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How to Develop an Employer Branding Strategy

Companies all know that branding is key when it comes to cultivating a loyal customer base that will buy their products and services—and this branding is contingent on the visibility built over time and the perception created with the public. But what organizations may not consider is that the same type of visibility and perception is also important when it comes to recruiting potential employees. Just as you market your products and services to consumers or businesses by highlighting the unique value you offer and how you outpace the competition, you need to present your organization in a way that communicates what you have to offer prospective workers. 

That’s where an employer branding strategy comes in.

What Is an Employer Branding Strategy?

An employer branding strategy is a plan that organizations create to increase their brand profile among job seekers and garner the interest needed to attract the best talent. By doing this, you let people know what you have to offer employees and why people looking for a job should consider working for you. Communicating your company’s value proposition to the public is crucial because studies show that job hunters take this information seriously when seeking a position. In fact, according to Glassdoor, 77% of people consider a company’s culture and 79% consider mission and purpose before they apply for a job. Furthermore, 73% of people won’t even bother applying for a position at a company that doesn’t hold the same values that they do. This means that organizations need to have a clear understanding of what they bring to the table as an employer and then create a branding strategy to ensure job seekers also know it.

Seven Ways to Develop a Successful Employer Branding Strategy

An employer branding strategy should go hand in hand with other recruitment plans that organizations implement to ensure that qualified talent does not slip through the cracks. The following are some strategies to help you create this plan.

1. Understand what your organization has to offer 

How does the public view your company? How do your employees feel about working there? To understand what you have to offer and the areas you need to improve, you have to find out what people think. You can do this by conducting surveys of current employees, job candidates, and consumers about their impressions of your brand and their experiences with your company. Also, searches on social media sites, as well as employee review sites, will give you a good look at what your reputation is and what people think your strengths and weaknesses are. This will let you know the areas you need to improve and what people think you’re doing right. 

2. Communicate the company’s value proposition to the public 

Once you have collected information on what your company truly has to offer, it’s time to communicate it to the public. This can be done by putting information about your company’s mission statement, values, culture, and vision in as many places as possible—from the company website to social media platforms to recruiting materials. The more information you give to the public, the more likely it is that prospective applicants will learn about the company and have their interest piqued.  

3. Simplify the job application process 

If your company has established a lengthy application process with the intention of weeding out subpar candidates, you may be doing more harm than good—and leaving an awful impression on the very people you hope to attract. Research shows that the longer the application process, the more likely that highly-qualified talent will abandon their application and spend their time searching for employment at companies with a more user-friendly application system. That bad experience will also create a bad reputation among job seekers and they will be unlikely to bother applying for another position at your company.

4. Leverage your current workforce 

You have no better brand ambassadors than your current employees, so your employer branding strategy should include testimonials from them about their experience with your organization. You can encourage them to discuss your workplace on their social media accounts, produce videos of them talking about their daily work that can be added on your recruitment site, and ask them to spread the word among their friends and family members about open positions at your company. 

5. Make the onboarding process a positive experience

Although companies may think that after they hire someone that their job in terms of employer branding is complete, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Onboarding is the first experience workers have with your company as an employee, so it’s imperative that new hires have a positive experience during that time. If they don’t, it’s highly likely that workers will begin to start thinking about looking for a job elsewhere because of the negative experience they had during onboarding. 

6. Keep current employees happy and engaged 

Beyond the onboarding process, it’s important to keep workers happy and engaged throughout their tenure at your organization. Just as employees can be your biggest cheerleaders and an asset in helping to attract top talent, they can also become your critics and can spread the word about their negative experiences working for your company. As a result, it’s important to regularly check in with employees to find out what their experience is and take their feedback seriously. Also, be sure to give them opportunities for growth by providing career development and learning, which will go a long way toward increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty, and decreasing turnover.

7. Assess employer branding progress 

As with any other recruiting initiative, an employer branding strategy should be regularly assessed for its effectiveness. Look at things like the number of applicants that apply for each job, how long it takes to fill positions, how much it costs per hire, and how your company’s reputation has fared inside and outside of the organization since you implemented your branding plan. This will allow you to tweak your initiative in real-time and build on the areas where you have been successful.

Branding is not just about creating positive feelings among consumers who may buy your products and services—it’s also about earning the goodwill of the talent you want to hire. By creating a strong employer branding strategy, you can manage your reputation among job seekers and attract the kinds of applicants that you’re looking for.

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