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Employee Engagement Applicant Tracking System Recruiting & Hiring Employee Experience

5 Ways to Build a Strong Employer Brand & Attract Top Talent

February 15, 2024
7 min read

Create A Culture of Highly Engaged Employees With These Resources


The pandemic permanently changed the relationship between employees and the companies they work for. People learned how their employers responded to uncertainty; where they stood on social, political, and economic issues; and how highly they valued employee wellbeing. No matter what a company said about its values, the events of 2020 revealed whether or not they would stand by them. What followed was the Great Resignation and increased scrutiny of the employer brand in candidates’ job searches.

In the wake of these tumultuous years, job seekers’ priorities have shifted. 82% say it’s important that the company they work for sees them not just as employees but as people. They want opportunities to develop professionally, employer values that are aligned with their own, and to feel their well-being is supported.

Your employer brand communicates whether or not your company prioritizes the same things — and your HR team is responsible for cultivating and showcasing that brand. Candidates develop opinions about your company before they ever submit an application, so help them form good ones by cultivating a positive employer brand.

In this post, we’ll share what your employer brand could be saying about your company and why it’s so important. We’ll also share some strategies for strengthening your brand, including tips for employer branding on a budget.

82% of candidates want to be seen as people, not just employees. Does your employer brand show how much you value your people? Learn how to define and communicate your employer brand to attract top talent:

Employer Brand, Explained

The concept of employer branding was first defined by researchers in 1996 as “the package of functional, economic, and psychological benefits provided by employment and identified with the employing company.”

We think our own Director of Talent Acquisition, Brian Abraham, defines the employer brand best: “Employer branding is a logical process of building the relationship between an employer and its current and future ideal employees. Your employer brand is the state of this relationship: good, bad, or indifferent.”

There are so many reasons to focus on employer branding, especially considering the fact that 65% of employees have been rethinking the role of work in their lives since the pandemic. People want more autonomy over when and where they work, they want fulfillment from their jobs, and they want their employers to care about them as people.

Your employer brand is the reputation of your company —how it’s seen by people outside the company. Employer brand is about both what a company does and how, and it includes its culture, values, and mission. Your employer brand helps potential applicants determine what you can offer and if they’d be happy and fulfilled working at your company. It’s equally responsible for piquing candidates’ interest in applying and turning them off from your company.

How would you describe your employer brand?

Attract Top Talent With Employer Branding

Employer branding plays a central role in a successful recruitment process, affecting the number of applicants you receive and the frequency of job offer acceptance. Candidates are more likely to be drawn to organizations that have a clearly defined employer brand. It conveys authenticity, credibility, and a sense of purpose. But employer branding isn’t just a recruitment tactic; it’s a strategic imperative that lays the groundwork for organizational success and growth.

The link between employer branding and employee engagement means that it also impacts employee retention, performance, and engagement during their tenure. Your employer brand helps create a feeling of connection between employees and your company’s mission and values. That makes your people more likely to stay committed and motivated, leading to a thriving and productive workforce.

5 Strategies for Building a Strong Employer Brand

84% of candidates say the company’s reputation factors into where they apply, which means a well-defined employer brand gives you a competitive edge in the fight for skilled top talent. The first step to developing an employer branding strategy is awareness of your current employer brand. Then, you can use these five techniques to strengthen your brand and attract top talent.

💡 Discover the importance of employer branding in talent acquisition and employee retention and gain valuable insights into creating a thriving workplace culture:

1. Create an Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Your employee value proposition (EVP) is best described as what your employees get out of working at your company. It appeals to the types of people you want to hire, helping you draw in qualified applicants who are more likely to thrive within your company culture and work environment.

At ClearCompany, we’ve developed an EVP that communicates our mission and tells potential applicants what we value most — freedom, flexibility, and support — and how they’ll benefit:

Missions are accomplished with people driving towards a greater purpose. At ClearCompany, our mission is to help our 2,000+ clients achieve theirs. When talking to our own team of A-players, you’ll find that it’s not only the opportunity to drive this mission forward that keeps us thriving. It’s the freedom, flexibility, and support ClearCompany provides that contributes to our professional development and the pursuit of our personal missions and passions outside of work.

In each of our job descriptions, we also include a section titled “What You’ll Love About ClearCompany,” where we elaborate on some of the best aspects of being a ClearCompany employee. It’s where we highlight our excellent benefits, our culture of growth, and our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).

To create your own EVP, ask your employees their favorite things about working at your company and what enticed them to apply and accept a job offer. You can send a quick employee survey to gather responses.

2. Humanize Your Brand

Employees want to be seen as people first, and they want to feel connected to their workplaces. You can communicate your people-first culture and start building that connection by showcasing your people on your careers page and on social media using pictures, quotes, and even video testimonials.

Focus on authenticity, personal stories, and employee experiences to humanize your employer brand. You can give potential candidates an idea of team dynamics or talk about ways your company gives back to its community. Tell stories that will resonate with your ideal candidates to attract best-fit applicants.

3. Prioritize Company Culture

77% of candidates say they take company culture into consideration before applying. Your company culture tells candidates what’s valued most in your workplace. That will resonate with like-minded job seekers whose values align, attracting the kind of people who will thrive at your organization.

Be sure you’re being realistic, not idealistic about company culture in your recruitment materials. Represent your culture accurately, or you’ll risk losing new hires after they discover it’s not what they expected.

4. Invest in Your People

Any company can say they care about their people’s professional growth and well-being, but to make it a hallmark of your employer brand, you need to invest in these initiatives. That investment is well worth it —40% of employees say career progression is a priority for them, and 23% name training and development as a top concern. 61% say work-life balance and improved personal well-being are at the top of their list in a job search.

You can use job posts, social media channels, and your careers site to share information about how your company enables employee growth and well-being. For example, ClearCompany job posts contain information about our rate of internal promotions compared to average rates. The EVP we’ve created also details ways we support employee well-being, including our PTO policy, remote work environment, and our commitment to DEIB.

5. Define a Clear Purpose

Research shows that having a sense of purpose at work is indicative of higher engagement and retention. It strengthens connections between employees, their workplaces, and their colleagues. It even contributes to improved employee well-being and innovation.

At ClearCompany, our mission is to help our clients achieve their own missions by uniting people, platforms, and processes to maximize their employees’ talent. Defining our purpose eliminates confusion about our ultimate goal and attracts candidates who are motivated by it. Our purpose is the driving force behind every project and initiative at ClearCompany, bringing our people together as they work toward a common goal.

Strategic Employer Branding With Software

A defined employer brand sets you apart and attracts candidates who are more likely to be successful in your organization. It streamlines the hiring process by attracting candidates who resonate with your brand. By bringing in more employees who identify with your employer brand, you can increase your long-term retention and engagement rates.

You can support the strategies we shared —and other employer branding techniques candidates will love —with a full-featured Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

The ClearCompany ATS is a robust platform you can customize to fit your employer branding needs. Choose from tools including:

  • Custom Career Sites where you can show off your people and EVP
  • AI-assisted content creation to help you incorporate your employer brand in written materials like job board posts and candidate emails
  • Brand consistency features to maintain your brand across candidate communications, including text messages, emails, and offer letters
  • HR automation tools that enable faster responses and a quicker hiring process, showing candidates they’re valued

Customize our tools to best show off your employer brand so you can attract and retain more top talent. Get a demo of ClearCompany’s Applicant Tracking System to see our employer branding tools in action.

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