5 Reasons to Refresh Your Employer Brand

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Mar 26, 2020

Your employer brand is just as important as your outward-facing company brand because it affects recruitment, brand perception, and even employee retention. SHRM explains what your employer brand is: “It encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture, and personality. A positive employer brand communicates that the organization is a good employer and a great place to work.”

Like your company brand, your employer brand needs to keep up with the changing demands of job-seekers and an ever-evolving digital landscape. If you’re not sure if it’s time to give your employer brand a refresh, consider these reasons to spend time updating it.

1. Your employees aren’t passionate

Employees who are passionate about what they’re doing aren’t just working just to get paid—they’re showing up every day because they believe in the mission of the company. However, if your mission, which is an important part of your employer brand, is stuck in the past, it may be hard for employees to connect with it.

When updating your employer brand and mission statement, the key is integrating your company mission statement and values with your employer brand. Paul Davies, a Consumer Marketing Director at Microsoft, explains in an interview with LinkHumans that the Microsoft company mission is about being an ingredient for their customers.

When you look at their employee brand, Davies says, “It’s really interesting how that translates to an employer brand because our employer brand is to ‘be the one who empowers millions,’ which is really quite a simple derivative of our company brand. To empower every individual and every organization on the planet to achieve more, there is a very close relationship between the two, which I find very fascinating.”

Updating your employer brand to reflect this connection between what the company does for consumers and how employees fit into that allows you to do two things: find employees who are passionate about what you do and keep employees empowered and excited about their work.

2. You’re struggling to attract great talent

Your employer brand says a lot about the company, from whether you care about your employees to how reputable you are as an organization. Martinique Jobin, the HR Manager for Frontify, explains, “Brand association is the number one metric for attracting and retaining talent because, in today’s competitive market for top talent, a company’s reputation as a credible employer and a great place to work are crucial decision factors.”

What’s more, LinkedIn reports that 75 percent of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying, which means this is an especially important factor if your company is growing and scaling fast. As Jobin explains: “A strong brand will impact whether a qualified candidate will decide to join us—or accept a competitor’s offer instead. As we are currently in our scale-up phase, attracting and hiring the best talent is critical for us to continue growing and for our overall future success.”

3. Your employer value proposition isn’t strong enough

Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is like your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It helps you attract and retain talent because, like your mission, it shows potential and current employees what you stand for as an organization and helps them determine whether they connect with what your company brings to the world.

As Sarah Lybrand, LinkedIn Talent contributor, explains: “A strong EVP can attract and retain the best people, help prioritize goals and agendas company-wide (especially in HR and workforce planning), help re-engage a dispassionate workforce, and reduce hiring costs. Most of all, it contributes to a favorable and robust employer brand.”

4. Social media engagement is low

Consumers want to engage with authentic brands. Updating your employer brand to focus on creating and sharing videos and photos of employees, the office and events, can help you drive engagement among followers.

More importantly, 35 percent of people looking for jobs conduct their search via social media. This means you need to have a modern employer brand that stands out on social media and appeals to users—not only to drive engagement but to attract the talent that’s job searching on the various social media platforms.

According to the same LinkedIn data, 47 percent of small business owners are planning to extend their employer branding to social media—when doing so, remember to update:

  • Bio and bio links
  • Overall look and feel of images
  • Voice and messaging

5. Employee advocacy needs a jump-start 

Employees can be your greatest brand advocates. In fact, 65 percent of people rate a company technical expert as more trustworthy than the CEO, and 53 percent trust a regular employee more than the CEO, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer.

It’s in your best interest to encourage employees to share about the company, but if they aren’t excited about the experience you’re providing as a brand, they’re less likely to do so. Refresh your employer brand for the modern employee and, at the same time, initiate an employee advocacy program. The latter is a tool you can use to encourage sharing on social media among friend groups or within professional networks.

Refresh your employer brand

Now is the time to take a good look at your employer brand. Whether you’re struggling to find or retain talent, or want to drive greater employee advocacy, a fresh employer brand can be part of the solution.

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