Develop an employer brand that employees love in 5 steps

Why go hunting down potential employees, when you could have them knocking down your door, wanting to work for you? You might be wondering, is this even an option, and if so, how do I make it happen?

The key: your employer brand. Your employer brand is all about what you offer to employees, and what makes your organization a great place to work. Nail your employer branding, and you’ll have top talent vying to get a foot in the door and work with you.

What is the image your company projects as an employer? Are the most talented candidates coming to you, or do they politely avoid your calls? Have you given any thought to your employee value proposition? In today’s fiercely competitive job market, establishing and maintaining a consistent employer brand is a crucial tool for attracting and retaining the right kind of talent.  A compelling employer brand makes it easier to recruit the very best candidates. It also enhances the loyalty of current and prospective employees.

employer branding in 5 steps

Whether you’re starting out with your strategy, or you’ve reached a bit of a halt in taking your existing employer brand to the next level, here’s how 5 steps to developing a better employer brand:

Step 1: Get your leadership team to buy in

Before you can get down to the details of strengthening your employer branding, you’re going to need to have conversations with your leadership team. Frank discussions about your organization’s desired culture and values are a must. After all, consistency and repetition are one of the most basic keys to a crackling employer brand. That means top leadership all need to be on the same page about what your message to employees is and how to achieve them. As with any major company initiative, the rate of success is significantly higher if everyone is on board and working toward a common goal.

Step 2: Assess where you stand, and where you want to go

Take stock of your current employer brand. Define where you’re starting out, and determine what’s working, and what isn’t. The key at this stage is to be aspirational while ensuring your goals are attainable. Developing your employer brand should be realistic and true to who you are as an organization.

Consider quantitative and qualitative research that looks at what attracts and deters people in your industry. Include current staff, suppliers, employees leaving the business, and candidates in discussions to take in different perspectives and gather information on what motivated them to want to work for (or leave) your company. Ask recent hires whether the promise measured up to the reality. All of this information forms your baseline.

Decide how you would like to be viewed in the market. This quality should be at the heart of any marketing efforts aimed at attracting candidates, and should also be promoted internally to shape corporate values. Your employer brand will be present in everything you do – so make it count.

Step 3: Identify the gaps in your employer brand

So you’ve figured out where your employer brand currently sits, and what direct you want it to head in – now you need to identify what’s causing the gap. Sometimes a chasm is identified that some businesses consider too large to cross. But actually, the awareness of the chasm is often a positive launching pad. Decide what aspects of your employer brand you want to change, and come up with a plan to implement those changes, as well as a method to measure progress.

It is usually something you can work on gradually based on the feedback and insights you gather when figuring out where your employer brand currently sits. You can’t opt out of having an employer brand - you can only opt out of actively managing it.

At Randstad, we provide worldwide employer branding services, we pride ourselves on having our own distinct one too. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of knowing and understanding what brand values you own and live by in order to develop your strategy. As you define these credentials a set of tangible brand values that make-up your business will start to manifest.

Once established, these guiding principles and values will hopefully identify the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Step 4: Take action to bridge the gaps

Encourage employees to voice their opinions and play an active role in resolving brand discrepancies. Some changes will be simple and others will become projects in their own right. Having gathered the insights you will now be better placed to understand where the gaps are, in order to devise a solution to resolve them.

Having identified the true answer to ‘why’ - these values will allow you to form a bridge between the gaps to build an honest and truthful employee value proposition.

Patience is a virtue and some gaps may turn out to be bigger than others – as will your solutions to resolve them. Creating an environment that inspires belief and enables action in support of your employer brand won’t happen overnight – but change will soon be noticeable, as long as you follow your core values and plan your journey process.

It’s wise to map your core values, focus, and employer value proposition so that these are always your guiding principles. Make a note of your goals and potential obstacles then ensure that any you come across are determined, examined and resolved.

No matter where along your journey you are, your employer brand is constantly evolving and getting stronger. Whether you’re just starting out, or you have already established one, identifying obstacles is always wise and will work to sustain your platform.

Step 5: Take your employer brand live

Appoint employer brand ambassadors and encourage employees to spread the word through their online and social media profiles. Share authentic stories that will resonate with your audience and your shared values. Encourage engagement and interaction with events across all media by reposting and sharing content to drive viral discussion.

For those who have an existing employer brand, and are looking to amplify and leverage it among your candidate personas - becoming an influencer in your space can be really effective.

To become an influencer you must be seen and recognized as a thought leader in your space - having great knowledge and experience in what you do. With that comes respect among your peers, audience and prospective audiences.

Essentially becoming an influencer in your sector will help enhance your employer brand and will appeal to and attract your candidate personas. Inevitably, candidates who share your values and are interested in your sphere will be drawn towards you should you become an influencer.

Having an influential employer brand will bring different benefits, some will be great for amplifying your content online, and others will be more beneficial for creating real-life relationships with candidates. Either way, these benefits are all positive in creating and maintaining a cracking employer brand.

Randstad Employer Brand Research 

We are employer branding experts and conduct comprehensive research into what attracts employees to an organization. Our annual Randstad Employer Brand survey dives into what people find attractive in an employer and zeros in on preferred companies, sectors and 10 key attributes.

These include salary, career progression, and training. Unlike many surveys, ours is truly independent; we do not invite HR officers, staff members or experts to take part - this guarantees maximum objectivity.

Need more help shaping your employer brand? Check out our Employer Branding Centre for more information.

about the author

Kristen Smalley - Content Manager

As someone who firmly believes that variety is the spice of life, content marketing has been a natural career path for me. Every day brings a chance to think creatively and learn about exciting new topics. Whether it's tackling content on employment trends, how to handle tough interview questions, or keeping safe in the workplace, there's always interesting topics waiting to be explored in the world of work!

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