How to create a leading employer brand

Branding doesn’t just stop at your logo or your website. Your brand is made up of the sum total of every impression that your customers, and your potential employees, have of your organisation. With that in mind, it isn’t enough to simply have a “why work for us?” section on your website (although this is a good place to start). Every channel and presence you have needs to be assessed in terms of how it contributes to portraying your organisation as a leading employer brand.

Get social

Much of the information we consume as a society is increasingly curated to us through social media. We stay in touch with friends and family, keep up with current events, and entertain ourselves with social media. Corporate social media is very rarely done well, as many organisations opt to push out boring news about new products and services to buy.

But companies who “do social” well are those who add a human element to their content. They highlight people within their organisation who have achieved something extraordinary or who have a unique perspective to share. The benefits of this to your brand are twofold:

  • This demonstrates that your organisation already has bright, capable, and enthusiastic people on board.

  • It also demonstrates that you value your people, and are willing to put them at the forefront of your organisation.

Another useful aspect of social is to demonstrate your company values. Many businesses have great sounding corporate social responsibility statements, but people innately view these as hollow unless they see the proof. Use your social channels to highlight charitable and philanthropic programs, and announce progressive social and environmental policies that will resonate with your target audience.

Match your application experience to your brand

Are you building an employer brand that paints your organisation as innovative and dynamic? Then the worst move you can make is to have an unimaginative and lacklustre recruiting experience. This begins with online job advertisements that need to focus less on your strict employment policies (unless they’re essential for compliance), and more on the benefits of working for your organisation.

When someone decides to apply for a position, what sort of experience are you presenting them with? Is the application process arduous, with multiple forms and checklists that seem unnecessary? Can it be completed on a mobile device?

Applying for a new role is a leap of faith, so you don’t want your application processes to place doubt in the applicant’s mind. While you want to ensure you’re screening for the best possible applicants, attention to user experience design can ensure that you’re enticing the right people without devaluing your recruitment process.

Avoid treating applicants as just another number

In today’s war for talent, it is essential that we aren’t letting the best people walk away from the recruitment process to join our competitors. Once an applicant has applied, and you have contacted them for an interview, be as clear as you can about everything they need to know for the process, including:

  • Exact times, dates, locations, and people involved with the interview.

  • What they should consider bringing to the interview.

  • The follow up timeline of exactly when they will know if they are successful or unsuccessful.

The last point there is crucial, as someone who has waited two weeks post-interview will soon be applying and interviewing for another role. Even if you offer them a role, they will already be sceptical of your lack of transparency in the process – which may cast doubt in their mind early into their employment, and see them quickly moving on.

Ultimately, our employer brand is the value we are offering to potential employees. If we fail to demonstrate that value to applicants during the recruitment process, they will sense a disconnect that causes them to disengage before we have even hired them. When we get it right, however, we can hire the people who perfectly match our organisation’s values, and are committed to our organisation long term.


This article was written by Presence of IT’s Pranav Birla and was published on LinkedIn. Pranav is based in New Zealand.