15 Marketing Techniques to Build a Strong Employer Brand

15 marketing techniques to build a strong employer brand

Today’s job market is ultra-competitive. Just look around. Every day, thousands of hours of content is uploaded to the internet, trashing bad bosses and negative work experiences. Small businesses with bad work environments and nonexistent-to-poor employer reputations are small and getting smaller. The winners in this market are businesses with a strong employer brand. A strong employer brand helps you attract well-qualified team members, improve employee retention, and boost your bottom line.

In People Operations, we don’t have an aversion to “hybrid thinking,” that is, thinking from different disciplines to solve a common problem. Just as a company uses Marketing to present products and services to their customers, People Ops markets the company’s trust and reputation as an employer to current and potential employees. There are many different marketing techniques that you can use to build a strong employer brand. Here are 15 of the most effective:

1. Storytelling


Tell your story! People want to work for companies that have a strong culture. What makes your company a great place to work? What are your company’s values? What are your employees like? Share stories about your company culture on your website, social media, and on job site employer pages. This will help potential employees get a feel for what it’s like to work at your company.

Showcase what your culture is and is not. Using stories, employee profiles, and visuals to persuade the people you want to apply and dissuade those whom you do not want to apply (due to values mismatch of course, not due to exclusion) will do much to improve the quality at the top of your candidate funnel, even if you receive less candidate applications overall.

2. Define Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

Your employer value proposition (EVP) is the foundation of your employer branding efforts. It’s what makes your company a great place to work, and it’s what you’ll use to attract and retain top talent.

When defining your EVP, consider the following questions:

  • What do employees get in return for contributing to our business’s success?
  • Why should anyone want to work here any more than somewhere else?
  • What are our unique selling points as an employer?
  • What type of people do we want to attract more of?

Answer these questions to come up with your unique EVP statement. Once you know your EVP and have distilled it into a single statement that clicks in the minds of those you want to attract, you can start to communicate it to potential employees through your marketing materials.

3. Promote Your Benefits

What benefits do you offer your employees? This could include things like health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, and more. Make sure to highlight your benefits on your website and in your job postings.

If you are very small or just starting out, and you don’t yet have access to a competitive group benefits, then market every other perk you have to siphon off talent from companies with good benefits, but terrible employee experience. For example, if you offer remote work opportunities without conditions, you have a leg up in this new world of work and should be promoting it heavily on your employer brand materials.

Don’t just stop at stating the fact, like “we have generous PTO.” State exactly what results the employees gain with what you provide them. For example, communicate how your flexible work environment allows them to work from anywhere on Earth, spend more time with their children, increase health and longevity, access innovative new technologies, or develop their skills to advance rapidly. Speak to what they want out of life.

4. Social Media

social media

In yesteryears, work and social media were taboos to be kept entirely separated. Now with that era being long gone, we are now open to the massive value from using social media to reach the people you want to work with you. Social media is a great way to connect with potential candidates from diverse backgrounds, and share your company’s journey. It lets you connect with potential employees in a personal and engaging way. You can use social media to share company news, employee stories, and behind-the-scenes looks at your culture. You can also use social media to run contests and giveaways, and to answer questions from potential employees.

Create engaging content that shows off your company’s culture and values. Repost content that aligns with your company’s values, and engage on your potential candidates’ social media posts. Effectively nurture candidates by hopping in their DMs to let them know what you think of them, and push fitting content and job opportunities to them whenever they arise.

5. Community Management

community management

There are two ways you can look at community from a marketing perspective. Participating in the community and cultivating community.

Community Action: Get involved in your local community events and support local organizations, especially charitable organizations to show what your values are and what you believe in. This will help you build goodwill and attract top talent who are looking for a company that invests in people and gives back to the community from which it extracts revenue.

Community Management: You can develop a unique community around your company. You can invite employees, candidates, and former employees (alumni) to your very own space, assigning a member of your team as the admin in charge of guiding content and conversations in the community, facilitating positive interactions and networking. The exclusiveness will make people feel special, the unique experience will keep them there! Make sure to establish rules and community guidelines early on and community them upfront and often.

6. eBooks

eBooks are a great way to share your company’s story and culture with potential employees, while adding value to potential employees by providing them with information they’ll find useful to get to the next step in their careers. Ebooks can be used to highlight important work your company has done, provide training on a subject of interest to the audience, or report on important trends, challenges, and opportunities in their industry.

7. Student Sponsorship

student sponsorship

Partner with universities and colleges, like marketing departments do when they want to extend their reach. You can offer internships, scholarships, and other programs such as to connect with students. It shows that you’re interested the success of the next generation. After a certain scale and level of prestige you can even offer an ambassador role, in which you can work directly with marketing to hire and resource an on-campus marketer for your company.

8. Chatbot


Add chatbots to your website, social media, careers page, and even emails to engage with potential candidates and answer questions about the recruitment process in real time.

Chatbots can be programmed to answer a wide range of questions, from basic information about your company to more complex questions about your culture and benefits. They can also be used to collect leads and qualify potential candidates.

When using chatbots for employer branding, make sure they are well-designed and informative, speaking in a human tone, but still gives the option to hand off to a human when the discourse moves beyond the capabilities of an AI program or preprogrammed chatbot. The chatbot should be able to answer questions in a clear and concise way, and it should be able to provide links to content designed specifically for the most common questions potentials will ask prior to submitting an application. A well designed recruitment chatbot collects leads by asking chatbot users for their contact information, which we can use to build an email list and ultimately, a talent pool.

9. Reviews and Testimonials

What do your employees have to say about your company? Use their testimonials to show potential candidates what it’s like to work at your company.
When collecting reviews and testimonials, don’t make the mistakes a lot of companies do, by “review farming,” which is soliciting positive reviews from fake/unverified sources. Make sure they are authentic and genuine. Don’t just ask your employees to write glowing reviews. Instead, ask them to share their honest experiences, both good and bad. However, a smart company addresses their negative experiences from employees before they get to the point of a negative review. A smart company also advertises internally that if employees are willing to recommend the company to associates, then leave a review so their viewpoint gets public exposure. If you know your team, you know your “champions.” Encourage them to generate public reviews first. Address the concerns of “detractors” well before it becomes a negative review. Just know that you’re not always going to get 5 start reviews, and that is okay, so long as the review is helpful and is swiftly addressed.

10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

search engine optimization

When potential candidates are searching for jobs online, you want your company to be easy to find. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your job advertisements so that they appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) that lead to the job sites hosting your job ads. This can help you attract more potential employees to your open positions. Here are some tips to optimize:

  • Using relevant keywords. When you’re writing your job advertisements, make sure to use relevant keywords that potential employees are likely to search for. You can use a keyword research tool like Semrush or Ahrefs to help you identify the right keywords to use in the title and description.
  • Optimizing your titles and descriptions. Your titles and descriptions are some of the most important parts of your job advertisements. You shouldn’t use an internal title for a role that is specific to your company and nobody will search for. A best practice here is to match your job title with the most popular titles for your job function, using job search results in the most popular job sites, cross referencing with BLS Occupation Profiles. Make sure the descriptions reflect a logical, generally accepted structure, and are clear, concise, and informative.
  • Following the Posting Rules. Follow ATS job posting effective practices, and job site posting rules.
  • Tracking your results. It’s important to track your results so you can see what’s working and what’s not. You can use analytics tools to track the number of impressions, clicks, and applications your job advertisements are receiving.

11. Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with potential candidates and share your employer brand story. Send out regular email updates with job postings, company news, and interesting content. Do this for a better email campaign for recruitment nurturing:

  • Start with a strong subject line. Your subject line is the first thing potential employees will see, so make sure it’s clear, concise, and attention-grabbing.
  • Keep your emails short and sweet. People are busy, so make sure your emails are easy to read and digest. Use the BLUF technique – placing the Bottom Line Up Front.
  • Segment your email list. Not all potential employees are created equal. Segment your email list so that you can send targeted messages to different groups of people.
  • Personalize your emails. Use the recipient’s name and other personal information to make your emails feel more personal.
  • Use a drip campaign. A drip campaign is a series of emails that are sent out over time. This can be a great way to keep potential employees engaged and informed about your company.
  • Track email analytics. Use analytics tools to track email conversion metric, so you know what works and what does not. You’re able to run A/B tests, letting your winning tests run, and ending the failing tests in the campaigns.

12. Video Marketing

Video marketing is a great way to tell your employer brand story that sticks out and is easy to consume. Craft compelling video narratives and engaging visual content to stand out from the pack, and release it in fun ways. Stream on Youtube or hold webinars, and collect the RSVPs/attendees in your candidate email list. Edit and post long form content on your website for SEO boost. Post short form content on Tik Tok, Instagram, or Youtube to allow people to get your videos fast (and by the way, this kind of content is much easier to generate, and can be created by chopping up your long form content and repurposing it). By mixing it up, you ensure that you reach more age demographics and experience more traffic than content with no video element.

Embrace the power of video marketing to propel your employer brand to new heights and create a lasting impact in the minds of job seekers.

13. Case Studies

Case studies provide real-life examples of how your company attracts and retains talent. They demonstrate the value of working for your company and help potential candidates imagine themselves in a similar role or working through an issue at the company. Usually in a case study, there is a current state, something your comapny did to make things better, and the measurable result, where people collaborated to make that result happen. The case study is part storytelling, part data insight, and part brochure. Case studies can be used on your company website, in emails, in social media posts, and as requested. You can also use case studies anytime you want people to focus on a specific element of working at your company.

An easy structure you can use for structuring a case for talent attraction is:

  • Title: How [Your Company Name] Helped [Employee Name] Achieve Their Goals
  • Summary: [Employee Name] joined [Your Company Name] as a [Job Title] in [Year]. Since then, they’ve been promoted twice and have received numerous awards for their work. In this case study, [Employee Name] shares their experiences at [Your Company Name] and how the company has helped them achieve their goals.
  • Body: [Employee Name] talks about their reasons for joining [Your Company Name], what they’ve learned and accomplished at the company, and how [Your Company Name] has helped them achieve their goals. They also share some advice for other job seekers who are looking for a great place to work.
  • Call to action: At the end of the case study, [Employee Name] encourages readers to apply for a job at [Your Company Name].

The case study should be well-written (people can tell if it’s just a lot of jargon or written by AI), and visually stunning. Get a skilled graphic designer to create the visual layout, and if you include any visualized data, which is a good idea, use an expert data “viz” analyst. People aren’t impressed with excel chart screenshots.

14. Trade Shows

Industry trade shows are another great way to build your database of passive talent (interested, not looking). By attending these events, you can network with potential candidates and get in front of a targeted audience of professionals in your industry. You can use trade shows to identify folks who you want to keep an open line of communication with, in the event that they decide to move from their current employer and are looking for a soft landing with a strong reference. You can also use them to gift “swag” to employees at complementary or competing organizations which. This will keep you fresh in the minds of potential candidates who are well-networked in their industry, and may be viewed as knowledge leaders.

15. Landing Pages

Create a career site, which will act as a landing page for your employer brand elements, and for open jobs to apply for. A cheap SEO trick is to build your careers page within your website, which (as of 2023) will help your website’s search visibility whenever you have open jobs posted, or are posting new talent acquisition content to your careers site. Note: As search algorithms evolve, this SEO bump may no longer exist.

Your career site acts as a pre-formatted landing page that borrows domain authority from larger reputable companies online (job sites such as Indeed, and ATSs such as JazzHR), and is a great way to showcase your employer brand and entice people to become enthralled with the way your company looks from the inside. Make sure your career site is easy to use and informative.

Make It About Execution

While we’re on the theme of marketing, keep in mind what it takes to be successful in marketing – strategy and execution. Combining your employer brand strategy with structured experimentation, a clear brand voice, and creativity will yield solid results even in labor market turmoil. Building it takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. A strong employer brand can help you attract top talent, improve employee retention, and boost your bottom line.

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Cody Bess