Learn how to build a strong employer brand that will help you recruit the right people for the right roles faster.
What is Employer Branding?
Employer branding is the process of positioning your company as the employer of choice to a target group of potential candidates.
An employer brand refers to the perception your current and potential employees have of your company. As an action, employer branding involves deliberately establishing your company’s values, work culture, and personality to ensure they align with your ideal candidates’ aspirations.
Employer branding is not about misleading people into thinking that a company is better than it actually is. It is about defining your unique employee value proposition:
What unique set of benefits do you offer employees in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience they’ll bring to your company?
Your employer brand is made up of every touchpoint you have with candidates and employees, from the first messages you send to candidates, to your employees’ exit interviews.
Creating an authentic and positive employer brand requires a lot of work, but it pays off. In this comprehensive guide, we cover everything you need to know to build a strong employer brand.
Employer branding vs. recruitment marketing
Many HR professionals use the terms “employer branding” and “recruitment marketing” interchangeably. Is there a difference?
These terms are closely interconnected; both have to do with your company’s reputation as an employer. The main difference is that:
- Employer branding is the process of defining and positioning who you are.
- Recruitment marketing is about communicating who you are as an employer.
As your foundation, employer branding comes first. Think of recruitment marketing as another term for promoting your employer brand.
The Importance of Employer Branding in Recruitment
Companies worldwide are already working on improving their employer brands. You don’t want to be left behind. Here are 3 reasons why employer branding is so important for any recruitment strategy:
Compete in the war for talent
A company is only as great as its people. And great people want to be associated with leading brands.
Recruiters are now taking a more proactive approach to attracting and finding the best candidates—including those who aren’t actively job searching. While it may seem impossible to compete with huge companies with prominent brand names, employer branding can actually be your secret weapon to attract top candidates.
A strong employer brand is twice as likely to be linked to job consideration compared to a strong company brand, according to LinkedIn research. That means developing your employer brand can help you level the playing field in the war for talent. This is especially important when hiring younger and more junior demographics, on a global scale.
Retain your best employees
Employees working at companies with strong employer brands are more invested and present lower turnover rates.
And more productive employees mean more business growth. Happy employees feel proud to be part of their company and can become brand ambassadors. For instance, they could refer you to good-fit candidates and create a positive impression through word of mouth. This alone can help to improve your employer brand without increasing your marketing spending.
Reduce cost per hire
Companies with a weak employer brand report spending almost double on cost per hire than companies with a strong employer brand, according to LinkedIn research. What’s more, some companies even spend more on employee wages to compensate for their bad reputation.
But the majority of job seekers would still completely rule out companies with a negative employer brand. As an example, HBR reports that a 10% salary raise would only tempt 28% of job seekers.
Employer branding is a smart business investment. Whereas a bad reputation costs you quality applicants, a great employer brand means you can spend less on recruiting costs because people will naturally find and apply to your open positions.
How to measure employer branding
Employer branding is an ongoing process. You need to continuously monitor your progress to keep making improvements.
But what employer brand metrics should you follow? In reality, there’s not one right way to measure your employer branding progress.The methods vary depending on what you’re trying to achieve
Here are 6 handpicked ideas to help you get started:
Conduct eNPS surveys
One useful method to measure employee satisfaction and loyalty is the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). Like the NPS, eNPS involves asking your employees how likely they are to recommend your company as an employer on a scale from 1-10.
If your existing employees would recommend you as an employer, you’ll have an easier time convincing target candidates to apply.
Analyze data from employee surveys and exit interviews
Is your company experiencing low morale and high staff turnover? If you’re trying to retain more employees, you’ll want to find out exactly what’s causing dissatisfaction.
Collect employee feedback through internal data like surveys and exit interviews. Ask them what they think of your benefits program, a new change in leadership, or anything else going on at your company, and identify trends.
Measure the cost of one recruitment
Monitor your cost per hire to see if your employer branding efforts are paying off. Over time, you should be attracting more and more candidates organically through social media or word of mouth. And these methods will cost you a lot less.
Measure quality of hire
Beyond just the cost, you need to understand the quality of the candidates you’re attracting. But measuring quality can be tricky. Should you consider manager satisfaction or statistical KPIs?
One way to go about it is to look at KPIs that tell you about employee success. These metrics will help you make better decisions or improve processes to avoid repeating the same hiring mistakes. For example, look at performance objective metrics and profit contribution per employee to track how new hires are meeting your expectations.
Monitor social media activity
What are people saying about your company online?
Track mentions and interactions in your social media channels to understand how people feel about you as an employer.
Since your current employees are the key messengers of your employer brand, you also want to measure their social activity. Monitor how their personal networks grow and track engagement statistics.