Hiring? Why Employer Branding Makes All the Difference in Attracting the Best Candidates

Hiring? Why Employer Branding Makes All the Difference in Attracting the Best Candidates - Style Nine to Five

In today’s hypercompetitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is more challenging than ever. Beyond offering competitive salaries and benefits, companies must also differentiate themselves and stand out from the crowd if they want to find the best candidates in their field. 

This is where employer branding comes into play. In this guide, we’ll dig into the concept of employer branding, what it means for your recruitment process, and strategies for improving your brand’s identity as an employer so you can find the best applicants for your business.

What is Employer Branding?

Employer branding refers to the perception of a company as an employer and the values and culture it embodies in the eyes of both current and potential employees. In terms of recruiting, it encompasses every interaction a candidate has with the organization, from reading the initial job description to the employment offer and beyond. 

When we think of traditional branding, we think of things like your logo, social media persona, your company’s aesthetic, website design, in-store merchandising and experience, and customer profile—basically who you are as a company to purchase from. Employer branding is all about who you are as a company to work for.  

In essence, employer branding is about shaping how the company is perceived as a place to work. And when it comes to recruiting new hires, how you’re perceived can make all the difference in the quantity and quality of applicants who want to work for you. 

Why Does Employer Branding Matter?

Some companies have no trouble filling open roles and can take their pick from hundreds of talented applicants. Other businesses might struggle to hire someone from a small handful of lackluster candidates. 

Not only do you want great applicants to choose from so you can have a staff of stellar employers, but the hiring process takes valuable resources like advertising dollars and time. When you’re hiring to fill a role, you obviously want to attract the best candidates to apply so you can fill roles quickly. 

All that said, these are some of the main reasons why your employer branding strategy is something worth your attention:

• Attracting Top Talent: In a competitive job market, top-level applicants have options for where they want to work. A strong employer brand can make your company more appealing to high-calibre candidates, giving you a competitive edge in recruitment.

• Employee Engagement and Retention: Engaged employees are more likely to stay with the company, reducing turnover costs and maintaining productivity. A positive employer brand fosters a sense of pride and belonging among employees. 

• Brand Reputation: A company’s reputation as an employer impacts its overall brand reputation. Why are some companies seen as more desirable to work for than others? While salary, culture, and benefits are all major factors in hiring, so is your employer branding, aka your reputation and image. 

Poor employee or candidate experiences can lead to a bad word-of-mouth reputation in your industry and bad reviews on Glassdoor and LinkedIn which harm your brand and future hiring potential.

• Cost Savings: Effective employer branding can lead to cost savings in recruitment efforts, as attracting candidates becomes easier and more efficient. Additionally, lower turnover rates reduce the costs associated with hiring and training new employees.

• Resource Savings: A strong candidate pool means you can find someone quickly and easily rather than spending months reviewing resumes, re-posting on job boards, and scheduling and conducting interviews. It also means that the position is filled with a quick turnaround and you’re not left with unfulfilled duties that someone else on your team needs to add to their workload.

How Does Your Employer Branding Strategy Measure Up?

Does your employer branding need work? Here’s how to tell if your employer branding strategy (or lack thereof) needs an overhaul:

• Number of Applicants: A low application rate should signal some warning bells and prompt some further investigating into how your company comes across to the public. If your salary and benefits are competitive, then the issue might be with your employer branding. 

Strong branding plays a huge role in drawing applicants to apply for jobs on their own, so recruiters, or your brand’s own team, can focus on managing and conducting interviews without the need for cold outreach.

• Applicant Calibre: If you don’t have experienced, qualified candidates to choose from, consider your employer branding as a pain point. Strategic employer branding appeals to top job seekers by showcasing company culture, values, and opportunities, leading to a higher quality of applicants who apply to your job openings. 

Having a higher calibre of applicants enhances candidate experience by fostering trust and excitement, making the hiring process more competitive and ensuring a better match between candidates and the organization.

• Reviews: Check out Glassdoor and other review platforms. Monitor employee reviews on platforms like Glassdoor to understand how your company is perceived by current and former employees. Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback to identify areas for improvement. 

Take a look at your competitor’s reviews too—giving you an idea of where you stand as an employer in your industry and helping you see what other companies are doing that works or doesn’t work.

• Turnover Rate: If you find yourself facing a revolving door of staff, chances are good that your employer branding is weak. Great employer branding can reduce turnover by attracting and retaining the best talent. A compelling brand conveys company values, culture, and opportunities, building employee loyalty and satisfaction. Happy employees lead to higher engagement, lower turnover costs, and a cohesive workforce committed to the company’s success.

10 Ways To Improve Your Employer Branding for Recruitment

What can you do to make your business one of the sought-after brands that people are clamouring to work for? Take a look at these strategies to level up with these basic concepts for employer branding, best practices, and tactics for improving your reputation in your field.

1. Define Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP): Identify what sets your company apart as an employer and communicate it clearly to candidates at every recruiting touchpoint, from your job descriptions to your LinkedIn page to your interviews. Your EVP should highlight the unique benefits and opportunities your company offers, like career development programs, a positive work culture, or flexible work arrangements.

2. Revamp Your Marketing Strategies: Improving employer branding through marketing strategies involves showcasing company culture, values, and opportunities and there are many ways you can do this: 

• Highlight employee testimonials and success stories on social media and websites. 

• Develop engaging content about workplace initiatives, diversity efforts, and career development programs. 

• Use targeted ads to find job seekers who are aligned with your company values. 

• Encourage employee advocacy through sharing job openings and company updates on personal social networks. 

• Engage with potential candidates actively through interactive platforms like webinars or virtual events to create a positive employer brand perception.

3. Hire a Professional: Enlisting the help of a professional consultant—even on a short-term contract basis—can enhance employer branding by crafting compelling narratives, refining recruitment strategies, and implementing employer value propositions. They can analyze existing processes, conduct market research, and provide actionable insights. Their expertise ensures alignment with industry best practices, fostering a positive reputation and appealing to the best candidates for your job openings.

4. Create an Ideal Employee Persona: Just like how you’ve clearly defined your target audience, you’ll want to do the same for your ideal employee. Who are they? What experience and skills do they offer? What are their best personality traits? How do they behave in the workplace? What strengths do they add to the team? 

Write it down, give them a name—whatever works to define their persona. Then make sure you’re doing everything to attract that person, whether it’s in your job postings, social media, or marketing strategies.

5. Craft the Right Job Descriptions: To create a compelling job description that showcases strong employer branding, focus on authenticity and engagement. These are some ways that you can weave your employer branding throughout your job descriptions:

• Begin with a concise overview of your company’s mission and culture. 

• Highlight the unique aspects of your workplace that make it appealing and give candidates an idea of what a day-in-the-life looks like. 

• Use inclusive language and emphasize growth opportunities. 

• Clearly outline job responsibilities and qualifications, ensuring they align with your brand values. 

• Infuse the description with enthusiasm and personality to find and entice the right candidates who resonate with your employer brand.

6. Enhance the Candidate Experience: Streamline your recruitment process to make it more efficient and candidate-friendly. Ensure clear communication at every stage and provide timely feedback to candidates. Personalize the experience to make candidates feel valued and appreciated. 

If you’re concerned about your brand’s recruiting reputation, evaluate your candidate experience from application to onboarding. Gather feedback from candidates about their interactions with your company throughout the recruitment process to identify pain points and areas for improvement.

7. Invest in Employee Development: Demonstrate a commitment to employee growth and development by offering training and development opportunities. Provide clear pathways for advancement and support employees in achieving their career goals and clearly communicate these opportunities to candidates along the hiring process.

8. Promote Company Culture: Showcase your company culture through various channels, including social media. Highlight the values, traditions, and achievements that make your company a great place to work. To promote your company culture through LinkedIn and other social media platforms, start by sharing authentic stories about your workplace to find job-seekers who would be a great cultural fit. Try these tactics to demonstrate your employer branding through social media:

• Refresh your company LinkedIn page to make sure you’re conveying the reputation and quality you want to communicate with job seekers. It should feature more than just facts about the size of your business or a repeat of your About Us page from your site. Instead, your company’s LinkedIn page should paint a picture of your company persona that aligns with the ideal candidate you want to attract.

• Highlight employee achievements, company events, and community involvement. Showcase testimonials from employees to give a genuine insight into your culture. 

• Engage with your audience by posting regular updates on industry trends, job opportunities, and employee spotlights. 

• Encourage employees to share company content to amplify your reach. 

• Consistently communicate your values and vision to find like-minded talent and foster a positive reputation. 

9. Engage Employees as Brand Ambassadors: Encourage employees to become advocates for your company by sharing their positive experiences on social media and other platforms. Provide opportunities for employees to participate in employer branding initiatives and share their perspectives with prospective candidates.

10. Research Industry Benchmarks: Who are the “dream companies” or most successful brands in your industry? Compare yourself against companies with great employer branding and industry benchmarks to understand where you stand and identify areas where you can differentiate yourself or elevate your employer branding.

For example, positions with sought-after fashion brands like Lululemon and Aritzia attract countless candidates—what are they doing that makes them so desirable for job-seekers? Research their job openings on their careers page and see how they’re portraying themselves as employers, what they’re offering, and what their job descriptions are saying to entice candidates. 

The Bottom Line

In today’s competitive job market, employer branding is more important than ever. By creating and maintaining a strong employer brand, companies can find top-tier candidates, entice job seekers to apply, and enhance their overall reputation. 

Evaluate your current employer branding efforts and implement strategies for improvement to position your company as a highly sought-after place to work. The right efforts in elevating your employer brand will give you a competitive edge in recruitment and retention, ensuring that your employees are the best of the best. 

Struggling with writing job descriptions for your open positions? Try Style Nine to Five’s Job Description service for employers, where Founder Christie Lohr works with you to craft compelling job descriptions that attract the best candidates for your roles. 


Jeanine Gordon is a freelance content marketer with a passion for creating stellar strategies for global brands and small businesses alike, specializing in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.

Feature Image: Adobe Stock