How to Boost Your Employer Branding for Recruiting
Just as you vet potential employees and gauge how they might bring value to your company, candidates who apply for jobs evaluate their employers. They consider what working for you might bring to their professional lives and determine if you would be an attractive employer. They might consider salary, work environment, employee benefits, perks, and company values.
Employer branding involves curating your brand perception for potential candidates, so they see value in pursuing a professional relationship with your brand. By working on your employer branding, you can articulate what employees can expect to gain by working for your company.
Positive employer branding helps businesses recruit top talent and establish a unique and positive reputation among past, present, and future employees. By improving your company’s reputation and work culture, your brand can appear more attractive to potential employees. Further, advocacy by past and present employees can go a long way in boosting your branding and bringing in the highest quality of talent.
This article will explain employer branding and describe how you can boost your employer branding to recruit the best talent.
What is employer branding?
Your employer brand is the general perception of what it’s like to work for your organization. It encompasses the market perception of your company as an employer and your promise to employees. An employer brand reflects your company’s values, practices, culture, and mission.
Employer branding shapes the general perception of your company to appeal to job seekers. You can do this by marketing values, qualities, and practices that appeal to the kind of people you want to hire.
Positioning your company as one of the leading employers in your industry can attract highly skilled and talented candidates interested in working for your organization. Establishing a clear employer brand lets your reputation speak for the company and its work.
For example, most of us haven’t worked at Amex or HP. Still, due to effective employer branding, we believe working for these organizations is likely an amazing experience with great benefits and perks. This makes such brands more attractive to candidates wanting to leverage their talent, education, and skills for the best possible professional experience.
One of the most visibly successful examples of employer branding is Starbucks. The global giant takes its employer brand seriously and is committed to expanding and promoting its young, inclusive company culture.
As a result, Starbucks has a huge online presence, especially on social media, where the company routinely shows appreciation for its employees. Starbucks even hires new talent through social media using its separate Instagram and Twitter accounts for interactions with potential recruits.
Why is employer branding important for recruiting?
Employer branding can help you in many ways. Some advantages of employer branding for recruiting include:
- Boosting the number of qualified candidates’ applications. As a company with a solid reputation, excellent social media presence, and great work culture, you may attract highly qualified and talented candidates for your job openings. Your current employees may also help spread the word and recommend to potential candidates that they apply.
- Improving your perception online. As you become more active on social media and work on your employer brand, your perception online may improve. Sharing employee stories online and engaging with comments and questions from potential employees can help shape a positive perception of your company. Since many young people now look for jobs on social media (nearly 48% of millennials and Gen Zers with work experience have applied for jobs on social media), this can help you appeal to candidates researching well-regarded companies.
- Improving employee retention. Employees are proud to work for a company with a strong employer brand. If their workplace has a good reputation and creates the right work culture, employees will be motivated to do better at work and advocate for the brand. You can achieve organic word-of-mouth marketing and quality referrals with employees who act as brand ambassadors.
- Reducing cost per hire. Companies spend significant time and money recruiting quality candidates. Strong employer branding can help your company reduce the cost of advertising job openings because the organization is well-known and has a positive reputation in the industry. This can lead to a lower cost per hire by reducing the advertising expenses needed to reach potential candidates and attracting more qualified candidates.
7 steps to boost your employer branding to attract top talent
Let’s look at how to boost employer branding with these steps.
- Understand your audience
- Research your competitors
- Ensure your online presence is strong
- Make your company website user-friendly for job seekers
- Create high-quality content
- Utilize video in your social media strategy
- Invest in talent management technology
1. Understand your audience
You should have a good idea of the candidates you want to appeal to before designing your employer branding strategy. Ensure your recruitment team conducts thorough research to gather information about your ideal employees, such as their interests, educational qualifications, work experience, and location. A clear target audience can help you shape your Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
The employee value proposition is a promise between an employer and a potential employee. It encompasses all benefits and offerings a company promises to give an employee in exchange for their time, labor, and talent.
An EVP also discusses commitment to work-life balance, stability, positive work culture, inclusivity, and diversity. For example, this is what Starbucks’ EVP reads on their careers page:
“We call our employees partners because we are all partners in shared success. We make sure everything we do is through the lens of humanity—from our commitment to the highest-quality coffee in the world to the way we engage with our customers and communities to do business responsibly.”
2. Research your competitors
The next step is to research your competitors to determine what they’re doing right in terms of marketing to potential job candidates. Ask yourself why a potential employee might find your competitor more appealing.
Break down their recruitment marketing strategy to see what appears to be working for them. This can include everything from the hashtags they include in their LinkedIn job postings to the content they put out on social media pages.
A recruitment marketing strategy involves four key stages:
- Generating awareness by using hashtags and other SEO practices to promote your online pages.
- Generating interest by uploading relevant and engaging content to your social media pages. Make sure this content aptly describes who you are as a business.
- Nurturing a candidate’s decision to apply by promoting your open roles, benefits, perks, compensation and anything else a candidate needs to know before making an informed decision.
- Driving candidate action by making the hiring process more swift and efficient to reduce candidate dropout.
Carefully assess these stages to know where your organization has gaps compared to your competitors. In some cases, you may need to address internal issues that make your company less attractive than others.
Researching competitors can help you craft a more targeted strategy for employer branding and position yourself as an attractive employer to candidates. Insights gained in this way can prove useful in adopting new business practices or online marketing strategies.
3. Ensure your online presence is strong
A core component of curating your reputation is managing your online presence. As most hiring now happens online, brands need to have active accounts on various career sites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Upwork.
Job seekers use these websites to find gainful employment, so companies should be active to hire gifted and hardworking candidates. Create comprehensive profiles on each channel, post about open positions, and add links to your social media accounts. Your social media should be filled with active, relevant, and regular career-related content.
For example, NASA has a dedicated social media strategy for hiring recruits. It has separate Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts for hiring interns and posts content about different roles, job descriptions, and deadlines, along with employee stories.
4. Make your company website user-friendly for job seekers
A good employer brand has a website for prospective employees that provides them with the information they need to understand the company’s brand.
Make sure to include About Us and corporate social responsibility pages to help define your company’s mission, core brand values, and history while developing a memorable Careers page where you can post about job openings.
Ensure these high-traffic pages on your website are optimized for the best candidate experience, i.e., they load fast, are both easy to navigate and visually appealing and present all important information in a simple yet engaging manner.
5. Create high-quality content
Good content that shows off what it’s like to work at your company can boost your employer brand. But that’s not all you need to do.
Content going up on your different media channels should present different aspects of your industry. You can do this through social media posts, blogs, articles, press releases, videos, podcasts, and reviews.
Consider these ideas for making excellent content, enhancing your company’s visibility, and demonstrating your eagerness to follow best practices.
- Open job positions
- Employee testimonials
- Customer reviews
- Employee spotlights or an “employee of the month” feature
- Posts about new hires
- Work culture
- Company retreats and events
For example, the PetSmart Instagram gives potential customers and future employees a peek into life at the company. The brand often posts about the different issues related to pet health. They even post about different members of staff, doctors, and associates so potential employees can get a sense of the job.
6. Utilize video in your social media strategy
Video is a handy tool for maximizing the benefits of social media. More and more people spend their time on social media engaging with videos. Over 90% of users want to watch more video content from brands.
You can post videos on your website, social media channels, and recruitment pages, where job seekers can access information about your organization. Since people prefer watching videos, consider hiring experienced video editors from Upwork to create short, comprehensive, and professional-quality videos about working at your company.
7. Invest in talent management technology
Invest in technology-based tools and services to make the recruiting process easier for your Human Resources (HR) team. For example, an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can help you manage the recruiting process, from when you post about a job opening to when someone is hired.
Software programs can simplify planning, coordinating, and organizing recruitment across different platforms by streamlining workflows. However, it’s not enough to use talent management software and be done with it. While it might simplify talent acquisition, it can’t effectively boost your employer branding.
Don’t simply rely on technology for effective employer branding. Be sure to implement all the previous steps and use technology to stitch everything together as an effective strategy.
Find top talent on Upwork
Finding talented professionals can be tough, especially if you don’t have the right tools and recruitment strategy. But with Talent Scout™, you can get expert help from our specialized recruiters.
You only need to brief our recruiters on the roles you’re trying to fill, and they’ll match you with experienced professionals from Upwork’s large talent pool. Then, you can review your Talent Scout recruiter’s pre-vetted shortlist and hire the ideal candidate.
Browse the profiles of highly skilled freelance recruiters and recruitment consultants if you have recruitment needs for a project that will last less than a month.