November 11, 2015 BestCompaniesAZ

Seven Tips for Creating an Admired Employer Brand

By Lee Vikre

Employer branding mystifies many leaders. In a recent TLNT post, the president of Career Builder North America said “half of companies don’t have an employer brand.” I disagree – I think all companies have an employer brand, whether they know it or not.

Your employer brand, or how your culture is perceived by prospective and current employees, either helps or hurts your company’s bottom line. Without brand recognition you will attract primarily desperate job seekers, and if you want top talent you’ll probably have to bribe them with supersized salaries. Your best people may jump ship when they become highly valuable.

Research shows that starting salary is less important to job seekers than their perception of the organization. 70% of job seekers said they would accept less than their minimum salary for an employer they believe is a great place to work.

Here are seven tips for building an admired employer brand.

  1. Make internal branding a collaborative effort between HR, PR, and marketing. You’ll need all those skill sets.
  2. Conduct internal opinion surveys and focus groups. What is it like to work at your company? What are your strengths and weaknesses as an employer?
  3. Ask your employees what words and phrases describe working at your company.
  4. Consider your company values. How can you bring them alive through branding?
  5. Think of employees as customers. What do they want? Consider the demographics and preferences of professionals in your industry and adjust the employment experience accordingly.
  6. If you have a strong external brand, let that guide your internal branding efforts. This may seem easier for large organizations, but Phoenix-based Arizona’s Most Admired Company winner Goodmans Interior Structures is a perfect example of a small business with consistency in external marketing and employer branding. It’s hard to look at their website and not want to work there, and their turnover is nil.
  7. Submit nominations to “Best Companies” lists, and when you win, make sure everyone knows about it!  This is one of the most effective ways to build your brand in an authentic way.

Please share your ideas.