Skip to main content

DIY Employer Branding...Where Do I Begin?

DIY Employer Branding…Where Do I Begin?

This week, we're excited to have Ben Gledhill, Employer Brand Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University, sharing his thoughts on how to do employer branding on a shoestring...

Think of the term “Employer Branding”; what springs to mind? Expensive, 12-month projects, external agency support? Well maybe…but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Employer Branding is something that has been around for ages however over the past couple of years it has really risen to the top of the Talent Acquisition agenda.


Put simply, if you don’t manage the impression that you give to potential candidates and applicants (two different things remember) you won’t make the hires that you need. End of conversation.

However, it does not need to be as scary as we first thought. Don’t get me wrong, if you are working on a multi-country, multicultural program of work you might need external assistance but if not, there is no reason why you can’t get cracking on improving your careers website, getting Glassdoor under control, creating some cool content and even the big one…having a stab at your EVP.

Employer Branding is that important - everyone should be involved across the organization, from Marketing to your Hiring Managers and of course, your Employees.

1. Careers Website

So where do we start? I know. Your careers website. In my opinion (I might be shot down in flames for this) this is the foundation of your employer branding efforts. People visit it, people apply for jobs off it and it needs to scream what is good about you.

Make sure your tone of voice is consistent with who you are as an organization and any information you share is in-line with that your candidates and applicants want to see/read/hear.

“But how do we know what that looks like?” I hear you ask. Simple. Ask employees and the people that you are trying to attract what information is relevant to them.

Start to segment your audiences, you’ll see a huge uptake in traffic and hopefully applications from the people that you want to hire, not just the generic crowd that you want to avoid.

Next one…and the one which usually scares people. Glassdoor (and any other review site in your country). Don’t be scared! People are going to leave negative comments about you, that is the harsh truth. The best way to counteract this is to take the feedback on-board and work with internal teams to break it down and make improvements.

Encourage your current people to leave reviews, upload relevant content (we’ll cover that next) so visitors get an idea of whether it’s worth visiting your careers website or not, and last but not least start replying to your reviews using a genuine and transparent tone of voice. You will build huge amounts of respect for your honesty in both celebrating the good and accepting the bad.

2. Content

That moves us nicely onto Content. If Employer Branding was a sandwich Content would be the juicy and tasty filling that would make us want to eat more.

Content can be anything; a blog, a movie about a day in the life of, people focused photography, even improved job adverts; it could be anything that is linked to what it means to be part of your organization.

The most important thing here is making it genuine. Does it read like a true story? Will it attract the people that you want to attract? When it comes to content creation look at cool tools like Canva, Moonfruit, all the usual social media channels and your mobile phone. Yes. Your mobile phone. Most phones now have HD/1080p/High Res photography/recording capability. Get involved.

Forget corporate and bland. Try authentic and real. Get your people involved too. They will be your biggest asset in creating content that your desired audience want to take in (remember the segmented audience bit earlier? Yep that).

3. EVP

Last but not least. EVP. Urghhh. I hate the phrase.

Let’s just call it “People Proposition” because that’s what it is. What is the “why”? Why do people want to work here? Why do people stay? Why would someone want to join?

This is probably something that many organizations don’t think they can do themselves but you really can. Talk to your people, create surveys, run informal drop-in sessions. Find out what they say, what they feel. Look at exit data, look what people say on Glassdoor. Create 3 or 4 things that make you different from everyone else, as this is the key. Don’t be another “We’re innovative” organization, plenty of them already.

Your People Proposition is all about attracting the right people and dissuading the wrong. Once you find what makes you special, start to think of a way to package this. Is it a statement? Is it a set of phrases? Don’t forget to test it too with your internal audience.

Remember your People Proposition is just as important in regards to retaining people as it is attracting them. Once you have this start to include it in all of your touch-points with candidates, applicants, and employees. Everything that you do should live, eat and breathe your People Proposition.

Start to build your employer branding equity, witness loyalty from people who have cherry picked you as an employer, increase retention and start to truly build your place in your marketplace and industry, all through some very simple but powerful techniques.

Talent Attraction Index 2019: A maturity analysis of the Fortune 500

We analyzed and ranked the talent attraction practices of the Fortune 500, and learned how the world's most successful companies attract and engage the best candidates: what they do more of, what they do better, and what marks them as winners in the talent attraction game.

Download the study.

social-assets-talent-attraction-index 1200x627px