Employer Branding

How to Make the Case for Employer Branding

You know a category is heating up when it warrants a Dummies book. Employer Branding has now got the dummy treatment, thanks to our friends and chief dummkopfs Lars Schmidt and Richard Mosley.

Check out the book Employer Branding for Dummies, listen to the interview with Lars Schmidt below and make sure you subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

How do you make the case for employer branding?

I think there’s a variety of reasons of why consciously building your employer brand is advantageous to a company.

  1. The obvious one is that it’s going to make it easier for your company to attract the talent that you’re looking for. So if prospects can do some research and get a good feel for your culture, your environment, the way work gets done, your values, as long as they align with it, they’re going to be more likely to seek you out. This is really important for high-demand talents. If you’re hiring niche advanced talent or technology positions, those are all people that have options, And you can bet if you’re hiring in those bases, that your competitors are telling their story. They are focusing on their employer brand. So it becomes, actually, a liability if you’re not.
  2. I think a strong employer brand also allows you to save money on things like recruitment advertising, and media, and things that traditionally you do to fill the top of your funnel because now, you have more candidates coming to seek you out and more ways for them to actually be able to discover you without you having to pay for that.
  3. I think if you have a really compelling employer brand, studies have shown that the salaries may not need to be as high. You may not have to pay a premium if you have a compelling employer brand. Well, the opposite is actually true. If you don’t have a compelling employer brand, you’re going to have to make up with that on something. And usually, for most people, it’s going to be in compensation or benefits.
  4. I think another would be the impact on morale and employee engagement and retention. So a strong employer brand, if it’s an organization that people really want to work for and employees are empowered to share their story, they take a lot of pride in that because not all companies do that. And so if you do that effectively, you’re not just making it easier for you to bring talent in the organization, you’re going to be more effective at actually holding and keeping your talent because of the perception and the reality of what it’s like to work there.

What are some of the best practices for employer branding?

So in my view, best practices are best practices that highlight the employees. They spend a lot of time illuminating the employee experience. They’re real. And what I mean by that is that they’re not all fluff. They’re not all gloss.

I think that compelling employer brand practices are ones that highlight the real experience. And a lot of that is good, hopefully. Some of that may not be good, and that’s okay. I think that effective employer branding does a good job at highlighting both because ultimately the end goal shouldn’t be filling your funnel. It shouldn’t be getting more and more people to apply. It’s getting the right people to apply. And to do that, you’ve got to be honest about what you offer and what you lack, frankly, because some people will make decisions and they’ll be drawn to what you offer and some people would be repelled by what you lack.

But if that’s your reality, hiding that and not owning that and worse, covering that up, employees are going to find that out when they get there anyway. And so I think it’s important that, to me, the kind of employer branding efforts and campaigns that interest me are ones that are real and they’re not afraid to poke fun at themselves. They’re not afraid to even shine a light on their worst of times. Because I think that the end result of that is you’ve got a much more targeted candidate pool and level of affinity from employees that are interested in your organization because they can connect with the reality of what it’s like to work there.

Follow Lars on Twitter @Lars and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.