Building a strong employer brand to attract top talent

A company’s reputation as an employer has become incredibly important, building a strong employer brand is essential in today’s market.

Research shows 86% of workers wouldn’t apply to or stay at a business with a poor reputation among former staff or the public.

You likely spend time crafting your product or service brand story. But how do you build an employer brand that entices top talent? Throughout this blog, we’ll explore employer branding and how to implement an effective employer branding strategy.

What is employer branding?

Your employer brand is your reputation as a workplace amongst current and prospective staff. It’s also how you market your company culture to attract candidates.

The more effort you put into employer branding, the more likely you’ll retain and recruit premier talent. Studies show 69% of employees believe it’s very important their employer has a brand they’re proud of.

A strong product brand alone won’t convince someone to work for you. You must use similar branding when communicating your leadership, values, and workplace culture.

If someone asks an employee about working for you, they won’t mention your brilliant products. They’ll describe management, values, and the day-to-day culture. For a robust employer brand, tell a compelling story.

Effective employer branding requires walking the walk, not just talk. Touting trendy perks like ping pong won’t cut it. Candidates want to hear how you create a genuinely supportive and engaging culture.

Why employer branding matters

Employer branding boosts your bottom line. It can halve recruitment costs and reduce staff turnover, saving money. Active job seekers are also more likely to apply somewhere with an actively managed employer brand.

You have an employer brand whether you cultivate it or not. So why not shape it into one that makes you proud?

An employer brand strategy lets you positively control the narrative about your company to aid hiring and retention. At its core, it’s how you market your workplace to candidates and what employees say about your culture.

Know your employee value proposition (EVP)

Crafting a strong employer value proposition (EVP) starts by defining what makes your company unique and desirable as a place to work. What employee experience do you offer that aligns with the needs of your target talent? By leading with your purpose, principles and culture, you can authentically position your employer brand.

Rather than making vague promises, ensure your EVP is backed by real workplace attributes. For example, if work-life balance is a priority, demonstrate this commitment through policies like flexible hours, generous leave, and remote work options. If career development matters, spotlight training programmes, mentorships, and clear growth trajectories.

Specific, meaningful perks should link directly to what motivates top candidates in your industry to say “yes” to a job offer. Whether it’s competitive compensation, ownership opportunities, innovation labs, tuition help, volunteer days or other benefits, make sure they ladder up to tangible elements job seekers value most.

In today’s UK labour market, leading with your authentic strengths and employee experience is how to attract and retain the very best talent you need to grow. The “why” behind your “what” is what transforms an EVP into a talent magnet. Define it, communicate it and continually enhance it.

Audit your employer brand

You may not fully grasp your reputation with candidates or staff. Conduct surveys, check career sites for reviews, monitor social media or use a firm to uncover your brand perception. Learn what employees love about your culture and any areas needing improvement.

Research shows brands with leading employer brands devote time to monitoring engagement, acting on feedback and tracking brand health.

Leverage current employees

Candidates want to hear from real employees. Studies show employees are three times more credible than CEOs regarding workplace conditions. Employees are your best brand advocates.

Share testimonials and reviews on hiring pages. Create short interview videos for social media. 90% of leading employer brands say the employee experience significantly impacts their brand.

Focus on onboarding

Onboarding shapes new hires’ first impressions. Negative experiences make candidates twice as likely to look elsewhere.

Effective onboarding instils your brand from day one. Get new staff engaged with their role and team for a smooth transition, less turnover and higher productivity.

Offer learning opportunities

Boredom and lack of challenge are big reasons people leave jobs. Address this through learning and development opportunities.

Upskilling shows your commitment to continuous professional growth, keeping staff engaged and building valuable skill sets. It’s a win-win.

Showcase your story

When boosting brand perception, use multiple platforms like videos, blogs, photos and slideshows to reach broad audiences.

Also, ensure high-quality content, like employee interviews on your jobs page or a CEO slideshow on your About Us.

Build inclusion and diversity

A strong employer brand requires an unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity.

This brings immense benefits, chiefly making all staff feel welcomed, safe and respected. People who feel valued are more invested at work. Research also shows diverse companies see higher profits.

Striving for inclusion attracts more candidates. Studies find 75% of applicants see workforce diversity as a key factor in evaluating employers. Seeing themselves reflected boosts appeal.

You can read more about the importance of inclusion and diversity in the workplace here.

Be authentic

Honesty, transparency and authenticity are vital for employer branding.

Don’t just collect positive feedback for your career pages. Negative insights reveal improvement areas by highlighting unmet needs. Addressing these boosts satisfaction and retention while empowering staff to proudly share their culture.

The same goes for candidates. Making false promises will backfire if you don’t deliver. Be genuine in cultivating the culture you portray.

At Cogent Staffing, we create bespoke hiring strategies tailored to your specific industry, location, and target audience, attracting both passive and active candidates. If you would like to discuss how we can support your recruitment needs, you can make an enquiry by completing our quick and simple online enquiry form, here.