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How Employer Branding Can Improve Your Recruiting

By March 1, 2023September 5th, 2023Finding Talent - Recruiting

brainstorming a recruiting game plan with post it notesDespite what you’ve heard, we are still in the most competitive hiring market ever. Even with all the layoffs happening, you can’t just post an opening on a job board and expect a wealth of talented candidates to fall into your open seat. Not anymore. And this is across various roles, levels, and industries. Companies are still struggling to find the right candidate, from software developers to sales leaders and marketers. This blog provides an overview of one of the most critical elements to successful and effective hiring – how you attract talent with effective employer branding. 

How We Got Here

Yes, Covid and “The Great Resignation” played a significant role. Many women left the workforce because of childcare & family challenges, older workers have retired early in substantial numbers, and a large swath of college grads are pursuing entrepreneurial options and gig work. But other forces are at work. Have you had a conversation with a Gen Z’er lately? How about a Millennial? Their philosophy about work and careers is very different from Baby Boomers, certainly, as well as Gen X’ers. 

Add the fact that today’s hiring environment is heavily digital and geographically dispersed – making attracting talent insanely competitive in ways we have not seen before. Candidates still hold the cards. They are no longer willing to settle for a job that doesn’t make them feel happy or fulfilled. They have higher standards and are a lot pickier about where they choose to work.

What do they want? 

  • Flexibility – Opportunities that are flexible with remote or hybrid working arrangements.
  • Balance – On top of flexibility with where they work, many job seekers are looking for flexibility and autonomy in their work.
  • Development – People want to invest their time and energy into a company willing to do the same for them. That means opportunities for both personal and professional skill development.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Many job seekers prioritize D&I because they know it often means a welcoming and collaborative workplace. People want to feel like they belong and are part of their work community.  
  • Wellbeing Support – Benefits like medical insurance and 401(k) are great and shouldn’t be overlooked. However, employees want to know that they are cared for. This includes health, wellness, and supporting their whole self.

How your company performs or ranks according to these factors will impact your ability to attract candidates. To do that, you must have a strategy. First, you must start thinking of your company and culture as a product. Then, to sell that product, you must be able to communicate the WHY.

What is the “Why?”

two people icons connected by a circle with a link chain in between them - represents the "why" of employer branding - connection and positive associationThe Why is the culmination of reasons a candidate would want to work for you.

  • Why they are attracted to your company?
  • Why they want to be associated with your organization?
  • Why your mission speaks to them?

It is why they choose the brands they do – Apple vs. Android, Nike vs. Asics, Target vs. Walmart. It’s personal. It’s relatable. It resonates with the customer they want to attract, and you can do the same thing to attract talent to your organization. 

Put yourself in the shoes of the job seeker for a moment. You’re online, maybe on LinkedIn, scrolling through job postings. But you’re frustrated because, quite frankly, all the job descriptions sound so much alike that they start to blur together. Are your job postings blending in or standing out? If they aren’t standing out, you need to refocus on the “Why” and embrace your Employer Brand.

Elements of an Employer Brand

Your Employer Brand positions your organization among competitors within the employment marketplace and includes three primary elements. It should:

  • Encapsulate the Employee Experience
  • Highlight what makes your company a great place to work
  • Display authenticity

Your Employer Brand cannot be manufactured – it needs to be organic. Take a good look at your environment, culture, and benefits. What are the things that make you unique? What do your employees appreciate the most about working for you? If you don’t know – find out. Then, and only then, create the messaging that reflects that. Be sure to keep it real.

How Employer Branding Benefits Your Recruitment Strategy

Employer Branding is important for any organization but an absolute necessity for small and growing businesses. Here are the biggest benefits of adopting a unique Employer Brand:

  • More Quality Candidates – A strong employer brand can help you see a larger number of candidates. More importantly, it can help you attract higher-quality candidates. Higher quality candidates are those who are a strong fit for both the role and your culture. Regularly sharing company news, events, and employee experiences help potential candidates picture themselves working for your company.
  • More Employee Referrals – Employee Referrals have long been recognized as one of the more cost-efficient ways to hire top talent. Promoting your company culture makes it easy for employees to invite people in their network to apply to your job openings.
  • Being an Employer of Choice – Having an active social media presence (more on this later) can help you transition from a potential employer to an Employer of Choice. Employer Branding gives you the power to position yourself this way. As a result, it is typically your strongest and least expensive recruiting tool.
  • Establishes Credibility – When you consistently share about your culture, perks, and workplace, you establish credibility among employees and potential applicants. In addition, posting online about these events and initiatives serves as evidence of any claims you make on your “About Us” page.

Leveraging the benefits of Employer Branding can make a massive difference in your current and future recruiting efforts. So let’s explore more specific ways to build and share your Employer Brand. 

Building and Sharing Your Employer Brand

Once you’ve defined your Employer Brand, you need to spread the word. 

In 2021, 44% of job seekers used social media to search for or find out about job openings. 44%. That same group’s use of online job boards dropped from 72% to 60% between 2020 and 2021. It’s clear that building a solid Employer Brand and attracting candidates means having an active social media presence. Don’t be intimidated! We understand that when growing a company, you’re often forced to wear a variety of different hats. These ideas should help get you started with Employer Branding – and keep it easy. Especially if marketing is not a hat you feel comfortable wearing.

Screenshot of Hire Ventures Instagram as an example of employer brandingSocial Media Post Ideas

  • Highlight new projects and products that your talented team gets to work on. Remember to try and keep it focused on your team’s contributions and collaboration and not so product-heavy.
  • Share career development opportunities. This includes internal seminars, webinars your employees attend, or your team’s career journeys. 
  • Brag about your awesome benefits and how you prioritize work-life balance.
  • Recognize employee achievements and milestones such as work anniversaries and birthdays.
  • Start an employee testimonial series. This series can highlight employees, their stories, or what they love about your company.
  • Have you created a successful DEIB strategy? Then, tell everyone how you did it!

Internal Efforts

  • Create a hashtag for your employees to use when they post about life at your company.
  • Incentivize your team to act as brand ambassadors who spread the word about their employee experience online. For example, we once hosted a competition where we asked each team member to share a company post. Whoever got the most engagement won a gift card!
  • Start a blog. The great thing about a blog is that you can make it whatever you want it to be! It is a great way to share your company’s unique stories and voice. 
  • Feature employee testimonials on your website. We have a scrolling bar of employee quotes on our “About Us” page.

Have you noticed a pattern? The more you humanize your company, the better! People want to work for people! They also want to see the faces behind the companies they support. Similarly, candidates want to see who they could be working with.

The Next Steps with Employer Branding

This article shouldn’t leave you feeling stressed or overwhelmed. The truth is, Employer Branding should come naturally. It is about showcasing the things that make your workplace great and unique. Employer branding is about sharing all the awesome things you are already doing. Maybe even inspire you to do more. And help you to compete in that hiring jungle.

So, next time you have a team meeting, snap a pic! Or, when your team members complete a big project, encourage them to celebrate it on LinkedIn!

If you are still feeling a little uneasy, you can look to our team of consultants for help! We have Employer Branding Services designed to help startups during all stages of their growth. Click here to learn more. 


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