Retaining and attracting the best talent is crucial for companies looking to scale their operations. One of the best strategies for doing this is to build a strong employer brand that draws candidates to you.

It’s worth noting that your employer brand is different from your corporate brand, and while there should be consistency between the two, they should be approached differently. Your corporate brand targets your customers and prospects, and speaks to your product or service and overall value proposition. Your employer brand is aimed at potential employees and speaks to what kind of place your company is to work.

While your employer brand will develop organically, as a result of your company culture and the way that you treat your employees, smart companies know that they need to find ways to communicate their employer brand externally in order to attract the best candidates. Read on for six tips to help you build a strong employer brand:

  1. Define your values – The first and most important thing to do is to define the company’s mission and values. Your mission describes what the company does and its plans for the future. It should be short, specific and easy to memorise. Alongside your mission, it’s crucial to have a set of values that describe the company’s culture and that provide guiding principles for employees. Company values describe behaviours that everyone can align behind and aspire to, and can be things like demonstrating passion, challenging the status quo, making things happen or being hungry to learn.
  1. Embrace your brand on a regular basis - Find ways to reinforce your company culture. Use all company meetings to remind your team of your company values and consider highlighting exceptional employees. At Hired, we recognise a “Cultural Values Leader” each week at our all-hands meeting. His or her manager speaks to how this person embodies our company values as a way to provide a tangible example for other individuals.
  1. Differentiate your company - Being able to articulate what makes your organisation unique will enable you to engage potential candidates. Even if you don’t have a flashy office or a big budget, there are probably plenty of small things that you can call out. In my experience, people value perks like weekly breakfasts, work from home days, cycle to work schemes and dog-friendly offices that show that the company cares about keeping its employees happy.
  1. Be strategic with your content – Make sure you fill your “About” and “Careers” pages and social media profiles with images and text that tell your company story in a compelling way. If you don’t have a dedicated social media person, consider designating someone who is social media savvy with being in charge of posting photos from company events to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help give candidates a sense of your culture.
  1. Empower employees to be advocates – Happy employees are one of your greatest marketing assets. Encourage them to speak or attend meetups or recruitment events so they can connect with potential candidates and share details about what it’s like to work for your company.
  1. Be visible – Candidates want to know that they’re working for companies that are leaders in their respective industries. For this reason, you should encourage your founders or C-level executives to attend important industry events or contribute to thought leadership pieces to relevant media outlets so they are visible and respected in the community.
Being intentional about your employer brand is one of the single most important ways to attract top talent and reduce your overall cost of acquisition. It’s important that the task of developing and maintaining the employer brand isn’t simply delegated to your HR team – consider creating a task force that includes marketing, the executive team, HR and potentially members of a culture committee. While shaping your employer brand might seem like an arduous process, you will reap the rewards both in terms of your internal culture and your ability to attract great candidates.

By Sophie Adelman, General Manager at Hired UK