Forming An Employer Branding Strategy: A Guide

Created by Cake

When hiring, recruiters not only have to select candidates based on their qualifications, skills and experience, but also envision how they would fit with the existing team. Writing detailed job descriptions and having open communication with candidates improves efficiency in hiring; however, improving employer branding is a unique way to attract high quality candidates.

Employer branding strategies are used to improve the retention of employees, as well as attract new hires who will blend with company culture. Employer branding can be utilized in many different ways, such as via social media, management practices as well as employer branding services. We will discuss the importance of employer branding, and how employer branding campaigns can be implemented for recruitment.

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is a company’s way of presenting themselves to their ideal candidates. The ultimate purpose of employer branding is to advertise the company in a way that makes it unique, indicating that they are the ‘best choice’ to work for. Although employer branding is useful for the overall company reputation in the public eye, employer branding has specific benefits in the recruitment process, such as:

  • Increasing the number of applicants: by presenting the company holistically, including non-tangible aspects such as company culture and values, more applicants are likely to be enticed into applying for an open position.
  • Reduce recruitment costs: a higher number of applicants would in turn reduce recruitment costs such as hiring external recruiters, or paying for recruitment platforms, advertisements and promoted posts.
  • Reduce turnover rates: by having an honest employer branding strategy, applicants already anticipate the workplace culture and environment, leading to lower turnover. Additionally, employer branding is built from within the company, where existing employees maintain high satisfaction as their needs are met. 

Employer Branding Strategies

To successfully implement employer branding, there are many things to take into consideration. Here are our steps for forming an employer branding strategy: 

🔍 Identify your company’s unique value proposition.

Narrow down your company’s core values which contribute to the overall brand, as well as what makes the company unique or innovative in the industry. Try to focus on what makes your company great, and use it as the basis of your persuasion. 

🔍 Conduct an audit of your employer brand.

Scour the internet on sites such as LinkedIn, comparably, glassdoor and indeed for previous and current employee perspectives on the company. Note down both the positives and negatives and use these to form the basis of your employer branding strategy. Additionally, conduct an internal audit with employees by conducting interviews or sending a company-wide survey. 

🔍 Create your employer value proposition.

Use your company’s uniqueness, values and goals to create a value proposition which expresses the employee experience. A value proposition is usually formed by a short leading statement, which you can briefly expand upon if necessary. The employer value proposition should be directed at your target group of candidates, compared to the company value proposition, which is the overall brand of the company.

🔍 Utilize social media to tell your company story.

If your company does not already have its own social channels, consider making a LinkedIn as well as a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram page, depending on the industry and target group. Make use of each social media’s preferred method of posting, and have a consistent method of sharing your employer branding message. 

🔍 Introduce diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are implemented within company practices to promote diversity in the workplace. Including DEI principles such as transparency, equality, choice and opportunity will help with employer branding not only in the public eye, but for candidates who are directly impacted by workplace inequalities. 

🔍 Engage your current employees.

When conducting audits as mentioned before, try to gather data on how employees feel and think about the company. Current employees are directly impacted by employee branding, and therefore have valuable input for your employee branding strategy. Include the most common (positive) answers when forming employer value propositions, or sharing their experiences in social media posts. 

Employer Branding Examples

The most successful and sought-after companies maintain interest from job seekers through their employer branding.

Here are examples of successful employer branding campaigns, as well as analysis of what makes their strategies so great.

Microsoft employer branding 

Microsoft is one tech company which many engineering graduates strive to work for. Whilst their widely successful business and products contribute to the desire to work for Microsoft, they also have an excellent employer branding strategy, including: 

  • A short, punchy employer branding value proposition, which implies that employee passions and goals are the priority for Microsoft employees.
  • Specifically mentions the inclusivity of Microsofts’ hiring processes.
  • Has testimonials from existing employees.
  • Very active on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Image sourced from

Microsoft’s employer branding success is reflected in their employee reviews and high retention rates.

Google employer branding 

Google refines its broad scope of practice into key elements of their company’s goals, values and company culture. Google’s employer branding strategy targets both job seekers and the general public, making it a desired place to work. Other things that make Google’s employee branding successful include: 

  • A simple, powerful and inclusive employer brand proposition.
  • Google’s recruitment branding is open and honest, sharing information regarding their hiring process, DEI implementation, and career paths. 
  • Uses employee testimonials in their employer branding strategy, so that job seekers can relate to and envision themselves as potential google employees. 
Image sourced from

Google has high job satisfaction and their employer branding strategy aims to portray that. 

Amazon employer branding 

Amazon uses a unique employer branding platform called Seenit to encourage job seekers aspiring to work at Amazon. In addition, Amazon's employer branding strategy also: 

  • Utilizes their current employees to show Amazon’s unique employer value proposition in action.
  • Has a unique focus on leadership principles within their employer brand proposition.
  • Directly addresses controversies or concerns regarding the Amazon brand in their recruitment branding strategy.
Image sourced from

Starbucks employer branding 

Starbucks makes the most of social media platforms to share their employer branding strategy with their desired audience. Starbucks makes a personalized approach to their recruitment branding strategy, including:

  • Calling their staff “partners” rather than “employees” to make the company seem more personable.
  • An employer brand proposition styled as a mission statement to make the company brand seem impactful, inspiring and positive.
  • Strong use of the company social media channels to promote their employee brand, through using genuine employee images and testimonials.
Image sourced from

Cisco employer branding 

Cisco’s employer branding has been highly regarded for quite a while, but what exactly makes it so great? Cisco has an easy-to-use, personable careers page which portrays their employer brand positively by: 

  • Integrating DEI principles through representation in employee testimonials.
  • Using a “theme” to their employer brand proposition, describing their brand as “home”.
  • Highlighting accolades such as being the #1 place to work.
  • Having active social media channels and sharing employee posts directly within their career page.
Image sourced from

Tips for Employer Branding

As seen from the examples, employer branding is based on how the company would like to portray their careers, values and work lifestyle to their target audience. Although there could be many perks to working at a company, balancing the employer branding with successful recruiting can be difficult.

Here are our tips for what to prioritize when forming an employer branding strategy: 

⚠️ Don’t focus too much on compensation: 

Although it might be a major perk to the role, focusing too much on compensation through salary or perks can make candidates suspicious. Candidates will likely ask about or research company salaries on their own, so focusing on how employees develop personally and professionally with the company is more important. 

⚠️ Understand your candidate persona: 

If you know what type of employee you want to hire, building a brand that reflects that will help the recruitment process. Use candidate personas to help design your employer branding strategy regarding testimonials, images and attributes of the company which candidates can connect with throughout your careers page. 

⚠️ Take online reviews seriously: 

Although some employees might use review sites such as glassdoor, indeed and comparably vindictively, still take into consideration both positive and negative points from employee reviews. Make note of the most common complaints and compliments, and use them to address existing problems and highlight the perks of the company. 

Making a successful employer branding strategy is about understanding how the company is perceived both internally and externally. All aspects of a careers page – from employer branding propositions, images, social media integration and testimonials contribute to how the company is perceived. Knowing the audience and taking employee reviews into consideration will help you attract candidates who align with your brand. 

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--- Originally written by Bronte McNamara ---

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