Make Employer Branding Part of Your Recruitment Strategy

Did you buy any name brand products over the holidays?

Chances are you didn’t just grab any old handbag or coffee off the shelf, you put some thought into the purchase by reaching for a product you trust. The product’s branding helped you make the decision.

Branding sounds like an advertising buzzword, but it plays an important part in how we choose the products and services we use. Our choices can be minor purchases such as our daily bottle of water, or as life-changing as choosing a new career. Whether our choices are big or small, we favor the brands we value and trust.

Perhaps, most importantly, we tell our friends about the brands we love. We also tell them about the places we love to work.

How does branding help you attract talent?

Top companies have learned that employer branding is no different than product branding and is key to attracting attention from active and passive job seekers. The end goal is to show current and prospective employees your organization is the perfect fit for their professional and personal lifestyles.

A strong brand can help attract new hires and give your current employees something to brag about when telling others about the company at which they choose to work.

How do you create your company brand?

Developing your brand doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Choose one to three core company values that you want to present. These values can convey your company’s industry goals, corporate culture or long-standing traditions.

Define what sets your company apart from other companies

Are you the leader in cutting edge research and technology? Celebrating more than 50 strong, solid years in business? Committed to community service and philanthropy? Set the tone with an overall theme for your recruitment site.

Begin with the most basic step — your website. Your recruitment site is where you introduce your brand to job seekers, so ensure you make a good first impression.

According to, 52% of candidates check out your company’s websites and social media profiles before applying. Don’t just throw up a few lines under “About Us” and call it a day. Choose a color scheme, design and photography that complements your values.

Nike is revamping communication to boost its brand. For example, it is highlighting messages from co-founder Phil Knight and the company’s workplace awards while also communicating that Nike’s a company of hard-charging individuals fired up about sports. The message seems to be working since thousands of applications have followed the efforts.

Your employee’s stories are a great starting point

Paint a picture of what it’s like to work for you with photos and testimonials from current employees. Use quality, professional images and show future employees that people are the heart of your organization.

Are you lucky enough to employ staff with extraordinary talents, or who are generous volunteers and community superstars? Make them the star of the show. These features will leave lasting impressions with job seekers who want to work with the best people.

Microsoft has expertly crafted an employer branding account on Instagram that hosts stories about their employees and gives a great candid look at the culture of working at Microsoft.

Generate content that is helpful

Creating a voice in your field or community is more than pushing out promotional material about your company. The goal is to provide current, helpful information on topics that address pain points and needs.

Stories that resonate with your community and associate your brand with topics that job seekers are already interested in also will bring in potential candidates. Send story ideas to the local media and be sure to include easy contact options on your website and social media accounts.

Share your brand on social media

Once you have your stories lined up, decide how you will serve up your brand to the people who matter to you (potential candidates and current employees). Research shows active job seekers search for jobs on job boards and social media first, then research the companies online that have jobs that piqued their interest.

Social media is key to getting wide exposure, so be visible on the channels prospective employees already use daily. Here are some ideas to help grow your brand:

  1. Use your company Facebook page to highlight both the professional and light-hearted sides of your workplace. Some examples include holiday gatherings, employee recognition, volunteer days or special events like “Bring Your Dog to Work.”
  2. If you have the resources, video is highly recommended. Set up your own YouTube channel. You can elicit much stronger emotions with 30 seconds of video than you can convey with 300+ words of text. Do you provide free educational videos for your staff? Consider opening those up to prospective employees.
  3. Start a blog about trending topics, company initiatives or employee events. LinkedIn is a great tool for sharing professional content, important company announcements and industry updates.
  4. Generate a unique hashtag for your tweets and Instagram posts. Then encourage employees to share it on posts that demonstrate or embody your company values. It doesn’t have to be complex – check out the huge following for #AdobeLife or #IWorkForDell.
  5. Listen to social media feedback about your company. Check out the reviews on Glassdoor and other review websites. If there is a recurring issue, address it publicly and work to correct it. A proactive and honest approach to criticism is a sign of a healthy corporate culture and can speak volumes to prospective employees.
  6. Reach out to your community. Show them who you are by sponsoring or hosting an event.
    • Offer free health screenings or exhibit at regional health events
    • Recruit at local and national job fairs
    • Volunteer at community or national charity events
    • Offer your company experts as speakers at schools, colleges and events

While the audience at a live event may not be as large as your followers on social media, don’t discount the power of recruiting candidates face-to-face – especially when seeking the most desirable passive job seekers. A friendly smile and an encouraging word is always a great representation of your employer brand.