You've been trying to fill a job opening for months. Despite promoting the role on job boards and countless social media posts, the candidates you attract aren't the right fit.
Your job description might not be the problem here — so there's no need to rewrite it for the umpteenth time. Instead, it could be that your employer brand isn't strong enough to attract high-quality candidates for your open roles. About 75% of job applicants will only apply to job openings at companies with active employer brands, as per the data in the 2023 employer branding guide.
Employer branding is the key to effective recruitment. In this article, we’ll show you how to create an employer brand that earns mindshare, so you can hire the top talent you need quickly.
What is employer branding?
Employer branding is everything you do to build up your company's reputation and position it as a great place to work. It is like marketing — only this time, your company is the product, and you're selling it to existing and prospective employees.
There are many ways to do employer branding. Some companies go all-in on employee advocacy — meaning they encourage current employees to share their first-hand experiences with the organization on social media platforms. Others prioritize leading difficult industry conversations around diversity, equality, and inclusion.
Whatever options you choose, ensure you're showing your company values in action — not just regurgitating a list of values off your website or brand guidelines.
Why use employer branding for recruitment?
A solid employer brand does the heavy lifting of your recruitment process. Specifically, it helps you:
1. Grow your talent pipeline
Data from our employer branding guide shows that about 75% of people that are looking for a new role will only apply to companies with an impressive employer brand.
A reputable employer brand means that candidates are already familiar with your organization’s culture. They've interacted with your employer branding content on social media and are probably connected to some of your staff on LinkedIn. These people are more likely to apply to your open roles than someone who's never heard of your company.
2. Hire A+ talent quickly
Employer branding speeds up your time to hire by up to 50%. Thanks to your robust talent pipeline, you can fill positions as they become available rather than leaving open positions on your website and job boards for months on end.
The faster you hire, the quicker you can amp up your team's productivity and start reaping the ROI of your new talent.
3. Reduce your cost of hiring
A strong employer brand can cut your recruitment costs in half. Instead of advertising job openings on third-party platforms, these roles get organic traction from candidates who already know, like, and trust your organization.
Here's an example of how this plays out in real time:
On LinkedIn, one of your employees shares that there's an open position at your organization. People in their network interact with the post — through likes, reposts, and comments — boosting its reach. Before you know it, thousands of good-fit applicants outside the employee's network engage with the post and send in solid applications for the open role.
By reducing the amount of money you spend on hiring, you free up funds for other critical areas of your business — like marketing or employer branding efforts to generate more ROI for your company.
Get our free employer branding guide to find out more details on how a strong brand reputation transforms your recruitment process.
Employer branding vs. recruitment marketing: What's the difference?
Employer branding and recruitment marketing are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. Let's examine five major differences.
Employer branding is basically everything you do to convince your employees and job seekers that your company is a great place to work. Recruitment marketing, on the other hand, is the process of promoting open roles to attract applications from suitable candidates.
Recruitment marketing lasts as long as you need to fill a particular role. Once you've hired someone for the position, the marketing ends.
Employer branding, on the other hand, is a continuous process. You need to commit to showing your company's culture in practice to win and retain top talent.
An employer branding example of recruitment marketing is posting an open role on a job site to attract applicants. Or shooting a recruitment video and posting it on LinkedIn.
On the flip side, a good example of employer branding is setting up an employee advocacy program to encourage existing employees to promote your company on their personal social media pages. Or implementing a health and wellness program to improve your team's working conditions.
4. Target audience
Recruitment marketing is external. It only targets prospective employees who might be interested and qualified for a specific role.
Employer branding is both internal and external. You need strong employer branding to attract and retain A+ talent. And data backs this up – showing that companies that actively manage their reputation can reduce employee turnover by up to 28%!
Recruitment marketing has a short-term goal, while employer branding has a long-term goal.
For recruitment marketing, the goal is to fill the open position in the shortest time possible. Employer branding, on the other hand, is about changing people's perceptions of your business. Creating a successful employer brand takes time, but once you've done it, it's a gift that keeps on giving.
5 steps of building an employer branding strategy for recruitment
Here's how to create a winning employer branding strategy that attracts the top talent in your industry.
1. Set your employer value proposition
Your employer value proposition (EVP) is the foundation of your employer branding strategy.
It is what sets you apart from other companies and makes you an attractive employer to potential candidates. Airbnb, for example, says its EVP is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. This statement reflects on the company's work culture and perks.
Think beyond monetary compensation — what unique opportunities and experiences does your company offer employees? Don't try to mold your EVP to fit what you think candidates want to hear. Instead, be honest about what your company can offer and what sets you apart.
If you're unsure what your EVP is, ask your current employees. They can provide valuable insights into what they love about working for your company.
2. Craft an ideal candidate profile
An ideal candidate profile describes the skills, experiences, and behavior of your perfect candidate. It guides you in hiring the best-fit person for the role.
Crafting an ICP is pretty straightforward:
- List out the job requirements
- List of the key competencies
- List out the personality traits required for success in the role
- Create a master list with the prioritized criteria. These are the most important boxes a candidate must check to get hired.
- Create a “nice-to-have” list of requirements.
Let's say you're looking to hire a video editor; your list might look like this:
- At least two years of previous experience in video editing
- Ability to collaborate with a scriptwriter
- Should know how to use video editing software like PlayPlay
- B2B SaaS experience
- Knows how to write a video script
- Has experience in leading teams
Think of your ICP as a wishlist — the person you eventually hire might not check all of its boxes. What matters is that they satisfy the fundamental role requirements.
3. Choose your content formats
Content formats are how you communicate your recruitment message to prospective candidates. There are four main types:
- Audio: By running a recruitment ad on the radio, for example
- Image: By creating an infographic with the job details and sharing it online, for example
- Text: By writing a traditional job ad, for example
- Video: By creating an engaging recruitment video and posting it on social media to attract candidates, for example
Most businesses will use all of the four formats to promote their job openings and achieve the desired results. But if you only had the resources for one, investing in an employer branding video for recruitment is your best bet. Data from the employer branding guide shows that job postings with embedded videos get 800% more engagement and have a 34% higher application rate than traditional job ads.
Ever wondered how to make employer branding videos? Look no further! With PlayPlay, you can easily make captivating videos that showcase your brand and leave a lasting impression on your target audience.
4. Choose your channels
Channels are where you will publish the job ad to connect with the ideal candidates. You have many options here, including:
- Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter
- Job boards
- Niche communities
- Your website
- Third-party recruiters
- Email lists
The simple rule of choosing your channels: Go where your audience is. If you're trying to hire a C-level executive, you’ll have more success with LinkedIn than Instagram because LinkedIn is where C-level talent hangs out. In the same way, if you want to hire someone from a specific location, you'll be better off posting the open role in location-specific communities than on a generic job board.
5. Measure the success of your employer branding strategy
Measure the success of your employer branding strategy so you'll know what's working and what needs to be improved.
One way to measure the success of your employer brand for recruitment is by tracking your hiring metrics. Look at the number of applications you receive and the quality of the candidates that apply to your job postings. Are you attracting a diverse pool of talent? Are they a good match for your company culture?
Analyzing this data can help you assess the impact of your branding efforts and make adjustments as needed.
You can also administer surveys to new hires to know where they heard about your company, what they loved about your recruitment process, and the areas requiring improvement.
How to use video for employer branding
Video can do a lot more than advertising open roles to prospective candidates. With the right plan in place, it can power your overall employer brand strategy.
Here are three types of videos to include in your employer brand strategy.
1. A “Day in my Life” videos
As the name suggests, a day-in-my-life video shows what your employee’s typical routine looks like — highlighting their tasks and responsibilities and what happens after work.
It gives prospective employees a sneak peek of what their work day might look like at your company. It's also a great way to showcase workplace perks such as your health and wellness benefits or even work-life balance initiatives.
Here’s an example of a Contentsquare employee showing what their typical day at the company looks like.
2. Employee testimonials
There's no stronger form of employer branding than having your current employees vouch for your work culture. People are more likely to believe your employees’ firsthand experiences with your brand over your carefully-curated content.
Ask your employees to record and share short videos about their positive experiences working with you. These videos should be human and authentic — don't worry about editing them to perfection. Employees can use tools like PlayPlay to quickly create professional-looking video testimonials without previous editing experience.
Check out Motorola Solutions’ employee testimonial video.
3. Employee introduction videos
Ask new hires to share short introduction videos highlighting their experience, expectations from the role, and their hobbies and interests outside of work. It will help them settle in faster and feel welcomed in their new work environment.
Get inspired by this employee introduction video from Oktopost.
Create an employer branding culture for your organization
Employer branding quickly feels like a chore if you approach it as just another box to check in your recruitment process. When this happens, stakeholders burn out fast, and your efforts fizzle out.
The best way to do employer branding is to make it a part of your work culture. Create spaces where employees can discuss advocacy ideas, invest in company-wide initiatives, and reward stakeholders for leading employer branding efforts.
Get our latest e-book to learn the hooks and tricks of creating a rewarding employer branding culture for your organization.