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A DIY guide to building your employer brand

Jeff Nelson
By Jeff Nelson
on July 16, 2015
In the age of the 'TalentSumer', an effective employer brand is vital if your organization is to attract the kind of talent it needs. We have already discussed the benefits of a strong brand, but how do you go about creating one? 

First of all, it's important to have a clear understanding of what employer branding is about. Essentially, the process allows you to define what makes working for your organization different and better than your competitors. With this key aim in mind, I've come up with this guide of seven steps to follow when building your brand.

Step 1 – Why

Your first action should be to explore why you need a strong employer brand. Are you currently missing out on the best talent or are you finding certain roles hard to fill? Understanding why a better brand is needed helps you to develop a stronger end product. TalentSumers treat employers in much the same way they do products they want the best. To attract the people you need, your brand needs to be built with this in mind.

Step 2 – Internal consent

The next step is to ensure your organization is on board with improving your brand. Working alongside your marketing department is key to building internal consent. An employer brand is a form of outward-facing communication and this means marketing has a vital role to play. 

Step 3 – Alignment

Your employer brand will only prove effective if it is aligned with your company goals. An employer brand that does not extend your companies brand can lead to brand confusion and end up hurting both your companies brand and your employer brand. This is why working closely with your marketing department is important.

Step 4 – Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Many people use EVP and employer branding synonymously and while they are related we believe they are unique. The EVP is the summary of what you give your employees for their time and effort, or better yet what employees get in exchange for their discretionary time and effort above and beyond a paycheck and benefits.

The EVP is the foundation from which you build your brand. It is the true north that guides all the communications that builds your employer brand. Since it is your true north you need to make sure you take time to accurately capture an authentic EVP. To best do that you need to hear from as many employees as possible, from every corner of the company, not just the corner offices. 

Step 5 – Capture your story

Now it is time to start telling potential candidates your story, and in doing building your employer brand. The best way to tell a story is with as many voices and as many mediums as possible, i.e. words, images and video. Your brand will be strongest if you can capture it on all of these platforms. This is the outward expression of your employer brand so be sure to take time to tell it in a way that helps differentiate you from your competition, engages your target candidates and is fun. Remember we are talking to TalentSumers who will spend 5 seconds on the page if you do not grab their attention.

Remember, less is often more, and the best brands get their story across in a clear but succinct manner.

Hint, a great time to capture all those items is when you are interviewing your employees to develop your EVP.

Step 6 – Share your story

Your story has been captured; now it's time to get it out there. The best place to start is actually with your employees. It will be hard for your brand to have much of an impact if your own people are not onboard. This will also provide a useful indication of the brand's strength - if your own workforce are not convinced, it's likely the brand isn't ready to be shared externally. Your employees should serve as a living extension of your brand.

Once people are on board internally, it's time to set your brand free. It's never been easier to spread the word about an organization and you should take advantage of all the social watering holes that attract potential candidates. The careers section of your website is the natural place to start, followed by social media networks, SEO, paid media, blogs, job boards, microsites and anywhere else suitable talent may congregate. Hiring managers should also be educated on your brand, allowing them to share your story during the recruitment process.

People will always talk about your organization and by sharing your story effectively, you can go a long way to ensuring they are saying the kind of things you want people to hear.

Step 7 – Analyze

The final step to building your employer brand is to assess how effective your efforts have been. You should track everything you do and analyse what has been achieved. Indeed, this process should actually start before you even capture your story. You need to be ready to test the effectiveness of everything from headlines to videos and make sure the story you are sharing connects with your target market.

By following each of these seven steps, your organization will be able to develop the attractive employer brand needed to attract TalentSumers. In the modern world of work, it's up to employers to convince employees of their worth and a strong employer brand allows you to do just that.

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Jeff Nelson
Written by Jeff Nelson
Jeff Nelson is Creative Director of “AGS Ignite”, Allegis Global Solutions’ recruitment marketing agency that helps companies connect with amazing candidates. He has over 15 years of marketing experience. Jeff dedicates himself to finding unique ways to tell stories through design, video and words. His career has spanned from account management, to strategic direct marketing and now creative development. He is a firm believer in the power of stories, good design and analytics. He likes to help people and companies find their purpose and achieve them. Jeff began his marketing career in California in account management working with amazing non-profit clients like World Vision helping them connect donors with children. He went on to work with some global brands such as Toshiba before taking his marketing experience and moving into creative development. When he opened Variable Force, a video production company, where he worked with start-ups to global brands like Merck. In 2012 Jeff joined Allegis Global Solutions to kick start our employer branding offering.

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