Chapter 4

What Makes an Employer Brand Stand Out?

How to differentiate yourself from the competition and convince job seekers that your organization isn’t just another 9-to-5.


Ovidiu Marginean
Product Marketing Manager


These days, in-demand applicants have plenty of options to choose
from, so your brand needs to convince job seekers that your organization isn’t just another 9-to-5, it’s the place to work. How do you do that? By differentiating yourself from the competition.

At its simplest, this process can be boiled down to two steps:

Step 1: Defining your employee value proposition (EVP)
Step 2: Sourcing


Step 1: Defining your employee value proposition (EVP)


"At the core, an effective brand has a clear, compelling, and consistent promise so that in a crowded and noisy employment market, a meaningful message of differentiation can be heard."

Rob Silzer and Ben E. Dowell


If employer brand is the story you tell potential recruits, EVP is should
be the main character. Everything that follows should revolve around it.

EVP is the foundation of a strong employer brand, and the key to carving out a reputation as authentic, trustworthy, and engaging. A distinctive, well-defined EVP will bolster your ability to attract high-quality candidates and can even reduce compensation premiums for new hires.

So, how do you define (or re-define) what your value proposition is?
For starters, ask yourself two questions:

  • What do your employees get from your organization in exchange for their time, loyalty, efforts, and ongoing engagement?
  • How is what you’re offering distinct from that of your competitors?

Your answer can take the form of anything from obvious career benefits like a clear career trajectory and new learning opportunities to things like cool oce spaces, challenging or intellectually engaging work, and flexible hours.

A clear, attractive EVP helps create alignment between your company’s goals and those of its current and future employees, offering job seekers in particular a memorable distillation of the kind of experience they can expect working for your company. Not only can this make the employee retention process easier, it can inspire increased employee engagement, resulting in improved ROI for your company.

As you work to define your EVP, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that your EVP aligns with the overall goals of your organization.
  • Search for any disconnect between the benefits you offer and what your employees actually want. Do this at least once a year.
  • Define a specific EVP for each group of employees, as different positions often come with different needs.
  • Clearly communicate any changes in your EVP as soon as possible.
  • If possible, try to anticipate any of your employees’ future needs in your EVP.

Every stage of an employee's lifecycle at your company puts a brick in your employer brand. That includes every organizational policy or procedure, every conversation about your brand among colleagues, every opinion, every testimonial, and every individual and collective experience that is in any way related to your company.

More than that, if you don't define your brand as an employer, there is the risk of others doing it for you. Online platforms have given the power to employees who can now use them to share their experience of working for your company, and these reviews are often an important part of applicants’ research practices.
That’s a lot of factors, and at this point, you may be wondering how it’s possible to take control of them all as you shape your brand.
Luckily, there are strategies and tools you can employ to craft experiences that align with your core mission and values. For example:

  • Internal company training for continuous learning opportunities
  • Corporate culture programs
  • Company networking events
  • Public relations strategies

That said, it’s crucial, to be honest with honest. Be sure that your stated brand values and EVP should align with the reality of your employees' daily experiences in working for your company. Otherwise, you could risk disappointing new employees, leading to low levels of engagement and poor retention rates.

Employer brand is the creative expression of your EVP. Ultimately, all these tactics are meant to help you create a standalone brand that is truly memorable.


Step 2: All About Sourcing

Once you’ve developed a brand that incorporates a strong EVP, the
next step is to get your message out into the world so you can start
attracting the candidates with whom your brand will resonate.

This is the step that finally puts the “awareness” in “employer brand awareness.” You want to promote your organization as a top employment destination across as many channels as possible. This way, you remain top of mind and rearm a positive reputation with candidates who encounter your messaging repeatedly.

Consider leveraging these opportunities to build and promote your
employer brand:

  • Your career site. Try to make it as personal as possible, with relevant company info as well as photos of the team, employ quotes and testimonials, and so on.
  • Your LinkedIn company page. Your social media profiles are prime real estate for repackaging the information on your career site in a more streamlined way.
  • Employee referral programs. Building a strong internal brand that stimulates referrals is as just important as external branding.
  • Employees’ profile pages. Encourage your employees to share company news and updates on their personal LinkedIn pages.
  • Job boards and job descriptions. Job advertisements are a prime example to communicate your brand to applicants who are looking for new opportunities.
  • Social media channels. Social media is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. So much so that we’ve devoted the entire following chapter to it.