5 common employer branding mistakes you should avoid

Last updated:
June 17, 2022
January 31, 2023
min read
Baidhurya Mani
common employer branding mistakes
Table of contents

If you want to attract potential top talent, you need to put your best foot forward during the recruitment process. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time attracting the best talents to your firm. 

The next sensible question is, how do you put your best foot forward when it comes to recruitment. That’s where employer branding strategies come in. 

With the talent acquisition industry getting more competitive every day, there’s a high chance of losing out on some top candidates if your company doesn’t stand out. A solid employer brand will help your business establish its identity, attract the attention of quality candidates, and make those candidates want to work for you.

Unfortunately, some companies make employer branding mistakes without knowing how damaging they can be to their brands. 

Common employer branding mistakes:

1. Lack of an employer branding strategy

Some brands get it wrong right from the start. When you don’t have quality employer branding strategies, it only gets harder for you to attract the best talents in your industry.

Therefore, start by implementing a solid employer branding strategy. Of course, this takes time, effort, and other resources. However, implementing your strategy one step at a time makes it easier for your brand to stand out in the career marketplace.

For instance, you need to give your current employees a chance to speak. Let them explain their experience working in your company. This is similar to the social proof other companies use to convert prospects. Your employees' sentiments can make all the difference when a top candidate has to choose between two offers.

That said, you should also create employer branding goals. In other words, what do you hope to achieve from your employer branding efforts? Do you want to raise the number of high-quality candidates applying for your open positions? Increase traffic to your company’s career site? Or perhaps you want to cut the time and cost per hire.

Whatever it is, make sure your goals are clear. That will make it easier to track the performance of your employer branding efforts and modify your strategy accordingly. For example, you may have to improve the candidate experience or employer value proposition if you’re not hitting your goals. 

2. Ignoring social media

When you’re an HR professional or recruiter, there’s a lot more you should focus on than just finding the right candidate. You should look for ways to expand your target audience and improve your employer brand to attract the best candidate possible.

You should consider posting content that’ll capture your potential candidate’s attention and engage them. This includes shares or like by your target audience. Social media engagement improves the chances of posts being seen by bigger audiences.

Dell is an excellent example of a brand that utilizes social media to boost its employer brand. They don’t shy away from highlighting their company culture on social media. They also engage potential candidates with valuable content. 

Take the post below, for example. Dell is trying to show candidates how to make their resumes get noticed. But that’s not even the most interesting bit. In the very same post, they also mention their openings. That’s a great way to help potential candidates with a pain point (making their resumes stand out) while driving more traffic to their job openings.

Dell's social media post with resume tips

Recruiting via Facebook and other social media platforms can get tricky, so it’s important to have a strategy before posting.

Social media platforms most used for recruiting

Think about whether the content you want to post would be something you’d want to share yourself. If not, you might consider reviewing that particular piece of content to make it a little more engaging and shareable.

Online communities are a great place to start when you want larger audiences to notice your employer branding efforts. Signup on most online community platforms is usually free, and you can begin posting your recruitment content right away.

Related reading: 10 social recruiting tips that attract top talent

3. Not being in touch with current employees

You might want to answer this question: How many referrals do you get from your current employees when you've got a vacant position? If your answer is none, you’ve got a big problem on your hands. This is because employer branding efforts typically start from within the company.

If your current employees are happy and genuinely enjoy working with you, you’d be getting plenty of referrals every time you have an open position. Not only that, but they will also help with spreading the positive word about your brand on career sites, social media, and other platforms.

So, consider conducting an employee audit. Give your workers an anonymous survey to find out where you’re strong and what you need to improve to have a better work environment. Then, use the data from this survey to boost employer branding.

For example, your employees may express their interest in non-monetary perks. Maybe they want gym classes. Or they prefer the “employee of the year” to receive a paid-for vacation instead of a check. Take that feedback and use it to improve your employer branding. Your employees will love your workplace. 

In addition to boosting talent retention, delighted employees are also likely to share their experiences online. This will help you attract even more qualified candidates.

Here are some other ideas on how to boost the employer brand. But keep in mind that your strategies should be data-driven.

  • Giving an outlet to employees to say good things about your brand.
  • Allowing your staff to create posts for your website and social media platforms.
  • Offering employees opportunities to express what it’s like working for the brand.
  • Adding a detailed “About Us” page to your website with more content from your current employees.

Look at job pages like indeed.com or glassdoor.com to help determine what current and former employees think about your brand and what it is like working there. If your employees are unhappy, there’s a high chance they won’t keep quiet about it, and this typically has a significant impact on the employer brand.

Related reading: check how 10 questions for employee satisfaction surveys

4. Avoiding bad reviews

No business is perfect. It’s normal to get a few bad reviews from former or current employees or even candidates who did not pass the hiring process. What matters more is the way you handle these reviews. Acting like these reviews don’t exist or deleting them altogether will do more harm than good to your employer brand.

Analyze all your reviews and try as much as possible to respond to all of them. Ensure to stay civil when replying. Address the pain points each person has made and thank them for giving a review. Explain how you plan on rectifying the issue when necessary.

Here is an example showing how Zillow Response handles issues raised by employees:

Glassdoor review of ZIllow

Failure to respond isn’t an option you even want to consider. You have to respond knowing other potential candidates are watching.

Remember, applicants are more likely to seek job opportunities from brands that care about their staff. Responding to negative reviews and showing you’re working to make amends is a great way to show candidates you care about your employees. 

Besides that, you also need to maintain an active profile online. That means: 

  • Sharing updates about your work environment and company culture.
  • Updating your career and company profiles.

The Glassdoor review above shows how you should respond to feedback. The company thanked the user for their feedback and invited employees to give ideas on how to rectify the issue.

5. Overusing content

Because potential candidates are your customers in the recruitment industry, you can create customer persona profiles by identifying the type of candidate you want to attract. You can then use the persona to create content that speaks to them.

However, you should be careful about the content you create. Think of specific messages you are trying to promote about the brand and then develop new content that helps promote that identity and idea. Avoid using one ad with the same lines on many different platforms repeatedly.

Instead, go for quality content instead of volume. If your company takes pride in its innovative spirit, your talent acquisition strategy should also take an out-of-the-box recruitment approach. 

Instead of blocks of text, you can use infographics, videos, podcasts, or other forms of content that engage the potential candidate and convince them that you’re building something unique at your company.

In Closing

The days of posting job opportunities on search sites and hoping talent applications pour in are long gone. Today, you need to be proactive when looking for potential candidates. You need to sell yourself to the candidate as much as they’re selling themselves to you.

As you would when dating, you and the talent are getting a feel of each other before you commit. Avoid the common employer branding mistakes discussed above to make your brand likable to top talents. Employer branding is a significant long-term process for attracting leading talent.

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