Companies that constantly attract the top talent are doing one thing right: employer branding. What does employer branding mean? What are its strategic targets and operating methods? What’s the connection between employer branding and a company’s overall communication strategy?

What Is Employer Branding? Definition Of Employer Branding

Employer branding is a communication strategy focused on a company’s employees and potential employees. It brings together all the branding and communication elements intended to enhance the value of belonging to a company, with the ultimate goal of retaining and attracting talent.

Employer Branding: A Different Signature

Employer branding has a specific audience and objectives, like, for instance, sharing the company’s mission or its good working atmosphere. In this way, it comes together with a slogan that aims to send the message of how a brand wants to be perceived.
These messages have the goal of helping companies attract the type of candidates they are looking for and reinforce the feeling of belonging of current employees. For this to happen effectively, companies use storytelling strategies to work on how they want to be perceived.
For instance, Crédit Agricole’s brand signature, “An entire bank for you”, gives way to the slogan “It all starts here” on its recruitment campaign. BNP Paribas also has “A bank for a changing world” as its signature and a “Let’s design tomorrow” employer branding value proposition. In the same way, Heineken also has a “Go places” recruitment signature and the “Open your world” general slogan.

The Two Sides Of Employer Branding: Recruitment And Human Resources

Employer Branding And Recruitment

The goal of employer branding is to attract the best candidates available or potential future candidates (once they have the requirements needed). Today, communication strategies are particularly adapted to social network-type such as LinkedIn or Viadeo. These and other networks are largely used by candidates to find out job opportunities online. Moreover, with the growth of the gig economy, digital platforms like Upwork or Fiverr also deserve special attention.

Employer Branding And HR

The goal here is to retain high-performing employees and avoid losing them in the talent war to the competition. In this way, at a human resources management level, many policies and practices are developed to enhance and reinforce the sense of belonging to the company. From special training sessions to key talents, interesting initiatives with employees’ families in occasions such as Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving or the organization of teambuilding activities or internal sports competition, the goal is always to create a good internal cohesion spirit.

How To Start Developing An Employer Branding Strategy?

To create an interesting internal and external employer brand image, it is first necessary to understand both the company’s and the candidates’ needs. What are their top career expectations? What benefits and corporate environment are people looking for today? What are the organization’s strategic goals and priorities?
After having the answer to these and other questions a company can start defining its unique identity, i.e, what makes it an exceptional employer. This is called the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and it’s a set of different and unique employer characteristics that the best candidates consider valuable.

Employer branding, corporate reputation, and CSR

A good employer-branding strategy has an added value in terms of business communication that goes beyond making job candidates and the company’s current employees fall in love with the organization. Satisfied employees are companies’ best preachers and ambassadors. They can improve or denigrate a company’s reputation with the word-of-mouth power, but especially with their feedback on social media channels or reputation platforms like Glassdoor.
At the same time, the development of CSR policies is encouraged by employer branding too. Employees, candidates, investors and other stakeholders today all expect companies to care about serving the common interests of society and the planet. In this way, as businesses need to correspond to what’s expected from them and be aligned and engaged with the external world, many have already started adopting strategies in line with sustainable development.

Image credits to company culture on Shutterstock, corporate team on Shutterstock