates are more inclined to apply for jobs at organizations that showcase a positive work environment and culture.
3. Increases employee engagement and consequently satisfaction
Employees who are more engaged at work are more likely to be productive than their counterparts.
🌈 How to develop an employer branding strategy in 4 stages
Developing an employer branding strategy can be devised in four major stages: collecting basic information, outlining the procedure, implementing the plans, and evaluating the results.
1. Collecting the basic information
Understand How Consumers View Your Brand
In this first step, you need to understand your existing and potential employees' perceptions of your brand. There are plenty of ways to source this information.
The first option is through public opinion. What are people saying about your brand? Create a poll or survey and interview people. Alternatively, you can look for reviews clients have left after accessing your service or product.
Social media is also helpful during this process. You can get a lot of feedback from social networking sites. They are a goldmine of information.
The data you gather at the end will tell you how well your current strategy works and point out areas that need improvement.
The marketing team will already have some of this info, so be sure to connect with them!
Identify Your Company's Strongest Qualities
Identify your company's most vital qualities and use them to your advantage. Play to your strengths.
For example, your brand highly values a healthy work-life balance. Then make this the focal point of your campaign. It will give you an edge over your competitors and further boost your image.
Get Your Objectives Straight
All strategies must have an objective.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the reason for creating a brand strategy?
- What do you want to gain from it?
- What do you want the public to think of when they see your brand?
These goals must be measurable so you can later track progress. Not only that, they must be actionable and attainable.
Examples of employer branding strategy goals include:
- Improve overall online ratings on Glassdoor of the company
- Increase employee engagement
- Increase social media engagement
Lastly, align your objectives with the company's needs, e.g., increased revenue.
2. Outlining the procedures
Create an Ideal Candidate Persona
What's your ideal employee?
An employee persona identifies essential characteristics such as:
- Strongest qualities
You can also ask employees and other stakeholders what traits they think would fit the company. Again, they are your best source of information.
Create a Set of KPIs
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics used to gauge the success of a strategy. They compare the company's performance against their objectives. KPIs for a branding strategy include:
- Social media engagement - clicks, shares, likes
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Cost per hire
- Job seeking platform ratings, e.g., Glassdoor ratings
Align your KPIs with your overall company goals, not just the branding objectives. They should also be simple and easy to understand so that everyone is on board. Last but not least, they should be SMART, just like your objectives.
For example, if your goal is to increase the number of people searching on Google for "[your company] + jobs," don't write it as it is. Instead, say, "increase # of people searching for jobs at our company by 15%."
Set up a Budget
Your Employer Branding strategy needs a carefully planned budget. This is because it determines how much resources go towards certain aspects of the project.
Your considerations should not only include money, but also the time you (or your colleagues) will spend on this.
Set up a meeting with the company executives and agree on a suitable allocation. Next, create a roster to delegate roles. Finally, assign responsibilities based on the individual's most vital qualities for the best results.
There are two ways to create and implement an employer branding strategy. Either do it yourself as an internal project or hire an external agency to spearhead it. It depends on several factors, such as the company's size, budget allocation, and time.
Smaller to medium-sized companies prefer to create their employer branding strategy themselves. On the other hand, larger companies lean more towards external specialists because they have a bigger budget.
Develop a Content Strategy
Your branding strategy needs a thorough content strategy to succeed. What kind of content will you be pushing out? What stories do you want to tell? What channel will you use?
Create short videos showcasing your company. You can also ask employees to provide testimonials and include them in the videos. It adds a personal touch and increases your brand's relatability and credibility.
Make sure that your content strategy emphasizes your company's culture and values. It's the best avenue to showcase your strengths and the perks of working for you.
There are a few other factors to consider when creating a content strategy:
- Frequency - how often do you want to publish and on which days? Use a content calendar for planning and scheduling. (A template social media calendar can help you get started with this.)
- Resource materials - besides social media, what other resources do you plan to use, e.g., brochures, video testimonials, written reviews.
Pick an Advertising Medium
Research indicates that roughly 80% of candidates use social media to look for job openings.
Take advantage of the current boom in podcasting and partner with creators and associated networks. What other platforms do you intend to use? Some alternatives are LinkedIn and job portal websites, such as Glassdoor and Indeed.
Distribute your content throughout these mediums and track their performance. There are platforms providing customized advertising solutions, like Zeropark, for businesses based on their most prioritized needs.
The results will determine which format is most suitable for your brand.
3. Implementing the plans
Employee Ambassador Programs
Can you think of anyone else who would be better suited to promote your branding strategy than your employees? Of course not.
Talk to your employees and encourage them to share their reviews on social channels. For example, they can share videos or written testimonials of their favorite aspect of working there. You can promote these videos on your IG business profile. Get some likes initially to build momentum.
Aligning Your Employer Branding Recruitment Strategy
Make sure your recruitment and onboarding process promotes your brand strategy. Do this by aligning these processes with the company culture, values, and name. For example, ensure that your job advertisements and career page also "live" these qualities.
The candidates should be familiar with your company culture from the minute they visit your career site. That's how you get your ideal employee.
In addition, a proper onboarding process complements your brand strategy: It's your chance to set the tone among existing employees for years to come.
Promote the Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
An employer value proposition is a collection of the incentives a company offers its workers in exchange for good performance. It should have the following elements:
- Remuneration - bonuses and salaries
- Benefits - paid time off, vacation, holidays, or medical insurance
- Career growth and advancement - learning and development opportunities, e.g., online courses, workshops, and promotions
- Work-life balance - remote/hybrid work arrangements
- Work culture
- Company values, e.g., respect, accountability, and communication
Ensure that your EVP is visible in your careers section and manifests in your content strategy.
4. Evaluating the results
Analyze the data to see what areas have generated improvement and those that haven't. Then, take a look at the reviews and ratings given and whether they've improved.
Similarly, you can use software and programs to track your progress.
And lastly, don't get discouraged when you don't see immediate results. It takes time until you'll reap the benefits of your employer branding strategy.
🔖 3 Employer branding templates
Below we've gathered a few practical templates that could help you for your own strategy.
✨ How to measure your employer branding success
1. Using KPIs
Review your KPIs regularly to measure employer branding success. They'll provide a clear picture of how well your strategies are doing. They also pinpoint any problem areas so you can come up with solutions.
2. Through surveys and questionnaires
Anonymous surveys are perfect for getting insight into the success of your strategy. Create a routine of collecting employee feedback on a regular basis.
But also ask outside your organization from time to time, e.g., by interviewing and conducting surveys with people who fit the employee persona.
3. Reviews on social media and job boards
Go through your accounts and see what comments and suggestions users have left.
Job boards are a goldmine for measuring your status as an employer brand.
4. Traffic on job boards or career sites
Find a way to measure inbound traffic to your career sites - or check the analytics on other job boards you're using. The number of visitors is increasing? Great!
🌤 3 Employer branding examples
Microsoft's branding strategy primarily focuses on harnessing social media. The technology giant has a huge internet presence spanning Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Its Instagram account has over three million followers, which they use to connect with users and share important company announcements. Microsoft also has a blog that gives candidates a sneak peek at their work culture.
Its employees run the blog themselves and regularly publish content centered around the various aspects of working there. They have several sections, including cooking, community, sustainability, and skills.
The skills section gives visitors advice on career advancement, life issues, and job-seeking, e.g., interview preparation and CV requirements.
Google receives an average of three million resumes every year but only selects seven thousand out of them. The company has one of the best branding strategies in the market.
They've created an Employee Value Proposition that attracts talent from across the globe. In addition, Google uses a subtle but straightforward approach with its branding.
That's not all; Google offers generous benefits and perks for working at the corporation.
- Paid time off covering grief, holidays, vacations
- Medical insurance, including dental health
- 401K program
- Hybrid and remote work programs.
The company has invested in making its workplace the ideal environment for its staff.
Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse franchise in the world.
The company has invested in its physical presence, with stores scattered across the world, and has been consistent and active on its social media presence.
They feature employees on their page, sharing their authentic experiences working for the franchise. It's the perfect way to showcase Starbucks ' work culture and values.
The company has accounts in multiple networking sites, including Instagram and Facebook. They use various advertising mediums, such as pictures, videos, infographics to advertise their products.
They feature employees on their page, sharing their experiences working for the franchise. It’s the perfect way to showcase Starbuck's work culture and values. Lastly, Starbucks has a loyalty and reward program where customers can get discounts and merchandises.
➡️ Level up your employer branding strategy, with Zavvy
Remember to take baby steps. Employer branding requires long-term commitment and planning. Start with getting your basics right: Ask your employees what they value, create an EVP, and go from there. Next, you can dive into advanced employer branding projects like creating campaigns for social media channels.
If you're looking for ways to create an environment your employees will love.
You can use Zavvy for:
- Implementing career frameworks that rely on unbiased data and can move people from A to B.
- Putting together actionable development plans (powered by AI) based on real insights and relevant training materials.
- Giving your people access to over 10,000 courses to help them reach their development targets.
- Running performance reviews and skills gaps analyses.
📅 Discover the power of Zavvy and book your demo today!