How to Improve Employer Branding and Employee Social Media Advocacy

Multinational corporations and small businesses alike want to know how to improve employer branding. After all, a company’s reputation as an employer plays a crucial role in employee recruitment and retention.

Employment branding aka employer branding was defined by Dr. John Sullivan in 2004 as “a targeted, long-term strategy to manage the awareness and perceptions of employees, potential employees, and related stakeholders with regards to a particular firm.” According to Sullivan, a strong indicator of a good employment brand is when employees “proactively” tell positive stories about their employer both online and offline.

Positive employer branding helps businesses in competitive industries attract and retain top talent. According to Glassdoor, “92% of people would consider changing jobs if offered a role with a company with an excellent corporate reputation.”

Poor employer branding can negatively impact talent recruitment, employee retention, and decrease productivity and revenue. The 2017 CareerArc Employer Branding Study indicates that only 1 in 3 job seekers would apply to a company with a 2-star employer rating. Women are especially more likely to avoid applying to jobs with poorly rated and reviewed employers.

A Positive Employer Brand Can’t Be Faked or Forced

In the Information Age, a company’s reputation as an employer is more transparent than ever, as potential job candidates have a wealth of research information regarding prospective employers at their fingertips. This makes building a strong employer brand more important than ever for successful talent acquisition and retention.

These days, the only real viable way to improve employer branding and retain good employees is to treat your workforce better – with competitive pay, benefits, good work-life balance, career development opportunities, and highly-motivating non-monetary incentives. Happy, healthy, and engaged employees are more likely to voluntarily promote their employer’s brand on social media sites like LinkedIn, job search and review platforms like Indeed & Glassdoor, and via referrals to their professional network.

Building a positive employer image and reducing employee churn rate takes time but will pay off in the form of increased productivity and higher revenue.

Building a Positive Employer Brand is a Long-Term Investment

Developing an employer branding strategy or employment branding strategy is the first step towards changing how your business is perceived by current employees and prospective job candidates.

An effective employer branding strategy should always include:

  • An up-to-date employee value proposition that defines candidate personas
  • A smooth employee onboarding process
  • Employee experience and engagement surveys
  • Regular employer brand audits

Responding to employee concerns on sites like Glassdoor, and then using these reviews to investigate and improve workplace conditions and culture, is essential for companies that are truly committed to improving employer brand image. Many large corporations have even created new HR positions to take on such tasks including Employer Brand Specialist, Employee Experience Manager, Employee Engagement Specialist, and Chief Happiness Officer.

Other company policies and practices that can help improve employer image and branding over time include a strong diversity, equity, and inclusion policy; robust professional development and learning opportunities; a sound corporate social responsibility strategy; and employee appreciation and recognition programs.

Earning a prestigious Best Place to Work Award can also help improve employer branding in the long term.

Strengthening & Communicating Employer Brand

After creating a comprehensive, documented employer branding strategy and framework, your company will need to create an action plan to effect change.

To communicate employer value proposition and recruit new talent, consider implementing an employer brand campaign. Or develop an employee ambassador program, which encourages company staff to share social content that directly or indirectly promotes their employer.

Non-monetary incentives, including premium company swag and experiential rewards, are a great way to encourage and reward employee ambassadors or advocates.Tangible demonstrations of employee appreciation and regard like employee care packages and welcome kits are likely to be shared on social media, which helps boost employer brand image and reputation in an authentic, meaningful way.

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Non-monetary employee rewards like high-quality branded swag and gift cards also play an important role in job onboarding, workplace training, and employee appreciation and recognition programs, all of which help build a strong employer brand.

Incentivize Employee Ambassadors with Personalized Company Rewards

Interested in using incentives and rewards to improve your employer brand?

To learn how to use company swag and other rewards to improve employer brand and boost employee social media advocacy, check out these guides:

Employee Care Package Examples

Meaningful Employee Appreciation Ideas for Large Companies

Socially Responsible Corporate Gifts

Building a Modern Employee Rewards Catalog

Or contact us for assistance with selecting the best rewards for your employee advocacy programs and employee engagement initiatives!