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Strategic employer branding – 3 steps to get started

16 Nov 2022 by Sonja Heikkilä

The demand for software professionals keeps growing and the competition over the best talent gets tougher and tougher. In addition to active outbound recruiting, to attract and retain the best software talent, building a magnetic employer brand is more important than ever. The aim of employer branding is to affect how current and potential employees perceive your company as an employer and how the company is promoted to prospective employees. In this article we’ll take a look at the different ways to get started with strategic employer branding based on different situations and targets.

1) Research – Current challenges and future needs

Target: Know more about the state of the employer brand

Each company has an employer brand, even though it might not be actively managed by the company itself. This means that the perception the potential employees have of the company as an employer can be based on many different pieces of information. Learning more insights from potential and current employees is a great way to prepare the foundation for employer branding, to clarify or even switch the direction of the current brand strategy.

Here are a few examples of employer branding research:

  • Current state analysis: How the employer brand is perceived in the market, is the company able to reach their target audience and what strengths and weaknesses does the company have in the talent market.
  • Potential candidates: Gain insights about how the company is perceived as an employer by potential candidates by using external surveys and reviewing the current candidate journey from a candidate point of view.
  • Employees: Finding out how current employees feel about their work and the culture at the organization, what they value and what made them choose the company initially.
  • Competitors: Defining the most notable competitors from employer branding perspective, comparing e.g. the company’s cultural and monetary benefits, candidate journey and other differentiation factors.

2) Employer branding strategy

Target: Create an employer branding strategy

Strategic employer branding development is an ongoing process, sort of like a marathon that takes into account all the touchpoints in the candidate and employee journey. In the long run it will help your organization to attract the best talent with minimum effort and cost, and reap the rewards of high employee retention. Here are the steps to get started with strategic employer branding:

  • Find out employer brand’s current state and position in the talent market compared to competitors.
  • Define target groups and candidate personas: What kind of employees do you want to hire?
  • Craft an employer value proposition: Why should candidates choose your company?
  • List all monetary and fringe benefits for employees: What does your company offer?
  • Define long and short term business targets and KPI’s: How to support ongoing recruitment needs and retain the best talent with a stellar employee experience?
  • Create a MarCom and visibility plan: How will you communicate EVP, company culture, benefits and career opportunities to potential employees?
  • Engage and encourage your employees to create employee generated content.

3) Tactical employer branding and recruitment marketing

Target: Boost employer brand visibility and awareness

Once the employer branding foundations, such as employer value proposition, target audiences, benefits and offering are defined, it’s time to start communicating the employer brand and employee experience outside the organization. Carefully designed marketing activities help reach your target audience in the right channels with the right message. Here’s how to get started:

  • Build a candidate journey to identify the most important touch points for candidate communication e.g. building awareness and creating interest towards your organization.
  • Update or create career pages and job ads.
  • Create a plan and a calendar for employer branding content and produce content to different channels; e.g. employee stories, company culture in day-to-day life, team activities and career opportunities.
  • Support recruitment with marketing campaigns.

Employer branding with Talented

Would you like to get started with strategic employer branding? We’ve got the resources and expertise to help you define what to focus on and get the wheels turning.  Together we can make sure your employer branding activities support your talent acquisition in the long run.

Our experienced employer branding consultants can help you with

  • Defining employer branding roadmap and milestones based on your organization’s needs and targets.
  • Engaging different internal and external stakeholders in your employer branding development and sharing best practices
  • Supporting and coordinating employer branding development or take care of the whole process from start to finish so you can continue the systematic approach to employer branding once the project is done.

Concrete milestones and targets help figuring out the progress, evaluating the success and ways to improve. Careful planning and a roadmap help your company to the path where you can focus on e.g. ongoing visibility and empowering employees instead of putting out constant fires related to acute recruiting needs.

There is no one size fits all type of solution for solving all employer branding related challenges. Let’s sit down together and see what would be the best way for us to help your organization to attract and retain the experts that you need. 

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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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