Here’s All You Need to Know About Employer Branding

A good reputation is essential to the success of any business. What people think about your company, its products, services, management, employees, and more. People who view your advertisements, use your products, and eventually talk about you to others might be influenced to have a particular impression of your firm based on their emotions, instincts, and intelligence. Your brand is more than the products and services you offer or your business’s location; it represents your reputation.

As businesses know (or should know, at least), there’s no better company spokesperson than the company’s employees. It goes without saying that a company wouldn’t be able to stand without all the people who work diligently, day in and day out — and no one wants to support or work for a company that doesn’t appreciate its employees. This is where employer branding comes into play.

As you might have guessed, we’ll give you the ins and outs of employer branding in this article — including what it is, why it’s so important and when brands should use the strategy. Plus, as an added bonus, we’ll share some great examples of companies using employer branding to boost their reputation. Let’s get into it!

What Is Employer Branding?

When you boil it down, the term “employer branding” is the method of building and bolstering a company’s reputation as an employer — exactly what it says on the tin. It is the overall perception that potential and current employees have about a company as a place to work, including its values, culture, benefits, and opportunities for career development.

Applicants can learn a lot about a company through their social media accounts, employer review websites, and other online resources, elevating the importance of employer branding in the modern job market. When a business has a positive reputation as an employer, it is in a better position to attract and keep talented workers.

Developing a positive business culture, giving competitive pay and benefits, facilitating career advancement, and connecting with candidates and employees via social media and other channels are all examples of standard employer branding practices. But more on this later!

Why Is Employer Branding So Important?

Alright, now you know what employer branding is. But why is it so important for brands to consider? Isn’t positive marketing or recruitment marketing more than enough? Well, the short answer is “no”.

Remember, employer branding isn’t about how your company showcases itself to the public. It’s showcasing itself to a specific part of the public — your present and potential employees. Nowadays, companies and brands are expected to be “alive”, for lack of a better word. They can’t hide behind stone walls any more, thanks to the ever-rising popularity of the internet, and, as such, people want to know what goes on behind closed doors. This is also why diversity and inclusion recruitment has become the norm.

So, why exactly is it important for companies to deploy employer branding strategies? Here are the top five reasons:

1. Attracts Top Talent

Having a solid employer brand allows a business to stand out as an appealing place to work, which in turn attracts qualified candidates. As a result, you may receive applications from a wider variety of competent candidates, increasing the likelihood of making strong recruits. Candidates of the highest calibre tend to be pickier about the organisations they apply to. They are more likely to be drawn to those with a solid reputation as an employer.

2. Boosts Staff Retention

An effective employer brand can also aid in employee retention by establishing a pleasant working environment and encouraging staff participation. In general, employees are more likely to remain with a company over the long term if they feel appreciated and supported by management. Employees who are content in their jobs are also more inclined to spread the word about the company to others, which is good for businesses when trying to bring in new talent.

3. Builds Trust & Credibility

Customers, investors, and other stakeholders are more likely to have faith in a company with a clearly defined employer brand.  Think Monzo, Gymshark or Netflix. Companies can show their dedication to their employees and beliefs by cultivating a good reputation. This may result in happier customers, more reliable investors, and a better image for the company as a whole.

4. Improves Recruiting

Having a good reputation as an employer helps streamline the hiring process and attract top talent. The likelihood of making a terrible hire decreases when hiring candidates who are already familiar with the company’s values and culture. Companies with a solid reputation as an employer tend to hire new employees more quickly and keep them longer because of the efficiency of their hiring procedures.

5. Gives a Competitive Edge

With so many businesses vying for talent in the modern job market, having a solid employer brand immediately gives any company a competitive edge. This has the potential to enhance production, profitability, and the ability to attract and retain top employees. A competitive advantage can be gained by enterprises over their rivals with weaker employer brands if the former are able to attract and retain a more talented workforce.

When Should You Deploy an Employer Branding Strategy?

Our honest answer? Right now. A company should deploy an employer branding strategy as soon as possible and constantly keep that strategy going — refreshing it whenever necessary. If your company doesn’t already have an employer branding strategy, that must change ASAP!

Employer branding isn’t something that should be deployed “if and when necessary”. More intriguing is the fact that the image of your organisation as an employer is no longer limited to what appears on your website. Ultimately, it’s your staff who will make or break your employer brand, and there’s nothing you can really do to change that fact — especially not with the existence of social media and company review sites like Glassdoor or Trustpilot.

What employees think and say about your company directly relates to your employer brand. Your present, past and potential employees can all have an effect on your company’s reputation through their interactions online, in their personal networks, and in person. If those workers end up being enthusiastic supporters, you can use this to your advantage. Yet, this can backfire if the experience provided to employees and candidates does not match the promises made by your company.

3 Best Examples of Employer Branding Campaigns (and How You Can Use Them As Inspiration)

1. LinkedIn

As we know, LinkedIn is a social media platform for professionals, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the company has cultivated a strong employer brand. The company’s approach emphasises employee empowerment, diversity, and inclusion. “Bring In Your Parents Day” was one of the organisation’s most popular employer branding programmes, inviting employees to bring their parents to work and promoting the company culture. The advertisement gained extensive media attention and helped position LinkedIn as an employer that encourages not just a healthy work-life balance but the value of family, too.

Taking inspiration from this strategy

There’s nothing worse than a burnt-out employee, and in most cases, burnout is caused by the workplace environment. In fact, countless studies have shown that an overworked employee actually reduces productivity. So, how can your company mitigate this? By fostering a healthy work-life balance.

One way to do this is to emphasise the importance of family. While LinkedIn has its annual “Bring Your Parents to Work Day”, your company could instead organise family picnics or company-wide holiday parties that encourage your employees to bring their families along for the ride.

2. Virgin Media

A great UK-based example that you might already know of is Virgin Media. Innovation, diversity, and employee development are core to the company’s employer branding strategy. Virgin Media’s “Digital Upskill” campaign was a successful employer branding programme that helped employees learn digital skills and prepare for the future of work. The programme gave employees access to online training and resources and demonstrated the company’s commitment to employee development and a culture of learning.

How you can utilise Virgin Media’s strategy

Nothing says “we appreciate you” more genuinely than a company investing resources to help their employees grow both personally and professionally. Regardless of whether your company is big or small, there are countless ways to provide your employees with upskilling opportunities — especially thanks to the rise in affordable online training platforms such as Coursera. As that informal saying goes: “Invest in your people, and they’ll invest in you.”

3. Marriot International

Not only does the hotel conglomerate value and appreciate the comfort of its guests across all its hotel brands and chains, but Marriot International also reflect this value inwards, too. The company’s “TakeCare Movement” employer branding programme is well-lauded for boosting employee well-being. For the unfamiliar, the “TakeCare Movement” promoted the company’s dedication to employee well-being and featured wellness, training, and career development activities across every region of operation.

Drawing inspiration from Marriot International

Nowadays, an employee’s mental health has proven to be just as important as their physical health — providing a more wholesome perspective to “employee well-being”. Similarly to Marriot International, your company can boost its employer branding by providing the space for your employees to work on their well-being through gym membership benefits and providing access to wellness programmes or applications (such as Calm or Headspace). Your company can even employ an in-house psychotherapist or development coach if you want to go the extra mile.

Final Thoughts

So, the verdict is in: employer branding is a must-have for any company that’s looking not just to hire great talent but also to retain them. With the rise in remote hiring, it’s also super important to ensure that you’re keeping up with labour compliance, regardless of where your employees are based. Working with an expert recruitment compliance agency is a surefire way to retain your global talent for longer.

Take inspiration from the many companies out there that are running employer branding campaigns and implement them into your own. Your employees are the lifeblood of your company, after all — it’s important to be sure that they (and everyone on the outside) know you appreciate them!

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