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By: Jill Hundley

What is an Employer Brand and How to Create an Employer Brand

Create an employer brand strategy that tells the company's story. Photo by: Troy Thompson (Flickr)

Create an employer brand strategy that tells the company’s story. Photo by: Troy Thompson (Flickr)

We all know the purpose and role of a company brand, however, an employer brand has increased in importance for companies trying to hire and compete for the best talent. Employer branding is a company’s reputation as an employer. While corporate marketing and communications manage the company brand, the human resource department and recruiting team manage the employer brand.  

Some companies may not have a brand at all. Sure, it is easy for well-known brands like Apple and Google to attract the best talent. But small and medium-sized companies can recruit the top talent as well by building and managing their employer brand. It is one of the most important tools in the recruiting toolkit.  

Excellent recruitment benefits the entire corporation. Attracting and retaining top talent and brand management are important to the executive team, current employees and the human resource department.

What are the Benefits of Employer Branding?

Many companies save time throughout the hiring process by having an employer brand. In many companies, time is money. By creating and managing an employer brand, companies have a competitive advantage amongst job seekers. Now when searching through the thousands of jobs on a job board, your company’s name will pop as they will know you are an excellent place work.  

Once a professional knows the benefits of working at your company, they will want to follow the company’s job postings and work for that company. Instead of chasing down job seekers, they will come to you.

In addition, a company who pays attention to what makes their company a great place to work retains their employees, which protects talent and corporate knowledge/memory.   They have lower turnover rates, which reduces recruitment costs and shortens change cycles for the rest of the organization.

How To Start Creating an Employee Brand

Start with a strategy and key objectives to identify the company’s employer brand. This includes:

  • Objectives or goals for employer brand – what will this accomplish and provide for the company
  • What the company looks for in employees
  • What employees receive
  • Information or data (qualitative or quantitative) internal and external sources
  • Keywords that describe the company culture and work environment

Start by writing the goals and objectives for employer brand; this will include employer reputation, attracting and hiring top talent and keeping that talent in the organization. Then create a team of stakeholders. Identify key people across the organization in a variety of positions and meet with them one-to-one, in a small group or as a team.  

Collect information from internal and external resources. Ask executives at the company what are important principles for the company culture.  Ask employees about the work environment and pay attention to the words that are most commonly used to describe the company. Develop a list of keywords that represent the company culture and company’s work environment. Try not to use the same words as most other companies, for example, “collaborative” is a word almost every company uses. Dig deeper. If an employee uses the word “collaborative,” ask them to describe the collaboration and another word will surface as a contender.

Another aspect of employer brand management is to include how company products are used and how these products improve people’s lives.  If the company is a technology company, highlight technology and innovation in the company or women in technology. If the company is in the fashion industry, then ask how fashion is incorporated in the day-to-day work activities for all employees.

Also include other benefits and perks that sets the company apart from other companies. This could be flexible work options, providing a diverse work culture, appealing to recent graduates or interns, etc.

During this exercise, human resource gaps may surface. That is okay. All information is good information, and this will assist in understanding challenges. Pain points of current employees need to be addressed as well. Listening to employees can be an important attribute that helps build the employer brand and a better work culture in general!

Talk to current candidates about their perception of the company to understand the external perceptions. Also take a look at the companies who are designated by reputable sources as the best places to work. What are they doing and how do they differentiate their company? In addition, create a competitive analysis to review the direct competitors and understand their recruitment strategies, employer brand and talent offerings.

After gathering research and information from internal conversations and outreach efforts, then share the findings with marketing and communications to keep them in the loop on your employer brand profile.

Once the employer brand objectives are documented and the base foundation of what makes your company a great place to work are created, the next step is to develop content to tell the story through words and visuals. Read our next blog post on how to create content for the employer brand.

Tell us: Are you developing or managing the employer brand? What is working and what is not working?




Jill Hundley

Jill Hundley

Marketer, Blogger and Entrepreneur at Patt Timlin Online
Patt Timlin is a marketing expert set on sharing her expertise with other online marketers to help them achieve the dream of working online. She is pleased with the surge in content marketing as revenge of the English majors! Entrepreneur, blogger, guide, helper - Patt loves the online world and love to share it!
Jill Hundley