Employer Branding Strategy in Five Achievable Steps

CoachHub · 21 July 2021 · 13 min read

How to develop an employer branding strategy to attract and retain loyalty from talented staff?

Many companies are increasingly trying to recruit new talent to ensure their ongoing development. The competition for talent has never been so intense, and it is undoubtedly an employees market, a trend set to continue with an aging population. Which means it is necessary for a company to stand out with a reputation and a strong brand image. And to do this, it is vital to have the best Employer Branding strategy. Find out how to develop your Employer Branding strategy to recruit new talents and retain top candidates!

Understand the principle

Developing a strong employer brand is an HR marketing strategy with dual objectives.

An Employer Branding project, or Employer Branding Strategy, is a human resources management strategy covering the concepts of reputation, organization, communication, values, and well-being.

Internal and external objectives

In the first case, the ambition is to improve the employee experience. And we know that the well-being of employees is at the heart of the concerns of executives and managers today. According to experts, well-being at work depends on :

  • the perception of good career mobility
  • a caring and friendly work atmosphere
  • the ability of managers to recognize the quality of the work performed
  • equality and respect for employees
  • access to high-quality training, including blended learning, digital coaching, and experiential learning

In the second case, the external objective of developing an Employer Brand aims to attract new talented candidates. The purpose is for your company to act as a magnet for new talents who are qualified and who share the same values ​​as you.

The four pillars of an Employer Brand

An Employer Brand is based on four pillars:

  • External image: corporate reputation and employer image perceived by stakeholders external to the company (future candidates, schools, influencers, recruitment firms, etc.)
  • Internal image: feelings felt by internal stakeholders in the company and quality of life at work (operational staff, managers, HR and directors)
  • Brand identity: factual characteristics of the company, such as its values, its corporate culture, its history, its products or services, its type of organization, its management style
  • HR policy: all HR processes (recruitment, integration, training, remuneration, etc.)

Why is it necessary to develop your Employer Brand?

Gain visibility on the Internet

From now on, there is no question of settling for a passive presence on digital media. And for good reason, according to a LinkHumans study, 83% of hires start with an online search. In addition, 79% of applicants under 35 use social media in their job search. An online presence, and more specifically on social media, is therefore essential to gain in actual levels of competitiveness and attractiveness. This is possible thanks to a strong Employer Brand strategy that takes into account and prioritizes the development of your company’s e-reputation.

Decrease in the cost of hiring

According to the same LinkHumans study, developing an Employer Brand would reduce the cost of hiring by 43%. And this is simply explained : there is no more need to use expensive headhunters or recruitment agencies. Indeed, because of the Employer Brand strategy, your company is now attractive to the best candidates, so you have a pool of young talent ready to apply as soon as a job offer is disclosed.

Selection of the best profiles

Again and again, according to LinkHumans, developing an Employer Brand would increase the number of highly qualified applicants by 50%. Why? Because these high potential candidates not only share the same philosophy as you, but chose you. A developed Employer Brand, therefore, makes it possible to attract the best talents, those whom everyone desires in this period of war for talent.

The selection of the right profiles is also made possible thanks to the number of applications received. Indeed, a well-designed Employer Brand is a pledge of abundance, even in times of scarcity on the job market. You can therefore choose the best candidate(s) from the batch of high potential employees.

Improved employee well-being

Last but not least : improving employee well-being – a key buzzword during these challenging times. One in three employees says that their employer cares little to no for their psychological well-being. The consequences of this lack of consideration? Burn-out, stress, anxiety, fatigue, absenteeism and turnover. However, developing your Employer Brand could avoid all of this.

In a nutshell, an Employer Brand strategy makes it possible to attract talent, recruit them and retain them.

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How to develop your Employer Brand?


Invest in content marketing

Developing your Employer Brand is primarily done through greater online visibility. You must, therefore, create a coherent website that matches the employer brand image you want to convey. This requires, among other things, a graphic charter and a defined editorial charter. Obviously, this website must be ergonomic to facilitate the candidate experience. It must also be well-referenced, thanks to natural referencing SEO, to allow you to gain visibility on search engines.

Beyond a website and blog, you also need to have a meaningful social media business page. This not only makes it possible to gain visibility, but also to work on your reputation and to create links with potential candidates.

You can then share different types of content :

  • Company life, such as team-building outings
  • Company premises (relaxation area, fitted kitchen, table football, etc.)
  • Employees’ words (interviews or team photos)
  • Company successes (new contract, arrival of an intern, onboarding etc.)
  • Jobs

Let’s look at some employer branding strategies in more detail …

Social media presence

Social networks (Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) are a central axis in the development of the employer brand for companies. When you consider that more than 80% of candidates inquire online before applying to a company, it would be a shame to miss out on an effective inbound recruiting channel on social media. More alive than the website, they increase your visibility by highlighting your expertise, your activities and the daily lives of your employees while interacting with your community. This is a gold mine for your potential candidates !

The blog

The blog is one of the essential levers for your website. In addition to generating natural recurring traffic to your website, it will allow you to develop the employer brand of your company. Through your blog articles, you highlight the expertise of your employees, you mark your identity thanks to the tone and style of writing adopted. Blogs are also a way to give your employees a voice by entrusting them with writing expert articles, or by interviewing them regularly to give their point of view on a specific topic.

The candidate path

The candidate path, as the name suggests, is the path that candidates take to apply for one of your job offers. If your candidate path is more like an obstacle course, then it’s high time to do something ! To attract the best talents to you, it is essential to take care of your candidate path through various very accessible actions : optimizing the career page, promoting innovative training opportunities, taking care of your job offers, posting your job offers on different job boards, simplifying the path by removing unnecessary steps or lightening the application forms, keeping a link with the candidate throughout the recruitment process, etc.

The career page

As we told you above, the majority of candidates find out about the company before applying. Make their life easier by putting all the essential information on one and the same page : the career page or even the career site for companies that recruit massively. In this space, your potential candidates must find certain key HR-related information such as current job offers, key company figures, values, company history, employee testimonials, etc. Again, feel free to rely on video media to get your messages across. Videos are very popular with candidates because they allow them to project themselves more easily (or not) in your company by discovering your teams, your premises, your way of working, etc. Beyond the benefits for candidates, the career page is a great way to highlight your best assets, so go for it ! Follow our advice for a successful career page.

Job vacancies

Job postings are often the first contact a candidate will have with your company. The way they’re written says a lot about you, so don’t overlook the details. The tone, style of writing and words chosen will be important and will be carefully analyzed by the readers of your ads. To make a job offer as attractive as possible, include as much information as possible on the position and the skills sought, but also on the life of the company, which is a determining element for today’s candidates. To avoid the “block text” effect, again, video is the ideal solution for conveying messages in a more friendly and fun way.

In a tight market, companies have every interest in improving their employer brand image to remain attractive in the eyes of candidates.

Thanks to careful preparation and the implementation of appropriate actions, you now have all the keys in hand to develop the employer brand internally or with the help of an external employer brand agency.

Use simple and effective recruitment techniques

The simpler and more efficient the recruitment process, the more the image of the company will be enhanced. Indeed, applying for a position is already a stressful and agonizing process. If you insist on repeated interviews, even the ideal candidate will rebel. In addition, the race for talent is getting stronger and stronger today. And as explained at the beginning of the article, it is no longer the company but the candidate who has all the cards in hand. You should try not to scare away good candidates with long and complex recruitment processes. If you are serious about recruiting and developing talent, you may need to overhaul your existing processes.

You should limit the recruitment stages to two or three. In addition, you must demonstrate excellent responsiveness to the applications received so as not to miss out on opportunities. And by that, we mean all nominations. Indeed, responding to all applicants is a sign of respect. Without it, your good image could be tarnished, forging a reputation as a disrespectful company.

Develop an ambassador program

The principle of an employee advocacy program is simple : promote the company and develop the reputation of the employer through employees. As true ambassadors of the company, the latter then relay the company’s news on their own social networks. They can also intervene in schools and universities or participate in trade fairs or other networking events. This then gives them the opportunity to reveal themselves other than in their usual role.

Current employees are often in the best position to tell the story of your company. The issue is, what is the story they are likely to tell ? Identify which of your employees already have an active presence on social media and provide incentives to spearhead a company-wide program. Encourage them to be the best possible professional version of themselves.


Ensure the well-being of employees

The well-being of your current employees begins with a management style based on trust. Indeed, a work environment where confidence is actively developed and encouraged promotes investment and productivity. This then implies empowering your employees to make them more autonomous, by providing project management tools, as well as training in personal development to improve skills. It also involves inspiring confidence with marked exemplarity and leadership on the part of the local manager.

Nevertheless, that is not enough to develop your Employer Brand ! The manager must also have an exacerbated sense of communication which requires a frank, transparent and coherent speech, but also an active listening. After all, non-aggressive communication is impossible without listening attentively to the problems and desires of the interlocutor.

The keywords of well-being at work : trust, kindness, respect, listening and communication.

Promote collective intelligence

Team cohesion contributes to a good atmosphere at work by promoting listening and creativity. This then goes through regular collaborative meetings but also through team building sessions and seminars. There are many great ways to build trust between employees and team cohesion.

Train and coach managers

The manager is a central player in a strong Employer Branding strategy. Therefore, it is essential to train him or her for this mission. To do this, individual and personalized coaching is ideal. This effectively allows the manager to evolve and acquire new soft skills. With appropriate managerial coaching, changes in behavior and new skills appear very quickly. Enough to develop your Employer Brand effectively and in no time !

If you don’t yet know, know that the employer brand is now an essential strategy for companies wishing to modernize their recruitment methods in order to attract more qualified candidates and improve the employee experience. But for this to work, it is necessary to build a well-crafted strategy and rigorously plan the actions to be carried out. So, follow the guide !

Understand your playground to build your employer brand strategy

To properly tackle the subject of employer branding, it is important to ask the right questions. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business? Which actions are already working, and which ones are working less so far? The first step in your action plan will be to build a solid and sustainable employer branding strategy. To do this, form a dedicated team in your HR department, or get support from a trusted employer brand consulting agency. There are a multitude of tools and solutions to put in place to build a good employer brand strategy. Among them : employer brand and corporate culture audit, employer brand reputation audit, online and offline candidate path study, EVP (Employee Value Proposition), collaborative workshops to work on company values, etc. Thanks to these tools, you will be able to build an employer brand strategy adapted to the objectives that you have previously set for yourself.

Engage your team in the employer brand project

Now that your strategy is in place, you have one intermediate step left before setting up concrete actions to develop the employer brand, which consists of involving your employees in this project. Let it be said : your employer brand has little weight if it is only carried by managers or the Human Resources department. The employer brand must reflect the reality of your business. To embellish reality would be detrimental. If a good employer brand strategy is in the best interests of your recruitments, keep in mind that it also aims to retain your employees internally. So if they feel fooled by HR communication in which they don’t recognize themselves, watch out for the flip side ! To generate the support of your employees in this new large-scale project, it is essential to create dedicated highlights : workshops to make your employees work on transversal concepts of the company, training for employees and managers, programs for employee ambassadors or seminars or after-work drinks dedicated to the employer brand. It’s your turn !

The different levers to develop your employer brand

That’s it, your employer brand strategy is ready to be activated, and your team supports you 100%! If anything else needs to be done, please tell us ! Create content to serve your employer brand, of course! There are many levers – digital or not – to develop your employer brand, and if it is difficult to be exhaustive through a simple blog article, we have listed the ones that, for us, are the most appropriate for the job. Of course, every business is different, and we recommend that you adopt all of this advice to your own challenges and issues.

When it comes to talent acquisition, developing an effective employer branding strategy may seem like a daunting task for any manager and leader. Executive coaching is the perfect solution to help to resolve the issue or supporting the companies in addressing the mentioned stakes. Contact CoachHub for more information about how we can help your organization improve employee retention and also your professional development.

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