6 Tips for Developing an Attractive Employer Brand

Employer BrandCandidates flock to companies like Google and Unilever because of their attractive employer brands. While Google’s nap pods and Unilever’s flexible telecommuting policies certainly don’t hurt, it’s the larger employer brand of each company that attracts candidates. The perks are nice, but what they mean is better - both companies care about creating environments in which their unique and valued employees can thrive, innovate, and create. In a 2015 Pricewaterhouse Coopers survey, 73% of CEOs reported being concerned about the availability of talent with certain skills. Talent is out there and having an attractive employer brand is key to being competitive in a marketplace full of talent-hungry companies. Here are six great ways to make candidates want to work for your company.

1. Know what you stand for.

Just as in product branding, having a scattered focus or not knowing what you stand for is fatal to success. Don’t think in terms of general buzzwords, like ‘integrity’ and ‘achievement,’ that are true of any halfway decent company. Think about what is special about your company, whether it’s your commitment to promoting community or an earth-friendly mission. “Your organization’s mission, vision, and values should be clearly defined and this should flow through to your employer branding communications,” says Brett Minchington, CEO of Employer Brand International.

2. Give a sample of company culture.

Your employer brand shouldn’t be completely distinct from what day to day life is like for your employees. “When highly skilled candidates view a company's career opportunities, they want to imagine themselves working there,” says Heather R. Huhman, President of Come Recommended. “Job seekers wish to read blog posts, check LinkedIn accounts of employees and watch videos to project what it’s like to work at a given company.” Companies like Zappos and Comcast make it easy for prospective candidates to imagine themselves happy at work, with branded career sites and fun videos showing a day in the life of an employee. Check out Happie’s platform for creating fun and interactive job pages.

3. Get the senior management team involved.

A 2014 Harvard Business Review survey found that 60% of CEOs surveyed believed employer branding is the CEO’s responsibility and 40% of marketing leaders agree. Placing the burden of employer branding on HR and recruitment teams is ineffective and doesn’t create strong brands that candidates can believe in. “Employer brands cannot be forced onto employees; they have to be true and accurate and reflect how your organisation treats its employees,” says Donald Gonsalves, CEO at Enthof Creatives. “That means true employee engagement only happens if the brand is embedded into the culture of the organisation, is lived and breathed by everyone and underpinned by a leadership team that leads by example. If it’s clear the management team doesn’t believe in the brand values, even the very best internal communication campaigns won’t be able to instil a change in culture throughout the company.”

4. Be authentic.

Likewise, an employer brand that suggests a much rosier reality than is actually the case for employees will not have sustained success. “To successfully shape your employer brand you need to invest in your existing employees; it’s no use promoting a culture of innovation, ambition, and promising career development and training to potential employees if the reality inside the organisation is one of bureaucracy and minimal training,” says Gonsalves. “The best employer brands accentuate the positive aspects of the organisation but are realistic and create a picture people can relate to.” By making sure that your employer brand is true to your employees’ reality, you turn them into ambassadors. “A solid message comes with a team that solidly believes in it,” says Andreea Clair, Global Recruitment Branding Copywriter at Oracle.

5. Follow through.

Churn is an evergreen reality of the workforce and rates of communication are higher than ever in today’s digitally connected world. Whether it’s in the form of gossip spread by former employees or social media complaints by disgruntled workers, it will not be a secret for long if your company promises one thing and delivers another. “You need to deliver on the brand promises you have made to those employees, whether through reward and recognition, training and development or a clearly defined career path,” says Gonsalves. “Brand reputation is built on perceptions that are matched by the actual experience of engaging with the brand.”

6. Give employees a platform.

A satisfied employee’s praise of an employer is much more valuable than an employer’s praise of itself. Give your employees a platform to share how great working at your company is. “People take jobs (and stay in jobs) to work for great managers and collaborate with other great people. If you have great people with great stories, get them outside the walls of your company,” says Dan Arkind, CEO of JobScore. “Set aside time and money for top performing employees to blog.”

Empower your company with an employer brand that draws top talent to you. Then it’s as simple as sorting through the applications and picking the best fit.

Interested in learning more about Happie can help you create a strong employer brand? Sign up for a quick, free demo. Sign up!

Danai Kadzere

Danai Kadzere

Danai is a Content Marketer at Happie. Before Happie, she worked as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and children's book author, after graduating from Harvard University with a BS in Human Evolutionary Biology. If she's not working, she's probably reading, baking, or getting lost.