What is Employer Branding?


‘To establish an authentic and distinguishing position as an organisation, in the mind of (potential) employees with the goal to attract and retain the right people.’

Often employer branding is seen as the effort to attract the right people with social media, a great recruitment site and awesome campaigns. All useful but employer branding is much broader.

It is the story that is told about what makes your organization special and fun to work with. Notice the word ‘told’. Because the most important people who tell the story, are those who are already part of the organization. Build your employer brand around them. Because they will carry your story much further than any marketing campaign will.

Employer branding isn’t a goal but rather the means to attract and retain the right talent.

The better you are able to show what makes you interesting as a company, the better you will be able to find the right people in the market and the less the turnover of employees. Thus, the better your business will function.

Showing people the in's and out's of your company can convince them it’s the right place for them to be. And if they don’t like it, it wouldn’t have worked out anyway.

A strong Employer Brand helps you attract and hire talent faster, because they already know who you are and what you’re about before the interview process.

A true strong Employer Brand engages people to their full potential. Giving them purpose, they feel part of something bigger.

How to create a good employer brand

Keeping talent is just as important as finding and attracting talent. Employer branding therefore isn’t just about communicating how great your company is, but about actually being one. For both the team and future employees.

For more on our view on how to create a company people love to work at, read this article.

Start internally

Invest in things that your employees find important. How do you find out? By talking to them.

There are lots of papers written in the field of organizational psychology that people put more value on the atmosphere at work compared to salary.

So make sure your company is a great place to work.

One way to do this is through a questionnaire.

Then the next step is to clarify what makes your company special. It is nice to have certain values and a clear vision but the key to your employer brand is finding out what makes your team look forward to going to work in the morning and which parts of their job they proudly tell people about at parties.

These are actually answers from our team coming from an anonymous culture questionnaire:

  • The team fit, I feel that many of us share the same outlook on life, which I think is the key to our success
  • Able to speak your mind
  • Quality of the work we put out
  • The open culture
  • I feel accepted, the environment is very nurturing and fun
  • How we treat each other

It can be everything from the little things like vacation days and how lunch/dinner is handled to the ‘big’ stuff like company trips and the diversity in work. But one very important thing that is often overlooked is psychological safety. One that is clearly being perceived as a pillar of working at AMS.

Everything you do as a company communicates your employer brand to employees and to potential employees.

Get it right and it will resonate with your team and help them stay happier and more productive.

Share it with the rest of the world

Once you know what your employer brand is, it’s time to start sharing it with the rest of the world.

The obvious places to start doing that are the ones you control.

  • Social media channels
  • Your career site
  • Job posts on external websites

It might sound obvious and that is because everyone uses those channels to promote open vacancies. Instead, use these channels to their full advantage to share a story. One that’s intriguing, inspiring and engaging, a story that captures all the magic that goes on in your company.

Giving people a sneak peek of what it’s like to be a part of your organization. Use photos, videos, articles, blog posts, quizzes, Google docs and the voices of your colleagues.

It can be as simple as creating a list of your team’s favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.

You never know who and when someone will see your content. Lots of people are not actively looking for a job change but are open to it if the right opportunity comes along.

So make sure you actively communicate your company culture through employer branding because you’ll never know who might be looking.

One last view on company culture, since it is so closely connected with employer branding.

The popular definition of “company culture” is how many ping-pong tables you have, how many beer garden outings you take as a team, how comfortable the chairs are in the entryway, whether you get 10 days of paid vacation time or 15 days of paid vacation etc.

Company culture has to do with the people, not the things you have your people doing.

Culture is how people handle a disagreement.

Culture is how teams communicate, the language they use, the way they share their ideas and feedback.

Culture is whether or not people talk badly about others behind their backs.

Culture is the meticulousness that goes into even the most mind numbing of tasks.

Culture is whether your title defines your role, or your role defines your title.

Culture is everyone’s willingness to listen.

Culture is showing up on time, prepared, with a positive attitude.

Culture is the way you approach your work, day in and day out, with an insatiable hunger to learn and grow and build.

That’s company culture, and that’s what’s actually fun.