Hiring and retaining top talent is one of the most important aspects of maintaining operational efficiency for any organization, and taking steps to attract that talent can be a challenge.
Implementing a comprehensive employer branding strategy is one of the strongest ways to entice top talent. Here, we'll go over what employer branding is, why it's important, and some great examples for you to draw inspiration from.
Employer Branding Definition: What Is Employer Branding?
Employer branding, also known as “employment branding,” is when a company showcases the entire employment experience in order to market itself to talent. Aspects a company might try to showcase through their brand are things like:
- Company culture
- Employee benefits
- Competitive wages
- Company mission and values
- Continued learning and development opportunities
- Anything else that indicates the company is a good place to work
The bottom line is that employer branding aims to heighten the company's reputation as an employer in order to be perceived as a desirable place to work.
In contrast, your “talent brand” is what employees actually think of your company as their employer. In an ideal world, your employer brand and talent brand should align to create one cohesive message.
Why Is Employer Branding Important for Your Business?
As tactics of talent acquisition continually evolve, so too does the importance of employer branding. Now more than ever, the recruitment process is a two-way street — candidates try to showcase their talents in order to be hired, while companies show prospective employees why they would want to work there.
It’s estimated that employers with a strong employer brand receive up to twice as many applications from qualified talent than employers with a weak brand. Additionally, a poll from CR Magazine and Cielo Talent showed that ". . .almost 50% of workers said they wouldn't work for a company with a bad reputation, even with a big increase in compensation."
Employer branding also directly affects your bottom line. Not only can employee turnover rates be significantly reduced, but data also shows that companies with a weak or non-existent employer brand tend to spend 10% more per employee hired, while those with strong branding see a 43% decrease in recruiting costs.
When you have a good reputation as an employer, the amount of talent you attract naturally increases.
Great Employer Branding Examples
Now that you understand what employer branding is and why it's important, let's take a look at two examples of a strong employer brand.
It may come as no surprise, but Silicon Valley tech giants have been pioneering employer branding strategy for years — and Google is a leader in the space. Not only do they have a stellar reputation as the pinnacle of search engines (which naturally attracts talent in general), they are known for supporting their employees with creative benefits packages that have immediate, tangible effects.
For instance, Google encourages employees to have a healthy work/life balance by allowing them to dedicate 20% of their time to other pursuits or projects and even provides up to $12,000 in tuition support each year.
From their opulent work environments and competitive benefits packages to free food and their emphasis on self-actualization, it's hardly a surprise that Google receives over one million resumes per year, from which they choose around 5,000 employees.
Year after year, Salesforce continually ranks in the top 10 places to work. They've worked tirelessly to be known for their open, friendly culture, opportunities to try out new roles, and more. In fact, 90% of Salesforce employees say it is a great place to work, 94% say they are proud to tell others about their workplace, and 95% say they feel good about how they contribute to the community.
This brings up a good reminder: employer branding isn't just about providing free meals and quirky benefits. It's also about being socially responsible and doing some good in the world — something that is increasingly valuable to Millennial and Gen Z workers.
How to Build an Attractive Employer Branding Strategy
Here, we'll go over some of the ways you can start planning a great employer branding strategy:
- Decide what your company stands for: Determine what your mission, values, and vision are going to be. Having this foundation will guide your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and the messaging surrounding it.
- Tell a positive yet honest story: If there is a disconnect between what you say and how employees feel they are treated, it can lead to problems down the road. While telling your brand's story, be sure it's authentic and in line with employee experiences.
- Create a high-quality employee experience: Improving your employer brand starts with creating a great experience for current employees. Candidates are likely to trust current or former employees about their experience at your company, and it's never been easier to find such information through review sites like Glassdoor.
- Roll out the red carpet for candidates: People going through your recruitment process should be treated with the utmost respect and be given a taste of your workplace perks. Even if they wind up being unfit for a particular role, you should want them to want to work for you. Additionally, word of mouth travels quickly — you don't want to be known as rude or inconsiderate to potential candidates.
- Advertise your brand: Market your EVPs on social media, job boards, Glassdoor, and other appropriate outlets. Be sure to write eye-catching job postings that promote company values. Share employee and customer testimonials on social channels and on your website. Create employment and benefits-focused landing pages on your website. These are just a few ideas to help you get started.