employer working on employer branding

Employer Branding

What is the meaning of employer branding?

The term "employer brand" describes the desire to create a strong employer brand for one's own company and the constant maintenance of this image externally (recruitment of employees) and internally (retention of employees).

What are the goals of employer branding?

Why is employer branding so critical? We are in a time where the labor market is characterized by an increasing lack of personnel and skilled workers as well as the struggle of companies for qualified talents (war of talents). Attracting talent is a real challenge for companies, hiring costs are high and job seekers are increasingly picky.

2 HR managers talking about the employer branding strategy

Strengthen the employer brand

Employer branding aims to build an employer brand that positions itself as an attractive employer to potential applicants and convinces them in the application process. On the other hand, employer branding should also be used to retain employees in the company so that quality employees do not look elsewhere for job offers.

Define internal and external measures

Successful employer branding refers to measures that are taken externally, but also internally. Both measures are equally relevant. If things are working well within the company and your employees are satisfied with the company as an employer, this will radiate outwards. This creates a positive effect and a company appears to outsiders as an attractive employer, while its own employees are retained.

Outwards: recruiting and hiring employees

Employer branding supports the recruiting process. The aim is to attract talented employees who are interested in the company and want to work for it in the long term. Therefore, all employer branding measures are aimed at potential candidates for the advertised position.

Most often, a positive image is conveyed through the website or career page of the company. 

Whether the application process is straightforward or the location is favorable, it can influence a potential applicant. Putting employees - the people - in the foreground also creates a positive perception of the company brand. But what's better than satisfied employees who spread word-of-mouth and recommend the company to others? They are priceless, effective and authentic.

2 HR managers have a coffee

Inwards: retention of current employees

Once you have convinced a candidate that you are the right company, the next step is to retain this employee for the long term. This is to bind him or her to the company. All companies want to keep staff turnover as low as possible, as this results in high costs and the loss of qualified employees.

Employer branding has the primary task of motivating existing employees and creating the possibility of identification with the company. A suitable corporate culture has to be created for this. Once employees are satisfied and motivated, this has a positive effect on the productivity of their work.

Measures like employee benefits and team building are relevant in this context. Many companies are getting creative! But employee retention can start much earlier. Even structured onboarding conveys values and a positive experience to new employees.

Onboarding checklists

Employee onboarding process checklist template

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How do you develop a strategy?

Companies can either seek the help of professional service providers who specialize in branding or develop their own employer branding strategy independently. This is usually done by the company's marketing team or HR teams.

For the latter, it is a wise idea to follow these steps:

  1. As-is analysis: In this step, you should examine exactly where your company is at the moment and what image it has as an employer. Even better: are you aware of your company's reputation? It is imperative to be honest and not oversell your company. Here you should also look at your company's vision: What distinguishes your company ? What is your target group like? What is you employer value proposition ?

  2. Formulate goals: When formulating your goals, you should pay particular attention to the fact that these fulfill the SMART rule: this means that they are Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Timed. This should be part of your marketing strategy.

  3. Develop a communication strategy: To successfully communicate your values, you need to understand your target group and know how and where to reach them. Define communication channels (such as social media channels, company website), the type of content and the communication style of your company. 

  4. Implement the strategy: When implementing the points you worked out in step 3, you should pay attention to consistency. Does your company's content have recognition value or do you vary greatly in tone or even address a different target group each time? The consistency of coloring, fonts and the company logo should also not be neglected here.

  5. Hire new employees: If your strategy was successful, the right candidates will contact you and become a potential new employee.

  6. Retain employees for the long term: From day one, you should strive for employee retention. Onboarding for example, is a key role in this. However, successful employer branding, which you have already taken care of at this stage, is also indispensable to achieve long-term employee retention.

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