Building an employer brand that delivers results

Published: 09/24/19

To have an effective employer brand you must understand what your brand is today, what it could be and how to position your brand for a great return on investment.

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In our post on building an employer brand, we talked about the fact that you already have one, regardless of whether you’re actively managing it or not. A strong employer brand helps you recruit and retain talent, reduces costs associated with bad hires, employee departure, etc., and activates your referral network – one of the most effective sources of great candidates.

While more and more organizations are realizing the impact and becoming laser-focused on building a meaningful employer brand, many are still not where they need to be: a Deloitte survey of over 11,000 employers says less than 50% are ready to meet the most critical workforce demands and expectations.

That means you have an opportunity to make a difference, and build an employer brand that provides a competitive advantage in the talent wars. In this post, we’ll focus on how to take control of your employer brand, position it effectively, and utilize it to hit your recruiting and retention goals.

Step 1: Understand your current employer brand

The best way to understand what your current employer brand? Ask. Talk with current employees across a range of functions and roles throughout your organization – with special emphasis on hard-to-hire areas. Ask what they like, what they don’t like, what’s working and where the opportunities to improve lie.

It’s important to talk with prospective employees, too, to understand how they perceive your organization, its culture and its strengths and weaknesses. Ask what they look for, what they like and what concerns they have.

There are a lot of different tools and methodologies to get what you need, including focus groups (in-person groups and online boards), stakeholder interviews, surveys and online review sites (seeing what people say about your company on GlassdoorIndeed and CareerBliss can be eye-opening).

Step 2: Understand the landscape

Evaluate your competitors – review their career sites, job postings, evaluate their online reviews and conduct social media listening to understand their positioning – as well as where market opportunities (market whitespace) exist.

Step 3: Synthesize and position

Combine your learnings about your current employer brand and market perception, your strengths and opportunities and what’s important to your target, and use that knowledge to create insights into your target audience, then develop personas that reflect audience needs.

Combining your insights, your personas and your knowledge of the market whitespace creates the foundation for your positioning strategy – the heart of your employer brand.

Your positioning strategy defines how your new employer brand will be perceived and what that means to your target audience. It includes key brand attributes, communication pillars and brand behaviors that resonate and reinforce all your employer brand can and should be.

If you’d like to talk about building your employer brand, get in touch. Our experts are happy to answer your questions.