10 Ways to Establish Your Employer Brand and Attract Top Talent

Walid Abou-Halloun

Posted by Walid Abou-Halloun Date: Jun 8, 2021 12:57:11 PM

When staffing your company, there are only two ways to do it. You can put forth the extra effort and pay to find and hire top talent. Or you can hire average talent quick and cheap.

Seeing it that way, it may seem smarter to choose average Joes from the general hiring pool. But that actually means spending more money and effort dealing with extra turnover when Joe finds a better job.

Recruiting top talent saves time and money in the long run, but it costs more up front. And if you don’t have much to invest in it, you’ve got an unfortunate staffing conundrum.

So what do you do? You make recruiting top talent easier by improving your employer brand. Statistics show a strong employer brand can increase retention by 28% and cut recruiting costs in half!

When you build your reputation as a top employer, top employees come looking for you. Try these easy steps to improve your employment branding.

1. Understand That Hiring is Like Selling

This is the heart of what employment branding truly is and why it so often fails. Companies often view hiring as a chore, just another task in the robotic process of business operations.

And yet, these same employers understand that if they treated their customers this impersonally, it would hurt their business. Why is this?

Because selling is personal. It’s dependant on the people being targeted.

So is hiring. Job candidates don’t like being treated like objects or statistics any more than customers do. So, regard employee branding the same way you’d regard any of your other advertising campaigns.

Research and target your most relevant audience. Plan goals and track your success. Form content marketing, social media campaigns, and other digital marketing strategies to promote your employer brand, the same way you market your brand to consumers.

This is the core idea behind employer brand. We’ll cover more in-depth how to market your employer brand this way throughout this list.

2. Find Out How Good You Really Are

Before we discuss how to advertise your employer brand, we should make sure you actually are a good employer. There’s no point in advertising how great a company you are to work for if it’s not true. If your current employees are unsatisfied, you have bigger problems than trying to attract new ones.

So how do you know if you’re a good employer? You don’t.

There’s no possible way for you to know what it’s like to work under you. You must investigate to find out for sure.

Online Reviews

Check your company ratings on business review sites like Glassdoor. This is hugely crucial as 70% of job candidates check these reviews before making career decisions. As such, a poorly rated employer squawking about how great they are to work for isn’t going to fool anyone.

These reviews also give you an accurate idea of how you compare to your competitors.

Anonymous Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Also, you can find out from anonymous employee satisfaction surveys. No employee is going to out their employer’s shortcomings to his/her face. But an anonymous survey gets you an honest answer while protecting employees.

Plus, you can include a release form that allows you to use their positive reviews as testimonials in your recruitment efforts.

3. Cultivate Culture

Now that you know where you stand as an employer, you can begin improving your employer brand. This is done by improving your company culture.

You want your staff to feel like a team. Your workplace should be (thought of as) a community of care and personal connection, working towards a common, meaningful goal.

Start by addressing the issues that were brought to light in the last step. Whatever bad things your employees are saying about you, fix them quickly and communicatively. This will make an immediate difference in making your team feel cared for.

Also, change your company vocabulary to reflect a caring, positive, personal attitude. Say “team,” not “staff” and refer to poor performance as “opportunities” for improvement.

Being a caring, encouraging employer will earn you better ratings on review sites and do wonders for your employer brand perception. Extend this same attitude to job candidates so they can see it for themselves.

4. Have a Clear (and Attractive) Mission Statement

Just as you want your customers to see how you’re different and better than your competition, you want candidates to see it too. But when advertising to employees and candidates rather than customers, it’s even more important to convey your company mission.

Employees need to see how your company is making a positive difference in the world. It gives them a sense of purpose that they want to be a part of. This not only attracts more qualified candidates but keeps employees from wanting to leave your company.

On the other hand, if you appear as an average, meaningless, “daily grind” kind of job, who wants to work there? The only interested candidates will be average-to-below-average talent who don’t care where they work; they’re just there to make money. Employees like that won’t stick around very long, and that means increased turnover.

Answer the question candidates are asking: “Why would it be good for me to work at this company?” Make this answer your mission statement.

5. View Candidates as Customers

Get ready to completely reverse how you view staffing.

Think of employment like a subscription service, like cable TV. You are the service provider and employees are your clients. They pay you weekly with hard work and the service you provide them is a paycheck.

See where this is going? This view puts you, the employer, in a very different position than you likely thought you were in.

Many bosses think of employees as dependent on them. But in the above analogy, it’s the employer that’s dependent on the employee.

This is actually a much more accurate view of the hiring process. The candidate is not dependent on you, they can work wherever they want. So treat them as you would a customer.

This includes planning advertising strategies and tracking success through metrics. But most of all, it means doing all you can to meet their needs.

6. Give Candidates a Personal Journey

Make your hiring process about them, not you. Make the candidates feel like they are the important part of it.

Make it personal. Find out why they chose to work for you over other companies. Ask how your company can help them and what they hope to gain from your employment.

Be friendly and courteous throughout the recruitment process, whether they are hired or not. Even if they don’t get hired, they may be so impressed by your treatment of them that it improves their perception of your employer brand. Just imagine the impact on your employer brand if every applicant you didn’t hire told their friends what a great company you are.

7. Turn Employment into an Adventure with Storytelling

Turn all the positive steps you’re taking to improve your employer brand into a story. Use the improvements listed in the above steps to tell this story to interested candidates through your recruitment campaigns.

Show this story in a video on the landing page of your hiring website. Include testimonials from review sites and employee satisfaction surveys. Make telling this story part of your interview process.

Also, use storytelling the same way you would in advertising to customers. Host a blog on your hiring site and start a YouTube campaign to keep the story going. Post any positive changes to your recruitment process and include shout-outs to employees who go above and beyond.

This way, top talent candidates can identify with/want to be a part of your company story.

8. Encourage Positive Word of Mouth through Employees

84% of people trust peer-to-peer recommendation more than any other type of advertising. That’s why encouraging positive word of mouth through employees is one of the most powerful tools for building employer brand.

Step 1: create an employee referral program. Incentivising employees to recruit for you doesn’t just mean minimal recruitment effort on your part.

It also means that, if they want that recruitment bonus, they’ll be inclined to say only nice things about the company. And that’s the powerful peer-to-peer recommendation we’re talking about.

Then, encourage them to share about their work experience on social media. Again, they’re more likely to say nice things so they don’t scare away their chances at the recruitment bonus. Of course, it’s a good idea to monitor their social media activity for negative comments about you, anyway.

9. Start Your Own Social Media Campaign for Hiring

79% of job-seekers use social media to check out possible job opportunities. Make sure you’re keeping up on your current social media campaign. How you appear on your social media account is how you’ll appear to any top talent job-seekers who come looking.

Also, just like you use social media to engage with customers, you need a separate social media account specifically to engage with candidates. Find out which social media platform your most relevant candidate demographic prefers and start a campaign there.

10. Use Top-Talent-Targeted Wanted Ads

Here’s a great way to weed out the average talent hiring pool. Use very specific wanted ads that only your preferred top talent is seeking/qualified for.

First, find out who your preferred top talent candidate demographic is and what appeals to them. What kind of company are they seeking and by what means are they seeking it? What’s their ideal job and what do they hope to get out of it?

Next, form extremely specific wanted ads just for them. Target them at whatever social media account or other advertising platform is most likely to reach them.

Describe for them the dream job they’ve been looking for. Also, describe duties that only top talent like they are qualified for.

This way, attracting top talent isn’t left to chance. It’s by design.

Improving Your Employer Brand Attracts Top Talent

Employment branding takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it. In the long-run, it will make every part of your recruitment process easier.

In time, it will ward off the riff-raff, attract top talent, and decrease turnover. Use the tips above to improve your employer brand.

Next: Read 9 Honest Reasons Why Your Company Struggles to Find Employees

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