Ep. 08 – Uncovering your Employer Brand

Talent Marketing Solved: A Step-by-Step Guide to Uncovering Your Employer Brand

Every company already has an employer brand, whether it’s aware of it or not. That brand takes form in the way that your employees talk about the company when they’re sitting down at dinner or chatting with friends over drinks.

An employer brand is never created. That would imply that it was pulled from nothing into existence. No, an employer brand is always uncovered through research and genuine conversations with the people who know the inner workings of your organization. This document is designed to walk you through that process of uncovering your own employer brand, including the questions you need to consider and the missteps you should take care to avoid along the way.

Step 1: Size Up the Competition

Your first step in unearthing your employer brand is to do your research, specifically competitor analysis.

What are your competitors saying about their own organization? What are their value propositions? Your goal is to attract the best candidates, to differentiate yourself from the other available options. You can’t do that if you are doing and saying the exact same thing as your competitors.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for areas where your competitors are falling short so you can potentially position your company as a better alternative.

Questions to Consider:

  • Who are my competitors? Who am I competing against for the same candidates?
  • What are those competitors saying about their organizations, and does it match reality?
  • Do my competitors offer a positive candidate experience?

Step 2: Get Some Perspective(s)

This step is where you’ll spend the bulk of your time. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, you should try to get as many different perspectives as possible.

Your employer brand, as we’ve mentioned, already exists in the way your employees perceive and talk about your organization, so naturally, you’ll want to bring those employees into the process of uncovering that brand. Figure out what words are the majority of people using to describe your organization, and zero in on what they perceive as the benefits and drawbacks of working there.

The truth won’t always be flattering. What do you do, for example, when you find out that employees think that your company doesn’t actually offer a good work-life balance? In that case, you’ll want to highlight the positives of working in such an environment. If you frame the work as fast-paced and challenging but also rewarding and exciting, you’ll attract candidates who will thrive in your organization.

Questions to Consider:

  • What are employees saying about the company?
  • What sources of information (like exit surveys and employee testimonials) do I currently have?
  • What are the common themes? Complaints? Compliments?

Step 3: Spread the Word

You’ve spent months in focus groups, and you’ve finally emerged from your pile of notes with a cohesive, comprehensive document outlining your newly excavated brand identity. Now it’s time to share it with the world.

Keep in mind that the way you roll your new messaging out internally will be just as important as how you present it externally. If a candidate’s first face-to-face interaction with a company is drastically different from what they’ve experienced online through your career site and social media, you may lose that candidate early in the hiring process. That’s why you need to make sure that your employees, especially key figures within the organization, are informed and on-board.

Questions to Consider:

  • How will we communicate our messaging to current employees?
  • What media will we use to convey our brand messaging to external audiences? How will we tailor our messaging for each platform?

Step 4: Keep Track of Your Performance

As with any new initiative, you’ll want to see the difference it makes to your organization over time—not just in the short-term but also well into the future.

So, before you roll out your brand externally, figure out what success looks like to you. Does it mean lower employee turnover rate? Better quality of hires? Schedule check-ins at the 30-, 60-, and 90-day marks to gauge your progress in the initial months; then return to those metrics at least once every year to see how far you’ve come and find ways to improve. Employee exit surveys are an especially helpful resource in measuring whether or not you’ve been successful at uncovering and conveying your employer brand.

Questions to Consider:

  • What metrics will we use to gauge success?
  • What’s our baseline?

Who Should be Involved in the Employer Branding Process?

We’ll leave you with this final question since it’s one that will often determine the success of the entire project. We’ve already discussed the importance of bringing in personnel from all departments and levels within your organization. We haven’t discussed, however, who should lead the charge in uncovering and implementing your new employer brand. Remember, employer brand doesn’t come from the corner office. It comes from the boots on the ground. To encourage honesty and get the answers you need from your employees, it’s often best to bring in a neutral third-party.


That’s where S2E Solutions comes in. We send in our branding experts to conduct these focus groups to uncover the truth in a way that makes employees feel comfortable and protected. We then help your organization cultivate an authentic brand that attracts your ideal candidate. Contact S2E Solutions today to learn more.

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