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So What's an Employer Brand? (And 8 things you can do about it)

You’ve heard the term before. But what exactly is an Employer Brand - and why should you care?

It’s actually pretty simple.

If you hire people for your business, you have an Employer Brand. It’s the unique reputation you have built as an employer, whether you know it or not. How you treat your people from the first encounter to the last, and all the things you do for them along the way.

“Culture is to recruitment, as product is to marketing.” -Katie Burk, VP Culture & Employee Experience at Hubspot

It’s your culture, your benefits, your perks, your purpose. All wrapped up together. The secret sauce that attracts great people to work with you - and inspires them to perform at their best.

Imagine working for Google. Or Apple. Or the restaurant down the street. What do you think it would be like? What have you heard? Does it draw you in or send you elsewhere?

That’s Employer Brand.

Your Employer Brand is what people say or think about you as a place to work. It’s not a story you tell, it’s a story that others tell about you. However, you can influence it. And those who do it right - which means authentically and transparently - will compete with ANYONE for top talent. No matter how big or small you are.

In fact, according to Glassdoor, over 50% of candidates won’t even apply for a company with a questionable reputation - even for an increase in pay; 92% of people would consider changing jobs if they were offered a role with a company that has a great reputation; and a strong employer brand can reduce turnover by up to 30%.

That means your employer brand has a major impact on your bottom line.

A great Employer Brand not only attracts top people to want to work for you, it actually inspires those people to become champions and ambassadors. Imagine how much easier it would be to recruit and retain if you had a lineup of referrals around the block for every open spot.

As James Ellis from Employer Brand Labs puts it, “instead of seeing recruiting as the driver of hiring, employer brand gives us a chance to step back and see hiring as something that the entire company is responsible for.”

Here are 8 simple things you can do to help boost your Employer Brand:

  1. ASK YOUR PEOPLE FOR FEEDBACK (AND ACT ON IT) Your very best resource is right in front of you. Talk to your team. Conduct an engagement survey, or stay interviews, or anonymous feedback tools. Whatever works for you. Just find a way to get a real pulse on your culture and employee satisfaction. And really listen to them. If there are changes you can implement, do it.

  2. CLARIFY YOUR PURPOSE & VALUES Great people want to work for great companies. And the greatest companies are aligned in their purpose and values. Forget the stuffy Mission & Vision statements of the past that collected dust on the wall. We are talking about an authentic purpose that guides you and your team in every decision you make.

  3. CREATE AN EVP (EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION) An Employee Value Proposition is the unique deal you make with your people in exchange for their time, talent, and experience. It helps people understand what it’s like to work with you, who will be successful, and articulates what they get in return. A great EVP shows up everywhere - from job postings to social media to team meetings.

  4. TELL YOUR STORY. EVERYWHERE. Employer branding is all about sharing your story and encouraging others to do the same. Take advantage of social media to share bits of your culture, profile team members, celebrate wins - and showcase how you do it. Every team meeting, every post, every interaction is an opportunity to engage and inspire.

  5. RETHINK RECRUITMENT Throw out the outdated recruitment model and embrace the fact that top talent CHOOSES you, not the other way around. Strategically telling your story and showcasing your employer brand is how you will attract the best people. Respond to everyone, be transparent, and turn recruitment into a conversation about potential.

  6. ONBOARD BETTER. COMMUNICATE BETTER. CONNECT BETTER. What does a new hire’s first day look like? How do you share good news? What do leaders do when someone has a problem? The heart of your employer brand is how you treat your people - from the very first moment, all the way through to the last. It’s a reflection of who you are and how you lead. Make sure it’s right.

  7. CHAMPIONS & TESTIMONIALS No one will sell the perks of working for you better than your own people in their own words. Work with your leadership team to identify some ambassadors who can help share your story. Capture written testimonials for online reviews and create a culture video that truly showcases who you are and what people love about working there.

  8. BE AUTHENTIC Whatever you do, always be authentic. Showcasing a culture and value statement that’s not true will only backfire on you. Your people know what’s real so just stick to the facts. And if you're in the process of improving, be open about that. Transparency and honesty are two of the most sought after traits in an employer.


VIMYHR is a strategic consulting firm specializing in custom HR support for small to medium sized businesses across Canada and the U.S. Our in-house marketing agency, culturebrand, works with companies to tell their unique story as an employer to help them attract the right people - and keep them. If you would like to learn more or to discuss your employer brand with our team, send us a note:


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