Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

Where Should You Start with Employer Branding?

It’s becoming more and more common within recruitment, but not many recruiters know where to start when it comes to employer branding.

Many recruiters still believe employer branding lies within the marketing space, and don’t feel it suits their natural ability. So here are 10 answers from experienced employer brand professionals to help you get to grips with employer branding.

Sarang Brahme

With the employees of your organisation and understanding what existing perception they have. Employer branding is merely a reflection of the way employees think and talk about their experiences in the company. As an HR manager or marketer, you need to start by tapping into employee sentiments, and then identify channels and build a plan to amplify the impact through an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) journey.

Sarang Brahme, Global Social Recruiting & Talent Brand Manager, Capgemini

Jaclyn Campbell

It all starts with asking employees what they really think about your company. Speaking to the source will help you understand both the pros and cons of your workplace, which is critical, before promoting it externally.

Jaclyn Campbell, Employer Brand Consultant, Optus

Jennifer Johnston

Ten years ago, employer branding was all about slick careers sites and a clever culture videos. Today, these things are table stakes. These are still important, but they are becoming less and less impactful. The hard truth is that people don’t want to hear your whitewashed version of life at your company anymore, when they can get the straight story directly from the people who know what it’s like to work for you best – your employees. Today, the top thing you need to be focused on is employee advocacy in the form of social shares and fair reviews.

Jennifer Johnston, Senior Director of Global Employer Branding, Salesforce

Carmen Collins

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? I think you first have to take an honest look at your company culture. Do you want to market an experience that isn’t what happens on an employee’s first day? That employee value proposition needs buy in from the actual employees, and then from there, you can start to talk about the things in your culture that match what candidates are looking for.

Carmen Collins, Social Media & Talent Brand Lead, Cisco

Estela Vazquez Perez

Data. Brand platform. Customization. I work in a global matrix organization so local and global application is most desired. Start with a great foundation of data but move quickly to what matters most for the niche and your leadership team. I like to find common ground where everyone can understand, build trust from there and in parallel create a global employer brand platform. What is your biggest need? As examples, I am currently working on employer branding for different purposes including engagement in Luxemburg, activation for recruitment in Malaysia, positioning in USA, and sustaining our employer status in Canada.

Estela Vazquez Perez, Global Employment Brand Director, Royal Bank of Canada

Ton Rodenburg

Employer branding should start with engaging its team of leaders. Because the only way to build a great company is by attracting, inspiring and developing signature brand people. So it should be the main focus of any CEO to drive every activity towards building such a place. It’s from their leadership, vision and strategies that, hopefully, strong ideas arise about who we are, why we are there, how to bring meaning to stakeholders and society, which values drive behaviors, the distinction in competition and what the company will look like in 5 years. If there’s no ambition or vision at the top this will be felt structurally throughout the whole organization and employer branding wouldn’t reach past simple job posts, testimonial stuff and some fancy videos.

Ton Rodenburg, Employer Branding Strategy Director, ARA M/V Human Resource Communications

Audra Knight

A throughout assessment of your brand (internally as well as externally) is essential before starting any brand project. Cultures can change rather quickly and you don’t want old messaging that does not resonate anymore. Research should include employee surveys, examination of all online review sites, and social media mentions. There are many consultants that can step in to help if you don’t have the resources. Once you’ve done your research, you can begin to craft an EVP for future messaging.

Audra Knight, Recruitment Operations Manager, Tenable

Hannah Fleishman

The best way to start with employer branding is by defining your company’s culture. Because before you can create any webpages, write any blog posts, or do any social media, you need to understand the messaging behind that content. So, where do you start? By talking to your employees. Ask them what they love about working at your company, how they would describe your culture in one sentence, or the reason they joined your company in the first place. Then find the patterns in their responses. Those themes will be the foundation of your employee value proposition, and the ingredients in your employer branding efforts.

Hannah Fleishman, Inbound Recruiting Manager, HubSpot

Shaunda Zilich

I would start employer branding finding out what outcomes are desired. Many people have different ideas of what is meant by employer branding and what outcomes are expected or the definition of a successful employer brand. Be sure to understand from leadership and stakeholders what is understood as the scope. Second step would be to define what actually the scope/actions should be and then figure out how to get leadership understanding this as well. After that is planned then you look at the resources you have and you fit to desired outcomes.

Shaunda Zilich, Global Employment Brand Leader, GE

Jörgen Sundberg

Start with finding out what your employer brand equity is today, how it got there and why. Establishing a baseline is essential to show any kind of trajectory of the brand over time. But don’t just stop at understanding what the equity is, really dig into the good, bad and ugly bits to create an action plan. Only once you’re actively fixing candidate, employee and alumni experience will you be able to see the real results. Not marketing, not advertising, not another app – actually making real changes that improves the experience. If you provide your people with this, you should see employees telling the employer brand story in an organic an authentic fashion.

Jörgen Sundberg, Employer Brand Consultant & CEO, Link Humans