Back to blog

Employer Branding: How to Market Your Employee Value Proposition, Company Culture, and Values in 2023 (9 steps)

Salma Elbarmawi
Salma Elbarmawi
Dec 20, 2022 · 8 min read
Employer Branding: How to Market Your Employee Value Proposition, Company Culture, and Values in 2023  (9 steps)

In a recent Localized survey, we asked students and recent graduates across four continents the number one reason they chose not to apply to a job, 52.2% of respondents said that they either had never heard of the company or the job description wasn't clear.

Employer branding on both a company and informational level is the key to attracting the best talent in the market. Think of a marketing campaign strategy, but instead of trying to sell your products or services, your goal is to sell the work experience your company offers.

This article dives into:

  • What is employer branding?
  • Why is it important to have a strong employer brand?
  • How to develop a strong employer brand strategy in 9 steps

What is employer branding?

In short, your “employer brand” is your organization’s reputation as an employer. It is what job seekers and employees think of your company, and what business values your company is known for.

Employer branding consists of your organization’s mission, values, culture, and personality.

These company characteristics are marketed through your employer value proposition and employee value proposition (EVP). Both concepts are strongly linked but targeted to different groups. An employer value proposition is external, targeting prospective candidates and talent. While an employee value proposition (EVP) is internal, aimed, as its name implies, toward employees.

Branding is not limited to how your company is represented on social media, it can also include the way in which your company describes open positions, what your existing employees say about your company and work culture and even the types of partners your business associates with.

Why is it important to have a strong employer brand?

A company brand’s importance can’t be overstated.

Although it is not a modern concept, employer branding started to gain traction around the mid-’90s, when the first online job boards were launched, as suddenly, candidates had millions of job opportunities worldwide.

Employer branding has effects on the entire talent pipeline, from candidate applications to employee retention. If you use Google as a model, for example, there are 3 factors that contribute heavily to their employer brand rating (which, according to Comparably, is an A rating for Retention, a B rating for Office Culture, and an A+ rating for Happiness).

  1. Salary and Benefits: Companies that don't have the option to compete with high silicon valley salaries can compete with additional lifestyle benefits like better paid parental leaves, better maternity and paternity benefits and more.

2. Perks and Work Culture: Large and small companies alike have an opportunity to operate like a startup. This means attracting talent with a work culture that is flexible, keeps employee happiness top of mind and offers additional fun amenities like ping-pong tables, slides and gaming consoles. Since in-office employees spend most of their day at work, it's nice to make them feel at home in the office space.

  1. Self Development Opportunities: Your existing and future employees want to grow, meaning that self-development opportunities plays a critical role in retention and attraction. A common formula for learning and development is the 70/20/10 model, where each employee devotes 10% of their time to training, 20% to developing their own ideas, and 70% to the rest of the tasks assigned by the company. At a company like Google for example, employees report feeling like an important and valued part of the company and its progress due to the fact that their products are made up of these employee activities.

Having a brand that showcases your company values and offers perks, benefits and accommodations in alignment with your employees success and happiness leads to better quality candidates. These factors also contribute heavily to your talent acquisition pipeline.

  • 95% of candidates will research a company’s reputation as a key consideration when applying.
  • 66% of job seekers want to learn about your company's culture and values before accepting a job offer.
  • 69% of candidates will decline a job offer from a company with a bad reputation, even if unemployed.
  • Companies with a poor employer brand have to offer a “minimum” of a 10% pay increase to lure candidates.
  • 40% of candidates will accept a job offer with no pay increase if the company has a good employer brand.
  • 23% of candidates between 18 and 23 years old would accept a pay cut for the chance to join a company with a solid reputation.
  • Only 49% of employees would recommend their employer to a friend. Employer branding affects every aspect of the employer-employee relationship.

How to develop your employer brand strategy in 9 steps?

1. Audit the perception of your brand

The first step in developing your employer brand strategy is understanding how candidates and existing employees view your brand.

A thorough audit will help you understand if your current messaging and perception align with your business values and company culture. This company perception audit is essential for hiring efforts both domestically and internationally.

Some platforms to examine your current brand perception include:

  • Company review sites: Glassdoor, Comparably, TrustPilot. Here you will find what customers, employees, and former employees think of your company.

  • Social Media: Your customers and employees are likely on social media network. Using social media listening tools like Synthesio, is a great way to get insights into how people view your brand.

  • Employee feedback: Conducting internal surveys with long-term employees, “stay interviews,” and having open meetings, will help you identify strengths and opportunities that may affect your ability to attract top candidates.

  • Virtual presence: Having a presence in the spaces that potential candidates are searching for jobs, like Localized, is crucial to manage brand perception and to develop connections with potential and future candidates. Inviting candidates to learn more about your culture and open positions on virtual events can help you attract and source quality candidates that might not otherwise want to apply to open positions.

Employer brand perception and consistent auditing and iterations are vital to preserving the strength of your brand and attracting top talent.

2. Build an employee persona

Define what your ideal candidates looks like, their characteristics, wants and needs. Dedicate the time to break down the qualities your target candidates possess and include:

  • Defining characteristics like job level, personality traits, demographic information
  • Their wants, needs, and motivations
  • Research, social media channels and decision-making factors and influences

These characteristics should be clearly defined and written down for reference. Though these are just a few of many aspects to consider, having a guideline will help your HR and Talent Acquisition teams to better align the workplace and employee experience with factors that actually impact their happiness.

3. Define and implement your company’s added value

Added value refers to developing spaces that are attractive and useful to help employees perform their workplace tasks.

Management can often create environments that enables employees to do their job without being impeded inefficiencies in the workplace. Think about your company’s:

  • Mission
  • Values
  • Social responsibilities
  • Culture

When employees feel they will be taken care of in an organization hiring managers are likely to meet with candidates with deeper commitments and motivations for working for the organization.

Adding value means managers must assess the needs of existing employees and create value for them through strategic transformation that focuses on employee happiness.

4. Determine effective marketing channels and be active

Identify which channels are the most effective to get in front of your ideal candidates. Drive interest to your company by posting content that helps you build trust with potential candidates.

In most cases, when trying to recruit for senior level executives, posting on LinkedIn is generally the best platform to use. On the other hand, when searching for potential interns and entry-level candidates, platforms like Localized that focus on educated and skilled young talent in emerging markets are the best platforms to build your pipeline.

Employee facing content can include:

  • Employee highlights, shoutouts and success-stories (including recent promotions)
  • Strong brand identity
  • Life behind the scenes (inside the workplace) and outside of work
  • Company culture and insights about work life

    Think of which channels your ideal candidate uses and double-down your efforts where you know they interact daily. Then make sure to keep consistent efforts up and build on an effective online presence.

Photo by on Unsplash

5. Craft your employer value proposition

Your employer value proposition (EVP) is your promise to current and future employees. This statement will help make workers passionate about being part of your team and should be a keystone of your employer branding strategy.

Your EVP is, in short, the overlap between what your talent and potential candidates wants and what your company needs.

Learn from your employees, ask them what matters most to them. This step is not only about perks, it is also about the core values of your business, how highly your employees are valued, how committed you are to becoming the best in your industry, and how much you care about supporting your customers.

6. Lead with your values

Most skilled candidates are searching for employers with a mission that matches their personal values. Rather than taking the first opportunity, candidates approach the job search like they would a partnership, trying to find the right match rather than the first opportunity.

Think outside of the box, rather than focusing on your logo or slogan, team up with marketing to promote your culture, mission and position. Other ways to attract candidates include:

  • Sharing your story: Help potential candidates understand who you are, where your company is going and why.

  • Be authentic: Your ideal candidate wants to hear from your team and management, a personal voice about what makes your company a great place to work, rather than the corporate approved mission statement.

  • Get employees involved: Ask your existing employees to become brand ambassadors, talk about their favorite aspects of the job or share their day-to-day experiences at work.

  • Be honest: You might not be the company for everyone, but sharing your standards, expectations and values can help you represent your company honestly to find the best talent match to fill your open roles.

7. Invest in your current team’s development

High turnover can lead to lower productivity, decreased morale and an overall negative affect on the business. On the other hand, a focus on employee engagement or career progression can make employees 20% more likely to stay at their current company.

To drive up employee satisfaction and support your brand reputation, look into a few key areas of employee happiness:

  • Match the market-rate for compensation and benefits.
  • Let employees know they have room to grow through internal promotions and career advancement opportunities.
  • Create a positive work environment and office or remote culture
  • Focus on supporting employees with resources and tools that can help them avoid burnout

Many workers who left their companies during the “The Great Resignation” cited similar dissatisfactions including low compensation, no opportunities for advancement, a lack of flexibility or resources. Focusing on employee's needs creates a more motivated and engaged workforce.

8. Do an internal review and assess your success

Anything you plan to implement as an employee brand strategy should include all appropriate stakeholders. This may include HR teams, recruiters, managers, and other key teams.

This approach will put everybody on the same page and make it more effective. Once your strategy is implemented, assess it regularly, and use your initial audit as a guide.

9. Talk to your employees regularly

Create advocacy internally. An employer brand strategy is just like a marketing one, as it is never finished. There is always room for improvement, fine-tuning, and adapting to new trends.

Schedule regular meetings with individuals or focus groups to gather insights and plan the next steps. If campaigning overseas, don't rely on conversations with employees at your location. This approach will help stay relevant to each location, country, and on the road to success.

Wrap up: An employer branding effort is just like a marketing campaign. Begin with a company audit of your existing employees and their opinions, demographics and values. Prepare a targeted strategy, and implement and adapt your current employer brand based on it.

A well executed strategy can mean the difference between recruiting candidates and finding a committed, driven candidate who aligns with your company values and is dedicated to your mission and vision.

Localized connects university students and recent graduates with industry experts and employers.

Download appiOS mobile appAndroid mobile app


©2024 Localized, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ready for a personalized experience? We use cookies and similar technologies to tailor our site just for you. By clicking 'Accept', you're giving us the thumbs up to use cookies and similar technologies. 🍪