When most marketers hear the word “branding,” logos, taglines, product features and intangible aspects of the customer experience come to mind.
Less frequently considered is how employer branding fits into this narrative.
All organizations have employer brands, whether they realize it or not. Whether they intentionally strategize and nurture that employer brand is a different story.
According to a 2019 study from Porter Novelli, nearly 9 in 10 consumers (88%) say they’re more likely to purchase from purpose-driven companies — and 70% of them say they would want to work for those companies.
How the public perceives who you are as an employer – what you value and how you treat your people – is more important than ever.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding is defined by an employer’s:
- Reputation as a place to work
- Employer value proposition (EVP)
It’s the impression you get after observing a company's workplace culture and employee experience.
An employer brand is similar to a consumer brand in that it communicates values and offerings. The difference is that it communicates them towards prospective employees instead of customers.
Building a strong employer brand is crucial to attracting and retaining top talent, particularly in competitive industries and job markets.
Atlassian’s 3 keys to creating a strong employer brand
Based in Silicon Valley, enterprise SaaS solutions company Atlassian understands the value of a strong employer brand. Their efforts to cultivate one has earned them a competitive edge in recruiting talent among the tech giants of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Austin Romero, Talent Brand Marketing Manager at Atlassian, shares three secrets to how they created a winning and scalable employer brand:
1. Form your employer value proposition (EVP)
An employer value proposition is your brand's promise to current and prospective employees about the unique upside to working at your organization now and into the future. Your EVP communicates the value you will bring employees if they join your company.
You likely already have everything you need to construct your EVP. Consider:
- Tangible benefits
This includes things like equity, benefits and perks of the physical office space.
- Company values
For example, one of Atlassian’s values is teamwork, resulting in an environment where transparent communication and collaboration thrive.
Most importantly, think about your people, the collective culture you've created and why a prospective employee would love working there.
Forming partnerships with brands that align with your business’ core values is a powerful tool to reinforce and spread the word about your company’s EVP. (Austin notes that partnering with Great Place to Work® helps tell the Atlassian story)
The key is to think like a marketer – focus on highlighting what would drive a candidate to apply for a job and accept an offer.
2. Create an authentic content strategy
A content strategy that enhances an employer brand is all about how to communicate with prospect candidates during the various stages of the recruitment funnel.
Romero breaks down creating a content strategy in the following steps:
1. Identify your target audience
Using your internal employee survey platform and recruitment software:
- Analyze your current workforce and prospective candidate database
- Take note of trends and gaps that you need to fill
- Determine who your audience is and what motivates them
2. Take inventory
There’s no need to completely reinvent the wheel – you probably already have useful content in your existing marketing collateral.
- Blog posts
- Internal playbooks
- Assets from paid campaigns
3. Craft an authentic narrative
The story you tell about your employer brand must fairly represent what your EVP actually offers. Top-performing candidates are savvy, and will be able to tell if you stretch or distort the truth.
To connect with candidates who have different communication styles and preferences, diversify the content types and media you use to tell your story.
Some examples of effective pieces of content that can communicate your employer brand:
- Video interviews of employees sharing their expertise and why they love working at your company
- Blog posts that highlight your culture
- A social media account dedicated to showcasing what it’s like to work at your company
- Dynamic visual collateral on your jobs page to highlight workplace recognition and awards
- Earned media opportunities that feature the CEO and other executives on podcasts and other media publications.
3. Set KPIs to measure your employer brand
Measuring your employer brand validates the effectiveness of your effort, while laying the foundation to scale and grow your culture over time.
To win over the support of stakeholders in your organization, identify metrics that prove ROI.
Some areas to measure include:
- Digital performance
Views, impressions and engagement on digital assets can be useful. You can also look at campaign performance metrics such as cost per click (CPC), cost per impression (CPM) and click-through rate (CTR).
- Industry benchmarks
You’re competing with other companies for the best people. Knowing how you stack up against them can be immensely useful.
Atlassian sees how they stack up against the competition through benchmarking available to users of Emprising™, our culture management platform. Emprising enables users to compare their employee survey results to those of companies of similar sizes and industries. It also gives users the opportunity to rank on our national Best Workplaces™ lists.
- Employee satisfaction and retention rates
Your employee survey results can help you understand and uncover trends in your employee satisfaction and retention rates. These metrics reveal how well your company does at delivering on your EVP -- uncovering gaps and areas of improvement.
Now is the time to focus on your employer brand
It’s paramount for businesses to communicate what they are doing for their people in addition to what they do for their customers.
As pandemics and social change shift our realities, the public will remember which companies’ values align with their own.
Contact us today to learn more about how Great Place to Work can help build your employer brand