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When it comes to Employer Branding - Make it Personal

2 min read.





Employer Branding, Talent Attraction

The purpose of any brand is to humanise an organisation. That is its job. People are your only competitive advantage, and failure to recruit a workforce aligned with your culture and purpose will undermine every other investment you make...

Most companies treat recruiting as an impersonal numbers game, viewing candidates as data points rather than human beings.  

It is a transactional approach that fails to make an emotional connection with potential new hires and will lead to only one outcome – your competitors will snap up the talent you cannot attract. 

People are your only competitive advantage, and failure to recruit a workforce aligned with your culture and purpose will undermine every other investment you make. 

An effective employer branding strategy focuses on showcasing your company culture and values, counter-balanced with an authentic, testimonial-based overview of its challenges. It gives job seekers an authentic glimpse into the employee experience and tells a compelling story that appeals to candidates on a personal level. 

The purpose of any brand is to humanise an organisation. That is its job. You could easily argue that an employer brand is more capable of doing that than the consumer side of your brand. 

What type of employer brand do you have? 

An employer’s reputation can be categorised into what we like to call the Three Cs:

Career Catalyst – Will it advance your career? 

Citizenship – Does it match your values? 

Culture – Will you enjoy working there? 

Outdoor clothing giant Patagonia, for example, is known for its commitment to environmental conservation and now donates all its profits to such causes. It is a classic Citizenship employer. If sustainability is important to you, there is no better place for you to work.  

Other companies may not have a great culture, and high staff turnover as a result, but such is the strength of their consumer brand that they act as a career Catalyst for anyone who can add them to their CV. Amazon is a prime example (pun intended). 

Today's job seekers care about more than just salary and benefits. According to Glassdoor, 73% of job seekers will not apply to a company unless they share its values. So, it is more important than ever to develop an authentic employer brand that showcases your values to attract candidates who will be a great fit. 

According to research by recruitment specialist CMD, three quarters of hiring staff say it is easier to attract top talent when the candidate knows about your organisation. The same research also says 84% of job seekers believe a company’s reputation is crucial when deciding where to apply for a job, while four in five job seekers research a company’s online reviews and ratings. 

Employer branding puts a human face on your organisation. It is the personality of your company from an employee perspective and your reputation as a place to work.  

Just as you might promote your consumer brand in a way that resonates with customers, your employer brand should reflect what makes your organisation appealing to talent by identifying your differentiating attributes and key selling points.  

- If your company prioritises  teamwork - showcase the collaborative elements of your culture. 

- If you provide exceptional training and development -highlight those learning opportunities.  

-Use honest employee testimonials and behind-the-scenes photos and videos to provide an insider's view of your workplace. It humanises the company by telling authentic stories instead of just spouting generic claims about being a "great place to work.” 

A slushy machine in the lunchroom is one thing, but what are the opportunities for career progression? What about workload pressure? Is the boss an effective leader or a toxic bully? 

 How to Build Trust and Credibility 

In today's world of employer review sites and social media, you can no longer control your reputation through one-way marketing messages. Candidates will do their own research to learn what your company is like, turning to employee feedback on sites like Glassdoor for unfiltered insights.  

A strong employer brand galvanises your workforce and minimises the risk of candidates finding negative information that deters them from applying. 

To influence perceptions in a positive way, proactively showcase your employer brand across channels. Ensure the stories you tell are credible and transparent, because misrepresenting your employee experience will backfire when candidates uncover the truth - and they will vote with their feet. They may even take said feet over to a competitor. 

An authentic brand builds trust because it demonstrates that you have nothing to hide. It shows you are committed to keeping employees informed and engaged. 

Case Study Example - EQRx 

Look at the work we did with EQRx in which employees revealed touching personal stories after we asked the question: “If you could think of one thing or object that tells us just a little more about who you are and the story behind it, what would it be?” 

It prompted a collection of inspirational and often emotive stories that revealed new truths about the company and its workforce. 

The results were used to create a digital book, short films, and a memorable patchwork tapestry which continues to be added to by new employees and helps form connections throughout the company. 

The bottom line: humanise your recruitment efforts through employer branding to attract and retain your unfair share of talent.  

An effective employer branding strategy is crucial to adding humanity to your organisation in several ways: 

  • It takes a personalised, story-driven approach to recruiting that appeals to candidates on an emotional level
  • Gives job seekers an inside look at your company culture and work environment. 
  • Highlights the differentiators that make your organisation unique and desirable as an employer. 
  • Builds credibility and trust by transparently communicating your employee value proposition.

While a consumer brand markets your business to customers, the employer brand markets your work experience. Both are essential for shaping perceptions of your organisation. But employer branding plays a particularly vital role in conveying the human face of your company.  

 A brand that fails to humanise the talent experience will struggle to attract and retain the people necessary for business success. 

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