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What is Employee Branding? How to Attract and Retain Top Talents Easily? 

January 3, 2023

Attracting and retaining talented people in the business is harder than ever before. With constant switching from one job to another and seeking competitive packages, recruiters can not rely solely on higher salaries to get top talent in their firm. 

Traditionally, recruiters post job vacancies and get hundreds of applicants looking for a job. But now the times have changed. There are so many opportunities and cut-throat competition amongst companies to hire the best person for the job. This has changed the hiring procedure and made the recruiters' jobs strenuous. 

Although, there are still many companies that do not face this problem. They get an overwhelming number of applications for their job vacancies, and people are ready to switch if they get an opportunity. So what makes these companies stand out from the crowd? 

This blog will look into one of the most effective ways to attract and retain top talent- Employee Branding. Moreover, we will discuss how recruiters can leverage it in 4 easy steps. 

What is Employee Branding? 

Employee branding builds a positive perception of a company's work culture by sharing employees' experiences with others. Recruiters focus on showcasing company culture, values, vision, mission, and other business aspects that impact employees' experience. 

Employee branding depicts the employee as a hero! It focuses on a healthy work environment and experience to attract and retain top professionals. 

It differs from employer branding, where recruiters try to simulate a positive perception of a company's culture and values amongst employees, candidates, and other stakeholders. Employer branding aims at building a strong company brand, while employee branding focuses on sharing employees' experiences. 

In employee branding, companies share day-to-day employee stories to reflect a healthy work environment and create a positive image. They share employees' experiences on their careers page and social media or communicate directly during interviews to influence potential candidates. 

But employee branding benefits are not restricted to attracting and retaining top talent. Recruiters must realize that employee branding is not a 'nice-to-have' element to the hiring process. With many companies and competitive packages to lure skilled people, employee branding is more critical than ever. 

Importance of Employee Branding 

64% of consumers stop purchasing from a particular company if the employees are ill-treated. 

So, not only does employee branding impact the hiring process, but also the overall company image. Let us look at 8 reasons why employee branding is crucial for every business. 

  1. Hire New Employees Easily 

A strong employee brand portrays a healthy working environment. This makes it easier for recruiters to get more people interested in the vacancy and convince the top talent to switch. 

Moreover, more employees happily refer people to fill in the vacancy. Not only are referrals cost-effective, but they have a high retention rate. Additionally, with positive experience and feedback, employees can attract more people interested in the company. 

  1. Create a Strong Company Culture 

Employee branding roots in a company with a positive working environment and employees enjoy working there. Thus, to improve employee branding, companies often invest in building a strong company culture, values, and policies. 

This involves having a documented company mission, vision, and values deeply inculcated into the work culture. Recruiters have realized that company culture drastically impacts employee satisfaction, retention, and turnover. Employee branding motivates the management to keep strengthening the work environment and experience. 

  1. Reduce Recruitment Cost 

Employee branding means more applicants and easy-to-convince people to switch. This reduces the overall cost of marketing the job vacancy as job seekers will actively look for open job roles. Moreover, recruiters cut the chase by providing a competitor package for desired candidates. Overall, the cost of hiring reduces drastically. 

Employee branding also creates a positive image for new hires, reducing employee turnover. Reduced employee turnover implies better ROI on hiring efforts and effective utilization of resources.

  1. Retain Top Talents 

Who wants to switch from a company with a positive working environment which prioritizes good working conditions, policies, values, etc.? 

With a good employee brand comes the responsibility to create a healthy work culture. This automatically simulates the top employees' stay with the firm. A healthy employee brand also implies robust internal communications and constant feedback to understand and prioritize employee needs.

  1. Turn Employees into Ambassadors 

Job seekers trust employees' feedback over what the CEO has to say about the company by over three times. 

Employee branding can make your employees the brand ambassadors, which not only drives more job seekers but more consumers as well. When employees share personal stories related to work, they attract more people to know and get interested in the business. 

  1. Motivated Employees 

Employee branding communicates the work culture, environment, and experience. This directly stimulates the management to offer better workplace conditions.

A healthy working environment will improve productivity as employees will be more motivated. A positive work culture will satisfy employees' security, social, and self-actualization needs. 

  1. Improved online visibility 

Employee branding can boost companies' online visibility. Moreover, 78% of job seekers refer to social media while looking for jobs on channels like LinkedIn. Hence, it is crucial to share employees' experiences to enhance the company's image and online presence. 

Employee branding efforts can add up as a marketing channel. Hence, recruiters must ensure a healthy workplace culture to have a positive branding effect!

  1. Improved Customer Relations 

86% of HR professionals believe that employee branding adds to the company's marketing effort. 

Employee branding increases the online presence and impacts how consumers perceive the company. In fact, a poor employee brand drives consumers away

So, employee branding is more than an effort to get more skilled people to the firm. It impacts marketing and consumer perception and reduces hiring costs by big margins. Let us understand how recruiters can build an employee brand that drives a positive impact. 

How Is Employee Branding Done? 

Employee branding includes sharing employees' experiences and working culture and environment. Here, employees talk about the company work environment and day-to-day work instances. However, recruiters can not merely ask employees to talk about the company. 

The HR team starts by conducting an audit of the current employee brand. What are employees sharing, or how much are they talking about the company? 

This is achievable by conducting surveys, getting feedback about the work environment, and checking employees' current social media activity. It becomes the basis for building insights to find weak and strong points and improve the working environment. 

After the research process is finished, one can finally move to the employee branding procedure. Here is a 4-step way to build a strong employee brand. 

#1 Identify Employee Value Proposition 

This step involves analyzing the business needs and current employee working conditions. 

  • Firstly, clearly define your company's work culture, mission, vision, and values. This includes looking into existing brand material, company vision, and mission statement and introspecting internal communications. These elements directly impact the employee experience.  
  • Secondly, identify what qualities you are looking for in the open job role. Instead of mapping out skill requirements ambiguously, reverse engineering business needs to define job requirements. 

For instance, a tech company requires writers with experience and understanding of the technical aspects of the product. This becomes the basis for skill requirements for a writer. In this way, companies can directly anchor the job requirements to business goals and needs. 

  • Lastly, outline the employee journey in the business. This means visually mapping out the employee stages that s/he goes through in their tenure. 

                                   

Source: Oak Engage 

After the recruiters have all this information, they can identify and define the employee's unique proposition. 

For instance, based on the employee journey, recruiters might identify that people leave within 2-3 years of working, so they can anchor the job role to a long-term growth opportunity or compensation method such as ESOP and communicate the same with the potential candidates. This becomes the employee value proposition. 

#2 Communicate Employee Value Proposition 

The next step is to communicate the value proposition. Recruiters can use different platforms and do A/B testing to find the most effective channel. 

  • Companies can leverage the company website, recruitment material, careers page, LinkedIn pages, and many other channels to communicate the value proposition. Recruiters should use a mix of all the media instead of relying solely on one. The value proposition can be presented in multiple ways, such as employee stories, employee quotes, highlighting the mission statement, etc. 

For example, Cisco gives a glimpse of the employee story on its career page and calls attention to three substantial sections about the job- benefits and perks, job available, and communities. 

                                        

Source: Cisco

  • Another way to communicate the value proposition is during the interviews with the candidates. Alternatively, if recruiters engage in passive hiring, the same can be discussed while building relationships with potential candidates. 
  • Ask employees to share testimonials, personal stories, and experiences. This can be done in various formats featured on company websites, company social media, or personal social media profiles of employees. Many companies have their employees share work-related stories on their social media. For example, employees of Lemlist share their working culture on their profiles. 

                                             

Source: Mihaela Cicvaric (Content Marketing Manager at Lemlist) shares a fun experience with the team, which reflects the work culture and positive employee experience. 

  • Share day-to-day work stories of employees on company social media. This helps to strengthen the marketing effort of the company because this impacts both employee and employer branding. This could be in the form of Instagram reels, tweets, LinkedIn posts, or a bi-monthly blog format. 

#3 Strong On-boarding Process 

The onboarding process is a crucial stage in employees' tenure at the job. It includes the first few weeks of understanding the work environment and colleagues and getting hands-on experience with job-related tools and software. 

An effective employee onboarding can improve the retention rate by 82%. Moreover, a poor onboarding process can increase employee turnover leading to poor branding. It reduces the chances of referral via new hires in the team.

  • An effective onboarding process must engage the employees and not restrict them to paperwork and mundane processes. It should include team building and getting to know colleagues. Moreover, the new hire should get the chance to experience the work culture along with orientation and job-specific training. 
  • The onboarding process should focus on instilling a positive image of the company. This involves sharing the company's mission and vision clearly. Moreover, the employees should be motivated to share company stories and communicate effectively within the organization. 
  • The most critical part of onboarding is getting new hires familiar with the work process and tools. Recruiters shall give clear instructions to the new hires and lay forward the role and responsibilities of each employee.

#4 Check the Analytics 

The final step of employee branding is looking into key metrics related to employee experience. It is crucial to measure the results to understand the scope of improvement and take a strategic approach. Here are a few metrics to look at to check the analytics.

  1. Candidate Quality- Are you getting qualified candidates? This is measurable based on the interviews and assessments during the hiring process. 
  2. Applicants to Interview Percentage- Are people showing up at interviews? Recruiters must look into the number of people that turn up at the interviews and its difference with the number of applicants. 
  3. Cost per Hire- How much does it cost to hire a new employee? It includes costs related to posting job vacancies, marketing the open role, assessments, and other relevant expenses. 
  4. Source of Hire- Where are your new employees coming from? Referrals? Job boards? Or some other channel? Identifying the most effective channel can help recruiters save costs on ineffective channels. Moreover, recruiters can double their efforts on effective mediums. 
  5. Offer Acceptance Rate- How many people accept the job offer after clearing the interview? Recruiters should check into the rejected offers and the reason behind them. Rejected offers not only lead to futile efforts but also resource wastage.  
  6. Employee Referral Rate- How many employees refer people for open job roles? This clearly indicates how employees perceive the work environment and if they refer it to people. A high employee referral rate can reduce costs and increase retention per hire. 
  7. Employee Retention Rate- How many people leave the job within a specific period, let's say a year? Job markets are dynamic, and people are constantly switching in search of the best job opportunity. Recruiters should identify reasons for low or high employee retention rates and take steps to ensure a high employee retention rate. 
  8. Employee Satisfaction Rate- Are people in your company happy and satisfied? This is measurable by conducting surveys and taking anonymous feedback from the team. In case of a low satisfaction rate, the HR team must meet employee needs to build a positive employee brand. 
  9. Employee Turnover Rate- How many employees leave their job within a few years of working? This percentage indicates the number of employees that leave the job within a specific period. It is crucial to understand the reasons behind leaving the job and take corrective measures. Companies must ensure a low turnover rate. Otherwise, it might lead to a poor brand image. 

There are other metrics that a recruiter can look into based on business needs. This 4-step employee branding strategy will help you improve the company culture, attract and retain more talent, and improve the overall employee experience. The cost per hire will reduce, and the company will be able to enhance internal and external communications. 

Tips To Improve Employee Branding 

Employee branding must be analyzed, tracked, and improved to reap all the benefits consistently. Recruiters must build and strengthen the employee brand to hire qualified people effortlessly. Here are the top 4 tips to enhance the employees' experience and brand. 

  • Create a healthy diversity and inclusive team to accommodate people from different cultures. This ensures that recruiters can tap potential talent globally and not restrict their reach to physical boundaries. Companies like Google take care of diversity in the workplace to have a healthy work culture and reflect their company values. 
  • Improve candidate experience during the entire employee journey, starting from the pre-interview assignments. This includes healthy communication practices and constant feedback. Moreover, recruiters shall put effort into an effective onboarding process. Further, the company shall also cultivate a positive work environment to ensure employee well-being and good mental health. 
  • Focus on current employees by offering them growth, learning, and development opportunities. Recruiters can retain top talent and develop the employees during their tenure with the company by strengthening internal communication to ensure feedback and understanding of the employee's needs. 
  • Communicate via social media and websites to share the company story, employee stories, company mission, vision, and much more. Recruiters must use a multichannel approach for employee branding, just like marketing! They should devise a comprehensive strategy to use various platforms to establish a healthy employee brand. 

Employee Branding Made Easy With Nurturebox

Employee branding is not a one-day job. It requires consistent effort to improve the work environment, communicate the employee value proposition, and provide a delightful working experience to employees. Recruiters can attract and retain desired qualified people in the firm easily by strengthening the employee brand. 

How can we at Nurturebox help you?

Nurturebox is a talent CRM tool that assists you in communicating and nurturing relationships with potential candidates while it takes care of all the mundane admin tasks for you! You need to download our chrome extension, integrate it with your hiring tech stack, and start sourcing and hiring people.

Get the Chrome extension now. It is absolutely free! 

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