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6 common Employer Branding challenges and how to tackle them

27 Sep 2022 by Sonja

Employer branding provides many opportunities to attract the best talent and build winning workplaces. However, it might sometimes feel difficult to decide where to start or what to focus on. Here are six common employer branding challenges you might want to tackle first when developing your employer brand.

1 Mismatch with the employee experience

Company’s employer brand should first and foremost be authentic and based on the actual employee experience and company culture. However, in a competitive market it’s easy to over-sell the job when approaching the most suitable candidates. This can lead to lack of cultural fit and increased employee turnover. Here’s what to do instead:

  • Involve employees in the employer brand development and the hiring process.
  • Find out your company’s pull and push factors: factors that make your company a good place to work and factors that make candidates consider other options.
  • Go through your current candidate journey and experience. Your recruitment process and all the touchpoints leading to it should also reflect the real employee experience.

2 Thinking short-term

Employer branding is so much more than marketing actions and trying to fix urgent recruitment problems. Branding is like planting and harvesting, and in order to succeed in the talent competition, building a strong brand requires time and systematic approach.

  • Pinpoint the real challenges that are slowing down current hiring actions.
  • Create a roadmap with both short and long-term targets.
  • Start building an employer brand that attracts and retains talent.

3 Not knowing your audience

These days almost all companies want to hire software professionals and sometimes it may seem like each employer is competing for the same talents. Not knowing who you’re actually looking for results in trying to create a value proposition and communication that doesn’t speak to anyone.

  • Define candidate personas. This means that in addition to specifying the required skills, you should also consider the candidate’s soft skills, how they fit to the team, what motivates them, what they value and what kind of career dreams they have.

4 Poor differentiation

In today’s competitive talent landscape, poor differentiation and offering creates the following challenges:

  • Low retention
  • Few or no inbound applications
  • Poor applicant quality
  • Not enough resources to meet customers’ needs
  • Slow and costly recruitments due to poor employer brand
  • Failing to meet growth targets
  • Need to pay higher compensation to secure talent

Standing out in the overheated market can feel challenging. Even though it may feel tempting to mimic others who have successfully built and maintained an attractive employer brand, do the following instead:

  • Find your niche and offer unique cultural and fringe benefits to your target groups.
  • Get creative! Each company has their own culture and interesting stories to share. External employer branding consultants can also help find these unique selling points and know the best ways to create content that will catch the audience’s attention.

5 Negative reputation

Having an unknown employer brand or negative employer makes it more difficult to succeed in recruitment, employee experience and engagement. This means more effort, time and money needed for each hire. The negative impacts don’t end there:

  • Few or no inbound applications
  • Poor applicant quality
  • Lacking enough resources to meet customers’ needs
  • Higher recruitment costs
  • Failure to meet growth targets
  • Need to offer higher compensation to attract talent

If you wish to hire the best software professionals, you want to focus on building a good reputation among these talents. Here’s how to start rebuilding your reputation:

  • Analyze the brand’s current state from external and internal perspective.
  • Take a look at the candidate experience and recruitment process. Are there steps that are pushing the candidates away?
  • Find out how your current employees are feeling. Are they happy with their work? Is there room for improvement when it comes to employee engagement and experience?

6 No measuring

All efforts that require investing time and resources should be backed up with data. When it comes to brand development, it can be difficult to define the right KPIs. Moreover, branding work requires patience because you can’t expect immediate results. Nevertheless when starting to develop the employer brand it’s a good idea to define what you want to measure and what the starting point is.

  • Choose which parts of the candidate journey you want to measure. For example, do you want data on your organization’s reputation, from which channels jobseekers end up in your recruitment pipeline, or on candidate experience?
  • Choose the right metrics and decide how you will collect the data (channels and methods)
  • Opt for continuous improvement based on data
  • Be realistic and patient – building an attractive and unique brand takes time.

Steps to successful employer branding

  • Define your EVP
  • Create Career pages on your website
  • Produce the relevant career/employment content for your target audience
  • Set up your recruitment campaigns
  • Devise and employer brand communication plan
  • Ensure that your current employee experiences truly do reflect what you communicate to your potential employees – it’s important to walk the talk above all else. Think about it – if you don’t, it’s akin to advertising a vegan burger that contains eggs.
  • Find what matters to your target group and adjust your cultural and fringe benefits offerings to meet the target talent group’s needs and draw them in.


Want to attract the best software talent and get started with strategic employer branding? 

Talented helps organizations to utilize the power of their employer brand. Attract the best IT professionals with minimum effort and cost, and reap the rewards of high employee retention with our sustainable solutions.

Read more


In the future, every company will be a software company. To prosper in the digital future, winning the talent war is a paramount. That means succeeding across the entire employee lifecycle – attracting, recruiting and retaining the best IT professionals. Talented helps organizations to do just that through Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding and building winning Employee Experiences.

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