The Benefits of Employer Branding – Examples and Strategies

In this article, we will discuss employer branding examples, along with good strategies. Some companies try and entice a potential candidate with a large salary. But that alone is not enough. A recent global branding research report, highlighted that other factors, like company culture, reputation and work/life balance are equally as important.

The job market is more competitive than ever. According to recent reports, universities are failing to produce enough graduates, and unable to fill 30% of the jobs required to meet demand. With this skills deficit, companies have to work harder to attract and retain talent.

In this article, we will discuss employer branding examples, along with good strategies. Some companies try and entice a potential candidate with a large salary. But that alone is not enough. A recent global branding research report, highlighted that other factors, like company culture, reputation and work/life balance are equally as important. 

86% of employees wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation. To attract a candidate, employers are having to work harder.

What is employer branding?

It refers to how a business is perceived by job seekers and their workforce. It tells the world what it’s like to work there,  reflecting their leadership, values, and company culture.

Whether they know it or not, every company has one. It’s influenced by their actions – like posts on social media channels – but it’s more than that. It reflects how a firm treats staff, which is communicated to the outside world through employee stories. When candidates ask current team members about your management style, or your team leave a job review online, what are they going to say? 

According to the Kelley School of Business:

“Employee branding is the process by which employees internalize the brand image and are motivated to project the image on other organizational constituents.”

The testimony of current employees plays a vital role in maintaining a reputation. So it’s essential they’re satisfied. The better your reputation, the more attractive you are to talent. For that reason, most organisations invest heavily in their employer branding strategy.

Employee value proposition (EVP)

EVP is different to employer branding. It refers to the promises an employer makes to their team, highlighting all the employee benefits and rewards someone might receive.

An EVP indicates how well staff are treated. By comparison, an employee brand reflects how a workforce is perceived to the outside world.

Your EVP might influence your brand. If a company frequently rewards talent, that might improve a reputation. But they’re not the same: one highlights what someone gets out of working for you, the other tells potential candidates about it.

Why is employer branding important?

As certain job markets are experiencing skills deficits, it’s crucial for attracting applicants. For example, nurse vacancies are increasing annually, while applications are dropping by 12.2%. With such a discrepancy, candidates can be selective and work for their employer of choice.

Online job boards let us compare and seek out a strong employer:

So to remain competitive, recruitment teams must work harder to improve their image. 

Secondly, it’s essential for employee retention. The hiring process can be expensive. But organisations with strong employer branding experience a 28% reduction in turnover and save over 50% in hiring costs. An alternative study found 86% of current employees refuse to continue working for an organisation if they don’t agree with their brand.

On the whole, this highlights the importance of employer branding campaigns. They help attract and keep talented workers, while simultaneously saving the company millions in hiring costs.

Who’s responsible?

Who’s in charge of a businesses employer image? A recent study by Universum highlights that a number of roles bear the responsibility. These include:

1. The CEO, who is the face of the company. They have internalized and reflect the businesses values and missions. Consider Richard Branson (Virgin) or Larry Page (Google,) their passion for improving employee experience makes them an attractive employer.

2. The HR executive. Who communicates to a target audience their companies culture. HR helps maintain a strong team culture by recruiting/retaining the right people.

3. The marketing team. Who use their targeting strategies to communicate what the internal company is about to potential employees.

Overall, employer branding requires an organisation to utilize the skills of a number of departments. It’s a group effort.

Good employer branding examples

Now we know what employer branding is, let’s talk through a few examples of employers with strong strategies.

1. Google

They have invested heavily in their EVP and created an abundance of added employer benefits. Like free food, cooking classes, campus workspaces. They also invest in their employee’s career development.

They even have their own Hollywood film. Created in 2013, “The Internship” featuring Owen Wilson tells the story of life working at Google. This excellent approach has resulted in 3 million annual job applications.

2. Slack

Have invited third parties in and given them a behind the scenes tour. From there, they received an honest review from tech companies like TechCrunch Cribs. They adopted a casual interview style, which allowed them to discuss things in a more personable way.

3. Innocent

Who use their social media accounts to communicate their values. In January they developed a knitting initiative. Customers knit a hat, innocent put it on a smoothie and the money goes to Age UK. Each year, they also donate 10% of profits to charity.

Overall, their generosity and humorous online presence make their workforce seem attractive, fun and engaging.

Improving your employer brand

There are a number of best practices you can adopt to improve your employer brand.

1. Uncover your company value position

Get clear on your companies values, core principles and mission statement. In doing so, they can identify what type of person and talents you need to achieve your business goals.

2. Conduct a brand audit

You need to determine how you are currently perceived.  First, examine everything you’re saying to candidates that could influence their perception of the company. Things like: job descriptions, social media pages and acceptance letters.

Next, ask for feedback from candidates and employees on how they perceive the company. Uncover what they really think. How would they describe the company to a friend? Why did they choose to apply? What do they think of their potential employer?

From there, you can identify gaps between your companies values and how it’s perceived. You can use that to develop a strategy.

Strategies come in many shapes and forms…

But one thing is for sure, a company can’t just make things up. There’s no point listing something on an about page unless it’s true. To attract the right candidates, companies need to make sure their brand reflects the business.  

1. The company could rely on word of mouth from current employees. Which they can encourage by:

2. The organisation could proactively run campaigns. For example:

  • By making sure their social media profiles (like Instagram) reflect the style and ethos of the company.
  • Recording an employer branding video. Like a “day in the life of real employees.” For example, “a Google interns first-week” tells people what a career there looks like.
  • Creating online campaigns that reflect their values, as Innocent did. Doing so will attract candidates with similar values.

Final Thoughts

With the skills deficit in certain job markets, companies have to work harder to attract employees. A large salary isn’t enough anymore. Instead, a strong employer brand – one that reflects a positive culture – is equally as important.

In this article, we discussed the importance of employer branding, before providing examples and useful strategies.

This post was last modified on 16 June 2021

Tags: HRMarketing
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