Employer Branding—Why It’s Important and Where to Start

Branding is sometimes difficult to conceptualize. For many business leaders, branding often seems like adaunting, abstract function that controls what the world thinks about their companies. If it’s hard to master one brand identity, you may be questioning, “Why should I put effort towards an additional brand identity?” The answer is simple: in 2021, when competition for talent is at an all-time high, you need to take the next step to differentiate your company from competitors.

Ninety-five percent of candidates identify a company’s reputation as a critical consideration when exploring new career opportunities.1 With this in mind, if you want to get the highest-qualified candidates, then you’re going to need to develop an attractive employer brand. We’ve all heard about certain companies’ reputations and why employees loathe working there. That’s why a bad reputation and image as an employer can be equally detrimental to your business.

So, why does your employer brand need to differ from your customer-facing brand? Your customer-facing brand should be geared towards what you are selling. For example, if you are selling software, it makes sense for your brand to reflect the specialized and technical nature of the goods you provide. Where employers often struggle is when it comes to B2B companies, which do not often focus on candidates in day-to-day functions. The audience is no longer businesses or business leaders looking to make a deal but everyday people looking for a second home. One example of the shift in audience priorities is that sixty-six percent of job seekers want to learn about company culture and values.2 It’s essential to communicate to potential employees, what your company values in their culture, and to -build candidates’ expectations of what to expect if they are brought on.

This is not all to say that you must throw away your entire brand and create a new one. Instead, you’ll want to market your company slightly differently to prospective candidates. For example, suppose your brand attributes focus on “colder” topics like quality, results, or professionalism. In that case, those attributes might be great for your objectives as a provider of your product/service. However, in the context of recruiting, that’s not the information in which candidates are typically interested.

What do you need to consider when creating an employer brand?

Audience

  • Determine your target audience. Are they professionals with 10+ years of experience? Are they high school graduates? Knowing whom you are trying to attract and what they value in an employer will help you create the various components of your employer brand.

Employee value proposition

  • Once you know your audience, you should consider your employer value proposition. Whenever a candidate experiences your brand, you want to make it crystal clear what value you offer them. You will want to speak to the areas which your target audience values. This can include benefits, reputation, experience, salary, culture, career development, or other aspects of company life. It’s essential to quickly determine what prospective employees value and effectively communicate what you bring to the table as an employer.

Tone

  • How you speak and communicate with customers will likely differ from communicating with someone looking to work for your company. Candidates typically don’t care much about your company’s sales or products or performance. Instead, they’re concerned with what they can get out of working with you and if they can commit eight hours a day at your company.

Visuals

  • Pictures and colors are crucial to communicating the right message to potential candidates. As an employer, you want to evoke human, friendly, warm, inviting feelings from your target candidates. So, you’re going to want to choose photos, images, and colors that reflect a welcoming environment.

Implementation

  • Finally, where can you implement these brand adjustments? Anywhere you promote candidate-facing content! Job descriptions, career pages, email campaigns, LinkedIn posts, etc., can all stand for a warmer and friendlier message. You want to expose candidates across all media and platforms to improve their experience and strengthen your newfound employer brand.

A final point: as an employer, you always want to be truthful about what your company offers and where your employer value proposition stands. Blurring the lines will only backfire in the long run, particularly in the hyper-connected internet age.

  1. https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/the-brutal-truth-about-why-nobody-wants-to-work-for-your-company/
  2. https://www.fastcompany.com/3061250/these-are-job-seekers-top-3-priorities-right-now-according-to-linkedin

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