Employer Branding

How to Build a Powerful Employer Branding Strategy so You Attract and Retain Top Talent to Grow Your Business

An employer branding strategy is effectively a combination of your brand purpose, brand visionbrand values, brand mission, brand promise, brand positioningbrand story, and brand personality — all collectively manifesting in your brand culture and so are carefully developed, implemented, cultivated and communicated to stakeholders both internally and externally alike.

Put simply, it’s how you’re seen as an employer and paints an authentic picture through the lens of its employees of what it’s like to work at your company. Your employer brand is your bigger purpose – the reasons beyond the money, your voice, your values and your ethos. It’s the messages you use and tangible experiences you create — your living brand culture to attract and retain top talent whilst building a long lasting impression on the people who matter most.

Related: Brand Newsjacking, Seasonality and Trends, How to Make Your Brand Stand Out

In today’s post, we’re taking a closer look at various techniques, trends and strategies to ensure your brand attracts and retains the best talent. We’re also taking a look at the importance of Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment. As stated by Jobs “The most important and valuable asset of any organisation – is its people.”[1] Every organisation wants to attract the best talent and be regarded as the first choice place they aspire to one day work for. So how exactly do you achieve this?

Related: Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment, How Your Personal Brand Can Benefit Your Business

Make Employer Branding Strategy a Core Pillar in Your Company Brand Culture

Great leaders frequently advocate the importance of engaging everyone in the business to build a strong company culture, why? Because an engaged employee not only comes to work with a smile on their face because they feel motivated with a greater sense of purpose — so fueling purposeful productivity — they’re also innately motivated take their positive actions further.

Related: How Leaders Drive Profitability With a Strong Brand Vision Statement

An engaged employee creates an environment that ensures your people bottom up and top down know your brand’s bigger purpose and why their work is an essential contribution to achieving the collectives’ greater success. For them, coming to work is something bigger than themselves so they’re more motivated and engaged every day compared to an unengaged, disheartened employee watching the time to clock-out.

They relish the environment in which they work, a place where mutual collaboration, personal development, growth, appreciation and participation is nurtured under the ethos of what makes your brand and company a highly attractive and unique world to be part of.

According to research by Deloitte, “94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct corporate brand culture is important to business’ success.”[2] In addition to the importance of company culture, there was also a strong correlation between happiness and being valued at work with an unassailable company brand culture. You are only as strong as your weakest link, and a strong company culture can help take people and your brand to the next level.

Related: The Age Of Internal Branding and Selling It From The Inside Out

Forbes, identified a number of key employer branding strategy benefits relating to building a positive corporate employer brand culture. These include:

  1. Recruitment: Your employer branding strategy and culture can become the best tool for your HR managers, because it essentially does their job for them. When a company believes in specific values, that are dear to your ideal talents’ hearts, you attract the right employees. As the great Jim Collins, refers to in his book good to great – “have the right people on the bus”. Patagonia is a perfect example of a company that attracts great employees, who match their values. Why? because they care more about the environment than any other company so they entrench an even deeper brand imprint in the mind of their customers.
  2. Employee Loyalty: “A positive culture fosters a sense of employee loyalty. Employees are much more likely to stay with their current employer when they feel they are treated right and enjoy going to work every day.” Most importantly, productivity and brand equity is highest when there is a low churn of employees and a strong employer branding strategy.[3]
  3. Job Satisfaction: Job satisfaction is naturally an inevitable outcome when your company has the same values as you. If companies care about their employees, they, in turn, return the sentiment, so improving the overall sentiment around your employer brand.
  4. Collaboration: A strong company culture and employer brand encourages collaboration, nurtures diversity and so fuels increased productivity and higher profits.
  5. Employee MoraleIf employees are unhappy, how can you expect your brand to be successful? When you respect employees as individuals and as work colleagues, show your appreciation, it does wonders for your employer brand both in terms of sentiment, productivity and sales. There are endless possibilities and potentiality when teams unite, causing an abundance of positive employee morale benefits.  

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal target audience effectively so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand and your employer branding strategy, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:

  1. Build your brand for you – find out more here or get in touch [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724
  2. Empower you to build your brand – check out the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind here. This is a two-day intensive where you work on your brand with us codifying and mapping out your brand strategy for business growth. Alternatively, join our half-day Branding Accelerator Masterclass for a fast-injection of brand building essentials. Ask about our Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment Masterclass
  3. Want a DIY solution? Check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here

Sweetgreen’s Drive Towards The Best Employer Branding Strategy

Sweetgreens, a niche American fast food salad bar, inspiring people to make a conscious decision when choosing a quick bite, has taken a step in the right direction to ensure a happy company brand culture. Forbes have identified and shared some of Sweetgreen’s hallmark initiatives that have helped create a positive company culture including [3]:

  • Family Fund: Sweetgreen provides emergency financial support for employees during times of need. It’s funded through voluntary paycheck deductions from corporate employees. The Family Fund for example has assisted team members in paying for temporary housing because of a fire and has also helped assist an employee who needed to travel to care for a sick loved one.
  • Notes of Gratitude: Employers host a ‘Gratitude Night’ to thank employees for making a positive impact on their customers. The corporate office reviews letters sent in from happy customers and write personal, handwritten notes to employees who have helped these customers. These types of events highlight employees’ achievements and give them some public recognition and appreciation for their hard work.
  • Working with Impact Projects: Sweetgreen offers employees the opportunity to get involved with impact projects to support the community. Sweetgreen recently partnered with the LA Food Policy Council to revamp a small, family-run grocery market.

Related: Social Responsibility: How to Build a Socially Conscious Brand

Employer Branding

Image by Future Organizations

Now you may be wondering what this has to do with branding or your brand strategy? To be frank, it has everything to do with it. Your culture is your entire brand — the living tangible synthesis of it — people live and breathe it every day through their interactions and experiences so it’s a major part of your brand strategy. The question is, how strong is your brand culture in positive terms? Is it underpinning your productivity and growth or sabotaging your existence?

Related: Use Psychology in Your Brand Strategy to Create Irresistible Brand Experiences and Increase Sales

Sweetgreen’s, CEO Jonathan Neman, stated that his advice to ensuring a meaningful company culture: [4]

  1. Connect to your purpose, vision, mission and values
  2. Don’t just put values up on the wall. Make them real action factors that everyone is responsible for
  3. Empower your team to co-create and build your brand culture together
  4. Understand that your culture will evolve over time because a strong positive brand culture is not built overnight but it does need solid foundations underpinning its growth

Ensure Your Brand Culture and Employer Branding is Leveraged Through Thoughtful Communications Campaigns

In the past employer branding was an initiative that was mostly a siloed activity led by the HR department. However, times have changed in our digital age. We’re seeing an increase in employees voicing both their successes and disenchantment on various platforms such as Glassdoor, Linkedin and Facebook.

Great leaders carefully nurture their organisational brand culture so their ideal employees and management team want to be part of it. They inspire others to want to join to their company because their people can see transparently how the organisation they work for, or aspire to be part of, has not only elevated the collective but supported individual success too — for the greater good.

To leverage your employer branding strategy for greatest effect businesses should identify personnel who could become influencers and brand ambassadors, supported by some brand induction and training, within your own organization.

Empower them to leverage their ascendancy to attract and retain the best top talent. HR Technologist has identified that when “organizations seek to transform their talent into a competitive advantage, employee branding is no longer optional. Organizations make an impression on potential candidates by design or by default.” [5] so think about it carefully.

HR Technologist has identified three employer trends which should be incorporated into your employer branding strategy for 2019:

  1. Employer Branding Goes Mobile: In previous posts, we discussed the importance of being a mobile-friendly website. Why? Because the whole world is predominately consuming information in this format. Users also have the ability to post engaging content every day relating to the job and organisation they’re currently part of. In America alone, users are known to make over one million job searches from their mobile, so the question is, is your branding standing out in this space effectively?
  2. Personalization: The abundance of career sites on the market has made it more difficult for employers to stand out from the crowd. The content you upload to these platforms must be data-driven and speak directly to the demographic or potential employee you are seeking to attract.  
  3. Omni-Channel Campaigns: Given the huge volume of different recruiting platforms in the market, are you streamlining your content congruently to avoid confusion or distrust? Is the message you’re conveying consistent between your website, job board, social media and PR — in other words, across all platforms so you have a consistent highly attractive ecosystem.

Related: Top 10 Branding Trends in 2019 – part 2

Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy and employer branding strategy so you can effectively build a highly attractive brand culture to attract and retain your top talent — and ultimately increase your productivity and sales? Are you curious about how to build or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our branding workshops because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium.

In fact, the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is all about fast-tracking you, your brand and your business through the brand building, brand strategy process using big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results so you can grow your business faster and more effectively.

If you want a tailor-made solution specifically for your brand then we also provide in-house bespoke Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Intensives working with you and your team so you can grow your business faster and more profitably. Contact us to discover more [email protected] or +353 1 8322724

Meltwater South Africa and Employer Branding

Meltwater South Africa, led by Matthew Barclay, is a great example of a company that ticks many of the boxes for a strong employer branding strategy. They consistently attract amazing top talent because of three core principles originated by their Norwegian founder.

Employer Branding

Image via Meltwater on Facebook

Below is a great example of how companies can use their media channels to attract talent and ensure the same message is portrayed consistently across all channel and any country they operate in. Check out their inspiring video below:

Stand Out and Attract Top Talent, Share What Makes Your Employer Brand Unique

Culture has become a determining factor for many candidates when choosing which companies they would like to invest their time in. It has a significant impact on talent application both in terms of quality and quantity.

When developed and nurtured properly, your employer branding strategy consistently captures and expresses the very essence of what makes your company attractively unique. This can be readily felt through all the experiential factors of working in your brand world and through how the brand ‘shows up’ in its behaviour together with high-quality photos or videos, along with the more spontaneous variety, posted regularly on the company blog or social media channels relevant to your brand and primary audiences.

Related: The Impact of Company Brand Culture On Driving Performance and Increasing Sales

Entrepreneur has dryly noted, “the world is drowning in brands. There are more than 28 million small business in the United States, and even more mid to large sized businesses that increase the number further.”[5] The message being, don’t build another average vanilla brand contributing to the mass noise. Instead build something worth the effort — a highly desiable standout employer brand that makes a difference in the world and that people want to be part of — whether your business is a local powerhouse or a global behemoth. 

Employer Branding

Image by Salesforce

Often companies are sceptical about using social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat because they feel it is unbusinesslike, not realizing it is exactly where the future talent of tomorrow is most engaged.

Sometimes a company needs to be bold and take a step into the unknown so that they can showcase their brand’s uniqueness. @Salesforcejobs Instagram account was created and has generated over 14000 followers around the world, giving them a platform to voice their uniqueness to attract top talent around the world.

Related: How to Use Influencers to Grow Your Brand and Open New Markets

Another company that has done an impeccable job at attracting top talent is General Electric. As you can see by their inspirational video below they are all about expressing their brand purpose. Forging the path of the Internet of Things (IoT), while getting people excited about the amazing things you can achieve when you’re part of GE.

Brand Your Company Benefits in your Employer Branding Strategy

A lot of companies choose not to brand their company benefits and leave it up to HR to educate new employees about the advantages of joining a company. There are many perks a business can use in their branding endeavours, that often get left out of the marketing arsenal for the employer branding strategy.

Employer Branding

Image by Google Careers

According to Google, Investopedia “Google has claimed the top spot on Glassdoor’s annual list of the 50 best places to work, as well as Fortune magazine’s annual list of the 100 best companies to work, for multiple years. This is largely because the company offers some of the best employee perks, opportunities for career growth, work that positively impacts the human race and innovative culture.” [7]

Whether you’re building a company from scratch or firmly established, focusing your branding strategy on what your company offers not only inspire’s top talent but engenders a deeper sense of loyalty from your desired target audience because you’re seen as a company that clearly cares about the world and the people who work for you.

If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high performing, highly profitable standout brand, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse.

  1. Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person or online
  2. Allow us to create a customised plan for you
  3. Let’s implement the plan together  
  4. Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

Lorraine Carter is a professional speaker delivering talks that inspire and motivate along with masterclasses and workshops that inform and support transformational outcomes fast, and consultancy solutions that solve problems so you can outshine, outperform and leave your competitors way behind.

Final Word

In conclusion, the importance of a well thought out employer branding strategy is paramount to inspiring the future leaders of tomorrow. Not only does it underpin brand loyalty, but it also instils a sense of trust that is hard to replicate without any strategy at all.  Whatever you decide to communicate, make sure you internalise what your company culture is all about and how you want to authentically live and portray your brand purpose and brand values through your brand personality.  

Related: How To Use Brand Ambassadors To Open New Revenue Channels

Consider building a positive corporate employer brand culture that is congruent with your brand strategy and base it on initiatives the people you’re targeting relate to most. Leverage Social Media and your employees to your collective advantage. Identify and get the right people on board to become your brand champions so you can increase your influence through your employer branding more effectively.  And lastly, don’t be shy about promoting your company perks, make your employees feel appreciated and proud about their workplace.

So as you take your brand to the next level in the year ahead, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have you clearly defined and mapped out your company brand culture? Have you made it an authentically real experience and not tokenism?
  2. What type of employees do you want to attract to your business? Have you profiled them within the context of your overall brand purpose and values?
  3. How can you leverage your existing employees to become your brand champions?
  4. What makes working at your business genuinely unique in comparison to others?
  5. What type of benefits could you consider amplifying from an employer branding to attract top talent?
  6. Does your employer branding strategy need re-evaluation or a potential refresh to drive growth?

Your Persona Client Satisfaction Guarantee

  1. When you work with us we’ll create a customised brand building plan and strategy with clear investment for you tailored to your specific requirements and preferences
  2. You’ll know each step of your brand building journey before we start because we’ll discuss it, document it and agree on it with you before work commences
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Get in touch today because we’d love to get started helping you build your standout, powerhouse brand so you can increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind.

Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about our VIP Brand Strategy Discovery.