Employer Branding Guide: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

by Srikant Chellappa Nov 22,2023

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Jeff Bezos once said, “Your brand is what people talk about when you are not in the room,” and this holds true in today’s world. Controlling the narrative of what people say behind your back may seem challenging, but there’s a way to influence it: through employer branding.

While many brands prioritize being consumer-centric, equal attention should be given to employer branding. In a job market where candidates carefully assess companies, employer branding plays a crucial role. Job seekers, in today’s environment, are discerning about where they apply and who they work for.

Prospective employers are now scrutinized like online restaurant reviews by potential employees. This reality compels companies to actively shape their image to attract the best talent. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for a company with well-defined values, attractive benefits, a positive workplace culture, and more?

Explore the importance of employer branding and discover a guide to crafting a robust employer brand plan below.

What is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is a cornerstone of HR marketing, encompassing how employees perceive their workplace, the overall work environment, and the company’s culture. In today’s global business landscape, a robust employer brand is becoming indispensable for attracting and retaining top-tier talent. This intricate process involves various elements, such as employee experience and engagement.

At its core, employer branding comprises a set of impactful strategies aimed at showcasing your organization as an exceptional place to work. These strategies leverage positive word-of-mouth and stellar reviews to narrate your organization’s story. A compelling employer brand not only attracts top candidates but also elevates your standing and reputation as a desirable employer.

Importance of Employer Branding

employer branding in the workplaceIn a recent survey, 59% of employers highlighted employer branding as a crucial element in HR strategy for job postings. How potential employees perceive your organization plays a pivotal role; it can either attract top-tier talent or result in only a handful of applicants for the job.

Positive employer branding holds the power to shape employees’ and candidates’ perceptions of your company, propelling you closer to becoming a sought-after employer in your industry. Let’s delve into the key reasons why employer branding is indispensable for your organization:

  • Builds Brand Identity

Establishing and sustaining a digital presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity in today’s tech-savvy world. A robust employer branding strategy is instrumental in raising brand awareness, contributing to the formation of an ideal workforce. It enables you to showcase your company culture, offering candidates a glimpse of the positive work experience they can anticipate.

  • Facilitates Cost-Effective Talent Acquisition

A recent survey from Harvard Business Review reported that 95% of job seekers say that the reputation of employers impacts their decision whether to continue with the application process. Having a strong employer brand improves the essential hiring metrics of an organization – cost-per-hire, quality of hire, and time to hire. It ensures you can successfully attract and retain active and passive candidates with reduced time and a decreased cost per acquisition.

  • Improves Employee Productivity

How often have you encountered this common progression? A new employee joins your team with excitement, motivation, and a sense of innovation. However, the enthusiasm plummets over time as they begin to feel disengaged in their work.

Employees working at an organization with excellent employer branding are said to be more productive than those with poorly designed employer brands. When you can engage your employees, they show up regularly, stay loyal, and be more productive for a prolonged period of time.

  • Increases Internal Referrals

Candidates often prefer applying to organizations through employee referrals, as they value firsthand, credible insights into the workplace. An employee referral network, especially through close family or friends, often offers a more authentic perspective on an organization’s work environment compared to paid online reviews.

Investing in employer branding can foster a positive experience for your employees, encouraging them to share their satisfaction with others. This, in turn, enhances the effectiveness of your word-of-mouth strategy and can help reduce the costs associated with finding new talent.

  • Increases Retention Rates

Companies with strong reputations and value in the market are also better at retaining most talents for a long time. Reports have shown that 92% of people will consider switching jobs if they are offered a job in a company with a great corporate reputation. Conversely, having a strong employer brand will reduce such turnover by a whopping 28%.

  • Helps You Gain a Competitive Edge

Creating a robust employer brand is a highly effective strategy for distinguishing your organization in a competitive market. By enhancing the perception of potential employees about your company, you simultaneously foster a more collaborative, efficient, and inclusive internal environment. Studies indicate that highly inclusive companies tend to generate 1.4 times more reviews.

Beginner’s Guide to Employer Branding

Countless employer branding strategies are available for business leaders. However, for employer branding to be effective, employees should play a vital role in the mission. A thoughtful and robust employer brand plan will help you positively influence the perception of your business. 

Here’s a simplified employer branding guide, breaking down actionable steps to recruit and retain top talent.

  • Audit Your Brand

If you’re not actively managing your employer brand, you might be unaware of how outsiders perceive your organization. Conducting an employer brand audit is crucial to gaining insights into your position in the recruitment landscape. For example, explore popular job sites like Glassdoor to analyze reviews and ratings for your organization. Use this information to devise a plan for managing and enhancing your employer branding.

  • Define Your Employer’s Value Proposition (EVP)

An EVP (employer value proposition) refers to the benefits and rewards employees receive for their efforts and commitment to the workplace. It serves as the foundation of your employee branding strategy and answers the fundamental question for potential hires – Why should I work for your company?

Your EVP may include factors like perks, benefits, compensation, career opportunities, and company culture. Importantly, it should be truthful and ensure that you can fulfill the promises made.

  • Ask and Act on Feedback from Employees

Employee feedback acts as a potent advocate for your organization’s brand. Therefore, actively encourage your employees to share their feedback on relevant platforms. This not only aids job applicants in understanding your company’s values and benefits but also provides valuable insights for customers. Additionally, promptly address any negative feedback to resolve grievances and demonstrate your commitment to improvement.

  • Create an Excellent Candidate Experience

The candidate experience, extending from job postings to job offers, holds substantial influence over employer branding. As mentioned earlier, prospective employees frequently share their hiring journey through both positive and negative online reviews.

A recent study uncovered that 37% of candidates have indicated leaving negative reviews online, especially following a stressful hiring process. Consequently, it becomes imperative to allocate the right resources and time to streamline the hiring process, ensuring an efficient and positive experience that contributes to effective management and the enhancement of your employment brand.

Summing Up

Employer branding is no longer just a trendy HR buzzword; it’s a necessity for every organization. In today’s labor market, where candidates hold the power, having a robust employer brand is not only cost-effective and aids in attracting top talent but also fosters talent retention. Engaged and enthusiastic employees, cultivated through a strong employer brand, are likely to stay longer with your organization, contributing to positive word-of-mouth about working at your company.

At Engagedly, our mission is to streamline HR platforms for organizations, empowering them to design, build, and optimize their employee experience. From crafting branded career sites to developing evaluation templates, we assist you in enhancing candidate experiences and fortifying your workforce!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the benefits of employer branding?

Organizations with strong employer brands have more enthusiastic and engaged employees. Such a talented workforce will serve the customers better, making a potential difference in customer satisfaction. This way, employer branding will improve your company’s perception among the general public and active job seekers.

Q2.What are the factors that influence employer branding?

Employer branding is about defining the exact essence of an organization, its unique identity, and what it stands for. The right employer branding will attract good business and a great workforce. It is shared by four major factors –  company culture, employee experience, candidate opinion, and the corporate brand.

Q3.Why does employer branding fail?

One of the primary reasons behind the failure of employer branding is the lack of clarity on the proposition of the EVP. The employer value proposition is designed as the set of unique benefits and career opportunities the organization provides to its employees. Attracting and keeping the best talent can be challenging when you don’t have a clear EVP proposition.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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