5 essential elements of employer branding

Last updated:
December 15, 2021
November 14, 2022
min read
Nikola Sekulic
elements of employer branding
Table of contents

The old workplace dynamic between employees and employers has changed dramatically over the last several years. We’re no longer constricted to the 9-5 workday, a single employer, or a competitive workplace where teams are pitted against one another to achieve more. The modern workplace is flexible, remote, culture-oriented, and employees have many alternatives to their ongoing employment.

Factor in the pandemic and the need to retain good workers has grown even more. Many have chosen freelancing and project-based collaboration to avoid putting all of their professional eggs in one basket and continue to do remote work.

Now, you as the employer need to offer a superior employee experience that ensures engagement and focuses on their mental and physical wellbeing, not just their skills. Why? Because people are no longer in it just for the paycheck. They want to work with brands that share their values and have a clear purpose. They will settle for a toxic work environment merely for the salary and the perks.

To stand out and retain good workers for the long haul, you will need to invest in developing and solidifying your employer brand. Let’s tackle the essential elements of employer branding for the upcoming year to ensure that your business has a powerful presence when approaching new candidates.

A dedicated digital presence

Although the health crisis has increased the rate of online interactions, we cannot blame the pandemic alone for modern workers primarily using digital channels to research career opportunities. Research has shown that 77% of candidates explore their desired employer’s website, while 58% rely on dedicated job sites such as Monster or CareerBuilder.

Image source: Zety

Knowing that your potential employees are doing their homework and most likely get in touch online, managing your digital presence is crucial.

Set up a dedicated careers page

This is the main place on your website to show your brand’s employer personality and values. It’s the ideal chance to briefly describe your culture and introduce yourself to all the candidates who come to your site.

Clear CTAs will help them understand how they can reach out easily – so make sure you regularly update your careers page with the latest job openings. Add employee reviews to help attract the right people, too!

Don’t skip social

Social recruiting is one end of the social spectrum, but you shouldn’t neglect your employer brand on social media when looking to impress potential candidates. Even when there aren’t any openings, your social channels are vital for presenting your brand story the right way.

Engaging content on social outlets can bring your employer brand to life with ease. From Insta stories to Facebook polls, you should pick the kind of content that will keep your target audience (in this case, potential employees) interested.

Seek out job sites

Share your job ads on job platforms – but be sure to portray your brand consistently across all digital channels. It’s not enough to merely slap on your logo and expect people to connect with your employer brand. It would help if you made sure that your ads convey your brand values clearly and that your tone of voice is consistent.

Let employees speak for your brand

As much as brands would love to be fully in control of their presence, the simple truth is: your employees are the ones that ultimately shape your employer brand. They live your culture and define it with their relationships and views.

So why not leverage their perspective to give your employer brand a more relatable dimension. Now more than ever before, you will need to post regular content updates showcasing your employer brand from your employees’ points of view.

Everything from employee blog posts, social media updates, sneak-peek videos, all the way to stories and podcasts – the sky’s the limit. The more specific you are for each department and position, the easier it will be for new candidates to envision themselves as part of your team.

This is especially true for tech positions that all sound the same on the surface, but the culture you’ve built can tip the scales in your favor when a superbly talented individual applies for a job. For example, if you’re looking for infrastructure engineers, your existing IT staff has the best perspective on the responsibilities and the perks of working with your business.

Let them write a detailed blog on what they appreciate about your brand in the role of an employer. Publish an interview or a podcast to cover the ins and outs of your IT department and chances are you’ll be much more likely to attract top talent.

Build social proof through diversity

The same engineers that are glad to share their experience through the content you publish on your website and social platforms can also review your brand on job sites. Just like you wish to build social proof with the help of customer reviews and testimonials, you can do the same with employees.

This is especially important when you’re trying to build an inclusive and diverse employee collective. Inclusivity and diversity are crucial pieces of the employer branding puzzle, as these values will help you build social proof for your brand online.

For example, you can work with external partners specializing in matching underrepresented talent with your company by sourcing highly-skilled workers from all walks of life. This helps create a more diverse workforce and strengthens your brand’s image in the public’s eye.

Once you have established a more diverse workforce, you can easily inspire them to talk about their experience as a collective and an individual on social media and third-party review websites. This is a great way to build social proof through your employees and their amazing experience with your company.

Improve your onboarding process

As a society driven by convenience and simplicity, it’s natural that employees want a seamless onboarding process when starting a new relationship with a business. Be it in the role of a freelancer, contractor, or a full-time employee; they want to know that your brand is doing everything to integrate them into the team, following a detailed onboarding checklist for your niche and your exact industry and workplace requirements.

This helps create a more personalized experience while maximizing time and effort during onboarding:

  • Use your ads and the careers page to explain what they can expect from the onboarding system: the more they know, the more likely they’ll be to apply if they are a good fit.
  • Introduce them to the tools they will use and offer training in case they are new to some of them.
  • Explain your hierarchy clearly so everyone knows who they can turn to if they need guidance.
  • Offer an intro meeting so that the new employee can get to know the team.
  • Imbue every step of your onboarding with your core brand values.
  • Make sure that their first several days aren’t interrupted because you haven’t organized all the paperwork in time.

The onboarding should reflect your care for the new worker. It should be part of your employer brand, much like you do the same for your customers, to shorten their journey and allow each touchpoint to be seamless and smooth.

Entice a culture of transparency

More employers will need to evaluate their brand culture with transparency in mind. A brand’s culture epitomizes everything you stand for as a business – unless there’s a discord between your desired identity and your actions.

Transparency is the key component of a good working environment and successful employer brand management. You need to learn what’s not working and find optimal ways to improve employee relationships and your internal processes to create a safe work environment that safeguards employees’ mental health.  

  • As part of your employer brand strategy, organize regular employee surveys (anonymous if necessary) to gain insights into what needs improving. Perhaps your current project management software isn’t a good choice for your organization, or your IT team has had trouble training your employees on basic cybersecurity.
  • Introduce an open-door policy to encourage workers in every department and level to interact and share ideas, worries, and suggestions.
  • Openly recognize employee achievements and express your gratitude for everyone’s contributions to your brand’s success.
  • Make sure that the way you conduct employee evaluations is constructive and effective. There’s no point in merely criticizing someone without giving them helpful pointers on how they can improve.
  • Share your brand’s crucial milestones with the entire organization. There’s no need for only your top-level management to be informed while keeping your staff in the dark.

Measure, improve, rinse and repeat

Finally, as much as you brace your employer brand, you need to remember that this is a process, not a one-time goal. Employers often take action only to put all their employer brand development plans on hold once they make any notable progress. You should treat this as an ongoing, ever-lasting effort to make your employees happy, elevate retention, and build a strong employer reputation in your industry.

Times change, employment trends come and go, but the need for a stable employer brand will never wane. So, you need to conduct an employer brand audit regularly. Let your audits uncover all the potential weak links in your branding strategy.

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