If you’ve tried multiple strategies to attract talents or improve employee engagement but to no avail, maybe it’s time to take a look at employee branding and how to develop it for your business.
Employee branding can help present the company in a positive light in front of current employees, job candidates, stakeholders, customers and more. And yet it’s challenging for companies to implement without a solid plan.
In this short post, you’ll learn all about employee branding, employer branding, and an easy-to-follow guide on having your employees effectively represent your brand, using visual communication.
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Click to jump ahead:
- What is employee branding?
- What is employer branding?
- The difference between employer and employee branding
- Why is employee branding so important?
- How do you build employee branding?
- 8 ways to build the employee brand for your company (+ templates)
What is employee branding?
Employee branding can be defined as the way your company is perceived as a workplace, conveyed through your employees.
Employee branding can be in the form of word of mouth (how your employees talk about your company to others), social advocacy (your employees’ actions and ideas as seen by the public) and more.
Examples of employee branding in action can be posts from employees advocating for your company’s culture on social media, or talking about your company’s values and missions to job seekers at events.
What is employer branding?
You may have also heard of this other term: employer branding. So what exactly is employer branding?
Simply put, employer branding is the image your company has as an employer. It’s the reputation you want job candidates and existing employees to associate with you.
You can influence your employer brand by showing off your employee engagement programs on your social media handles, posting employee reviews and company events on your website, asking for employee reviews on popular career sites like Glassdoor, etc.
The difference between employer and employee branding
Both employer and employee branding refer to the image you have as a company in the workplace, but there is a difference between the two.
As their names suggest, each of these branding strategies is created by different people.
Companies can shape the employer brand through marketing your company values, highlight your culture on the company website, getting the public to know more about you as an employer from awards and mentions like top 10 employers in the country, and more.
On the other hand, your employee brand is mainly shaped by, you guessed it, your employees. Granted, you can influence your employee brand through the offers you give to your employees (compensations, benefits, perks, employee training and development etc.) but at the end of the day, it’s up to the employees to shape this brand.
Why is employee branding so important?
Employee branding is essential to shaping the brand identity (or brand image) of a company to current and potential employees, partners, customers and more.
Companies with strong employee branding can attract top-tier candidates while reducing recruiting efforts.
Having a positive employee brand means you have employees who talk to others positively about you. This in turn makes your dream candidates come to you when they’re in search of a new job, and you don’t need to spend as much money and effort looking for the right hire.
When you invest in building your employee branding, you invest in the employee experience. The more engaged your employees, the higher productivity and better job performance.
Plus, as more employees become brand ambassadors, this puts your company in the best light in front of your partners and customers and can help generate new revenue and business opportunities.
How do you build employee branding?
In order to build a strong company brand through employee branding, it’s important to pay attention to employee engagement and how you can improve it.
According to research from Quantum Workplace, the major drivers of employee engagement are:
- Work aligned with employee strengths, interests, and goals
- Trust in company leaders’ skills and integrity
- Employees feeling heard, seen, and valued
- Employees having the information they need to do well
Aside from building employee satisfaction through better internal communication, companies can consider other tactics for their employer branding strategy like organizing company events, offering perks and benefits in addition to compensations, providing more room for employee development and learning, etc.
Let’s take a look at the 8 ways to build a strong employer brand for your company through employee branding, with the help of visuals.
8 ways to build a strong employee brand for your company (+templates)
Initiate employer branding marketing: Identify your existing employer brand
Before implementing an employee branding process, you first need to know what your employees are currently thinking of your company.
Most companies encourage employees to complete engagement/satisfaction surveys, but you can also conduct focus interviews for interested employees for more in-depth insight.
Besides conducting a company brand audit internally, you should also look at what’s being talked about your business externally. This means looking at employee reviews, customer reviews, press, how you’re perceived on social media, and more.
Employee branding strategy: Set your objectives
Employee branding happens when your employees start to internalize the brand’s values and missions. This, as mentioned, can affect recruitment effort, brand image, employee engagement, and more.
As you start setting objectives for your employee branding strategy, think of the following questions:
- What is the unique employee value proposition (EVP) of your brand? EVP refers to what you stand for and can offer as an employer. Make sure you identify this and communicate this well to your employees.
- What can you do to improve employee engagement? What’s working and what’s not working?
- What do you expect to gain through employee branding? Is it for internal needs (e.g. hiring more talents) or for external needs (e.g. attracting customers who support companies with strong employer branding)?
The employer branding process: Measurable aspects of your employee branding strategy
As you’re creating objectives for your employee branding strategy, make sure you consider which parts of the tactics can be quantifiable, and come up with clear, measurable (SMART) objectives for those.
Make sure you have everything down so you can measure the effectiveness of your strategy: the start of the process, the expected results, when you’re going to report on learnings, how you’ll measure the impact, what are the next steps, etc.
Create an employee ambassador program
Employee referrals only make up 20% of applications, but they fill 80% of new hires.
Well I lied (the stats are actually 7% and 40%, respectively) but you get the gist of it, don’t you?
Here’re some more (accurate) numbers to get your blood pumping:
- 67% of employers and recruiters said the recruiting process was shorter, and 51% said it was less expensive to recruit via referrals.
- Applicants hired from a referral begin their position quicker (after 29 days) than those found via job boards (39 days) and career sites (55 days).
Employee referrals are important, and they work. If you haven’t yet, you may want to consider starting an employee ambassador program by providing an incentive for employees who want to refer a new hire.
This type of employee ambassador program can not only help attract new talents and reduce recruitment efforts but also keep current employees engaged, thus contributing to your employee branding.
Of course, employee ambassadors can do more than just refer new hires, which leads me to my next point:
Ask your employees to be active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the go-to social media network when it comes to professional networking, obtaining news about different brands, learning and developing professional skills, attracting talents, looking for jobs, and more.
This means that a large number of potential employees for your brand are present on LinkedIn, who will more likely be interested in working for you if you have a stronger employee brand than your competitors.
Encourage your employees to share related content on LinkedIn is one way to get your company present and more well-known on this platform. They can share with their network news about their day-to-day, what they love about working at your company, whether you’re hiring, etc.
Fine-tune your hiring strategies and hiring process
Your hiring strategies are important when it comes to creating the right employer brand, as you only have one chance to make the best first impression for potential hires.
Welcome new team members with an ice breaker template like this:
Social listening is a great way to improve your current hiring process. Get on social media, learn what others are talking about when it comes to job interviews, back-and-forth interaction between job seekers and recruiters, and see how you can apply that learning to your own recruitment efforts.
Looking for feedback from current employees is also a great way. Ask them what worked and what didn’t in their own job interviews, and go from there.
Improve the employee experience through training materials
When it comes to choosing between offers, whether there’s room to develop professionally is part of what the employee considers.
This means if you manage to improve your current and future employees’ experience through offering training or opportunities for personal development, there’s a high chance you can build a stronger employee brand.
It’s important to integrate visuals into your training materials to drive employee engagement and actually get them to apply the learnings afterward, so consider using these templates for your training sessions:
- How to Make Engaging Training Materials with Visuals (+ 20 Template Examples)
- How to Ensure Team Participation in Training With Engaging Visuals
- How to Easily Create Job Aids that Improve Employee Performance
Or these ones to help your employees make a professional development plan:
Optimize your onboarding and offboarding process
Having a smooth onboarding and offboarding process is also important to building the employee experience, thus contributing to them being potential brand advocates.
Especially now when almost every company has gone remote completely, it’s important to know how to create an engaging, smooth onboarding process for employees that will get them pumped up and ready for work, while not leaving them feeling too overwhelmed.
Having an onboarding checklist like this one can be a great help:
Or this template, to help onboard remote employees:
It’s the same when it comes to offboarding and employee separation. Ensuring the employee feels your appreciation for their work is essential and can lead to them advocating for your company even when they no longer work there.
Use these offboarding templates to help with this process:
In summary: Apply visuals to your employee branding strategy to attract talented candidates, improve employee satisfaction and more
Use these steps and templates to take your employee branding training documents, campaign development, and campaign monitoring to the next level.
Start creating visuals to help with your employee branding program by registering for a free account with Venngage. No design experience required.