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Employer Branding 101:

What you need to know to attract top talent


Building a strong and compelling employer brand is key to attracting and retaining top talent in today's competitive job market.

Learn about the foundation you need in place first

Discover how to stand out from the crowd

Measure the impact of your employer brand

Employer branding is more than just a logo and a career page on your website—it’s how you communicate your strengths and values to employees, candidates, and your audience, and it’s the first impression that potential hires encounter.

Building a strong and compelling employer brand is key to attracting and retaining top talent in today’s competitive job market. Did you know 75% of job seekers are likely to apply for a job if the company actively manages its employer brand? Not only that, but a strong employer brand can reduce cost per hire by as much as 50%.

Industry analysts and news sources say we’re entering a new era of work, and if companies want to compete and attract the best talent, they’ll need to stand out from the crowd.

Your employer brand is how you communicate your company’s values, culture, and opportunities to potential employees, but it’s also an essential piece of the puzzle in retaining current employees.

Employer branding has become a crucial component of modern recruitment strategies, and for good reason.

In today’s competitive job market, job seekers have numerous employment options, and it’s up to organizations to stand out and attract the best candidates.

Most job seekers don’t just think about finding a job—available data suggests they want to work for organizations that share their values and cultivate a culture and work environment that feels supportive and motivating.

That said, it’s essential to remember that not all job seekers prioritize these factors equally, and some may prioritize other aspects of a job or company culture. Job seekers have different preferences and priorities, and not all will look for the same things in a potential employer.

That’s why it’s crucial to create an employer brand that’s true to your culture and values—you’re more likely to attract candidates interested in the job and an ideal match for the organization. Ultimately, you’ll find individuals that will thrive in your specific work environment.

By prioritizing and showcasing your company’s unique qualities and identifying what sets you apart from other organizations, you can increase retention rates, increase employee engagement, and drive success.

Before the Brand: Put These in Place First

Before diving into creating your employer branding strategy, take a step back and make sure you have a solid foundation to build on.

Depending on your organization’s size and structure, you may have a Brand Manager or an internal brand representative as part of your marketing team.

Although your brand as a whole is separate from your brand as an employer, there are many areas of overlap, and it’s important to work with your existing resources to ensure you understand the full scope of available resources and levers.

Define your EVP. Your company’s employer value proposition (EVP) foundation should be in place before you define your employer brand.

Your EVP is what makes your company unique. There are many ways to define it, and it can be as simple as a guiding statement or a set of clearly defined values.

When developing your EVP, consider:

  • What makes your organization unique?
  • What values and culture do you want to promote through your actions?
  • How does your organization present itself to potential employees?
  • What language and tone does your organization use in job posts and on the company website?
  • Does your organization offer candidates a positive and authentic experience at every touchpoint?
  • What benefits and opportunities can/do you offer your employees?


Decide who’s responsible for employer branding initiatives. The responsibility for developing an employer brand initiative can vary depending on your company’s size, structure, and resources. In some cases, the HR department may take the lead; in others, it may fall with the marketing and communications team.

Many larger organizations form a dedicated employer branding team, with members from various departments working together to create and implement a comprehensive strategy.

Regardless of who is responsible, it’s crucial to have buy-in and support from senior leadership and other key decision-makers. This helps to ensure that the employer branding strategy aligns with the company’s overall goals and allows it to receive the necessary resources and budget to be successful.

Loop in your key players. Once you have leadership support, loop in anyone who represents your brand and helps shape your company’s reputation in the community.

Sales and customer support teams may interact with potential candidates and customers regularly, and their interactions can impact the company’s overall reputation as an employer.

Your internal recruiting team and third-party recruiters also heavily represent your brand. They’re often the first point of contact for candidates, so they must understand the company’s values, culture, and work environment.

Ultimately, regardless of their type of role, your employees will do a lot of the branding work for you—from review sites to social media and word-of-mouth referrals.

Standing Out from the Crowd: Differentiate Your Brand in a Competitive Job Market

Your employer brand is the face of your company to the world. It’s the first impression you make on people who matter most—candidates, employees, and stakeholders in your business.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to building your employer brand strategy—your industry, company size, company culture, and goals will all factor in. However, a few key concepts can help you get started on the right path.

Define your strengths. Your strengths set you apart from other employers and make your company an attractive place to work.

Employee feedback is a critical piece of this puzzle—you can decide what you want your strengths to be, but ultimately you’ll need to solicit feedback to understand how others see your company.

Often, the best way to get started is the simplest—survey employees and ask them what they appreciate most about working for your company.

You can also look at data from employee engagement surveys, exit interviews, and other feedback channels. (Don’t already have this data? Now’s a great time to get started!)

Talk to internal and external recruiters you work with frequently to understand more about candidate perception and how job seekers see your company, especially as you compare to competitors. It will help to look for patterns and trends across all feedback.


Manage your weaknesses:
Working through the process of understanding your strengths will also naturally surface some flaws, and that’s a critical piece of the employer brand puzzle.

After all, you can’t optimize what you don’t measure, and by addressing your weaknesses, you can improve your overall employer brand.

Using the same feedback process as with your strengths, you may decide to review employee feedback, analyze data on turnover or employee satisfaction, or conduct surveys or focus groups.

Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, you can start to take action to address them. This might involve implementing new policies or programs, changing management practices, or investing in employee growth and development.

If you’re struggling to retain employees, look at ways to improve your benefits package or create a more supportive and growth-oriented culture.

If you’re not getting enough applications for specific roles or your time-to-fill is higher than you’d like, consider adding a third-party recruiter solution to augment your internal TA team.

By managing your weaknesses and emphasizing your strengths, you can ultimately build a stronger, more competitive employer brand.

It’s important to be transparent about your areas for improvement and communicate the steps you’re taking to address them to current and potential employees, which will show you’re committed to continuous improvement and creating a positive and fulfilling work environment for your team.

Communicate your values internally: Effectively communicating your company values effectively is critical to building a strong and positive company culture.

Your values should be at the core of everything you do, and should guide the actions and behaviors of everyone in your organization.

First, though, it’s important to lead by example. The best way to communicate your values is to live them.

Your leaders and managers should model the behaviors and attitudes that reflect your company values, and should hold themselves accountable for uploading those values in their actions and encouraging them in their teams.

Communicate your values clearly and consistently to all employees—incorporate them into your mission statement, vision, and goals. Make sure employees not only understand what your values are but how they relate to their own work.

Finally, encourage continuous feedback and dialogue beyond annual surveys. Encourage employees to provide feedback on how well your company is living up to its values and share their stories and examples of how they’ve put those values into practice.

Foster an open dialogue that encourages employees to share their thoughts and ideas on strengthening and reinforcing your values.

Ultimately, regardless of their type of role (customer-facing or not), your employees will do a lot of the branding work for you—from review sites to social media and word-of-mouth referrals.

That’s why it’s so important to 1) define, continually measure, and improve your employer brand, and 2) encourage employees to be ambassadors for the company to create a virtuous cycle of positive employer branding.

Communicate your brand and values clearly with your recruiters: As your company’s first point of contact with potential candidates, your internal and external recruiters are key ambassadors of your brand and values.

It’s crucial to ensure they’re fully aligned with your company’s mission and values, and are able to communicate them effectively to potential candidates.

Train your recruiters on your brand and values—everything from your company’s history and culture to your mission and goals.

Your recruiters should also understand the specific skills, experience, and traits you’re looking for in potential candidates, and they should be able to articulate how those qualities align with your company values.

When employers post an open role on the BountyJobs platform, they have the opportunity to get specific—they can go beyond the job description to describe the must-haves, offer details on the day-to-day life in that role, and let agencies and recruiters know the top traits they need in an ideal candidate.

Employers then hold an optional intake call with engaged recruiters—and these are important! On this call, they can emphasize their values, company culture, and benefits.

According to our data from 2021 until today, employers who choose to hold an intake call see 105% more candidate submissions and 140% more interviews.


By clearly communicating your brand and values with your recruiters, you can ensure they’re effective ambassadors of your company and are helping to attract top talent who share your vision and values.

Ultimately, aligning your recruitment efforts with your company culture and mission can help you build an authentic, positive employer brand that sets you apart from competitors.

Measuring the Impact of Your Employer Brand on Talent Acquisition

You’ve dedicated time and resources to building your EVP, communicating your employer brand, and getting your team on board, but you’re not done!

Measuring and improving your employer brand is an ongoing process that needs attention and refinement to maintain success.

From the ground up, you’ll want to make sure your brand messaging aligns with your company culture and values, and that you’re leading by example.

If your brand messaging accurately reflects the reality of your workplace, you can avoid creating a disconnect between your brand and your employees and potentially alienating candidates.

At all steps along the way, ensure you’re promoting an authentic and accurate image of your organization.

Define an initial process to measure the impact of your employer brand and refine it over time as you learn more about what’s most important to your organization.

Regular assessments of your brand perception and candidate experience make it easier to identify areas where you need to improve and make data-driven decisions.

By setting KPIs and tracking metrics like employee engagement, social media engagement, candidate experience, and turnover rates, you can gain valuable insights into how well your brand is resonating with your employees and target candidate audience, and identify areas where you need to adjust your messaging or invest more resources.

Once you start tracking your brand’s perception, you may notice a negative review (or a few) on an employer review site like Glassdoor, negative feedback from internal or candidate surveys, or room to improve your NPS score.

This is all normal, and it’s important to remember that feedback helps you implement changes and grow.

Most job seekers understand that all companies receive negative reviews from time to time. They’re usually trying to identify patterns or common themes around negative feedback, which is actually good news—these are going to be clear areas you can improve or implement changes to address, even if those changes take time.

And there’s more good news—engaging with both positive and negative reviews shows your audience that you hear feedback and consider ways to improve, which can go a long way.

According to Glassdoor, 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand.


By continually measuring the impact of your employer brand and taking a strategic approach to improving it, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of what areas need improvement and build trust with employees and candidates.

Remember, employer branding is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process.

Keep experimenting with different strategies, measuring their effectiveness, and refining your approach to stay ahead of the competition. With a well-crafted employer brand, you can attract top talent, foster a culture of excellence, and drive business success.