Every company wants to grow- and that can only happen when it finds the right people to propel it.
And the good people always go for the companies that have a good reputation as an employer and present themselves in an employee-friendly way.
Creating a positive perception in the mind of the audience is the task of branding.
In other words- the stronger your BRAND as an employer- the better your chances of attracting (and retaining) quality talent.
If you want the right type of talent to join your team and help you build your business, you have to go for an employer branding exercise.
If you want to attract the best talent for your company- you should invest in employer branding.
BrandLoom can help you build up your brand as an employer, and reach out to your ideal potential recruits.
In this article, let us talk about employer branding, what it entails, and look at some good examples from across the world.
Employer branding meaning: What is Employer Branding
In plain words, employer branding is a process by which a company brands itself as THE employer of choice for the kind of people it wants to hire- as well as its existing employees.
To paraphrase- it is how a company markets itself as a good employer to both its existing and potential employees.
Remember, a company’s brand as an employer is separate from its reputation as a service provider or manufacturer.
Your company may be known for producing or making great products- but that is different than your company’s brand as an employer.
Your reputation as an employer depends on what your employees and potential recruits think of you. In real-life scenarios- it is what they will say about you in their social circles.
How you are viewed as an employer has a crucial impact on what sort of talent you attract and on your brand as a whole.
While the benefits may not be tangible immediately, companies should seriously consider employee branding if they want to prosper and enhance their reputation on all accounts.
Let us see why.
Why Employer Branding?
Let us start with a real-life example of how a company’s reputation as an employer can impact it.
The first is a cautionary tale, demonstrated by the TV program- “The Ellen Show”.
It was a widely popular network show, and the host, Ellen DeGeneres built an empire around it. Ellen was neck to neck with talk show Moghul Oprah Winfrey.
However, in 2018, reports started emerging of how toxic the working environment of the show was.
Following the allegations- several key figures were fired, and the show lost over a million viewers.
Sponsors started to quit, celebrity guests were reluctant to appear on it, and overall, the quality went down.
Public opinion turned against Ellen. All her performances and comments were sharply criticized.
Her popularity went down significantly- especially among the younger generations, who were put off by Ellen talking about “being nice” on stage while enabling a culture of harassment, unprofessionalism, and racism on her show.
Ellen declared that the show’s 19th season was going to be the last. The Ellen Show is set to end with its 2021-22 run.
The brand which had ruled for over a decade was felled because of its reputation as a toxic employer undid every bit of goodwill it had earned along the way.
If you want to attract top talent, grow your business and build up your reputation- it is important to make people aware of why you are a good employer.
This is precisely where employer branding comes in.
Benefits of Developing an Employer Brand
1. Helps you attract top talent
The best candidates always gravitate towards companies that have a good reputation.
According to a LinkedIn study, 75% of candidates do their research about a company before applying for a job.
Also, companies that have their employees sharing good content on social media are 58% more likely to attract quality talent.
A survey found that 69% of candidates will reject an offer from a company with a bad reputation as an employer- even if they are unemployed.
It is clear that a systematic employer branding exercise can help you become an attractive option for job seekers.
2. Gives you an edge over competitors
A company with a good employer brand also fares better than its competitors.
This is because having a record as a good employer significantly adds to your overall reputation.
As various surveys have shown, younger customers are more likely to favor companies whose business practices align with their values.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is a great example of how important a part your brand as an employer plays into your overall brand.
So, if you want to get an edge over your competitors in the market- invest in employer branding.
3. Lowers costs-per-hire
If you have a strong employer brand- you will have talented job seekers lining up outside your door.
Surveys show that when you have a good reputation, job seekers and existing employees are more likely to refer you to others.
Employee referrals are the most effective in reaching out to talent and giving the best ROI.
According to HR Technologist, employee referrals result in faster contact from job seekers than career websites by 55%.
4. Improves retention rates
It goes without saying that people are more likely to stay with a company with a good reputation.
Moreover, when employer branding is done right, companies can craft their message in a way that appeals to the RIGHT kind of candidate.
When candidates find the right fit for them, they are less likely to leave. And that means that the company can build up a steady team that can work earnestly.
Think of brands like Google and Tata; which enjoy a stellar reputation as employers and have a high retention rate. No wonder they are at the top of their field.
5. Lower salaries
When people want to work with YOU, they are more willing to come to you without demanding much in return.
Companies that have a bad reputation as an employer will need to offer at least a 10% hike to attract potential candidates.
Even then, only 28% of the candidates may agree to the offer.
6. Better productivity
If you can keep your employees in good humour- you will have a more productive team on hand.
This is an indirect result of good employer branding.
In 2019, an extensive study found that employees are 13% more productive when they are happy.
A separate study found that satisfied workers are less likely to be absent- which meant no loss of working hours.
And knowing that they are working for a good company plays a big role in employee satisfaction.
As you can see- employer branding brings in substantial- and tangible benefits.
This is the reason why more companies are turning to employer branding exercises. But how can you accomplish this task?
Let us find out.
Related Article: How a design agency can help Boost Your Brand
Elements of employer branding strategy: What makes employer branding successful?
There are 8 aspects of employer branding. If you want to be a reputed employer brand, you must operate within this framework:
1. Cultivating openness & push for improvement
If you want to brand yourself as a good employer- “brag” about yourself.
Unless you want to be irrelevant and obscure, you have to make an effort to be seen by your existing and future employees.
Talk about your achievements, best practices, employees, and other relevant updates.
2. A management that ensures productivity without stifling employee morale
At the end of the day, an employer brand cannot stand without good management practices.
Marketing exercises can highlight what an organization is doing.
So, if you want to be known as a good employer, behave like one and implement the best practices in the industry.
3. Obtaining public recognition (great-place-to-work lists)
For job seekers, these lists are of immense importance.
Reputed publications put out such lists which talk about the best companies to work for.
Getting featured on such lists is a good way to boost your profile.
4. Employees speaking as brand endorsers
Your existing employees are your greatest assets when it comes to employer branding.
When they proactively share their stories about their life as a part of your organization- it gives your brand a very human face and boosts its credibility.
When employees tell their stories, it enhances pride in the organization.
This in turn also improves retention rates. An organization where employees act as its brand ambassadors will always attract more and better talent.
5. Being the buzz
This is a no-brainer- if you want to be known as a good employer, you must not be media-shy.
Get the key members on your team to talk about your values and achievements in the media.
6. Emerging as a benchmark firm by highlighting the best Employer Branding practices
As a company, you should be proactive in being part of benchmarking studies.
Get talked about as a firm following the best practices within the industry.
You must also respond to questions about your best practices, talking about what you do in detail.
7. Being known for good among the right talent
Of course, you have to be known as a great employer among job seekers- and for that, you have to educate them about your management practices.
Be it on the net, via publications, in job fair booths, campus recruitment interviews, or any other materials- you must talk about WHY you are a great employer, and what practices set you apart from the others.
8. Continuous monitoring of the brand performance
And finally- no branding or marketing exercise is complete unless you monitor and track your progress.
Check what is working and what is not, and keep tweaking your strategy accordingly. Remember, any strategy MUST be data-driven.
So, instead of relying on your hunches, look at what results in your efforts are yielding.
Accordingly, plan the next step.
Now that you know what goes into employer branding, here is how you can put it in motion.
How to Build a Strong Employer brand: Step by Step Employer Branding Strategy by BrandLoom
In a nutshell, YOU HAVE TO SHOW HOW LIFE IS LIKE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES.
The more high-quality this life seems, the better will be your reputation as an employer.
Employer branding is a matter of expertise. This is why it is best to put expert branding agencies like BrandLoom at the helm.
While each organization needs a strategy that is specific to it, here is a rough outline of what goes into establishing an employer brand:
1. Employer self-audit
If you want to improve your reputation as an employer- you have to know first what exactly your existing and potential employers think about you.
You have to find out what areas need improvement, how your employees respond to you, what things you are doing right and how potential job seekers view you.
So, start by getting feedback from your employees and the candidates you are looking at.
The idea is to find out the gap between the current perception of you as an employer, and the ideal you want to be. Only then you can start bridging it.
2. Create a compelling employee value proposition
The essence of any brand is the answer to this question: what value are you offering to your target audience?
When you are an employer; you have to offer value to your employees. And that is something that goes beyond a pay package.
Your employee value proposition (EVP) should make two things clear:
- What can your employees expect from you as an employer?
- What will you expect from your employees?
Needless to say, your EVP should talk about long-term and also intangible benefits your employees can expect from you.
For example- for a retail business, employees can expect:
- A chance to grow with one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country
- A safe working environment
- A workplace where there is no discrimination on the basis of religion or gender
Make a list of all the tangible and intangible benefits you can offer as an employer. Then, craft a compelling statement that summarises the essence of it all.
3. Do recruitment marketing
This is about finding out the right target audience for you.
With the help of a good branding firm, you can find out WHO is the right candidate for you, WHAT they want from an employer and HOW you can engage with the best.
Based on that, you should build your marketing plan.
4. Engage with your existing employees
As we said before, your existing employees are your greatest assets.
So, you have to engage with them and hone them so that they become your greatest ambassadors.
Talk about your values and principles, and make them a part of your employees’ lexicon.
Ask your employees to share their stories on social media, and leverage them to build up a referral network.
Offer them good learning and growing opportunities, and you will see a significant boost in employee morale.
Not only that, internal promotions are a great way to cutting down recruitment costs.
If you can impress and engage your workforce, they will play a significant role in boosting your profile as an employer both online and offline.
5. Encourage diversity initiatives and talk about them
Remember, the mark of a good company is that it does not discriminate, and actively courts diversity.
This is especially important if you want to connect with the existing employees and potential recruits from the younger generations.
Some great employer branding examples:
1. Google: Employer Branding is Critical for the IT Giant
A brand that consistently ranks among the best places to work in the world, and has a cult following among the younger generations.
Across many verticals, you will hear those job seekers WANT TO WORK for Google.
And they produced an entire movie about two (not so young) men who joined the company. Talk about putting in an effort.
2. GE: Employer Branding is considered to be a game changer
Being one of the most well-known companies in the world- and one that has come to define the USA, GE is a very strong employer brand.
As we said, one of the best ways to show your brand in a positive light is to show how the lives of the employees are like. Well, GE found a great way to articulate it.
The socially challenged Owen is very relatable, and engineers will instantly connect with him.
3. For Netflix Emploer Branding is everywhere
“WeAreNetflix” has a great approach towards employer branding.
Netflix is all about connecting with its employees and potential hires emotionally.
With the stories that the brand shares, it comes across as one where there is a pervading atmosphere of joy and youthfulness.
4. Mahindra Group in a Leader as an Employer Brand in India
Taking inspiration from its tagline “Rise”, Mahindra’s corporate branding is very inspirational.
Its YouTube channel is a great snapshot of how the brand talks about its achievements and engages with its people.
For example, here it talks about how the company is a great place for women to explore their talents and how it helps break gender stereotypes.
5. Starbucks Encourages its Employees with Employer Branding
Starbucks is great at engaging with employees. It encourages feedback from employees with the dedicated hashtag #sbuxjobschat and even gives out links on their social media that help employees by pointing out their employee care initiatives and resources.
6. Salesforce: Celebrates Employer Branding
One of the essential elements of employer branding is giving them space to your employees- and Salesforce does that with aplomb.
Their social media is employee-centric, and they do a great job of talking about their best practices. No wonder it remains a fixture on the “best companies to work for” lists.
A company is nothing without its people. So, if you want to grow- make sure you are creating a good impression on YOUR TEAM first- both the existing and the future one.
Employer branding is essential because you need the right people, and you want them to stick with you.
Worldwide, companies are investing in employer branding and snatching up top talent. Why should you be left behind?
How to use social media for employer branding?
Social media is a powerful tool for building up your employer's brand.
You can use dedicated social media handles to provide information about your company, its values, achievements, and milestones.
You can also share messages from leaders and talk about company events, policies, and exciting developments.
But, a big part of your social media content should feature your people.
Leverage your existing employees and encourage them to share their stories about life in the company.
Moreover- talk about your employees. Show how well you know them and of their lives beyond office hours.
Your social media handles should portray your company's environment for your employees, so that prospective employees know what to expect.
Via social media, you can showcase that people can find what they are looking for in their careers if they work with you.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of employer branding?
There are many advantages to employer branding. If you can build up your employer brand, people will flock to your doorstep to work with YOU over your competitors.
Employer branding not only helps you with recruitment, but it also helps you attract the people who are RIGHT FOR YOU.
Studies show that employee referrals are the most cost-effective and fastest way to attract talent. If you can build up a powerful brand that your existing employees are proud of- they can become your best sources for recruitment.
When you have a strong employer brand, you can find talent willing to work for you with a lower salary hike. Dedicated employees work more and help you grow faster and are more productive. With a strong employer brand- you will also be able to retain talent better.
Remember, a company is all about the people. So, if you can create an impression on your people, you will have a dedicated set of employees who will stay with you and help you grow.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding is the process of developing an employer brand.
In other words, it is about building up a company or firm’s reputation as an employer.
Think of brands like Tata, Google, DHL, and Salesforce.
Apart from making great products, they are also companies that people proactively want to work for.
Employer branding is about reaching out to your prospective and current employees in a way that highlights your best practices and showcases the positive side of being a part of your organization.
How to improve employer branding?
If you want to improve your employer brand- you must undertake an employer branding exercise.
That starts by first assessing how you are viewed as an employer in the market, including your present, past, and future employees.
Then, you have to have a clear vision of what kind of employer you want to be seen as and lay down the strategy accordingly.
While the process is different for each company- there are some universal pointers:
1. Create a culture of sharing
2. Encourage your employees to share their stories about their experience with you as their employer
3. Highlight your best practices, achievements, and milestones.
4. Communicate your values as an organization and employer
5. Craft and communicate a solid employee value proposition that goes beyond salary
6. Recruitment marketing
What are key elements that affect an employment brand?
Like any brand, how successful an employer brand is will depend on several factors. They are:
1. The brand ambassadors: Who advocates your brand? The best advocates here should be your employees. If your existing employees share positive stories about their experience- it will benefit you. Second to them comes the key leaders- who embody your vision and values. Messages from them have a powerful impact on your brand.
2. The website career page: This is a no-brainer. Surveys show that candidates lookup an employer on the net when they apply for a job there. If you can communicate your Employer Value Proposition, your values, and the job environment in your company well on your website- you will create a good impression on them.
3. Media coverage: If you are in the news for something good- people have a favorable opinion of you as an employer. This is why it is essential to engage with the media proactively to share your stories and relevant views and get featured on “best places to work for” lists.
4. Social media: Use your social media to highlight your best practices, values, EVP, achievements, and your employees. Use it to showcase life for employees who work with you and how well you know them. Show that you are invested in their wellbeing, and encourage them to share stories about their experiences.
5. Brand consistency: When you want to build up your employer brand, you should be consistent in your messaging across all platforms. It is also a matter of constant communication- you have to ensure regular communication to build up a long-term brand.
How employer branding helps in recruitment?
Studies show that companies with a good employer reputation often get people to join them at lower salary hikes.
Moreover, strong employer brands can attract top talent in the field.
If you can build up your employer brand, you can attract the people who are a suitable match for your company- and retain them better.
Strong employer brands can considerably cut down recruitment costs. They can leverage employee referrals to get better ROI and save time in recruitment drives.
Why is employer branding important?
No company can grow without good people holding it up, and employer branding effectively attracts, motivates, and retains those people.
If you can highlight your best practices, your EVP, and your company values effectively- you can find the people who are right for you.
These will be the people whose values resonate with yours- and they make for highly motivated employees who stay for long.
A strong employer brand also motivates its existing employees and can inspire them to be more productive.
Studies show that solid employer brands benefit from employee referrals and can lower recruitment costs substantially.
Moreover, if you can build up your reputation as an employer, you can even get employees to work for you for lesser salaries.
Remember- if you get the right people to be with you, they will bring their 100% to the table and help you grow.