Employer Branding: You’re Doing It Wrong

Employer Branding: You’re Doing It Wrong


So you’ve worked to build your employer brand, but your efforts still aren’t paying off with plenty of top-notch candidates for your open positions? If so, that doesn’t mean that spending time and money on employer branding is a bad idea. In fact, it’s a vital strategy in today’s social media world. But you may not be doing it effectively.

If your employer branding efforts aren’t paying off in more highly qualified applicants, you may be making one of these mistakes.

3 employer branding mistakes to avoid

Your message isn’t clear and succinct.

Of course there are many facets to working at your company, including the location, office amenities, co-worker relationships, lifestyle perks, and management style. But your employer brand simply can’t encompass every single thing that’s involved in working there. It’s too much to grasp, digest and remember. Instead, your employer brand should be like your marketing brand — concise and clear.

Maybe you want to focus on your company’s focus on work-life balance, or maybe you want to focus on your team’s camaraderie and the fact that you all have fun working together. Whatever you want to focus on, the key word is focus: Choose one or two aspects that you want to be known for and find various ways to communicate those strengths. It’s much easier for potential applicants to remember you if you’ve played up one or two strengths consistently. Once they take an interest in applying for a position, they’ll have a chance to learn all the other great things about your company.

You’re not leading the conversation about your brand.

Whether your company is taking an active role in employer branding or not, it has an “employer brand.” That’s simply the reputation of your company among employees and job seekers and their ideas of what it’s like to work at your firm. And messages are being sent about your company, whether you’re doing it or not. Current and former employees may be posting information about their work experiences on Glassdoor.com and other career sites. Candidates who have interviewed for jobs with your company and haven’t received offers may post information about their experiences on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere. Competitors and others may also post information about your company online. When a potential applicant searches for information about your company, he or she is likely to find this information and it will inform his or her opinion. 

Rather than allowing outsiders to control your employer brand, you must take charge of the brand. Do this by keeping tabs on what’s been posted about your company and responding to any negative feedback, and by proactively posting positive comments, articles, videos and information about your company to populate the web with the employer brand you want to publicize.

You’re not using the same technologies as your target audience.

Maybe you have an active Facebook page but you rarely post to other social media sites. If most of the candidates you’re targeting are active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram rather than Facebook, you’re missing them. Do research to find out which sites are most popular among the group you’re targeting and stay there. Also, consider posting articles, videos and other employer branding materials on your company blog or careers page, and simply post links to your new content on all the leading social media networks. That way, you can push your content out to more potential candidates and enjoy greater exposure across social media.

If your employer branding efforts aren’t getting the results you want, don’t give up. Simply rejigger your efforts to make them more effective. In this age of social media and candidate-created content, your employer brand is one of your most valuable assets as an employer.

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Mariah DeLeon

As vice president of people for Glassdoor, Mariah DeLeon is responsible for the well being of nearly 400 employees. With a degree in organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco and about 20 years experience under her belt, Mariah understands how people work, what makes them tick and what makes them succeed.


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