At Job Portraits, we’ve got years of experience talking to hundreds of companies and thousands of candidates. Directly interacting with so many humans and their workplaces has convinced us there really is a best way to get started with employer branding. But before we tell you what it is, we’d like to acknowledge the importance of starting at all.
Why you need employer branding
You already have an employer brand. Whether you’ve intentionally created one or not, people who work with your organization—including candidates in your hiring pipeline—are developing opinions about who you are as an employer.
And if you aren’t actively creating an employer brand, that means you’re passively accepting the brand defined by your employees, former employees, and the people you didn’t hire.
What employer branding is—and isn’t
Ultimately, employer branding is the reaction a candidate has—what they think and feel—when they encounter your company. And while we believe your employer brand is an indispensable part of your consumer brand, please do not mistake them for being one and the same.
Consumer brands typically aim to manufacture desire for a product or service, and they want to appeal to as many people as possible.
Employer brands should avoid manufacturing desire, and they do not need to appeal to everyone. Instead, employer brands should provide an honest view into the ethos and culture of a company, so that candidates can determine whether or not they will belong.
The majority of candidates who apply to your company will not end up working at your company—that’s the nature of the job application process. So instead of convincing as many people as possible to apply, you want to shine a light on who you really are. Then the best-suited people can enthusiastically come your way, and less-aligned candidates are more likely to opt out.
In other words, you don’t need a bigger funnel, you need a better funnel. And a good employer brand is the best funnel there is.
Okay, here it is, the best way to get started with employer branding
Now that we’ve established why employer branding is important and how it’s meant to serve you, we can tell you the best way to get started:
Develop an EVP.
An EVP, or Employer Value Proposition, serves as the essential foundation of your employer brand. EVPs identify specific aspects, unique benefits, and known challenges of working at a company. When properly crafted, an EVP becomes the central organizing principle of your communication strategy.
At Job Portraits, we take our clients through an extensive discovery process to develop an EVP, including in-depth focus groups with employees at all levels of an organization. We also provide messaging guidelines, including specific scripts, to make sure you can effectively communicate your EVP to multiple audience segments in multiple spaces.
And in addition to planting the seeds of your employer brand expression, an EVP can galvanize your team internally around how you collectively talk about your company.
What if you’re not ready for an EVP?
It’s true, we believe an EVP is the best way to get started with employer branding. But we know that not every company is ready, energetically or financially, to define the core of their identity as an employer.
That’s why we offer other options like Team Portraits and written content, which can do some of the work of communicating the truth of your workplace. And while in an ideal world these offerings are supplemental to—and informed by—an EVP, that doesn’t mean they aren’t totally viable entry points to establishing your employer brand. For some teams, they may even be a preferable way to begin.
If you’re not sure which option is best for you—or if you’re totally sure and you want to get going, already!—we’re here to talk with you.