Best Practices

Elevating Your Company: The Power of Employer Branding

Brandice Payne | Author

Brandice Payne

Senior Manager, Content & Customer Marketing

Posted on

April 18, 2024

What do all 100 of the Fortune 100 Employers of Choice have in common? They all have great employer branding, with names like Cisco, Hilton, and NVIDIA gracing the top spots for last year’s ratings. 

Employer branding is your company’s reputation among active and former employees. It’s the emotional story related to your mission, values, and company culture that makes you an attractive option for the highest-quality talent. Essentially, it answers the question, “Why work here?” 

In today’s hyper-competitive job market, where job candidates contend with other skilled candidates for a few open roles at the best organizations. Looking at why that’s crucial for the modern business, here are just a few of the perks a good employer brand can bring to your recruiting efforts: 

  1. Reduce your time-to-hire and snag the best candidates before your competition knows they’re available. 

  2. Build diverse and inclusive candidate pipelines filled with qualified applicants other employers don’t know about. 

  3. Improve the overall candidate experience, which means employees are raving to their family and friends. 

  4. Enhance employee morale, which leads to reduced turnover and lower hiring costs. 

  5. Develop an unmatched level of trust between employer and candidate, new employee, and existing staff. 

Having a recognizable employer brand isn’t the domain of high-powered enterprise-level organizations. Understanding the concepts of employer branding, the strategies to develop your own company image, and the technology driving success are all within reach inside this guide! 

The Components of a Strong Employer Brand

Everyone recognizes top company brands like Apple, Google, or Amazon, and these organizations share a few hallmarks that you can use to join that echelon. The main component these businesses share is prioritizing employer brand projects and putting those efforts at the top of their minds. 

These companies also know who is responsible for specific tasks related to employer branding strategy. There is a clear division of power between what employees work and who manages them with the precise goal of building a positive brand image for potential candidates. 

Next, employers with effective branding have solid public perceptions and excellent reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Glassdoor’s internal stats show that nearly 75% of candidates read reviews of companies before accepting job offers. 

Top employer brands have compelling brand stories that capture meaningful moments in time and have unique employer value propositions or employee value propositions (EVP). These EVPs are the positive employee experiences everyone hears about that make an organization worth working for. 

An EVP is a necessary component of your company’s values and mission, where the mission is the why behind an organization’s existence. In this case, the EVP is the “What’s in it for me?” for the employees. 

Companies with the best employer branding have concise EVPs that are consistent across all recruitment channels. That unified brand messaging communicates to job seekers what makes a business unique and sets it apart from the competition. 

Strategies for Developing Your Employer Brand

Now that we’ve explored some of the foundational components of a strong employer brand, we can examine some recruitment strategies for developing your own world-renowned employer brand. However, before taking on too much and getting disappointed by the (lack of) results, it’s vital to set realistic expectations. After all, meaningful employer branding takes time. 

For example, a career page is a popular starting point, but redesigning color schemes, changing landing page copy, and institute thoughtful layouts requires significant effort. Properly executing a meaningful change to a career site can take months. 

Instead, start by understanding the basics of recruitment marketing and deploying a few tricks from your sales and marketing teams, such as:

  • Developing a content strategy that sells your organization to top talent. 

  • Distributing strategic social media posts about your brand’s story. 

  • Targeting and engaging potential employees through platforms they frequent, such as social media sites like LinkedIn. 

  • Incorporating SEO strategies on career pages, job descriptions, blog posts, and social media ads. 

  • Optimizing your hiring sites and job applications for mobile devices.

  • Investing in programmatic advertising to leverage AI for more effective targeted job ads. 

You can also evaluate current sentiment through brand audits and consider how to invest in existing employees. Those investments can include providing current employees with professional career development, workshops, courses, and external training opportunities.

An investment like that has two benefits. First, it arms your workforce with the knowledge necessary to stay competitive. Second, it reduces turnover and improves employee engagement, leading to improved retention. 

Another investment doesn’t cost anything in terms of budget dollars, but it has the potential to pay huge dividends, and that’s transparency. By making financial and operational health, strategic goals and efforts, and even the ugly side of business, employees gain a sense of how they contribute to the organization's success, building positive brand perception. 

While positive brand perception goes a long way toward driving employee referrals, a generous referral program doesn’t hurt. You can even enroll employees to serve as brand ambassadors at hiring events or outreach campaigns. 

Measuring the Success of Your Employer Branding Efforts

Although developing an unforgettable employer brand takes time and effort, an excellent way to keep tabs on your progress is through robust and detailed reporting. A best practice is compiling the most impactful KPIs and metrics to include in a centralized dashboard, like those in the Gem software. 

In addition to tracking meaningful metrics, you can compare your results with benchmarked data to see how you compare to your competition. You can further dial in your recruitment marketing strategies by utilizing A/B testing to uncover the highest-performing job boards, messaging, and timing. 

Plus, it’s worth remembering that success is a moving target, so constantly evaluating feedback and surveys can help you identify ways to improve. 

The Role of Technology in Employer Branding

The effort required for employer branding overhauls can seem daunting when each portion is viewed as an individual task. Modern technology unifies disconnected aspects of the sourcing, hiring, and onboarding processes into a single platform without burning out recruiters.  

One technological tool that helps streamline efforts is an applicant tracking system (ATS), which manages the hiring funnel through time-saving automation. An ATS supercharges recruiting by performing automatic resume parsing, sorting, evaluating, and scoring. This software can also schedule interviews, send offer letters, and assign assessments. 

The other side of recruitment technology is candidate relationship management (CRM) software. Those familiar with the sales version of CRM will know that this tool helps collect candidate information, organize and store data, and customize interactions for an unparalleled candidate experience.

Gem’s ATS and CRM combo has the added benefit of creating a more equitable hiring process, allowing businesses to focus on DEI recruitment processes. Gem’s tools allow you to visualize your pipelines, uncover hidden biases, and help you source from underrepresented groups. 

Overcoming Common Employer Branding Challenges

Revamping your employer branding has its challenges, such as internal misalignment and overlapping or missing efforts. That’s why it is crucial that you give priority to projects geared toward improving the company’s image and giving everyone a clearly defined role in the success of those assignments. 

Enrolling your team's staff to uphold a portion of those responsibilities is an excellent way to distribute the load and engage everyone. It also makes employer branding more practical for small businesses, startups, or teams with limited resources. 

The buy-in will always depend on involvement from everyone on the team, but perhaps no more importantly than from senior leadership. Core employer branding changes need to come from the top, meaning those in leadership positions must support initiatives that promote a positive shift in employer branding. 

Amplifying Your Recruitment with Gem’s Platform

A stellar employer brand is arguably the best strategy for sourcing qualified candidates. Strong employer branding encourages employee testimonials, makes employment more appealing, and boosts employee retention rates. 

Building a positive employer brand involves a blend of talent marketing and consistent strategic effort. Managing the various aspects of effective employer branding depends on a decent recruiting ATS and CRM to handle the back-end tasks. 

Integrating your business with Gem’s ATS and CRM platforms brings comprehensive talent acquisition solutions together in a single, unified view. Check out a demo of Gem’s talent sourcing platform and start enhancing your employer branding endeavors.  


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