Employer Brand

Comprehensive Guide to Employer Branding

150 150 Abhishek Sharma

Comprehensive Guide to Employer Branding

Every company has a reputation . It reflects the company’s take on their products, services, employees, and everything that they do. Just as a company’s reputation is important, so is its employer brand.

It reflects your reputation as an employer and speaks volumes for your workplace culture. A favorable employer brand is a powerful asset for a company. It reflects how you are viewed as an employer by your former, current, and prospective employees. Clients also consider your brand as an employer as they select who to work with.

It serves as a powerful tool to recruit and retain employees. 84% of job seekers place importance on the reputation of a company as an employer when making a decision on where to apply for a job. As the race for talent continues, it has become more important for companies to have a great employer brand.

In this guide you will learn:


What is Employer Branding?

Employer Branding is the key to attracting and engaging qualified job seekers.  Every company has this , whether it’s constructed or not.  An employer brand is nothing but a sub-segment of your larger brand identity, aimed at your new coworkers.

Employer Branding is the key to finding and retaining employees in today’s highly competitive labor market.

A lot of companies like Google, Starbucks or Mindvalley work hard to build their employer brand, making them quite likable for job seekers. But what’s the secret behind this desirability? Employer Branding is the way companies sell themselves to potential employees.  It’s the way they position themselves as an “Employer of Choice” – that its their company that springs to mind when somebody thinks of working in that industry.

Why does your company need to focus on employer branding?

Hiring trends showing decrease in job hires per job opening

As per the latest study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total hires per job opening has decreased since 2001.

Hiring today is hard, expensive and very time-consuming. The number of applicants is not keeping pace with the increase in the number of jobs. This is especially true for IT roles. For instance, according to this report, there will be a predicted 36% growth in the App Developer roles by  2026. While the supply of workers will not follow. The talent gap is now a global issue, making it all the more necessary for your company to enable strong strategies to attract available talent.

Depending on the country, seniority, position, industry; hiring a new employee will cost you anywhere between $4000 to $7000.

The process of recruitment has many steps- right from gathering the candidates, filtering , interviewing , choosing the right fit to onboarding him or her. This becomes very tedious as every step is time-consuming, incurs a high cost, is very effort oriented, and full of hassles.

Besides all of this, one should also work hard to keep great employees from quitting. According to various estimates, losing a middle manager might set you back up to 100% of their annual salary.

All of these issues can at least partially be solved with great employer branding.

Impact Of Employer Brand On Overall Business Performance

Importance of Employer Brand for attracting candidates

An increase in employer brand increases the volume and quality of internal referrals

The benefits of Employer Branding are obvious for candidates. They get a look inside your company, see your team in action, and get an overall feel of the work environment. It is the way your business is perceived in the job market.

Here are 5 ways a good employer branding can directly help your organization:

  • Cheaper hiring:

It improves the 3 most essential hiring metrics: time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, and quality-of-hire. A company with a strong employer brand can also successfully attract passive candidates, which represents up to 60% of the available workforce. A strong employer brand will also help you attract a higher number of qualified candidates, reduce the time to hire, and decrease the cost of hiring.

  • Higher performance of the hired employees:

Employees working at a company with a good employer brand are three times as productive as a company with a bad one. Engaged employees show up more often, stay longer, and are more productive overall.

  • Increase in positive ratings on Glassdoor and other social media:

Whether you are looking to raise a round of funding or hiring a potential employee, if your Glassdoor or Google page is in bad shape, it might affect your chances of grabbing the right opportunities. In fact, the average company rating on Glassdoor is 3.3 out of 5.
A strong employer brand fosters a great work environment and makes your brand more attractive to potential candidates. This means that your employees will be more inclined to give good ratings to your organization and that you may have a ready-made talent community to draw from.

  • Increase in volume and quality of internal referrals:

Candidates tend to trust a company’s employees 3 times more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there.
By investing in employer branding and encouraging your current employees to share their own experiences online, you’re giving candidates the information they crave and making your brand significantly more attractive, hence attracting more applicants.

  • Higher Retention Rates:

A strong employer brand is not only good for attracting potential candidates, but also for retaining your best assets. Leveraging it to create a bond with prospective employees before and during the recruitment and on-boarding process can go a long way towards retaining key employees.


Defining your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

The importance of crafting a great employer brand is particularly felt in a competitive market where the best candidates have a lot of options to choose from when considering where to work. It can set you apart.

To avail the benefits of this brand, you need to first define your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Your EVP is a set of differentiators that set you apart from other companies and that makes you an attractive and great place to work. A strong EVP can help you attract good talent, boost engagement, and reduce compensation premium by 50%. So how do you define your EVP? Check out this post and answer the questions shared in it to find out!

Communicating your employer brand

Now that you have defined your Employee Value Proposition, how do you share it with the candidates applying for jobs in your company and to your employees?  Here are 3 easy ways to do so:

Employees are crucial in defining the culture of your organization and they live the values and vision of the company. By portraying them and increasing their engagement, employees can make the best recruitment brand ambassadors. One in four jobseekers views employee profiles after finding out about a job opening. Positive reviews about your company by your current employees help boost your employer brand and plays a key role in attracting the right candidates.

Over half the candidates use job descriptions to learn more about what it’s like to work at a company. Never have effective, engaging job descriptions been more important. A few tips to ensure your job descriptions are inclusive and engaging include: keep it gender-neutral and use the right job title, explain the role’s purpose and future prospects, and show off your work culture and office.

Improving your company’s careers page and ensuring a great user experience goes a long way in building your employer brand with candidates. Get your candidates excited about applying for a job at your company by highlighting employee experiences and showcasing it as a great place to work. Here are a few ways to do that: highlight employee experiences and company events on your blog, show off your workspace or showcase a regular day at the office (more tips here).

Platforms that matter for employer brand

Linkedin And Facebook are the most important channels for Employer Branding

Here are some top-performing platforms for reaching and influencing prospective applicants.

For more insights on these platforms, check out our report on building an employer brand. We launched a survey of professionals in our database to learn more about what candidates care about in an employer, where they seek information about a company when they are considering a career move, and which companies are known as the best employers in our markets (Kenya and India).

The insights in the report are from a survey conducted with over 1200 companies in Kenya.

Case Study: Employer Branding at Hubspot and Google

Now that we are all caught up with the whats, whys, and how-tos of employer brand, let us take a look at some companies with exceptional employer brands and how they are doing it:


Hubspot topped Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work 2020 in the US (voted on by employees). The marketing and sales software company is renowned for its inclusive, cohesive, supportive, and distributed work environment.

It also knows how to get its employer branding right. Followers get a peek into life at Hubspot through its Instagram account -, which features its employees and exclusive behind-the-scenes content from its various teams distributed across the world.   


One of the most sought-after brands in the world, Google is known for its great culture. Its exemplary employer brand serves as a talent magnet, inviting over 3 million resumes every year.

Google also invests a lot in researching culture and its impact on the work environment, which has helped to provide a psychologically safe workplace to its teams across the globe. Its commitment to growth, learning, and autonomy (not to mention amazing perks – think gourmet meals, onsite wellness services, etc.) keep stellar talents coming in its way.

Employer branding is going to be a key part of the long-term recruiting strategy for most teams and will see more investment in years to come. With small tweaks in your careers page, the way job descriptions are written, or your social media platforms, it is possible to convey a positive employer brand. A great employer brand will be the differentiating factor for companies when it comes to the race for the best talent. The good news is that your brand and culture are constantly evolving. So you can start working on your employer brand (and how you share it with candidates) today.  

Do you want to take your employer brand to the next level? Create and share your company page with Shortlist Connect: show your brand to candidates, share content, build your talent pipeline & engage your audience. You can also post unlimited job offers & manage your candidates directly from the app.


Effective Job Description: How to make it inclusive and engaging

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“Recruiting is a selling process, and people have options. Look at the job description as a marketing opportunity.”

– Adam Robinson, CEO of applicant tracking system Hireology

Gone are the days of writing general and thoughtless job posts. According to a study by Indeed.com, 61% of employed applicants said that an interesting job description would prompt them to consider a new job. And according to our recent candidate survey in Kenya, over half of candidates use the job description to learn more about what it’s like to work at a company — over Glassdoor and all social media platforms.

Needless to say, in order to hire the best talent you want to ensure your job post gets noticed. To create an effective job description, you need to strike a balance between being succinct and providing just the right amount of information so candidates can self-qualify for the role. How can you achieve this?

1. The right job title

Make your title accurate and SEO-friendly. If you’re hiring a Senior Customer Service Representative, avoid using acronyms like “Sr. Customer Service Rep.” or off-beat titles like “Customer Support Guru.” These deviations reduce clarity in a case where it’s beneficial to be as clear as possible.

Moreover, sticking to the conventional title also makes sure your JD is search engine optimised — meaning candidates searching for that type of job will be more likely to find it while searching on Google. If you’re not sure what title to go with, it could be useful to do some research on popular job listing sites for most-used titles of similar job openings.

2. An effective job description is gender-neutral

It is imperative to be mindful of using non-gender-specific pronouns and job titles in order to promote diversity and inclusion. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, replacing words with gender stereotypes attached to them — like “ninja,” “rockstar” and “guru” — in your role title with more straightforward words like “sales representative” and “developer” can help make prospective candidates feel more included. You can always scan your job description through the Gender Decoder tool, which will tell you whether your job description is too gender-specific.

3. Pictures and videos

It’s one thing to say your company culture is great, it’s another to show it in action. We recommend you add pictures and videos on the careers landing page to show off your work environment, day-to-day office activities and people in your company. For more tips on improving your careers page click here.

effective job description

On our recruitment landing page for Africa’s Talking, we highlighted their fun work culture with this office snapshot.

4. Explanation of the role’s purpose

An effective job description says why this role is needed and important within your organisation. Individuals like to feel needed and that their role is a crucial piece of the bigger puzzle.

5. An effective job description includes your mission statement

You may know what a company does or sells, but often its broader mission or “reason for being” is far more compelling to prospective employees.

In our latest employer branding survey, when asked what factors are most important to respondents when considering joining a new company, Kenyan professionals ranked the company’s mission and impact on society over flexible working hours and well-known brand name!

6. Showcase your EVP

Focus on highlighting your Employee Value Proposition — the set of differentiators that make you an attractive place to work. According to a studyby Gartner, a strong EVP can help you attract significant talent, boost employee engagement and reduce compensation premium by 50%. Read more about creating an EVP here.

For instance, TransferWise’s latest job post for a Senior Java Developer clearly states the opportunities this role will give a candidate.

Image Credit: TransferWise.com

Similar to most marketing tools, job titles and postings customised to a target audience are likely to produce higher conversion rates. So think carefully about the target audience for this role (e.g., Are they more senior and would be excited by taking on a lot of responsibility? Is it geared towards millennials so they might be excited by your fun, open-plan office?) and tweak your EVP accordingly!

7. Highlight future prospects

According to a study by LinkedIn, future career prospects, intellectual and financial advancements are among the key factors that make an applicant accept or reject an offer. Include the potential career path that someone in this role could take, and map out how they could take on more responsibilities, learn new skills, and eventually be promoted within the organisation.

8. An effective job description is mobile-friendly

A recent study by Indeed.com indicated that 77% of people aged 16–34 use a mobile device in their job search, and that 72% of people aged 35–44 also turn to mobile. Therefore, it is imperative to make your JDs mobile-friendly!

Learn more about optimising your employer branding for the mobile generation here.

9. Mention something unique about your office culture

An effective job description highlights your company culture. Do you have bring-your-pet-to-work Fridays? Flexible schedules? Happy hour Thursdays? Remote work opportunities? Shout these out in the job description!

10. Go beyond “an equal opportunity employer”

Stating that you are ‘an equal opportunity employer’ may not be enough. To show your dedication toward building a diverse team, a few more words about can go a long way. A good example is IBM’s statement on diversity and inclusion:

IBM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

You should also highlight any inclusive benefits your company offers. For instance, if you offer paternity leave or any other childcare subsidies and facilities, definitely mention them in your JD.

With the help of some of these tips, you will have talented job-seekers excited about coming on board!

Stay tuned for more

As part of our latest campaign on employer branding, we will be sharing actionable resources and tools like these over the next few months. To receive all of our latest tips straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

Anything specific about employer branding that you’re hoping to learn? Let us know in the comments below.

Employer branding tips for Kenyan companies

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