10 Steps for Building a Successful Employer Branding Strategy

February 6, 2024

Discover tips for creating a more dynamic, efficient, and candidate-friendly hiring process.

By understanding recruitment and employer branding, as well as the core components it entails, your company can embrace and execute effective ways to not just encourage candidates to join your ranks but feel good about their decision throughout the process.  Furthermore with a strong employer brand and innovative approaches in the ever-evolving job market, we’ll share ways to embrace digital recruitment for a wider pool of qualified and engaged candidates. 

The Importance of an Employer Branding Strategy

So what is employer branding? An employer brand refers to the overall perception and reputation of an organization as an employer. As a representation of your company’s identity and image, a positive perception of your company can help engage and encourage potential candidates in the job market. 

The power of your employer branding strategy should not be understated. Instead, it should offer an honest and transparent look at your company. The best employer branding companies positively communicate their company's values, culture, work environment, and the overall employment experience they have to offer.

5 Components + Benefits of an Employer Brand

When it comes to employer branding best practice tips, here are some components companies can focus on for building an employer brand. 

1. Company Values and Culture

When it comes to your company’s values there should be no surprises. The same is true for your workplace culture which contributes to a strong employer brand. 

As a company that promotes diversity and inclusion, employee training and development, as well as an overall positive working atmosphere, you have a vital influence on your employer brand.   

2. Employee Value Proposition

What can employees expect their experience to be within your company? Potential employees aren’t just looking for a paycheck. While competitive pay is a plus, employees want to know that there is work-life balance, benefits, opportunities for growth, and more. So just how important is work-life balance? According to an article published by Forbes in February of 2024, most Millennials would take a 20% pay reduction for better work-life balance. 

By embracing these qualities, your company can foster a positive employer brand. 

3. Reputation + Perceptions

The external perception of your company is crucial. This includes how your organization is viewed by the general public, industry professionals, and potential job seekers. According to Forbes who partners with Great Places to Work to determine their annual list of 100 Best Companies to Work for, being transparent builds trust which is vital for business relations. 

Positive reviews, awards, and recognition can enhance this reputation are crucial for building an employer brand. This can also include ways that you recognize and reward your remote employees.  

4. Employee Experiences and Testimonials

The experiences and feedback of current and former employees play a significant role in shaping an employer brand. 

Strong testimonials, success stories, and employee advocacy can strengthen the overall perception of the organization as an employer of choice.

5. Communication and Branding

The way a company communicates its values and culture, both internally and externally, contributes to its employer brand. This involves not only traditional marketing materials but also the incorporation of branded merchandise, often known as "swag." 

While custom merch and swag is known for attracting event attendees or being used as gifts to clients and employees, it is also a way to boost your brand’s exposure which can lend to your employer branding and recruitment efforts.

Shown: Planted in Metaverse Sweatshirt, Notebook, Bucket Hat, Travel Cup, Bluetooth Speaker, Pens, and Backpack

5 Swag Picks for Building Your Employer Brand

From company-branded apparel and headwear to office supplies, tech, gadgets, branded candy, and more, swag serves as a tangible representation of the organization's identity. Best of all, custom apparel, hats, bags, and other goods can extend beyond the workplace. From marketing efforts, social media presence, and public interactions, you can enhance your brand's visibility, reinforce its values, and fosters a sense of pride among employees and the broader community. 

1. Custom Water Bottles + Tumblers

What does drinkware have to do with employer branding and recruitment? For starters, it’s a gift that boasts sustainability for companies. And, for companies who are committed to finding more eco-friendly ways to do business, this popular swag pick helps highlight those values. Talk to your Gemnote rep for more options. 

Photos courtesy of Broccoli (left) and Preemptive Love (right); Shown:  Nalgene Water Bottles 

2. Logo Tees + Hoodies

When it comes to employer branding for recruitment, custom apparel like tees and hoodies are a great way to market your logo and can also act as a uniform for offsite job fairs and interviews. 

Shown: Topo Designs Semi-Desert Tee 

3. Branded Outerwear

Seasonal custom merch like outerwear is perfect for showing off your company’s logo. As part of an onboarding kit, gifts for years of service or project based milestones, and even employee swag stores, branded jackets, vests and accessories are a great way to help show appreciation to your employees. 

Shown: Custom Coach's Jacket

4. Personalized Bags + Backpacks

Another reusable favorite, custom bags and backpacks are a way to support your employer branding strategy. Reusable bags are an affordable option and an added convenience for job seekers at job fairs or other in-person interviews. While branded backpacks are perfect for new hires and your current employees for daily commutes that go from the work week to weekends with ease!

Shown: Baggu Horizontal Duck Bag 

5. Custom Business Essentials

From branded notepads and pens to folders, offering business tools is a great way to build your employer branding for recruitment while keeping your company top of mind. 

Photo courtesy of OnlyNY; Shown: Only NY Trash Can Pen Holder

10 Digital Recruitment Strategies 

Are you looking to attract, engage, and hire the best candidates? Here are some strategies you can use to optimize your process, enhance your hiring experience, and impact your employee brand. Best of all, these strategies can help your hiring team reach a broader, more targeted talent pool of candidates. 

1. Online Job Postings. 

Online job boards, your company website, and professional networking sites are all great places to post job vacancies. Paired with clear and compelling job descriptions that are optimized for relevant keywords to extend reach will help your company attract the right candidates.

2. Social Media Recruitment:

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are other great ways to promote job openings, showcase company culture, and engage with potential candidates. Create and share engaging content, including employee testimonials, to build a positive employer brand.

3. Applicant Tracking System.

Sometimes you need a little help weeding through all those applications. To better  streamline the recruitment process, an Application Tracking System can automate various aspects of hiring from resume screening to interview scheduling. This form of process can be a faster and more efficient process for both recruiters and candidates.

4. Employer Branding Videos. 

Create and share videos that highlight your company's culture, values, and work environment. This is a great way to promote your company while lending to your employer brand. Then share your videos on your company’s website, social media, and video-sharing platforms to provide candidates with a more dynamic and authentic view of the organization.

5. Virtual Career Fairs. 

Host or participate in virtual career fairs to connect with potential candidates. These are great for allowing for a broader reach and can be a more inexpensive way to engage with job seekers from different areas.

6. Employee Referral Programs. 

Encourage your current employees to refer any qualified candidates through digital channels. By implementing a structured referral program that utilizes online platforms to facilitate the submission of referrals, you can better keep track of referrals and track rewards.

7. Optimize Mobile Technologies. 

Nearly everyone in the job market these days has a smartphone. However, they may not have or use a laptop or computer. That said, by optimizing your recruitment process for mobile users, you can make the job search, application process, and paths to communication a more seamless experience. As one of your digital recruitment strategies, this can help foster a better employer brand.  

8. Follow the Metrics. 

Be prepared to track and measure by utilizing your data analytics. This will help you determine the effectiveness of your digital recruitment strategies. This can also give you insights into the success of different channels, candidate demographics, and areas for improvement.

9. Online Skill Assessments. 

When searching for a competent candidate that will fit into your organization, it’s important to know whether or not they have the skills needed to do the job. Likewise, potential candidates want to know that they have what it takes (with some training and onboarding of course) to be an asset to your team.  By adding an online assessment as part of the recruitment process, you and the candidate can get valuable insights on the job and responsibilities. 

10. Online Skill Assessments. 

For companies who aren’t looking for candidates with loads of experience, visiting college fairs for recruitment can be a great place to zero in on your search. The importance of employer branding and recruitment cannot be overstated since many companies will also be looking for their pick of grads and interns. 

When it comes to finding and keeping top talent, your employer branding and recruitment process is more important than ever. In fact, with the fiercely competitive job market, employers need to find new ways to attract talent, foster their corporate culture, and position their company in a way that resonates with others. For more ideas about incorporating swag and custom merch into your strategy, talk to your Gemnote rep. 

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