20 July 2023

Building an Authentic Employer Brand: Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing Impact

Key take-outs from the Employer Branding Conference, London

What we’ll cover in this blog:
  • The key challenges to building an authentic employer brand
  • Questions to consider for an authentic employer brand
  • How to create impactful job descriptions
  • How to build and improve an employer brand
  • Building global brand employee consistency
  • How to build an employer brand that resonates, on a budget

In July our Head of Consultancy, Rika, attended The Employer Brand Conference, hosted by IHR (In-House Recruiters). The event was all around employer brands and helping organisations attract top talent.

Over the course of the conference, Rika watched presentations and heard from expert recruiters and talent acquisition officers in various leading industries. And naturally, we’ve compiled the key thoughts from the day on the challenges and solutions to how businesses can attract top talent and ultimately help their business thrive.

Top 3 challenges for building an authentic employer brand

Within the room, delegates identified three prominent challenges:

  • Attracting diverse talent
  • Lack of brand awareness among candidates
  • Limited budgets and resources for building a robust employer brand

Overcoming these hurdles is crucial to establishing an authentic employer brand that resonates with potential candidates and enhances employee engagement.


Common ‘people’ challenges in business today

Beyond the immediate concerns of the room’s delegates, businesses face several other people-related challenges. These include:

  • Hiring individuals unprepared for demanding situations
  • Recruiting people without the necessary skills
  • Increased attrition rates
  • Unhappy customers.

And overcoming these obstacles requires a holistic approach that addresses recruitment processes, employee development, and overall organizational culture.


Five questions to consider for an authentic employer brand

To establish themselves, organisations must ask themselves five crucial questions. Answering these and acting on them will help organisations create authentic employer brands:

  • Does the candidate recruitment experience align with our company’s values and behaviours?
  • How effectively are candidates immersed in our values during the recruitment process?
  • Does their journey reflect the same care we provide our customers?
  • Have we conducted a thorough evaluation of our recruitment process through “mystery shoppers” to ensure a positive candidate experience?
  • Do our values and behaviours reflect a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?


Key considerations for writing job descriptions

Job descriptions are so important when it comes to attracting top talent. And when crafting them, organisations should consider the following factors – given the eye-opening statistic that candidates only spend an average of eight seconds scanning a job advert:

  • Persona mapping: Tailor your job descriptions to your target audiences.
  • Reflect company values: Use language that aligns with the organisation’s values
  • Inclusive language: Avoid corporate cliches and create an inclusive environment.
  • Storytelling: Instead of relying solely on bullet points, use narratives that engage candidates.
  • Keep it concise: Use no more than five bullet points and limit job titles to three words.
  • Amplify relevant information: Highlight salary transparency, location, and growth opportunities.


Three steps to building and improving an employer brand

Building an employer brand from scratch requires a systematic approach. Here’s what the experts from Compare the Market (or Meerkat!) had to say:


“If you don’t like our brand as a consumer, you won’t look at it favourably as a candidate”

They then gave us three steps to take while building or improving your employer brand from scratch.

  • Test and understand brand perception: Conduct external and internal assessments to gauge how your brand is perceived by potential candidates and existing employees.
  • Competitor analysis: Study competitors to identify unique differentiators and areas for improvement.
  • Continual evaluation and evolution: Regularly review and refine your employer brand across the candidate and employee lifecycle. Measure the impact through employer brand sentiment, recruitment performance, employee advocacy, employee engagement, and DEI performance metrics.


Building global employer brand consistency

The experts over at Mars then took to the floor and gave us lots of food for thought to ensure consistency across global operations. Here’s how it can work in a two-tiered approach:

  • Global: Define overarching brand guidelines and governance to maintain consistency in visual elements, tone of voice, templates, and global campaigns.
  • Local: Empower local market experts within the organization by providing them with the necessary tools, frameworks, and processes. Allow flexibility for cultural nuances while maintaining alignment with the global framework.


Maximizing employer brand impact

And to maximize the impact of your employer brand, here’s three invaluable steps:

  • Extension of corporate brand: Align the employer brand with the corporate brand to ensure consistency and reinforce the company’s overall identity.
  • Human touch: Share authentic employee stories rather than relying on stock imagery.
  • Tap into employee expertise: Leverage the knowledge and expertise of your employees to showcase the organisation’s strengths and values.


Employer branding on a budget

And finally, contrary to popular belief – building a strong employer brand doesn’t have to require a large budget or decades of past campaigns. Here’s some workarounds on how to build your employer brand, without breaking the bank.

  • User-generated content: Encourage employees to promote the company through social media and other platforms.
  • Leadership buy-in: Demonstrate the long-term savings and financial benefits of investing in the employer brand to gain support from company leaders.
  • Awards and recognition: Participate in industry awards to enhance brand visibility.
  • Pilot and experiment: Start with small initiatives that yield quick wins and scale up as results and budgets allow.


Let’s build an authentic employer brand together.

Attracting top talent and building an authentic employer brand go hand-in-hand. And whilst it sounds like a tricky task with lots of obstacles, it doesn’t have to be.

At McCann Synergy, we’re the experts in everything employer brand. So, if you want to take your business to the next level, simply get in touch.


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