• What is Employer Branding?

    Posted by NAS Recruitment Innovation on April 21st, 2023

    In the ever-evolving world of recruitment and talent acquisition, organizations are recognizing the critical role that employer branding plays in attracting and retaining top talent. Employer branding refers to the perception and reputation that an organization holds among its current and potential employees. In this article, we will explore the concept of employment branding, its importance in your recruitment efforts and the strategies to develop and maintain an employer brand. Let’s dive into the world of employment and employer branding strategies and understand how it can positively impact your organization’s talent acquisition efforts.


    Understanding Employer Branding

    Employer branding encompasses a company’s image, values, culture and reputation as an employer. It goes beyond the products or services a company offers and focuses on what it’s like to work within the organization. A strong employment brand creates a distinct identity that attracts top talent, engages existing and future employees and enhances the company’s reputation.

    The key components of an employer brand are listed below:

    • Purpose and company values
    • Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
    • Company culture
    • Employee testimonials and advocacy
    • Recruitment and onboarding experience
    • Leadership and management
    • Career development and growth opportunities
    • Diversity and inclusion
    • Work-life balance
    • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    • Workplace facilities and perks
    • External recognition and rewards


    The Benefits of a Strong Employer Brand

    Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

    A compelling employment brand attracts high-caliber job seekers who are excited to work for your organization and helps improve the company’s reputation. It also helps retain existing employees by fostering a positive workplace culture that aligns with their values and career aspirations.

    Reducing Recruitment Costs and Time-to-Hire

    Organizations with a strong employer brand tend to attract more qualified candidates, reducing marketing costs and the time and resources required to fill open positions. A positive reputation also leads to a higher number of employee referrals, saving recruitment costs.

    Enhancing Employee Engagement and Productivity

    Employees who feel proud of their organization’s employer brand are more likely to be engaged and productive. They are motivated to contribute their best work and actively participate in achieving organizational goals.

    Gaining a Competitive Edge in the Market

    In a competitive job market, a strong employer brand sets an organization apart from others vying for the same talent pool. It positions the company as an employer of choice, giving them a competitive edge in attracting top talent.


    Developing an Employer Brand Strategy

    1. Define your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

    Think about your unique company culture and the attributes that make your company attractive to job seekers. Then, think about the benefits that you offer to your current employees. Using this information, you can craft a compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP) statement outlining why your company stands out among the rest, and why job seekers should apply to work at your company.

    1. Conduct research (internally and externally)

    Send out a survey or hold focus groups to get feedback from your current employees to better understand their perspective of working at your company and to gauge employee satisfaction. Get information on what they like about the company, what they don’t like about the company and any changes they suggest. To conduct external research, you can analyze your competitors’ employer brands and see how you can make your company stand out – what are they doing that you’re not?

    1. Identify your target audience

    Think about who it is you’re trying to reach – what are their preferences, needs and motivations? Use this information to tailor your messaging and get their attention. This can be done through a variety of different channels, including email, social media, postcards and geofencing.

    1. Align your employer brand with your company’s values and culture

    Your employer brand should reflect your strong company culture, mission and values. This will ensure that job seekers, both passive and active, will see your company as credible, and therefore, are more likely to apply.

    1. Create a consistent brand identity across all channels

    Your company’s brand identity should be consistent across the board, including on your career site, on social platforms, in job descriptions and in any recruitment materials. Consistency is key when it comes to having authority.

    Once these steps have been completed, you are ready to move on to the maintenance stage. This stage consists of things like surveying candidates about their experience, engaging employees to get their feedback about their experience with the company, setting KPIs and tracking metrics. At this stage, you should be proudly showcasing your employer brand, ready to take on any candidates that may apply.


    Employer Branding Tactics and Initiatives

    Optimizing Your Career Website and Job Descriptions: Your career website serves as the primary touchpoint for potential candidates. Optimize it with compelling content, employee testimonials and an easy-to-navigate application process.

    Leveraging Social Media for Employer Branding: Social platforms offer vast opportunities to showcase your employer brand. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (X) to share employee stories, behind-the-scenes content and your company’s unique values to engage and attract potential candidates.

    Implementing Employee Referral Programs: Employee referral programs encourage employees to refer qualified candidates from their networks, promoting a sense of ownership and pride in their organization.

    Building Strong Relationships with Universities and Schools: Establish partnerships with universities and schools to create a strong talent pipeline. Participate in career fairs, workshops and internships to connect with future graduates.

    Participating in Industry Events and Conferences: Attending industry events and conferences allows you to network with potential candidates, showcase your employer brand and stay updated on industry trends.


    Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

    Designing a Seamless Application Process

    A complex and time-consuming application process can deter potential candidates. Design a seamless and user-friendly application process to improve candidate conversion rates. Your application process can be improved using the following elements:

    • Mobile-friendly interface
    • Clear and concise job descriptions
    • Simplified application form
    • Clear call-to-action
    • Resume parsing technology
    • Transparent application progress
    • Short response time
    • Applicant Tracking System
    • Personalized communication

    These strategies will assist you in creating a more desirable, user-friendly application process, enhancing the candidate experience and increasing the number of applies.

    Improving Communication and Transparency

    Maintain open and transparent communication with candidates throughout the hiring process by utilizing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). If you’re unable to implement an ATS, candidates should, at the bare minimum, receive notifications when their application was received, when it was viewed, and whether or not they are advancing in the hiring process. If there are delays in the process, let them know.

    Providing Personalized Candidate Interactions

    Personalization enhances the candidate experience. Address candidates by their names and tailor communication to their specific interests and qualifications. If your organization offers a careers portal, consider providing job recommendations based on candidates’ past interactions or application history.

    Incorporating Feedback and Continuous Improvement

    Gather candidate feedback to understand pain points and areas for improvement in your recruitment process. This feedback can come in the form of post-interview surveys, feedback forms on your career website, follow-up emails after application submissions or online reviews. Another excellent way to gather feedback about your recruitment process is to collaborate with your hiring managers. What are their areas of concern?

    Routinely gather and analyze this feedback to continue to improve your employment strategy.


    Employee Advocacy and Internal Brand Ambassadors

    Engaging Employees as Brand Advocates

    Employees can be powerful brand advocates. Begin encouraging employees to share their positive experiences and promote your employer brand within their networks.

    Encouraging Employee-Generated Content and Testimonials

    Employee-generated content, such as testimonials and social media posts, adds authenticity to your employer brand and resonates with potential candidates.

    Empowering Employees to Share Their Experiences

    Empower employees to share their experiences and stories through various channels of internal communications, showcasing the diverse perspectives and opportunities within your organization.

    Recognizing and Rewarding Employee Contributions

    Recognize and reward employees who actively contribute to promoting your Employer Value Proposition and brand. Their efforts play a vital role in strengthening your Employer Value Proposition and organization’s reputation.


    Measuring and Assessing Employer Brand Impact

    Defining Relevant Metrics and KPIs

    Identify and define key metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of your employer branding efforts. Some key metrics and KPIs to consider include:

    • Candidate Application Rate
    • Employee Referral Rate
    • Offer Acceptance Rate
    • Time-to-Fill

    Gathering Feedback Through Surveys and Interviews

    Conduct surveys and interviews with candidates, current employees and other stakeholders to gather feedback on your employer brand perception. Conducting these surveys enables you to collect data on candidate experience, employee engagement and company culture perception. Additionally, you can use the survey results to analyze and compare your employer brand with that of your competitors.

    Tracking Employer Brand Sentiment and Reputation

    Monitor online reviews, social media searches, comments and social media mentions to gauge employer brand sentiment and reputation. If possible, implement sentiment analysis tools to gauge the sentiment of online mentions and reviews related to your employer brand.

    Analyzing Data to Identify Areas for Improvement

    Analyze the data collected to identify areas where your employer branding strategy can be refined and improved. If the candidate application rate is low, reconsider revisiting your job descriptions and revising your employer branding messaging.

    If you find that your engagement scores are lower than desired, focus on addressing specific concerns and implementing initiatives to improve workplace satisfaction. When evaluating your reviews and social media mentions, take proactive steps to address any issues to improve your organization’s reputation as an employer.


    Handling Challenges and Addressing Reputation Issues

    Dealing with Negative Online Reviews and Feedback

    The first step to handling negative feedback is to acknowledge it – express your gratitude for them taking the time to share their thoughts. Furthermore, any feedback you get, negative or positive, should be addressed in a timely manner If a review has sensitive or confidential information, request that the reviewer reaches out to your HR department to take the conversation offline for some privacy.

    Most importantly, use any negative feedback you receive as an opportunity for improvement.

    Responding to Employee Concerns and Grievances

    Encourage open communication in your organization and create a culture in which employees feel comfortable expressing their concerns without fear of retaliation. Address employee concerns and grievances promptly and proactively to maintain a positive work environment and a positive employer brand. When an employee does show concern, acknowledge it, show empathy for it and validate their feelings to gain trust and build rapport.

    Proactively Managing Employer Brand Crises

    Have a crisis management plan in place to handle any employer brand crises with a strategic and transparent approach. Follow these steps to create a crisis management plan:

    1. Identify potential crises
    2. Form a Crisis Management Team (CMT)
    3. Assign a spokesperson
    4. Develop a communication strategy
    5. Establish communication protocols
    6. Prepare holding statements and templates
    7. Train your employees on the plan
    8. Test the plan

    Once you have completed all of these steps, continue to regularly review and update the plan as your organization evolves and faces new risks. Each time you use your crisis management plan, conduct a post-crisis evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the plan and identify any lessons you learned for future improvements.

    Turning Challenges into Opportunities for Improvement

    Use challenges and employee feedback as opportunities to make meaningful improvements to your employer brand and employee experience. Taking your employees’ feedback into account will make them feel more valued at the company. Set goals for addressing said challenges and utilize technology and available resources to streamline processes to learn from your mistakes. As time goes on, continue to evaluate your progress and adjust processes and strategies as you need to.


    Evolving Trends in Employer Branding

    Leveraging Technology for Employer Branding

    Embrace technology, such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, to enhance your employer branding efforts and improve the candidate experience. You can also leverage other technology such as employer branding videos, Applicant Tracking Systems, automated recruitment marketing, virtual events and webinars to enhance your brand.

    Incorporating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives into your employer branding strategy to attract a diverse and talented workforce. Educate and train your leadership on your company’s DEI initiatives and ensure that they are on board. Employees are generally more motivated when they see their leaders supporting an initiative.

    You can also incorporate DEI by engaging with diverse communities and supporting local initiatives, demonstrating your commitment to social responsibility and community involvement.



    Employer branding plays a pivotal role in attracting top talent, reducing recruitment costs and creating a positive employee experience. Organizations that invest in building a resistant employer brand gain a competitive edge in the job market, reduce employee turnover and foster a workforce that is engaged, motivated and aligned with the organization’s values and goals.

    By understanding the key components of employer branding, developing a comprehensive employer brand strategy, leveraging various tactics and initiatives and continuously measuring and improving brand impact, organizations can build a powerful employer brand that resonates with candidates and employees alike. As the job market continues to evolve, employer branding will remain a crucial aspect of talent acquisition and employee engagement, shaping the future of work and organizational success.

    NAS Recruitment Innovation

  • Subscribe to NAS Talent Talk