Topic Retention

14 Cost-Efficient Ways to Improve Your Employer Brand

14 Cost-Efficient Ways to Improve Your Employer Brand

 In today's job market, a positive employer brand is no longer a "nice to have"—it's a must-have.

With the rise of social media and employer review sites like Glassdoor, a company's reputation is on full display for all to see.

A bad employer brand can tank your recruiting and retention efforts.

The good news?

You don't have to leave your reputation up to chance. With some strategic effort, you can shape an employer brand that attracts top talent.

Have questions? Let's talk.

1. Define Your Employer Value Proposition

Start by analyzing your existing Employer Value Proposition (EVP). Your EVP encompasses your culture, values, environment, opportunities, benefits, and compensation. It's the total package you offer employees.

Conduct anonymous surveys to gather employee feedback on what they love about your EVP and what could be improved. Ask targeted questions to understand satisfaction with culture, values, workplace environment, career growth opportunities, benefits, compensation, and perks. Surveys allow you to collect candid input from a large workforce segment.

Hold focus groups to delve deeper into survey themes. Bring together employees across roles, experience levels, and demographics for an open discussion. An intimate setting encourages sharing detailed perspectives and stories to illustrate survey feedback.

Look at employer review sites to see what past and present employees are saying. Their unfiltered reviews provide an external benchmark for how your EVP measures up in the job market. Monitor ratings and reviews over time to spot trends.

Defining your unique EVP through these inputs allows you to maximize your strengths and address needs in branding efforts. You gain insight to develop focused messaging and initiatives.

With an understanding of your current EVP, establish a clear mission statement and core values. Your mission statement conveys your purpose and vision. It explains why you exist as a company. Core values define your principles for achieving your mission.

Make sure employees see your mission and values actively lived out, not just stated. Demonstrate them through policies, practices, and leadership behaviors. When your EVP aligns with messaging, you lay an authentic foundation for your brand.

Now that you've analyzed your EVP and defined your mission and values, you can refine the candidate experience. An exceptional recruitment process makes a powerful impact on employer brand perception.

2. Build an Exceptional Candidate Experience

A positive candidate experience can make or break your employer brand. Candidates interact with your brand through every step of the recruitment process. Ensure their experience reflects your values and converts talent into enthusiastic ambassadors.

Start by optimizing your sourcing strategy and channels. Identify where your ideal candidates spend time online and focus efforts there. Make applying easy through an intuitive careers page and simple application.

Streamline the interview process with clear guidelines, scheduling coordination, and regular candidate communication. Provide interviewers with training and question guides. Gather structured, consistent feedback.

Share timely updates with candidates on status and next steps. Set expectations upfront on process length. Make offers efficiently, not leaving candidates hanging.

Onboarding is a critical extension of the candidate experience. Create a meaningful welcome with checklists, peer mentor pairings, and celebrations.

When you optimize recruitment and onboarding, candidates become colleagues excited to share their positive experiences.

 3. Invest in Employee Learning and Development

Employees now view employers as platforms to develop skills. An employer brand that enables professional development attracts ambitious talent.

Provide career guidance through mentorships and management coaching. Enable internal mobility through lateral moves and cross-training.

Host speaker series for exposure to industry experts. Sponsor events by professional associations. Encourage community involvement and leadership roles.

Support higher education through tuition reimbursement. Build manager capability through workshops on giving feedback and cultivating teams.

When you invest in employee growth, you build an employer brand centered on achievement. Employees gain skills to advance their careers while you retain and grow top performers.

A thriving culture also contributes to your brand's appeal. Let's explore best practices for fostering an engaging environment.

Cultivating positive company culture

4. Cultivate a Positive Company Culture

A thriving culture represents perhaps the most valuable component of your employer brand. Employees today prioritize engagement, inclusion, and work-life balance. You should shape policies and practices to reflect these priorities.

Facilitate employee recognition through peer-to-peer programs. Offer awards connected to company values. Enable managers to recognize achievements publicly and privately.

Build connections through volunteer programs. Organize employee resource groups focused on diversity and inclusion. Sponsor charitable giving and fundraising campaigns.

Accommodate flexible scheduling and remote work arrangements. Provide generous vacation time and mental health days. Offer stipends for wellness activities.

Understand your culture by gathering feedback through stay interviews and exit surveys. Continually refine the environment to meet evolving needs.

Culture directly impacts performance and retention. An employer brand rooted in engagement attracts talent across generations.

5. Leverage Social Media and Online Presence

Social media and online platforms allow you to engage directly with talent and share your brand. Leverage these channels to highlight achievements, promote events, and encourage employee advocacy.

Share company news like product launches, awards, and media mentions. Spotlight employees through social media takeovers and features. Repurpose culture content from internal channels.

Respond to reviews and comments quickly and thoughtfully. Join relevant conversations using branded hashtags and @mentions. Interact with industry influencers.

Encourage employees to share content with their networks. Equip them with guidelines and assets. Capture and repost user-generated content.

Your online presence tells a story recruits continually reference. Ensure it authentically represents your culture while engaging communities.

6. Practice Authenticity and Transparency

Authenticity and transparency should be guiding principles as you share your employer brand. Avoid glossing over challenges and be responsive when issues arise.

Frequently survey employees to monitor satisfaction and gather suggestions. Conduct insightful exit interviews upon departures.

Publicly convey your social responsibility, sustainability, diversity, and inclusion commitments. Outline specific goals and progress.

Ensure PR messaging aligns with employer branding. Coordinate social media, awards submissions, and leadership talking points.

Collaborate cross-functionally to address feedback and remedy problems. Loop in employees and encourage two-way dialogue.

Being responsive and admitting imperfections may seem counterintuitive, but it builds immense trust and goodwill with candidates. They will respect the honesty and see the care put into your culture.

7. Offer Competitive Benefits

The benefits you're able to offer impact your employer brand. Candidates compare compensation and perks when weighing opportunities. Stay competitive by tailoring your offerings to what matters most to employees.

Partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) opens the door for small and mid-sized businesses to offer robust benefits packages on par with large corporations.

A PEO gains economies of scale that bring down costs across group insurance plans, retirement programs, and other offerings by pooling employees from multiple companies.

For example, a PEO can negotiate discounted rates for health insurance covering thousands of employees versus a small business dealing with a few dozen employees.

Beyond cost reductions, a PEO also handles the burden of benefits administration for client employers. The PEO manages the plans, paperwork, compliance, and communication while the employer simply selects the offerings to provide.

This makes it easy for businesses to give employees access to top-tier benefits without exhaustive HR efforts or expenses. The improved benefits expand the employer brand and appeal to candidates.


8. Measure and Track Employer Branding Metrics

To gauge your progress, establish critical metrics and regularly measure the impact of your efforts.

Track the number of applicants over time, especially for crucial roles you aim to fill. Monitor offer acceptance rates. Calculate new hire retention at milestones like 30/60/90 days and one year.

Send pulse surveys to assess employee satisfaction.

Monitor job board analytics to identify top sources of candidates. Review click-through rates on postings. See if investments in sponsored ads or premium packages on particular platforms are paying off in quality applicants.

Review conversion rates at each stage of your hiring funnel, from applicants to interviews scheduled to offers extended. Look for drop-off points in the process.

Send new hire surveys after 30/60/90 days, plus annual engagement surveys. Look for trends revealing strengths and weak spots in the employee experience. Be proactive by acting on constructive feedback, even if it involves complex changes.

Generating more applicants doesn't always mean you're reaching better candidates. Dig deeper and assess recruiting and onboarding based on quality of hire and retention, not just volume.

Regularly tracking performance metrics ensures you stay accountable. You can course correct and optimize spending for maximum employer brand impact.

9. Leverage Employer Review Sites

Your online presence and reviews directly impact talent attraction. Monitor mentions and proactively manage your profiles on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.

Encourage satisfied employees to leave constructive feedback. Remove barriers like login requirements to simplify the review process.

Respond professionally to all reviews, showing you value diverse perspectives. Dig deeper into critical feedback and acknowledge when it is valid. Outline any changes implemented.

Submit new content like leadership profiles, award announcements, and culture spotlights. Refresh outdated messaging and imagery across platforms.

Solicit reviews during the recruitment process and after hiring. Capture candidates' experiences while positive and top of mind.

Managing your online employer brand safeguards against reliance on outdated or misleading information.

10. Spotlight Employee Stories

Spotlighting employee stories and perspectives lends authenticity to your employer brand. Feature the people behind your brand - not just the logo and messaging.

Interview standout employees about their roles, achievements, and development. Share their tenure, career path, and what motivates them.

Capture employee testimonials about supportive managers, impactful projects, and favorite aspects of the culture. You can even quote rave reviews from new hires.

Let employees take over your social channels for a day to share "A Day in the Life." Show employees volunteering or using company benefits.

Employees make the culture, so their stories help candidates envision thriving at your company.

Recognize employee achievements with spotlights

11. Promote Awards and Achievements

Promoting achievements and accolades boosts your credibility with candidates. External recognition validates you as an employer of choice.

Spotlight awards, rankings, and certifications prominently on your careers site and social media pages. Feature wins in external PR and internal communications.

Proactively submit award applications to highlight exemplary initiatives around culture, diversity and inclusion, benefits, recruitment, retention and more. Gaining third-party validation lends immense credibility.

Share news articles and media features on innovation, thought leadership, growth milestones, new products, or community impact. This expanded reach introduces you to broader audiences.

Mention awards and media coverage in employer branding content. Tying achievements to specific pillars like culture and values reinforces your strengths. Candidates see you walk the talk.

12. Refresh Branding Visually

Refreshing your visual branding ensures alignment with revamped messaging and culture. Make regular updates across candidate and employee touchpoints. While this may require more investment than other employer branding strategies, the returns are impressive once hiring costs are considered.

Modernize your careers site with updated photography, videos, and content. Feature diverse employees and showcase brand personality through imagery and copy.

Create graphics, logos, and banners reflecting new initiatives like remote work policies, diversity and inclusion commitments, and awards. Visually tie achievements to brand pillars.

Film new recruitment and culture videos that authentically portray the current environment and employee experience. Retake corporate headshots and photos to increase the diversity depicted.

Evolve signage, swag, digital assets, and intranet sites to reinforce changes and repositioning. Optimize visual branding in the candidate and employee journeys.

Consistent and cohesive visuals drive home your updated employer value proposition. Employer branding is incomplete without visual storytelling.

13. Build a Talent Community

Building an engaged talent community creates a pipeline for future roles. Stay top of mind with high potential prospects even between active hiring.

Segment applicants from your database by criteria like skills, experience, location, and past roles. Create targeted email campaigns introducing yourself and starting meaningful relationships.

Share employer brand content with your talent community, like culture articles, career pathing resources, event invites, and leadership Q&As. Build authentic connections with brand ambassadors.

Solicit open feedback and suggestions from talented community members. As an external audience, they offer an invaluable outside-in perspective on how your brand comes across.

Timing is everything, so contact qualified talent just before new roles open that match their capabilities. Give top prospects advance notice of opportunities.

Nurturing a talent community generates warm leads, referrals, and brand advocates.

14. Collaborate With Marketing

Aligning your internal culture and external branding creates cohesion. Collaborate cross-functionally across HR, marketing, recruiting, and leadership for integration.

Involve all these functions in defining your core values, mission statement, and employer brand pillars. Gain insights from diverse lenses to shape messaging.

Proactively share finalized employer brand messaging and creative assets with the leadership team and broader employee base—secure understanding and buy-in at all levels.

Encourage executives, managers, and team leaders to naturally incorporate your brand pillars and achievements in company talks and team meetings. Celebrate employee accomplishments tied to values.

Consider potential recruiting and marketing implications when developing new programs and policies. Review content and collateral through a branding lens to safeguard consistency.

With cross-functional input and ongoing internal education and communication, your employer brand authentically comes to life in the eyes of candidates, employees, and clients alike.

Managing your employer brand is a long-term investment that pays dividends across the employee lifecycle. You can build an authentic and distinctive brand by continually evaluating your employer value proposition and enhancing the candidate experience. Pair this with clear communication of your mission, values, and culture. The result is an employer brand that powerfully attracts, engages, and retains top talent for the long haul.


Please note that the information presented above is not intended to be specific, technical, or professional advice. Our aim is to educate and provide insight into relevant topics.