7 Best Practices of Employer Branding

Published on 01-12-2017

Attracting and retaining top talent is not an easy task. Imagine a situation where the talent is knocking on your door rather than the other way around. Wouldn’t that be great? Making your employer brand stand out is a must to succeed in a very competitive market. Our Top 7 employer brand best practices will transform your brand from family to super car!

As part of our ongoing Employer Brand series, we have already discussed the definition, strategies and relevance of employer branding as well as conducted an expert interview with Stephan Rathgeber, ManpowerGroup Germany. Based on further research we have listed the following Top 7 employer brand best practices:

1. Define your brand/company’s purpose

Just ask yourself following question: Why would someone want to work for/with you?
Your company’s mission, vision and values should be clearly defined and this should flow through to your employer branding communications – external as well as internal.
We often only consider Millennials in this area and there is definitely no shortage in headlines about Millennials searching for a ‘purposeful’ job. However, a recent LinkedIn survey shows that Millennials are actually the least purpose-driven generation. The global survey of 26.000 LinkedIn members found that sense of purpose deepens the further along you are in your career: 48% of baby boomers (those aged 51+) report that they prioritise purpose over pay and titles. They are followed by Gen X (aged 36-51) with 38%, and finally, millennials at 30%.

This illustrates how important it is to not only communicate your employer brand with candidates but also with your (long-term) employees!

2. Digitalise your employer brand strategy, and think mobile first!

The next best practice revolves around one of the strongest recruiting trends of 2017: Digitalisation. A well-structured website – general and career – is a must-have in this growing digital world. Making it mobile friendly even more so. Studies show that 89% of job seekers believe mobile devices are important when it comes to searching for jobs and 45% say they use their mobile device specifically to search for jobs at least once a day.
In terms of employer branding, it is the easiest way for talents to learn more about an employer’s culture and work atmosphere. CompanyMatch can help you provide candidates with an interactive tool to match their cultural preferences and values directly with those of your company. All of that before the actual application process! So, make sure that your career website displays your brand in a cohesive, structured and interactive way.

3. Integrate Social Media into your strategy

In our last blog post we explored the relevance of social media in the field of employer branding in-depth. After all, 76% of applicants viewed an employee’s LinkedIn profile 6 months prior to applying for a job at that company and 62% of job seekers visit social media channels to evaluate an employer brand (CareerArc).

A successful employer branding social media strategy involves not only ‘old’ social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn but also newer ones such as Instagram, all depending on your specific audience. It is not only a great way to communicate your employer brand with talent but also to stimulate employee engagement and an interactive employer brand. Positive reviews, corporate influencers and personal insights into your company’s working environment are only a few examples of how to explore social media for your purposes successfully.

4. Define your employer brand a 110%

Defining your employer brand is not a ‘one-time thing’. After all, we are living in a world of certain uncertainties and an employer brand needs to stay dynamic and be flexible. Regular pulse checks are inevitable. So, don’t be afraid of self-criticism and admitting if mistakes were being made.
Stephan Rathgeber sums it up as following:

We are always trying to formulate an employer brand that reflects us plus 10%. The extra 10% gives us space for development and ambitious goals. We are always striving for 110%! – Stephan Rathgeber

5. Adapt your Onboarding process

The fifth strategy on our best practices list revolves around onboarding. A process that can be both exciting and nerve-breaking. Making the transition process for new hires as smooth as possible will not only strengthen your employer brand but also increase the likelihood of long-term employment.
Socialising your company’s onboarding strategy through the official website is therefore a smart employer branding strategy. On your career website, for example, you could enable potential candidates to express their concerns, ask questions about the process or interact with employees to become more familiar with your organisational structure.

6. Community matters

Many of the world’s top companies, including P&G, Mars, and Google, applied a community based approach to employer branding. The so-called employer branding 3.0 approach is focused on a company’s social as well as stakeholder responsibilities. This approach does not only define your brand even further but also makes it stand out in the market. Make sure, however, you address current environmental and social issues that align with your company’s culture and employer brand – don’t only use the ‘popular’ topics. Staying authentic is the alpha and omega when it comes to community based employer branding.

7. Build Employer Brand Leadership Capability

How many of your managers have received training in how to manage or build your employer brand? Research found that generally only 46% have! This is an extremely low result, considering that managing the employer brand can be a big challenge. The last of our best practices therefore involves optimising your brand’s leadership capabilities. Employer brand leaders need to build awareness and capability in employer branding principles and practices across the organisation rather than relying on only one or two leaders to manage the function as has been traditional practice. We recommend you actively invest in your employer brand by training your employees!

The best practices in a nutshell: A world class employer brand takes strong leadership, cohesive digitalised content and communications aligned with your brand promise.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver!