Human Brand Experience Group (London, Ontario) navigation
Image for “How to build an employer brand”

How to build an employer brand

Nick Hall By Nick Hall

If you’re like most businesses nowadays you’re probably finding it difficult to attract and keep talent. And with some sources citing recruitment costs of around $4000 per employee (and up!), you really want to make sure you’re doing whatever you can to attract the right people.

Leveraging your brand can be a big help here.

In its customer-facing form, your brand’s primary purpose is to help you attract customers by differentiating you from your competitors.

When used to enrich your HR efforts its function is much the same. Infusing your recruitment marketing efforts with your brand’s style, personality and values will make you more interesting and appealing to some candidates, while repelling those who would never get along with you in the first place.

Win win.

Many successful brands do this already, but really every organization should be striving to build a workforce that shares a general sense of purpose and values. It makes for a healthier business, stronger brand and more resilient employee culture.

Here’s a few ways you can level up your recruitment while fortifying your brand along the way

Get your house in order

You can only use your brand to good effect if you have the fundamentals nailed down. Your brand’s promise, personality and values will prove the most useful, and of course you’ll want to make sure the visual guidelines are being adhered to as well.

Don’t leave it all to HR

Obviously this department has a significant role to play when it comes to describing the nitty gritty, but leave the top-level messaging and design to those more creatively qualified.

Tune your social media

Serious candidates will almost certainly check out your social channels to get a better fix on who you are (over 40% of job seekers do) so it pays to have postings that are current and complementary.

If you’re large enough, consider recruiting one or two of your people to be social brand advocates. Make them responsible for capturing company events and anything else that reflects their enthusiasm for where they work.

Stick the landing

The onboarding process actually begins when the potential employee makes first contact with your brand. The impressions you create as they traverse the many touchpoints will be lasting. If the first day on the job is filling out forms in a conference room by themselves, you’re well on your way to losing them as an employee.

We’ve done more than a few employee journey maps, and you would be amazed at some of the gaps we have found while doing so. If you’re curious to learn how we do that, we’d be happy to show you.

Don’t catfish

Be interesting, but above all be honest. Pretending to be something you’re not just to lure people in will only backfire. Sooner or later they will see you without your makeup on.

Diversify your compensation

Your brand can help you enrich your compensation package. Burton Snowboards gives all employees free season passes and promises that if it snows 24 inches in 24 hours, the whole company will shut down for the day.

If you’re struggling to get the right people on board, adopting even a few of these tactics can have a positive impact on your efforts. And if you’d like to have a solid idea of where you’re dropping the ball, we suggest developing an employee journey map.

Hope this helps, and keep it human.