How To Develop an Employer Branding Strategy in 14 Steps

Written by Shani Jay
21 minutes read

Companies with strong employer branding often see up to 50% more applicants to open roles and a 28% decrease in turnover rates. That’s why building an effective employer branding strategy is more crucial than ever and can give your organization a competitive edge. Regardless of your budget, every business has the power to create and shape their employer brand from the inside out. 

Let’s explore all you need to know about developing a solid employer branding strategy for your business.

What is employer branding?
What is employer branding strategy?
Why your organization needs an employer branding strategy
Employer branding strategy examples
How to develop an employer branding strategy: 14 steps
Employer branding strategy best practices

What is employer branding?

Your employer brand is the reputation and experience your organization conjures as an employer. In other words, your employer brand is the perceived identity of your organization by the public, whether it’s an accurate reflection or not. This perceived identity is formed through your policies, programs, rewards, benefits, culture, work environment, values, and more.

You can think of the employer brand as your unique essence as a company. Whether you’ve consciously created your employer brand or not, it exists and is being experienced every day by your employees, customers, and the wider public. Telling people that you’re a great company to work for or building a great product is not enough; it’s about showing that you’re a worthy employer and following through on the claims and promises you make.

Today, an organization’s reputation is more critical than ever. Research has shown that 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before they even hit the apply button. So whether you’re currently strategizing and monitoring your employer brand or not, it is already impacting your talent acquisition efforts.

What is employer branding strategy?

Employer branding strategy centers on defining your unique essence as an organization and aligning this with the ideal candidates you wish to attract. It’s about communicating why job seekers should come and work with you over other companies, creating a buzz, attracting top talent, and reminding your existing employees why they should stick with you. 

Employer branding plays a key role in talent acquisition because it can help you get clear on what your unique proposition is and what your organization stands for, and then determine your ideal candidate. Once you know this, you can then shape your recruitment efforts and offering to help attract these candidates through your doors.

14 tips on how to develop an employer branding strategy.
Read the full how-to guide below!

Why your organization needs an employer branding strategy

There are many ways that an effective employer branding strategy can benefit your organization. Here are some of the core reasons why every business needs an employer branding strategy today.  

Reducing turnover rates and improve retention 

The stronger your employer branding strategy, the more likely your existing employees will want to continue working for you, and the easier it will be to attract and retain top talent.

In a survey by Glassdoor, 69% of employees believe it’s either very or extremely important that their employer has a brand they’re proud to support. Meanwhile, other surveys have found that 86% of people would not apply to, or continue to work for, a business with a bad reputation. 

Increasing the number of qualified applicants

A compelling employer brand can also help improve your talent acquisition efforts without the need for additional spending. Once you know your unique company essence and the ideal candidate you wish to attract, you can take steps to ensure your values, policies, culture, work environment, compensation and benefits reflect this, and increase the number of qualified applicants for all of your open positions. 

Glassdoor has found that 86% of job seekers read company reviews before applying for a job, while 95% of candidates state that the reputation of an organization as an employer plays a critical factor in deciding whether to apply for a job or not. 

Saving money

A strong employer branding strategy can also help to save you money in the hiring process. It can lead to a decreased time to fill and time to hire, resulting in up to a 50% reduction in your cost per hire.

The more attractive your employer brand is to candidates and employees, the less likely you are to have to increase spend on salaries to lure top talent from your competitors. That doesn’t mean that you can offer rock-bottom compensation rates. However, it does signify that candidates will be incentivized to work for you for many other reasons besides the salary and benefits you offer. 

Faster business growth

An organization’s greatest asset is its people. If you have a strong employer brand and good reputation, you’re more likely to be able to hire top talent, leading to faster business growth. Research by LinkedIn has found that companies on their network with a strong Talent Brand Index (TBI) grew 20% faster than those with a weaker talent brand. 

Attracting more diverse talent

When an organization has a clear employer branding strategy, they are able to showcase their values, vision, and corporate and social responsibility on their website, social media channels, and in their marketing campaigns. This helps them attract more diverse talent and build a more diverse workplace. 

More loyal customers

If a candidate has a poor experience during the recruitment and selection process, there’s a strong chance they may stop purchasing that organization’s products and services. Plus, a survey by CareerArc found that 64% of consumers have ceased to shop with a brand after hearing the company treats employees poorly.

So, let’s explore how you can start developing an employer branding strategy today.

Check out the first part of this Learning Bite on how to build a successful employer branding strategy!

Employer branding strategy examples

Example 1: Lloyd’s of London

Lloyds was looking for help to define its strategy for attracting and retaining top candidates who were graduates, interns, and apprentices. Their main challenges were the traditional image of the business, the negative connotations of working in the city of London, and diversifying their talent pool. They aimed to change their employer brand to be more accessible and find emerging talent who wanted to work and stay at Lloyd’s. 

A new careers website and video suite helped to modernize the brand and attract more BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and female applications and appeal to students. In the first two months after launch, the site garnered over 25,000 views, the number of female applicants increased by 8% (compared to the previous year), and they experienced a 14.6% increase in BAME applicants (compared to the previous year). 

Example 2: Intel

In 2022, Intel was focused on meeting their 2030 goals of seeing more women in technical positions and doubling the number of women and minorities in senior leadership roles. 

To begin with, they looked to their existing talent community to convert talent who had already shown interest in joining the company, rather than solely using this community to send out job alerts. They found that there were already more than 2,000 diverse women technologists within this community and subscribed to their email list. 

Upon learning this, Intel decided to create a targeted email campaign to drive engagement and applications from their existing African American Women in Tech (AAWIT) talent pool. They strategically created videos and blogs to show stories of AAWIT thriving at Intel, and included these in their emails. These women were in roles as engineers, platform architects, and data storage teams. They had a wide range of personal and professional experience ideal for sharing.

The core themes of the content were the culture of inclusion, career growth, community impact, commitment to diversity, and the impact of their work. 

Intel’s campaign ran from February to May 2022. Emails were sent to 2,300 women in the talent community, receiving a 49% open rate (the industry average is 25%), and a 6% click-through rate. The campaign also increased the number of meaningful applications and received much positive feedback from both candidates and existing employees. 

Example 3: Trane Technologies

Although Trane Technologies have been trailblazers when it comes to investing in their employees’ mental health and launching their first wellbeing program back in 2010, they still experienced a challenge when it came to employee participation.

Following the pandemic, Trane recognized the urgency around mental health. The company wanted to enhance awareness and support for all team members across the globe. Their 2021 Global Mental Health Pulse Survey found that over a third of respondents struggled with focusing at work because of mental health struggles. When asked what prevents them from seeking help, the top three responses were career impact, fear of judgment, and having to take time off work. 

To increase mental health awareness and the utilization of the benefits on offer, Trane sought to create an employee storytelling campaign to address the mental health stigma. They enlisted participation from leadership to demonstrate top-down support and create video interviews to spotlight chosen leaders’ stories. These personal sharings helped to show employees that no one was exempt from experiencing mental health struggles and that it doesn’t have to have the negative impact on your job and career that you think it will.  

Through active efforts to promote the campaign, the nine videos received an average of 13,500 unique employee views. What’s more, the Trane Technologies’ Mental Wellbeing Hub received over 5,000 visits in the first five months after launch. This makes it a great example of internal employer branding.

How to develop an employer branding strategy: 14 steps

If you’re growing your business and looking to hire new people, or make a more conscious effort to keep your existing employees, developing and managing an employer branding strategy will help you supercharge your talent acquisition efforts and improve retention

Especially if your organization has 50 or more employees, now is a great time to start developing or improving your employer branding strategy.

1. Audit your existing employer brand

The first step to developing an employer branding strategy is to clarify what your organization is currently communicating to your current employees, applicants, and the wider public.

To do this, you may want to:

  • Send out surveys or conduct informal interviews with your employees
  • Look at what people are saying about you on social media channels
  • Read reviews on employer review sites like Glassdoor
  • Hire an external company that monitors your brand reputation.

Your research will help you discover what your organization currently does well (i.e., what your employees love about working for you) and the areas where you can improve. Once you have a solid idea of where you stand, you know the steps you need to take to get to where you want to go and can prioritize what you want to change.

Case study: Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs surveyed more than 40,000 people on perceptions of the company (including reputation and diversity). Some unfavorable words continued to crop up, including “competitive,” “elitist,” and “cutthroat.”

This led to a new “Day In The Life” campaign to set the record straight, show what it’s really like to work at Goldman Sachs, and attract the next generation of talent.

2. Review your recruitment and selection process

Your entire recruitment and selection process has a greater impact on your employer brand than you might think. This includes your initial job postings, the application process, interview stages, the final offer, and onboarding of new hires.

Is your brand clear to candidates throughout this process? Does it accurately show them what it’s like to work in your organization and explain why they should choose your company over a competitor’s? Is the admin process smooth, timely, and functioning properly, with regular communication and updates? Are you attracting and selecting the right talent for your organization and ensuring their values and behaviors align with the company’s?

Have you created your ideal candidate persona? Are they excited about starting their job from the moment they receive their job offer? Do candidates receive everything they need before their first day and feel welcome to the team during the first few weeks? 

An effective recruitment process will lead to excited, motivated, and competent employees, lower turnover rates, and more efficient and productive teams. On the other hand, a poor recruitment funnel and onboarding experience can lead to employees being twice as likely to quit.

3. Start building your employer brand on your unique EVP

Your employee value proposition (EVP) is the combination of benefits and rewards your employees receive in exchange for their time, energy, skills, and commitment. The EVP is integral to your employer brand and allows you to offer a unique range of rewards that are meaningful to your ideal candidate. 

Gartner distinguishes the following five key elements of an EVP:

  • Compensation: How satisfied employees are with their salaries, as well as additional rewards and bonuses.
  • Work-life balance: The benefits on offer including paid vacation time, sick leave, flextime, remote working options, health care, and retirement plans.
  • Stability: The opportunities available for progression within the organization, career development, and employee training.
  • Location: The physical space and cultural environment of your office, as well as its location.
  • Respect: Team spirit, relationships, support, your company’s culture, and values.

These five elements form your unique EVP, which should be the foundation of the employer brand you convey to the outside world. 

Every organization’s EVP will be different. The critical task here is to play to your strengths but maintain integrity and be honest. If you’re not happy with your EVP, look at what you can do to make your offering more attractive to prospective hires. What matters most to your ideal candidate? And what rewards and benefits matter most to your existing top performers? You can effectively leverage your findings in building your employer brand.

Case study: Sky

Sky’s EVP is summarized as, “A job you love to talk about.”

The company conducted research and found that employees consistently said, “I work for Sky” when asked what they do for a living before explaining their exact role. Additionally, Sky offers “Only at Sky Experiences” to their workforce, including a cinema in the office.

Check out the second part of this Learning Bite on how to build a successful employer branding strategy!

4. Set goals

The next step for building a successful employer branding strategy is to get clear on your specific goals.

  • What do you want your employer brand to look like and say?
  • What do you want candidates to read, see, and feel when they come into contact with your organization?
  • Do you know your key objectives, and how would you rank them in terms of priority?

For example, are you looking for more qualified candidates or greater diversity in your workplace? Are you seeking greater awareness of what your organization does and stands for? Or are you striving to place more women and candidates from underrepresented groups in leadership positions?

These are all important questions to answer to set specific goals tailored to your organization and the brand you want to create.

5. Engage the C-suite

It’s important that you get buy-in from your leadership team and stakeholders on employer branding initiatives at your organization. This will show candidates and employees that these initiatives are supported from the top-down. It also means that your business leaders will become role models.

A survey by Glassdoor found that 75% of US respondents believe that when C-suite executives and leaders of a company use social media to communicate about the employer brand (e.g. mission, workplace culture, values), they view them as more trustworthy.

6. Divide responsibilities

Employer brand, EVP, and employee experience (EX) and three practices that affect each other. That’s why you should consider integrating these into one team rather than isolating each of them.

In smaller companies, it’s most common to use internal employees to form part of your employer branding team. For example, employer branding might become a part of HR’s or TA’s function. Larger companies may have the budget to hire a dedicated employer branding specialist or even a team of them. They can also choose to work with external agencies or consultants to manage their employer branding strategy. 

HR can play a key role in combining these practices and creating a coherent story that helps to attract the right candidates, deliver on what you promise them, and keep them happy and engaged at work. Understand what type of employer you are, or aspire to be, and what you expect from your employees. This will help you position yourself in the job market in a way that aligns with your EVP and EX efforts. 

Gather employee feedback to understand the expectations of your current employees as well as targeted talent pools so that you can better understand why people choose to work for and stay with you. Where are you over-delivering? Is there anything you’re missing? Where do you need to bridge the gaps? Is there anywhere you need to set the expectation straight? Remember that you cannot please everyone or meet everyone’s needs.

Partnering with other branding teams within your organization (if you have them) can also significantly improve your employer brand because you can learn from each other and make a greater impact.

7. Select relevant metrics to track

Once you’ve defined your goals, it’s time to select relevant metrics for each one so that you can track your progress. 

Three key components constitute your employer brand. All three parts feed into and affect each other. Let’s explore each one in more detail along with suggestions of ways to track them. 


Awareness relates to your brand’s visibility as a result of marketing campaigns and other branding activities. The goal is to figure out how many people know about your brand and how they feel about it.

To measure this, you might ask potential candidates or a specific target group if they’re aware of your company and record the percentage that says “yes.” Alternatively, you could ask an open question like, “What three companies seem like the most exciting to work for?,” which is known as recall awareness.

Your social media channels are another great place to measure interesting and valuable metrics. This could include your number of followers, impressions, likes, comments and shares. If your numbers continue to rise each month, this is a great sign that your employer brand is engaging and that people have heard of and are interested in your organization.

Measuring the success of an employer branding strategy.


Attraction is about how attractive your employer brand is to candidates. It can be measured by how many candidates you’re able to attract and how skilled and competent they are.

When you see your awareness metrics rising, you can expect to naturally start attracting more talent. Here, we can measure two factors: applicant quantity and applicant quality.

Applicant quantity is fairly straightforward to measure and includes recording the number of applicants you receive per week or month, responses per job opening, and the percentage of candidates who respond positively after being directly approached by your recruiters.

Is there a positive correlation between your brand ratings and the number of applications over time? And are there differences in the number of applications per recruitment channel?

Applicant quality can be measured by recording the number of candidates who pass the screening of their application. You could also measure whether the average scores of your assessments increase or not. Is it becoming increasingly difficult to choose the best candidate out of the candidate pool? If it is, this is a clear sign that your applicant quality is on the rise.


Experience refers to how candidates and employees experience your employer brand. It can be measured by monitoring what you currently do well and where you can improve. As your brand awareness increases, so will expectations, which is why it’s essential to continue to improve how people experience your brand.

As we mentioned earlier, creating consistency between and integrating EB, EVP, and EX, ensures you are able to deliver on your promises to employees through what you offer and how you offer it, which boosts engagement, performance and productivity. 

Employer review sites like Glassdoor, CareerBliss, Comparably, Indeed, and Simply Hired are a minefield for obtaining authentic overall ratings of your company. You will also gain insights into more specific ratings on culture and leadership. You can learn a lot from balanced employee reviews discussing both the good and bad points of your EVP, as well as reviews from applicants sharing insight on your hiring process.

Regularly collecting data from these sites will help you monitor your employer brand experience and make improvements where needed. 

8. Determine the right channels and formats to promote your employer brand

An essential part of any employer branding strategy is to target as many relevant channels as possible to communicate your message and promote your unique proposition. This includes your careers page, social media channels like Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, or even TikTok, paid ads, videos, blog posts, podcasts, photos, and more.

The channels you’ll invest in depend on your target audience and ideal candidate persona. For example, if you’re looking to attract a younger demographic, Instagram and TikTok may be suitable platforms, and video could be a better medium to engage them with. 

Likewise, it’s crucial that everything you post and share is high quality. The content should truly reflect your brand in the way you want it to be perceived. For example, if you want to use videos on your social media channels, you can use phone video editing apps that allow your team to create engaging videos in a short amount of time, or enlist the help of your marketing team or a social media expert or content creator to help you.

9. Showcase your company values and vision

The key to a powerful employer brand is to remain consistent in your messaging and communication. Ensure you showcase what your values and vision are. If you are clear on your values and vision as an organization, it will be easier for you to communicate this through your job postings, social channels, newsletters, on your website, in your marketing materials, in the workplace, your compensation and benefits packages, and more.

Without this clear vision, your messaging will be diluted and unclear.

Your employees, candidates and the wider public should have a strong idea of your unique values and vision every time they interact with your brand. This increases the chance of you attracting candidates who share your values and vision, fit your culture, and embody these at work, helping to strengthen your employer brand and help you meet your business goals.

10. Be transparent

If you aim to build real trust and loyalty with your audience, then transparency is vital. So even if you’re not currently where you want to be in terms of your goals, for example, with diversity or culture, be honest about this. Explain the steps you’re taking to get there and be transparent with your goals along with time frames for them. 

Similarly, during the recruitment process, be clear about who you are, the position(s) you’re recruiting for, and the ideal candidate. This will reduce the number of unqualified and unsuitable candidates applying for roles with you, and increase the number of the candidates who do apply being the right fit.

11. Get your employees involved

Did you know that candidates trust employees three times more than employers to gain an accurate picture of what it’s like working at an organization?

Your existing employees form a large part of your employer brand. In fact, they can be key in building your desired perception and attracting the right people to your organization.

Strong internal communication around your employer branding strategy like internal newsletters, meetings, and other forms of communication can help to ensure your employees are on the same page.

Once they’re clear on your mission and goals, let them take the lead by sharing their posts and content on your various channels. Conduct employee interviews or obtain employee testimonials that you can share on your website, whether it’s a written interview for a blog post or a video testimonial for your careers page. Guide them, but encourage them to be honest and authentic – this is how you make a strong connection with the audience.

12. Develop your internal employer branding strategy

Activating your employer brand internally is a brilliant way to rally and empower your employees, and remind them why your organization is a great place to work. Starting from within is also a great way to test out your employer brand and see how strong it is and if people are quick to embrace and embody it. 

Consider offering employer brand training opportunities to all your employees, organize a special launch event to kick-off your employer brand initiatives, start an employee ambassador program, create a referral program that rewards employees who bring in new employees from their personal network, or create an employer brand cheat sheet that outlines actions employees can take. These are just some of the ways to activate your employer brand internally.

Case study: Netflix

Netflix provides all employees with a culture guide that includes detailed guidance on the values and behaviors that are integral to the brand, and shows both existing and potential employees what’s special about working there.

13. Monitor how you’re doing

When developing any new strategy and setting goals, it’s important to be able to measure your progress to see if your efforts are working, and where you may need to adjust your approach. 

So before you begin, it’s essential to know what data you want to track, how you will collect it, analyze it, and then report your findings in a streamlined way to leaders and stakeholders. 

If you’re a medium to large-sized business, you will likely already have access to tools and resources to help you with all of the above. For example, your applicant tracking system (ATS), your human resources information system (HRIS), and Google Analytics. Your finance team and any data and analytics specialists will also be able to provide you with key metrics and ways to monitor them.

Regularly monitor your progress toward your goals so you can see how you’re performing.

14. Fine-tune your strategy

As you track your progress, you can see what’s working and what’s not, which enables you to pivot your approach or redistribute your resources accordingly.

For example, maybe your Instagram page is getting a lot of engagement, but your Facebook page is not. You may decide to invest more time and money into your Instagram account or explore why your Facebook channel is underperforming and how you can improve it. Maybe the new employee video testimonials you added to your careers page are increasing the number of qualified applicants applying to your open positions, in which case you might invest more in creating video content or employee-created content. 

Routinely tracking, measuring, and analyzing is the only way to see how successful your employer brand strategy is. If your current strategy is not meeting your organization’s needs, then it may be time to fine-tune your plan. When you do reach a goal, be sure to set a new one to continue your growth as an organization. 

Employer branding strategy best practices

Here are some employer branding best practices to be mindful of when developing and managing your strategy. 

  • Use storytelling: Stories are compelling and engaging and really help humanize a brand. Be sure to share your biggest success stories as well as any challenges your company has overcome and unique experiences along the way to meeting your goals. Just like humans, no company is perfect, and acknowledging this in the stories you tell helps you build trust with the audience. 
  • Highlight your DEIB efforts: Maybe your workplace isn’t as diverse or inclusive as you’d like it to be right now. That’s okay, as long as you have a plan to change it. Be vocal about your commitment to building a more diverse workforce and inclusive work environment for all. Be specific about the steps you’re taking and the goals you’re striving toward. 
  • Leverage alumni networks: Just because an employee leaves your organization, it doesn’t mean they can’t still be an ambassador for your brand. Creating a solid offboarding experience and engaging former employees enables you to leverage their positive experiences and personal networks long after they’ve left. 
  • Plan for crises: With open review platforms like Glassdoor and Indeed, live firings on TikTok, and employees sharing their onboarding packages publicly, the employee experience is more public than ever before. Actively monitor employer brand perceptions to see what’s being said about your organization. Negative publicity and feedback is bound to occasionally happen – take it as a nudge to fix whatever is not working in your organization. Have a plan in place to follow whenever a crisis occurs. Address the feedback in an honest and transparent way. Craft a PR approach in HR.
  • Collaborate with your marketing department: Enlist the help of your marketing experts to achieve consistency in your brand and messaging to promote a seamless employer brand at all times. 
  • Understand your current and future hiring needs: Keeping an eye on your current hiring needs is important, but it’s equally important to have one eye on the future to get the most from your employer branding initiatives. Ensure that your EB efforts speak to both needs and help you prepare for the future. 

Your employer brand is a valuable tool: Start building it today

Developing and building a successful employer branding strategy is a brilliant way to align your messaging, increase awareness of your organization and attract and retain top talent. Over time, you will earn a glowing reputation for being a company with a compelling mission that values its people, with an army of proud brand ambassadors.

If you haven’t yet devoted time and resources to building your employer brand, there’s no better time to start than today.


What is the concept of employer branding?

Employer branding is the experience employees, candidates and the public have with your brand and how they perceive you as an employer and business. This identity is built through your values, mission, company policies, compensation and benefits packages, workplace culture, what current and former employees say about you, and more. The aim of an employer brand is to show people what it’s like to work for you, and why they would want to. 

What are the strategies of employer branding?

An employer branding strategy helps an organization to align their unique identity with the type of candidates they wish to attract and remind existing employees why they should continue to work for you rather than a competitor. It helps you to determine your ideal candidate, shape your recruitment efforts to attract these candidates, improve retention and diversity, boost business growth, reduce spending, and increase customer loyalty.

How do you build strong employer branding?

Building strong employer branding begins with developing the right strategy for your business and the short and long-term goals you want to achieve. Begin auditing your existing employer brand so you know what you want to change. Review and refine your recruitment and selection process, set clear goals, and get support from your leadership team. Set relevant metrics to track in line with your goals, monitor your progress, and make adjustments along the way. Remember to develop your internal employer branding strategy and turn your current employees into ambassadors. 

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest HR news, trends, and resources.

Shani Jay

Shani Jay is an author & internationally published writer who has spent the past 5 years writing about HR. Shani has previously written for multiple publications, including HuffPost.

Are you ready for the future of HR?

Learn modern and relevant HR skills, online

Browse courses Enroll now