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How to build a strong employer brand in 2022

Whether or not you’ve spent time, resources, or effort building out your employer brand, you already have one. Candidates are looking to your company's digital footprint to determine whether or not they want to join your team. Job seekers have access to more information than ever before, and they’re using it to screen your company.

Today's candidates view twice as many job descriptions before applying, and unsurprisingly they want a role at a company that aligns with their values. To recruit, hire, engage, and retain talent, companies must invest in a strong employer brand. If not, they leave it up to candidates to fill in the gaps themselves on key decision points like culture and values. A cohesive employer brand narrative is no longer optional, it’s foundational.

Why a strong employer brand is foundational to talent strategy

Your employer brand is how candidates and employees perceive your company as a place to work. Excellent compensation and benefits are no longer enough to close job offers. Your next hire is looking for the whole package and that includes evidence of a solid culture.

Your employer brand is how candidates and employees perceive your company as a place to work.

Candidates pay attention to culture clues, and there are a few common ones that they care about. Flexibility, work-life balance, employee empowerment, and an authentic commitment to DEIB are all factors that matter to candidates. So, what are the steps to building a strong employer brand and demonstrating an ongoing commitment to people-first policies?

How to build a strong employer brand in 3 steps

Companies with the strongest employer brands have a few things in common. They lead with their values and talk authentically about their culture in all of their employer brand channels—from their careers page to LinkedIn and Glassdoor.  They also define an employee value proposition (EVP) and consistently align all employer brand content around that EVP. This helps them develop brand consistency and increased word of mouth about their culture. Here are the steps to take to ensure your employer brand is allowing your culture to shine.

1. Start with the EVP

An employee value proposition is much more than an aspirational paragraph on your careers page. It's a promise that you make to candidates and an agreement that you uphold to employees. It shows the experience your company seeks to provide your team.  It can be a lot of work to devise an excellent employee value proposition, but it's worth it! A strong EVP is reliable, builds trust, and resonates with talent. 

Your EVP should be tied to your company's unique cultural strengths and values. It should also be present in all of your recruitment marketing, even if it's not there word-for-word. How your company activates its EVP in your employer brand content is arguably more important than the exact words of the EVP itself. So, if you haven't crafted a top-notch EVP yet, start there. Even if you already have one, revisit it continuously to evaluate its impact on your talent goals.

2. Talk about culture authentically 

Companies that reference their culture in job postings secure 67% more likes, shares, comments, and clicks compared to those that don’t. Leaning into what your company does really well while also being transparent about growth areas is a powerful approach. Ultimately, your culture is your product. That's why the best employer brands are reliable, trustworthy, and don't overpromise and underdeliver. Overpromising and under delivering is a sure-fire way to hurt your employer brand in the long run. 

It’s important to highlight what makes your company so special but to also show organizational self-awareness. Painting a realistic picture of what it’s like to work at your company engages candidates and employees.

3. Equip your team with inclusive language guidance

If your team is happy, they're already posting about your company on LinkedIn and other platforms. With just a little bit of inclusive language guidance, their efforts can eventually become your single best employer brand asset. Job seekers trust content from employees more than content from companies, that's why networks like Glassdoor are so popular.

The language we use can mean the difference between someone applying for a role or moving on to other opportunities. And, the more inclusive and widely appealing our language is, the higher the likelihood of sourcing a diverse talent pipeline. Equipping your team with inclusive language guidance can help them stay intentional, avoid harmful language, and reach your audience more effectively.

Everyone at your company plays a role in your company's employer brand—including you! Learning how to play your role effectively in your company's story has the potential to unlock hiring efforts and deepen engagement on your team.

This topic and much more was covered in our 2022 Recruiting and inclusion report, access the full report for more insights.  

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