Employer branding: What you need to know

It’s what’s on the outside that counts…

Attracting the right candidates can be made more effective by choosing the right approach to your employer brand.

No matter the size of your organisation, creating an engaging and appealing employer brand will help you achieve the right result when it comes to hiring new staff.

To help make sure you’re promoting your brand in the best way possible, we’ve put together a quick rundown of the ways strong employer branding can make for a more effective recruitment process:


What is employer branding?

A neat way to think of your employer brand is as your organisation’s personality – and how it comes across to potential new hires.

From what you post on social media when you’re looking to fill a vacancy, through each step of your recruitment process to how your current employees feel about you – it all contributes to shaping your employer brand.


Why is it important?

Put simply, a great employer brand maximises your chances of attracting and retaining great candidates.

How your brand is seen by potential employees will determine whether they choose to apply for a job with you and follow through with their application.

From the way you communicate your values and culture to how you describe the application stage and the way you respond to candidates and interview them; it all shapes your image as an employer.

And remember: the way you deal with rejecting applications matters just as much as your approach to the successful ones. A poor experience of the recruitment process can negatively impact brand advocacy and even hurt future sales.


How do I use it?

Using your employer brand to your advantage is essential to recruiting and retaining the best staff. As it can be represented across various platforms and through different actions, it’s absolutely vital that the essence of your brand is present with everything you do.

Here are some of the best ways to make sure your brand always impresses:


Define your online presence. Create an online space to promote your employer brand. Include social media, as well as your own website. Be proactive and engage with visitors, ensure there’s consistency in tone and messaging across each channels and respond to feedback with helpful, informed solutions.

Example – Harrods Careers. With an interactive tone and a focus on imagery, Harrods is able to let their employer brand shine through, as well as promote their products. Not only do they attract candidates by advertising new vacancies, they also ensure their tweets reflect the most recent and up and coming trends within their business. Customer interaction is also handled effectively and Harrods always responds to queries with helpful solutions. 


Track your success. Make sure you’re always monitoring which approaches to building your brand – and attracting the best new applicant – work most effectively. You’ll build a clearer understanding of the kinds of messages you should be sending to the prospective candidates you’re trying hardest to reach.

Example – IBM. Data-driven firms like IBM use statistical analysis for their recruitment and employee retention. This helps them to investigate the most effective methods so they can then tailor their budgets accordingly.  


Develop a (kind of) sales pitch. In every job you advertise, explain exactly what your company has to offer. Outline what you do, describe your company culture, and focus on the positives of building a career with your organisation.

Example – reed.co.uk. We’ve worked hard to make our job ads ‘on brand’, stressing our core ‘Love Mondays’ message and playing on the benefits of working for the UK’s #1 job site in an approachable, positive and energetic way.


Don’t underestimate the value of an outstanding recruitment process. Think of your recruitment process as a customer service channel where you always strive to exceed expectations and you’ll be well on the way to building a powerful employer brand. Uphold a functional approach that reflects your brand positively and always be sincere and professional with your potential employees.

Example – Google. By constantly reviewing and improving their hiring process, Google ensures they always attract the best candidates. They include several members of the team in their candidate selection process and run a successful referral system, which accounts for almost half of their overall applicants.  


Undertake (anonymous) surveys to determine employee satisfaction. By addressing issues early, you’ll be able to avoid them impacting negatively on co-workers – and your employer brand.

Example – NHS. The NHS performs a yearly staff survey, which is used to gain better insights into the motivations and frustrations of their employees. They then come up with a series of actions each year to improve staff morale.


Be true to your values. Whatever you do, always support your employer’s values and overall the message you want to send. And to help you do this as effectively as possible, think about what attracted you to join the organisation in the first place, how it made you feel at the time and how you could make it even better.

Example – The Body Shop. This leader in promoting positive environmental change is always linking its products and campaigns back to its original values. The Body Shop strives to support fair trade, defend human rights, fight against animal testing and protect the planet. As an employer, they also provide ‘in-store’ days, where all members of the company are encouraged to spend five days a year in store to get to grips with retail operations and learn about their customers.



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