Employer branding mystifies many leaders. A LinkedIn study found that only 55% of small to mid-sized companies have a proactive employer branding strategy.
And yet, we believe that companies have an employer brand, whether they know it or not.
Why does Employer Branding Matter?
Your employer brand, or how your culture is perceived by prospective and current employees, either helps or hurts your company’s bottom line. A healthy investment in employer branding can reduce employee turnover by 28%.
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. Candidates request less money from companies with positive reviews and stronger brand perception.
Turning your brand around doesn’t have to be rocket science. Here are seven employer branding initiatives to establish your company as an admired leader to candidates and employees.
7 Simple Employer Branding Initiatives
1. Bring in HR, PR, and marketing
Make internal branding a collaborative effort between HR, PR, and marketing. You’ll need all those skill sets and channels for a cohesive employer brand.
2. Boost existing employee experiences
Your efforts will not be successful unless you work from the inside out. Work with your leadership team to ensure that the employee experience is at the highest quality possible. Even more, train your leadership team to be active culture builders. Invest in your employees’ well-being and watch your engagement levels excel.
Happy employees can’t help but share about their employer.
3. Capitalize on what your business is good at
While it seems so simple, many businesses forget to highlight their talents. For example, GoDaddy is a software and technology company that works with some of the biggest companies in the world. Their employees enjoy free meals, fun game rooms, and exciting team-building events.
The GoDaddy team capitalizes on their “work hard, play hard” attitude that fuels their excellent products. What makes your business unique? Use media platforms like social sites or television to share your business’ values and culture, and focus on a few key factors that the public can use to relate back to your business.
4. Ensure customers are a positive first contact point for candidates
As a business, your reach expands far beyond your employees.
Each customer has their own perception of your business. Thus, each customer has an impact on your brand’s image. With websites like Yelp growing in popularity, people depend on others’ reviews to influence their decisions.
Consider your company values. How can you bring them alive through branding? From first contact, the mission and values of your business should be evident, and every interaction thereafter should embody the culture of your business.
Though it seems simple, creating a positive experience for customers is one of the most undervalued employee branding initiatives.
5. 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? Ask your employees what words and phrases describe working at your company.
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. Connect your external and internal branding
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. Enter award programs to recognize your outstanding employer branding
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.
Your Best Employer Branding Starts Here
Many successful companies like Dutch Bros. and Keap attribute their success to these employer branding initiatives. Employer branding is essential to attracting top talent. In addition, a positive employer brand image makes employees feel proud to be a part of your business.
Are you an employer with an Arizona presence looking to enhance your regional branding? BestCompaniesAZ is Arizona’s number one platform for connecting employers, job seekers, and the community. Learn more about how our services can elevate your brand.
(Originally published November 2015, updated June 2020.)