At an event by The Conference Board (a global independent business and research association), the CEOs in attendance cited human capital as the number one challenge facing businesses. Recruiting, retaining and engaging staff is the major issue. One way to lessen the impact is to invest in your employee and talent branding.

Employee branding is the effort your organisation does promoting your business as a great place to work. It is a top-down and competitor based approach, where the business tells potential candidates and other companies how good their workplace is.

This changed with the advent of social media and review sites. Now, a customer or employee can publicly offer their opinion on their workplace and employer. This is known as talent branding, i.e., what employees think of your business.

Employee and talent branding work hand-in-hand to create a workplace where staff want to work, and organisations realise the value of including employee talent branding in their overall marketing strategy.


Creating a Talent and Employee Brand

The first step in building your talent brand is to identify your values and your ‘unique employee proposition’. What makes your workplace unique to others and what values does it hold? If the answer is something along the lines of ‘it’s a great place to work’, you probably need to dig deeper. Even drafting a simple document with a list of values and a paragraph explaining the employee value proposition is enough to get the ball rolling.

The second is to take stock and find out what employees and customers already think of you. The simplest and easiest way (especially if you are a small business) is to conduct a survey. Surveys can either be in-house or third-party conducted. Bigger companies can take advantage of review sites like Glassdoor.

These review sites, such as Glassdoor and Indeed, are quite eye-opening. Dell embraced Glassdoor as part of its talent branding by building a company page on the site and responding to all reviews (both negative and positive). Jennifer Newbill, Dell’s Senior Manager Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement and Experience said that the company initially ignored Glassdoor before realising how valuable the feedback was.

Once you have found your benchmark you can start working on improving your brand but, don’t go overboard. Work to your industry and break new ground slowly. Staff at an accountant firm don’t need to return to work on Monday to find a slide instead of stairs and a puppy cuddle area for when they feel stressed.

Instead, identifying employee pain points through previously mentioned research and implement solutions to fix, is a better approach than doing what is deemed cool.

One of the final steps is to communicate your new talent and employee brand. An obvious way to communicate is through social media. 76% of organisations use social media as the main way to communicate their employer brand and engage with potential candidates according to an international survey by Employer Branding International.

When communicating your new brand, remember to include all departments. A talent and employee brand isn’t the sole responsibility of the HR team. Forming strong relationships with other departments can reveal information that is essential to communicating the values of your company.