Employer branding

How to Build a Strong Employer Brand and Attract the Best Candidates

Finding employees is relatively easy, unless you work in a superbly complicated niche and your business specializes in a unique service. Retaining employees is slightly more difficult, since your competitors are always looking for ways to snag better people for themselves. However, hiring and retaining the best employees is where the real struggle begins. The crème de la crème of your talent pool is constantly getting offers from top brands in your industry – and they can take their pick. So, why should they pick you?

If you’re able to answer that question in all honesty, your employees should be able to pinpoint the answer, too. Building a strong employer brand is part of that journey, discovering the perfect answer to that question, as well as many others that a candidate might ask. Once you settle on a clear, well-defined brand identity in the role of an employer, you can then create better hiring strategies, smarter talent acquisition and retention methods, and work on your employee relationships for the long term. Here’s what you can do to boost your employer brand and get the best talent in your industry.

Define your employer brand values

As a business, you’re not just trying to get people to apply for a job, but rather to become part of your shared mission and contribute in different ways. That requires a clear value proposition on your part, a set of brand values that will appeal to your potential employees looking for their dream job.

Are you all about diversity and inclusivity, charity work and community contributions? Maybe your business is making a difference through sustainability? What about your culture and mindset? Create a selection of clear and concise values that define what your brand stands for, and people will be able to determine if they can support you or not.

Be mindful of where your workforce is

Just like you’re careful when targeting local customers, you need to apply the same logic when targeting local employees. Their cultural background, salary expectations, communication styles, and everything else will be affected by their location. This can be particularly tricky when you’re hiring for temporary jobs and projects in large-scale markets like Europe, with many different languages and cultures involved. 

To target them properly, you can leverage contractor workforce solutions in Europe when presenting your brand in different regions and hiring for seasonal or temporary posts. To do that successfully, you need a strong brand presence in the region, so that your HR experts can use your core messaging and values to not just hire contractors, but also to keep them coming back for repeat projects and tasks in the future. This might be a different kind of retention, but it’s retention nonetheless, and very vital for the long-term success of your employer brand. 

Empower employee storytelling

Whether you have a global workforce, or you’re focused on hiring in, let’s say, the US, you need to leverage your existing and happy employees to find equally fitting candidates for new positions. Your employees are your best brand ambassadors and they shape the image of your business in the eyes of future applicants.

Use dedicated review platforms as a way to build your brand’s reputation – ask employees to post honest feedback on those platforms. Have your own page on your website to post employee stories, reviews, perspectives, interviews, you name it. As long as you get them front and center, more like-minded individuals will be interested in your brand.

Shift your job ad wording and voice

Every single job ad you post should be carefully written, and not be treated like a rush job simply because you need employees, pronto. What good will your values do for your business if you’re not using them as guidelines for those job ads?

For starters, make sure your ads are keyword optimized to attract the right category of applicants. Add a summary of your company that reflects those core values and your brand’s impact. Be concrete when describing each role, all the responsibilities, and the expectations you’re setting. Make room for employee reviews if possible, which often depends on the site where you’re posting the ad. Let your ads be action-inspiring with the right CTAs, so that a candidate will feel excited to get in touch with your business.

Focus on long-term impact

Salary is important, there’s no question about it, but the best candidates in your industry don’t choose their dream job based on the salary alone. They know they can ask for what they’re worth, and what’s more, they know people compete over them, so that is no issue to begin with. What does matter for them is the kind of environment and culture they’re walking into. What are your brand’s long-term goals? Your employees should be able to understand precisely how their role plays into those goals. 

Can they see the proverbial ladder to climb in your organization, or will they see a stagnant job opportunity instead? Will they be expected to compete or collaborate with their teammates? Will they be greeted with an open mind should they come up with ideas or shut down every time they speak up?

These are the kind of cultural traits that help brands attract the most talented, hard-working professionals in any field, so make sure your brand can portray what you do for them and for your community from that long-term perspective.

If you’ve already established your customer-facing brand, your efforts to do the same towards your potential employees will be as effective and helpful. It’s a process and it comes with ongoing learning and adjustments, so be sure to listen to your employees as much as you research your industry and your competitors. With that kind of knowledge, you’ll be able to create branding strategies to elevate your employer brand presence and attract the best of the best in your field of work.