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Employer Brand Strategy Sprint Series

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7-Step Process To Create An Effective Employer Brand Strategy

6 min read.



Employer Branding

How attractive is your workplace? Are you drawing in the best candidates for positions in your company? And are you holding on to your staff?

Every business knows that the better their reputation as a place to work, the more they will attract the kind of people who are reliable, productive and less likely to leave for competitors. In an article published by McKinsey, almost one-third of senior leaders cite finding talent as their most significant managerial challenge. All successful businesses should drive to be the employer of choice in their sector, but not all of them have a strategic plan to improve their recruiting and retention efforts across the board. In this article, Ph. Creative uncover the 7-step process on how to create an effective employer brand strategy.​

What is employer branding?

Like all other aspects of branding, reputation as being a good employer is only achieved by demonstrable positive staff experience throughout your organisation. Building an attractive workplace is wide-ranging – from the layout of the offices to the staff development opportunities – and it needs to be part of the culture of the organisation

So, how do you improve your employer branding? Firstly, address the culture of your business. Once you have assessed your employer branding, most companies see areas for improvement. This is where training comes in. There are numerous options for introducing strategic employer branding into your organisation – so how do you know what you need, and which training package to choose? 

Why is employer branding strategy important?

Virtually every candidate out there will consider your company’s reputation before applying. There’s an increasing demand for responsible business, transparency, and accountability - which are all areas where employer brand management needs attention. During the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly, the way that employers supported and continue to support their staff has been brought into the spotlight. Reputational damage can be made or broken in uncertain times… Having a coherent strategy across your business is key to employer branding success. 

How to develop an employer branding strategy?

Like any strategic planning within your business, employer branding needs to start with research – an audit, if you like – into your current reputation as an employer within your sector and within your own organisation. 

Once you have a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses, implementing a strategy involves specialised training to ensure that the brand not only focuses on recruitment but on people management. Areas of focus for employer branding strategies include:

  • Induction – engaging your new employees in an inclusive way.

  • Performance management and reward – what incentives are there for productivity and excellence within roles? 

  • Managing internal communications – ensuring that all comms represent the same language and messaging to all staff. 

  • Promoting effective management behaviours - developing a culture of effective leadership across the board.

  • People leaving the organisation – ensuring that their reasons for leaving are analysed, implementing universal strategies for keeping staff onboard and aiming to maintain a good reputation, even among leavers. 

Employer branding strategy is most effective when it involves a systematic plan. This can, of course, be developed within your organisation, but for many businesses, it is more time-saving and cost-effective to use the services of experts in the field. Typically, an employer branding strategy involves the following stages: 

  1. Determine 
    - Clarifying expectations and demands and how you want your employer branding project to be run. 
    - Outline service level agreements
    - Work out how you will apply consistency to the project – from logistics of planning workshops to the regularity of strategy meetings.

  2. Diagnose The data collection phase. 
    - Assessing where you are now - measuring things like regrettable loss (such as losing employees to the competition or ill health or change of lifestyle)
    - Looking at the percentage of valued applicants vs those that do not measure up to your ideal employee demographic.

  3. Develop Working out your distinctive ‘value proposition’ – this usually includes: 
    - Defining brand attributes – do your brand values reflect your culture within the organisation?
    - Defining overall employment value proposition – how do you want to present yourself as an employer? 
    - Behaviour and attribute mapping – create a toolkit for assessing effective and ineffective performance within your workplace: what works and why?

  4. Discovery Researching impact, purpose and belonging in your company. This stage may include:
    - Workshops with senior management.
    - Internal and external focus groups
    - In-depth employee surveys
    - Auditing the candidate journey

  5. Distillation
    - Distilling down all the data collected – presenting research to stakeholders, getting buy-in, agreement and signoff. 
    - Developing an overall creative brief – a brand is a creative endeavour: combining actual intrinsic change with a clear and enticing messaging to draw in the best employees… and keep them there.
    - Is there a gap between the perception of your employer brand vs reality? Working on closing that gap, making changes to ensure your brand is authentic.

  6. Direct
    - Applying new elements of your strategy within your organisation needs to involve stakeholder buy-in.
    - Applying new branding concepts to induction, applicant information, briefings for recruiters, interview and assessment process.

  7. Deploy
    - Launching brand internally – making sure everyone is on the same page: from HR to marketing and from business development to IT… Applying the brand to the organisation’s website and social media communications and launching your employer brand to the wider world. 

Measurement, maintenance and optimisation. Like all good business planning, the implementation of a strategy is not an end-point. Employer branding needs to be an ongoing part of a company’s culture – which means ensuring that the stakeholders maintain engagement with brand policy, that new recruits are consistently treated with employer brand in mind, and that employees consistently feel engaged and motivated. Ongoing maintenance can involve: 

  • Reviewing internal and external response and perception of the new brand – and making changes if the reputation is not improving.
  • Measuring improvements in the recruitment and retention metrics – collecting data on an ongoing basis – not just a one-off snapshot. 
  • Assessing the authenticity of the brand values – demonstrable actions that indicate whether a business is following through on its employer brand principles. 
  • Consideration of ethical practice – ensuring that the business continues to develop and engage current and future potential employees

Employer Branding Agency

Ph.Creative are experts in employer branding and strategies. Our specialist teams have been advising and implementing creative branding management to companies in the UK and in New Zealand. 

Ph.Creative offers bespoke training programmes to establish creative employer branding strategies within your business – incorporating: 

  • Cutting-edge of employer brand thinking.
  • Latest strategic models, tools, and insights from top experts.
  • Award-winning case studies to dissect and learn from.
  • A community of focussed professionals just like you.
  • Actionable content from around the world.

If you want to supercharge your employer branding strategy, get in touch with us today by dropping us an email or calling our expert team today! 


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