Finding the right employees with systematic employer branding

Organise a few good events for employees, post the vacancies on LinkedIn and I already have employer branding? It's not quite that simple – and yet not that complicated. What applies to branding also applies to employer branding. It helps if there is a sound strategy behind it.
Written by Magdalena Ehrensperger

A clear picture helps when finding new team members

Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular find themselves in a highly competitive market for good employees. Potential employees are choosing their employer more and more carefully. This selection is not only based on corporate facts such as product, industry and size, but also increasingly on so-called soft factors such as what the company stands for and what kind of culture the employer and the employee share. It is therefore all the more important that companies have a clear image of themselves and communicate this image accordingly in order to reach the right potential employees more quickly. A clear employer brand saves a lot of time, cost and energy.

Focus on a specific target group

As a starting point for employer branding, it is useful to conduct research. This means analysing the competition on the one hand and developing an idea of the target group on the other. There is the great advantage that the target group "existing and potential employees" is very concrete. What is complex when developing an entire brand strategy in view of all target groups of a brand (customers, employees, public, suppliers, ...) is much more focused here. In addition, you have the target group in close proximity. In the analysis phase, existing employees can be interviewed, first drafts can be tested and feedback can be obtained in a simple, cost-effective way.

Employee Value Proposition as a foundation

Time and energy should be invested in the development of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) at the beginning. As the name suggests, this is the company's value proposition to employees. It must be comprehensive, but also as simple and understandable as possible. It only works if it is integrated into the overall brand and even corporate strategy and if employees recognise the corporate culture in it. Careful development and the gathering of feedback from employees are therefore elementary. This process takes time and several rounds. But those who finally formulate a comprehensible and authentic EVP have laid the foundation for all further communication activities.

Experience the employer brand

Once the strategy has been developed, internal activities that affect employees should be in line with the employer strategy. In this way, the strategy gains credibility and can be experienced. The best way to start is to define concrete measures that underpin the strategy. On the other hand, theory also needs some colour: creative implementation. This can be done with individual campaigns or with an overarching creative concept. The creative concept is the long-term visual and linguistic tonality of the employer brand. Of course, the corporate design must be recognisable, but it may have a specific orientation or special identifying features.

If understood internally, communicate externally

This may sound a bit extreme, but in essence it is the case: marketing, HR and the management must bring the employer brand closer to all employees and make it understandable. Only when the employees are on board can the communication be implemented. In some cases, it will take on a life of its own, which is not a problem if the core is clear, but rather an enrichment. An employer brand that is supported internally and even developed further leads to success and now also makes it easier to attract new employees.

Key takeaways / conclusion

  • Close to the target group: The great advantage of employer branding is that the target group "employees" tends to be easier to grasp and address.
  • EVP as a foundation: The strategy as an employer must be clear, simple and authentic. It is embedded in the brand and corporate strategy and an interpretation of it, which is aimed at potential and existing employees.
  • The employer brand: It needs a certain independence or recognisable features always within the framework of the corporate design.
  • Involve key people: Especially the marketing and HR departments as well as the management need to act according to the employer strategy and carry the employer brand.
  • Understood and agreed: Only when existing employees are on board can the employer strategy be brought to life.
  • Cross-check: All activities and communication as an employer must be in line with the developed strategy.

Would you like to learn more about the topic? Find out more here:

Employer Branding

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