What Is Employer Branding? (With How-to Guide and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Maintaining, monitoring and improving a business's operations can be important to its success. An organisation's branding emphasises that it's a good place to work, which helps improve its reputation among current employees, future employees and customers. If you're interested in learning more about a business's operations, it can be beneficial to understand how efficient branding contributes to an organisation's success. In this article, we answer the question 'What is employer branding?', discuss its importance, show how to build it and provide some tips for improving it.

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What is employer branding?

The answer to 'What is employer branding?' is that it's the process of managing the company's reputation among clients, candidates and the public. The term brand can indicate a name, design, symbol or any other feature that's used to distinguish one seller from another. An employer brand is how an organisation distinguishes itself from others as an employer. The better an organisation treats its employees, the more likely it is to have a positive employer brand.

There are several factors that can contribute to a positive workplace for employees. Some of these include recognition awards, initiatives for work-life balance and implementation of strategies to improve communication. An employer's branding can influence affects current employees, candidates, customers and shareholders.

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Why is employer branding important?

Branding can play a crucial role in determining how an organisation recruits and retains its employees. This is because it's often a key indicator of whether a business is an ideal place to work. For example, candidates applying for open positions typically research an organisation before they apply.

An organisation's employer brand might be one of the first results of that research, either through the company's own efforts or impressions from current or former employees. Thus, an organisation's employer brand may influence a potential candidate's first impression. Additionally, if the organisation has a positive employer brand, it might be able to attract ideal candidates for its open positions, which could help lower its hiring costs.

How to build an employer brand

Here are five steps a business can follow to develop a positive employer brand:

1. Evaluate company culture

The current employees of an organisation are a major determining factor in whether an employer's branding strategy is successful. Employees influence society's perception of their organisation through online reviews, social media posts and word of mouth, such as sharing their work issues with friends and family. Companies can conduct anonymous surveys or schedule one-to-one meetings to obtain information and develop an idea about their company culture. Ask questions that direct staff members to talk about what they enjoy and appreciate about the company. Encourage them to discuss what they might alter about the company and its processes if they could.

After conducting these surveys or interviews and collecting the data, you can then proceed to analyse it. You might obtain some insight into which strengths you might emphasise in a branding strategy. You could also determine from the data which aspects of the company you might improve on. Here are some questions you could ask them:

  • Do you enjoy working in this company?

  • How would you rate this company in terms of employee welfare?

  • Do you have a clear understanding of your potential professional development?

  • Do you feel like you can have open communication with those who are in leadership positions?

  • Are you currently satisfied with your employee benefits?

Related: What Is Organisational Culture? (With Types and Tips)

2. Promote the employer brand

Developing a long-term content strategy that engages potential employees can help a business build a popular and positive employer brand. Ensure that a business can implement this strategy on multiple platforms, such as social media, physical advertisements and flyers, to maximise audience interaction. Here are some ways to create engaging content that strengthens an employer's brand:

  • Highlight company values. It can be beneficial for an organisation to highlight any unique and positive aspects of its company culture in its branding, such as its mission, initiatives and brand values. Doing so can attract job candidates that align with the company's values and culture.

  • Tell a story. Engaging people's emotions is a strategy you can use to ensure that your content is effective. You could create a unique and personal brand by using a mix of visual and written storytelling to illustrate the company's journey and the stories of inspirational or role-model employees.

  • Create personas. Creating profiles of high-quality candidates or employees and featuring them in your content can help attract ideal candidates. These personas can include details like their skills, work experience and employment preferences.

3. Begin an employee referral initiative

An organisation's current employees can function as ambassadors for its brand. In addition to using them in branding campaigns, a business can also offer incentives, such as an employee referral programme, to employees who promote the company, share content and refer candidates. Aside from allowing a company to build its employer brand, an employee referral programme can make employees feel recognised and appreciated.

Related: What Is an Employee Referral Programme? (With Benefits and Tips)

4. Utilise social media

Social media can be an essential tool for both marketing an organisation's brand and recruiting new employees. You can help build a business's employer brand by using multiple social media platforms to share content that engages with potential employees. It can be helpful to create separate social media profiles for recruitment so that you can reserve the other profile for marketing efforts. Social media is particularly useful for sharing content that uses visual storytelling, such as profiles of high-quality candidates or stories of role model employees.

5. Measure the success of your strategies

An organisation's branding requires continual assessment and improvement. This is possible by monitoring certain metrics, such as:

  • Employee satisfaction: A successful employer brand strategy relies on satisfied employees who enjoy their company's culture, making it essential to evaluate employee satisfaction across all teams and departments. Consider using anonymous surveys, as they encourage employees to give honest feedback.

  • Source of hire: This metric can help you understand which channels attract a company's most recent hires. You can then use this information to optimise recruiting resources.

  • Retention rate: The retention rate metric can help you understand an organisation's employee turnover, which can often be a strong indication of the employer brand.

  • Ratings and reviews: Many candidates rely on company reviews and ratings given by current or former employees to decide if they want to apply to work in a company. You can gain insight by regularly monitoring a company's rating on various platforms and identifying common critiques.

Related: What Is Employee Experience? (With Benefits and Tips)

Tips for building an employer brand

Here are three simple tips to help develop a great employer brand:

  • Offer opportunities for development. Employees might appreciate their company for encouraging and allowing them to learn and develop their skill sets and increase their value as professionals. One way a company might achieve this is to pay or offer a subsidy for employees to complete physical or online courses, attain certification and attend conferences that help them understand their roles and industry better.

  • Create a personalised employee experience. A business can create a positive and personalised employee experience by meeting with them individually to discuss their professional development, recognise employees for exceptional work and enhance workplace interpersonal relationships. This can help build a satisfied and talented staff with a high retention rate.

  • Streamline internal communication. Communication is essential to a company's performance, as it affects every aspect of its operations, including its employer brand. By making an effort to encourage an open communication culture, a business can ensure that employees understand the company's values and their personal responsibilities.

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