If you’re living in the world of recruitment, employer brand is a phrase you’ll probably be sick of hearing.  From events, to podcasts to webinars to blogs like this one, you can’t get far without stumbling across someone trying to solve the mystery that is a great employer brand.

However, away from the complexities and contextual differences between organisations, there are some fundamental strategies that will lay the foundation on which to build a great employer brand message.  Based on how we’ve seen our greatest clients do this, we’ve gathered a list of practical tips to supercharge your employer brand quickly.

  1. Get to Know Your Audience – Segmentation

A marketing team wouldn’t set out to build a brand without first taking time to understand their audience clearly.  The process for this is segmentation and it is just as important in employer branding.  Get to know your workforce.  If you take a typical organisation, the sales team’s perception and requirements of the brand they work for will be different to those of IT and Finance.  Their feelings, thoughts and needs are all equally important in distilling out the key themes running throughout your organisation.  Once you’re clear on this, cultural fit at interview stage is much easier to quantify, which in time will strengthen your employer brand message. 
  1. Research

The only way to find out more about the reasons people work in your organisations is to talk to them.  Regularly conducting short questionnaires, focus groups, and one to one feedback sessions are all good ways to get to know your audience on a different level and gather better quality information that will help to build an authentic picture of your employer brand message. 
  1. Marketing and HR = Stronger Together

Corporate and employer brand are intrinsically linked, that’s fairly obvious, but there are still very few instances where HR and Marketing really work together to formulate those consistent messages.  Social media and digital channels are critical to messaging, but it’s difficult to be solely responsible for the creation of all the engaging content you need to deliver your message consistently and regularly.   Work together to shoulder the burden.
  1. Reflect Your Corporate Brand

Look for the aspects of your corporate brand that would be most relevant to your employer brand.  What is the purpose of the product or service you’re selling?  Is it to make life easier for your clients?  Help them to innovate?  Improve the way their business works?  Whatever it is, this overarching message will often be a helpful starting point for your employer brand.  If the brand promises ‘empowerment, a better future or innovation’ how could that translate into the day to day communication with your employees? 
  1. Re-assess Your Channels

The channels you use to promote your corporate brand may not be the right channels to engage your employees with.  If your employees are primarily made up of recent graduates and millennials, it may be that a channel like Snapchat would be a better option to engage your employees with the brand.  Setting up specific filters on significant days in the office, Friday drinks, charity events etc. could be a better way to encourage your employees to promote your message. BigMouthMarketing have outlined each media channel and why you might want to make use of them, read more about it here. 
  1. Use Technology

Implementing the right technology to automate some of your processes is essential.  SocialReferral was built with that in mind.  Incentivising a tracking engagement across even a small organisation is extremely time consuming to do manually.  Having an automated system that provides a one stop shop for your employees to share your brand message is essential, and the ability to track this activity to reward employees correctly maintains engagement for the long term. 
  1. Don’t Get Overwhelmed

There is a tendency with any sort of brand project to get overwhelmed by the possibilities.  There are so many things you could do.  Different types of communications, launch days, celebrity endorsement, endless digital channels, rewards, competitions; the list goes on.  Take it back to basics, carefully consider your core message, select a few methods of communication and identify the best channels to get this message out.  Do a few things well, the rest will follow later. 
  1. Think Creatively

Collaborative thinking and even the introduction of a creative employer brand agency can make a huge difference to your results.  From an individual perspective, think about the sort of information you’d be willing/excited to share, is it funny, interesting or creative content?  Short films, employee stories, hilarious anecdotes from the office?  Whatever it is it needs to be relatable on a human level to engage the candidates you’re hoping to attract. 
  1. Resource Your Efforts Accordingly

Budgets for employer brand are more often than not fairly limited.  However, given the prevalence of digital strategies now, it is essential you dedicate resource to the deployment of these messages, or any work done previously effectively becomes a waste of time.  Someone needs to take day to day ownership of the project or it will fail. 
  1. Be Agile

All too often new brands are launched, new messaging is created and then that’s that for the next few years.  Organisations are constantly changing, so recognizing the need to be agile in your messaging is important.  In the same way a technology business constantly evolves the product in line with consumer needs, the same needs to go for the brand you’re building.  The ability to react quickly is a game changer. 
  1. Pursue Top Potential Talent

It may sound a bit ‘Fatal Attraction’ but identifying top talent you’d like to hire, and tailoring communication and targeting strategies to them is a worthwhile exercise.  Creating exclusive events, content, gifts etc. as part of your talent pipeline strategy goes a long way, and if you attract better quality staff as a result it’s worth the investment.  Scale the targeting approach to the size of your organisation.  There’s always new things you can try. 
  1. Generate Competition

Creating competition between teams and departments is a great way to encourage engagement.  Competitions could be anything from tasking teams to be the most prolific social sharer of the month or coming up with the funniest meme.  Anything that helps you curate content and share it more widely works brilliantly. 
  1. Incentivise

Unfortunately competition alone probably won’t be enough. People will want to be rewarded for their efforts.  This won’t necessarily mean monetary reward, but find out from people in your organisation what it is that gets them interested.  Is it vouchers, comedy, longer lunch hours, early finishes?  Whatever it is, use these ‘micro rewards’ regularly to encourage the right behaviours.