Employer BrandingDemystifiedSeparating Fact from Fiction

Table of Contents3.Introduction4.What is Employer Branding and Why Do I Need It?5.Survey Results: Where Today's Employers Stand on Brand8.Employer Branding Fact vs. Fiction14. How to Build Your Employer Brand: Start with Culture15. Quick-Start Tips16. What's Next?

IntroductionRemember when brand communication was reserved for marketing and public relations teams?Times have changed.In a competitive, candidate-driven job market where companies are targeting the same talent pools, a solidemployer branding strategy is critical to recruiting and retaining high-quality employees. Now, hiringmanagers and HR professionals must think a little more like marketers to promote their company as agreat place to work if they want to attract top talent and keep them aboard.However, there is still some uncertainty surrounding employer branding – what it is, what it entails, andwhy it’s so important. In our 2019 Employer Branding Pulse Survey of 688 U.S. employers, 59.3% ofrespondents either had no employer branding strategy or were unsure of their branding efforts. Of thatmajority, nearly a quarter of companies had never heard of employer branding and 39.8% said they didn’tknow enough about it to devise a strategy.If you haven’t explored the power of employer branding, don’t worry – we’re here to help. This eBook isdesigned to demystify some of the most common misconceptions and separate employer branding factfrom fiction. We’ll guide you towards creating winning strategy – driven by your company culture and corevalues – that supports your recruiting and retention goals (and more) for years to come.3

What is Employer Branding andWhy Do I Need It?Whether or not they’ve intentionally built it, all companies have an employerbrand: the perception of your organization held by current and potentialemployees. When supported by your culture, mission, and core values, youremployer brand helps establish your company as an employer of choice. Simplyput, it provides employees with a reason to work for you instead of thecompetitor down the street.Although we’ll get into specifics later, an employer branding strategy doesn’thave to be costly or complicated. Your employer brand can involve any numberof cohesive initiatives that showcase what it’s like to work for your company.Such initiatives can include, but are not limited to:Highlighting details about your company culture and benefits inyour job ads.Posting fun photos and/or videos on your social media channels.Publishing employee testimonials on your website.Sharing insightful information about your company and yourculture with job applicants throughout the hiring process.Your employer brand should:Clearly communicate the mission ofyour company at a glance.Add authority and legitimacy.Attract talent whose values alignwith yours.Ensure good culture fits when hiring.4

Survey Results:Where Today's Employers Stand on BrandIf employer branding is new or unclear to you, you’renot alone. Just 40.7% of employers responding to oursurvey said they had an employer branding strategy:Does your organization have an employer branding strategy?20.2%The good news, however, is that these companies hit themark when identifying the value of employer branding:Why is employer branding important to your organization? (Select up tothree answers)It supports our broadermarketing efforts.40.7%It builds credibility and trustwith our internal andexternal stakeholders.It helps us hire for culture t.It improves %32.5%UnsureIt’s critical to retaining toptalent.30.1%5

Further, organizations with an employer branding strategy are relying on a solid mix of channels tocommunicate their identity, with social media, company homepages, and external job postingsemerging as the most popular outlets:Across which channels are you promoting your employer brand? (Select all that apply)Social media85.7%Company homepage83.3%External job postings (e.g. on jobboards)69.9%Company career page(s)54.6%Print or digital collateral (e.g.brochures)52.2%Email marketing51.7%Advertisements (e.g. display ads)46.4%Events/conferences/trade shows44.5%Videos (e.g. YouTube)20.6%BlogWebinarsOther14.8%7.2%2.9%6

On the other hand, responses from those without a strategy or unsure of theirinitiatives confirmed that the concept of employer branding remains somewhatambiguous to a number of hiring professionals. Contrary to many surveyresponses, virtually any company – regardless of size, budget, resources, andhiring needs – can build an employer brand that positively influences current andpotential employees’ perceptions of their organization.Why haven’t you created an employer branding strategy? (Select up to three answers)We don’t know enough aboutemployer branding in general.39.8%We are too small of a company.28%We have never heard of employerbranding.24%We don’t have the budget.22%We don’t hire frequently enough.19.4%We don’t have the staff/personnel.16.1%We don’t know how to measureemployer branding initiatives.13.9%We don’t have the time.13.2%We don’t consider employer brandinga priority.We don’t have a strong web presence.11.2%4%7

Employer Branding Fact vs. FictionGiven that 59.3% of employers surveyed were hazy on their employer branding strategy(or lack thereof), some education is in order. With survey responses in mind, we’veclarified five common myths about employer branding – separating fact from fiction.8

FICTIONEmployer branding is too costly and requires extra time and resources.FACTEmployer branding doesn’t have to break the bank, nor does itrequire a host of extra efforts.Because your employer brand is driven by your culture and values, it involves how youmake current and potential employees feel – something you can't put a price on. Whentop talent views your company in a positive light, there is a greater likelihood that theywill speak highly of you. When employees love where they work, they tell their friends –A-players know other A-players.This is often more powerful than any fun photo on Facebook or catchy tagline in a jobad. There are, of course, other more tangible, low-cost ways to boost your brand. Forexample, in your job ads, embed or link to a video depicting a “day in the life” at yourworkplace. Or, collect employee testimonials describing what makes your company agreat place to work and display them on your homepage.A positive employer brand canactually save you money down theline. A recent study published inthe Harvard Business Reviewfound that companies withnegative reputations paid at least10% more per hire, and just 28% ofapplicants could be persuaded toaccept a job with the organizationdespite a larger paycheck.9

FICTIONEmployer branding is only for large enterprises.FACTAn employer branding strategy is beneficial regardless of yourcompany’s size.In the age of social media, online reviews, and real-time customer feedback, wordspreads fast and furiously. Employees and job applicants with negative experienceswith your company will not hesitate to share their feedback, whether you’re amultinational enterprise or a mom-and-pop shop.43.9% of employers surveyed who didnot have a strategy or were unsure oftheir efforts identified as a smallbusiness (1–10 employees).However, employer branding isvaluable for employers of all shapesand sizes.This can swiftly damage your overall reputation and deter top talent from engaging withyou in the future. Conversely, a positive experience will boost the public perception ofyour company and entice future job applicants.10

FICTIONEmployer branding is only for companies who hire frequently.FACTEmployer branding isn’t contingent on how often you hire.Whether you hire once or 100 times a year, you need to get top talent in the door – atask that has become increasingly challenging amidst the tight labor market. However,a strong employer brand isn’t only conducive to recruiting; it’s vital to employeeretention. Creating a nurturing, rewarding work environment – reflected in youremployer branding elements – will help prevent costly, morale-damaging staff turnover.According to our 2019 State of OnlineRecruiting Report, 53.5% of employersreceive too many unqualified orirrelevant applicants – their No. 1challenge when recruiting through a jobboard, website, or community. A strongemployer brand can help tackle thischallenge by more readily attractingcareer-driven talent.Further, your employer brand impacts performance. Because a large part of employerbranding stems from current workers, it represents an opportunity to express pride inyour business. This in turn raises quality of work, productivity, and customersatisfaction.11

FICTIONEmployer brand and corporate brand are one in the same.FACTEmployer brand and corporate brand are different but complementone another.Perhaps some of the confusion surrounding employer branding arises from the falseimpression that it is synonymous with corporate brand. In reality, employer brand andcorporate brand are separate entities. However, they represent two sides of the samecoin: Both are supported by your organization’s identity, mission statement, core values,and culture.Your employer brand comprises yourcompany’s reputation as an employer orplace to work.Your corporate brand encompasses yourcompany’s reputation as a business orprovider of products and/or services.And, just as your corporate brand is critical to distinguishing your products and/orservices from competitors’, your employer brand plays a similar role in the hiring arena.12

FICTIONIt’s impossible to measure the impact of employer branding.FACTThere are plenty of KPIs to help gauge the efficacy of your efforts.Although it’s not as cut-and-dry as measuring net profit margin or operational cashflow, the impact of your employer brand can and should be measured. For example,strong employer branding may mean more job applications. In these cases, look atKPIs such as view-to-apply rates (the percentage of applicants who view your ad andend up applying).Consider the following employerbranding KPIs:Number of applications per job adEmployee satisfaction scoresNumber of employee referralsCost-per-hireStaff turnover rateAverage ratings on employer reviewwebsitesAnother telling KPI is your staff turnover rate. A low turnover rate signals a positiveemployer brand – top talent wants to stay with your company. Collectively, thesemetrics paint a picture of the value of your employer brand.13

How to Build Your Employer Brand:Start with CultureBefore you dive into creating or enhancing your employer brand, understand thatthis identity cannot be built overnight. It must begin with a culture change drivenby a set of core values that permeate your entire organization. To get there,you’ll need to seek feedback from your employees and listen to what they haveto say. A survey is a great way to gather these insights. What does your staffwant from you as their employer? What’s working and what’s not? Is theresomething employees wish you would do differently?Drawing from this input, you can begin to tweak your processes, policies, andperks to create a more nurturing, supportive, and engaging work environment.Maybe that means implementing a flexible schedule or starting a wellnessprogram. Maybe you introduce a better way for colleagues to recognize oneanother’s good work. Or, perhaps it’s a blend of all these efforts and more.As your culture transforms, it will be easier to promote your company as achoice employer where people want to work. Your employer brand will begin toemerge, and you’ll be able to create a more effective strategy to promote it, honeit, and live it. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.1414

Quick-Start TipsEven if you still have some work to do in transforming your culture, you can begin to weave elements ofemployer branding into various channels. Here are a few quick, low- or no-cost ways to get started:Gather employee testimonials describing what makes your company a great place to work and share themon your website.Post a video to illustrate “a day in the life” at your workplace.Describe your company benefits, perks, and other incentives in your job ads.Revamp or launch a “careers” landing page on your website comprising open positions, fun companyphotos, and a list of benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, 401(k) options, volunteeropportunities, discounted gym memberships, etc.Turn your employees into brand advocates – encourage them to provide positive feedback on employerreview websites or contribute to your blog.Take advantage of job boards that offer free company profiles and add your logo to external job postingswhenever that is an option.Apply for local and/or national awards that recognize workplace excellence (note that some of theseawards come with an application fee).Implement a monthly employee survey to solicit ongoing feedback.15

What’s Next?Employer branding is more than an HR buzzword or a marketing flavor du jour. It is your company’s identityas an employer – a place where top talent can thrive and grow within their desired career path. It starts withyour company’s culture and a set of core values and leads to a positive public perception of yourorganization as a workplace. In turn, it will become easier to attract and retain exceptional, productive, andsatisfied employees who contribute to the overall success of your company.Meet iHire’s Company ProfilesShowcase your employer brand today with iHire’s free companyprofiles. Quick and easy to build, our profile pages help youhighlight your unique culture including your mission and vision,benefits, and more. Increase exposure to your jobs posted oniHire, which will be automatically included and updated in realtime on your profile. Boost your credibility, engage top talent ona personal level, and stand out from your competition.Build your company profile now in just four easy steps!16

Survey MethodologyA total of 688 U.S. employers from across 56 industries responded to iHire’s 2019 Employer Branding Pulse Survey. Surveys were sharedwith iHire’s database of members and non-members. The results of this survey are intended to be representative of a portion of U.S.employers. All percentages’ decimal points have been rounded up to the nearest tenth.www.ihire.comAbout iHireiHire is a leading career-oriented platform that brings candidates and employers together in 56 industry-focused communities. Webelieve that by narrowing job seekers' and employers’ searches within a specific industry, we can connect high-quality talent with theright opportunities faster, easier, and more effectively than a general job board. Everyone deserves to find work that is fulfilling,inspiring, and meaningful. Since 1999, we’ve combined cutting-edge technology with our expertise in the recruitment space and theinvaluable insights of our members to achieve just that. Visit for more information.

employer branding strategy is critical to recruiting and retaining high-quality employees. Now, hiring . This eBook is designed to demystify some of the most common misconceptions and separate employer branding fact from fiction. We’ll