Why would someone want to work for you?
If you really take the time to think about that question, do you have a good answer?
Is the answer you’re thinking of better than what most companies (including your competitors) offer?
Your employer brand is the image that comes to mind when someone hears your company’s name.
Building a strong employer brand is an incredibly tough thing to do that requires help from everyone in the company.
In this post, I’m going to share five simple ways that you can build up your employer brand and give some examples for you to emulate.
What Is Employer Branding And Why Does It Matter
Your employer brand is the answer to the question “why should someone join your company?”
It’s important to understand the difference between a consumer brand and an employer brand.
Most companies spend their time and energy focusing on their consumer brand, but the focus should be on the employer brand.
I understand why the focus is on the consumer brand. If consumers think strongly of your brand, they’ll buy your products, which means more $$$.
But the employer brand is the long game.
Develop a place that employees love being at, it will be cheaper for you to find great people, and customers will be so well taken care of that they’ll always buy from you.
Building up your employer brand is important because it has huge impacts on your bottom line.
Just look at some of these statistics from Linkedin1
- Employers with a strong talent brand drive 2x the amount of applicants per job compared to other companies
- 84% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent corporate reputation
- Employers with strong employment brands see a 43% decrease in cost per hire
5 Tips To Build Your Employer Brand
All of these tips are all related to one another and work together to make a cohesive strategy.
None of these things cost any money, and more than anything are about creating an amazing place to work and empowering your employees.
Let’s go through the list.
Focus On Your Culture
This is the first and most important tip. No matter what else you do, if you don’t work on creating your employer brand from the inside out, none of your efforts will matter.
In today’s connected, social world, word of mouth is the most powerful tool you have for employer branding.
If your employees don’t enjoy working at your company, other people will know about it – trust me.
Not only will you improve employee retention, but you’ll naturally attract candidates to your company.
What you want to do is figure out what employees like and don’t like about the culture and then work aggressively to fix those issues so that you can attract the best talent to your organization.
You should use anonymous satisfaction surveys, stay interviews, and NPS surveys.
The Net Promoter Score is the best thing you can use to measure your employer brand from an internal perspective, because the question is whether someone would be willing to recommend your company as a good place to work.
You can use this NPS guide we wrote to learn more on how to get started with it.
Let Employees Be Brand Ambassadors
You’d be silly not to use your employees as brand ambassadors, helping you spread your employer brand.
It’s like having a team of marketers at your disposal, you need to be using them.
Realistically, our biggest and best source of candidates is through referrals, so we rely heavily on our employees acting like brand ambassadors.
The thing you need to keep in mind is to make sure that every employee has the same messaging. You want employees to be able to:
- Explain your company’s mission in one line
- Explain the main benefits of working there
- Know which jobs are open currently (at least most of them)
- Understand the brand’s voice and tone
For example, Officevibe’s parent company, GSOFT, uses the hashtag #yesimatwork for whenever their employees share something on social media about what it’s like to work here. Here’s an example from one of the employees:
This post we wrote called How To Turn Employees Into Brand Ambassadors can help you get started.
Be Active On Social Media
Most companies are active on social media, which means you need to get creative and find ways to stand out from the crowd.
One company that does a great job is Starbucks with their #sbuxjobschat on Twitter where they encourage candidates to chat with them about what it’s like to work there.
A question to YOU! What are you looking for in your next position? What's important to you in a job? #sbuxjobschat
— Starbucks Jobs (@StarbucksJobs) September 23, 2015
Here are some more great examples to be inspired by:
- Marketing software company Moz uses Pinterest to showcase what it’s like to work there
- Another marketing software, Marketo, also has a Pinterest board called Working @ Marketo
- Zappos has an Instagram page called InsideZappos that shows what it’s like to work there
- Microsoft has an Instagram page called MicrosoftLife that has lots of cool photos from their offices
Create Tons Of Content
This is likely the hardest one on the list and the one that will take the most time, but it’s also the one that will yield the best results.
Content lasts forever, and you can reach tons of potential candidates with it.
One company that does an amazing job at this is Rackspace, the hosting company based out of Houston. In this video, employees tell stories about their first day on the job and you get a great view into what it’s like to work there.
They have an entire series called “A Day in the Life” that explores what it’s like to work at Rackspace.
Video realistically works the best, and there are tons of ways to get creative using some of the newer platforms out there.
- Goldman Sachs using Snapchat to recruit
- Likeable Media using Snapchat to recruit
- Sober Lane Bar and Grill using Snapchat to recruit
Another simple idea that you can use is to have a newsletter subscribtion to collect email addresses of people that you could email first when new jobs open up.
Over time, you’ll collect a nice list of passive candidates that are already somewhat interested in your organization.
Test And Iterate
Remember that employer branding is an ongoing process that you’ll always be iterating and improving on.
Everyone in the organization is responsible for helping you improve that process.
Collect feedback from your team and continuously ask them what could be improved.
Many people will look at the traffic increase on the careers page of their website or the increase in social metrics (mentions, likes, clicks, retweets, etc.)
That’s why it’s super important to track everything you do.
Understanding that many of our readers aren’t marketers, these resources should help you get started:
Bonus: Employer Branding Example
Hootsuite, a social media management company, has written an incredible blog post where they share the “making of” their employer brand playbook.
Ambrosia Vertesi, Hootsuite’s former VP of Talent, shares how they built the playbook, what they learned, what they got wrong, and the key takeaways.
If you’re interested in learning more about employer branding, I highly recommend checking this out.
How Do You Build Your Employer Brand?
Share your tips in the comments below!