Home Editor's Pick Unlock the power of employer branding to build a workplace identity that attracts talent and drives success

Unlock the power of employer branding to build a workplace identity that attracts talent and drives success

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A competitive job market means that attracting and retaining top talent is now a paramount challenge for companies across industries.

UK businesses are reporting difficulty in finding the skilled talent they need, with cross-sector shortfalls reaching an 18-year high in 2024 of 80%.
It’s one of the reasons why employer branding has become so critical for businesses looking to market themselves. More and more business leaders are recognising the pivotal role of employer branding in showcasing company culture, values, and opportunities.
Having a proactive employer brand strategy keeps a business in control of the company’s image and champions a positive workplace culture with proactive communications at its core. From recruitment drives and reputation management – to communicating brand values and culture both internally and externally.
Businesses have a desire for sustainable growth with low attrition and to support this, it has become essential that companies talk about the benefits of working with them. Work in the field of employer branding has increased for AMBITIOUS as the intensity of securing the brightest and best talent becomes a core business objective.
In this article, I’ll share my five top considerations when building out an employer brand strategy.

The need to showcase why people should want to work with you

An employer brand campaign is about crafting a compelling narrative and showcasing the company’s culture, values, opportunities, and work environment to attract, engage, and retain top talent. It involves strategic initiatives aimed at shaping and promoting an organisation as an employer of choice.
Identifying what sets the company apart as an employer and why people should want to work there begins by conducting an internal audit.
This is combined with external market research and sentiment analysis to understand the current perception of the company.
The strategy will involve developing a cohesive narrative that reflects the company’s culture, values, and mission. This will be communicated to priority employee target audiences through engaging content—such as videos, blogs, social media posts, media articles and employee testimonials. Leveraging both online and offline platforms ensures that these communications will reach a wide and diverse audience of potential candidates.

Think about your offer, and this goes way beyond pension schemes and benefits packages

If people believe in what you stand for as a company, they’re more likely to want to work for you. When considering what aspects of the company to highlight as part of an employer brand strategy it’s essential to be clear on your mission and purpose. This is increasingly important for younger generations. It’s important to note that the role of employer branding is not to structure benefits packages.
Aspects to highlight could include:

Personal development opportunities, such as skill enhancement and access to a professional coach. But it could also be the opportunity to get involved in ‘nonbillable’ responsibilities which enable the employee to help move the business on, and spot new growth areas. Not only does this take the pressure off of the front line, but it also provides an opportunity for the employee to make a real difference to the company.
Your organisation’s commitment to employee well-being. For example, in response to demands for more flexible work, it’s now imperative to showcase flexible work arrangements, remote work policies, and initiatives that support a healthy work-life balance.
Programmes that recognise and reward exceptional performance, such as employee of the month/year, bonuses, and incentives tied to achievements or milestones.
The organisation’s culture. This is a huge area in itself. It’s important to communicate policies in place that speak to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I), which can resonate strongly with candidates seeking alignment with their personal values. The company’s involvement in the community, sustainability efforts, or corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes also appeals to candidates who value socially responsible organisations.

Engage existing employees in communicating your employer brand

One of the most effective ways to communicate the company as an employer of choice is through current employees. Encourage them to share their experiences and insights about working at the company through branded and personal social media profiles. Make them the advocates of the business by encouraging them to be brand ambassadors. Engage employees in content creation via internal channels but also at employee-centric events.
Ensure that company communications are consistent with employee communications across all channels to align the employer brand message with the actual employee experience. This will help to build trust and credibility among potential candidates.

Use employer branding to attract a more diverse workforce

A successful employer brand strategy can help you to attract a more diverse workforce as a result of helping to get more people through the door for interviews.
With any employer brand campaign, it’s important to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success. This could include metrics such as application rates, engagement metrics, employee retention, and employer reputation scores.

Make sure that your employer brand strategy evolves with the company

It’s also important to look at employer brand not as a siloed activity, but as a fundamental strand of activity that develops and expands with the company. The employer brand narrative may also need to change to remain relevant and competitive in attracting top talent. Therefore, it’s important that the strategy responds to feedback, market trends, and changing candidate expectations.

Employees are a core audience in your comms strategy

In summary, employer branding is an ongoing process that requires dedication, collaboration between HR, PR, marketing and other departments, and a commitment to nurturing a positive employer reputation in the eyes of current and potential employees. After all, employees are a core audience, equally as important as the customer audience.

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