Employer branding and recruitment: The ultimate guide

Learn how to build a strong employer brand that will help you recruit the right people for the right roles faster.

“Recruitment IS marketing. If you’re a recruiter nowadays and you don’t see yourself as a marketer, you’re in the wrong profession.”

–Matthew Jeffrey, global head of sourcing and employment brand at SAP

Employer branding and recruitment marketing

The importance of employer branding in recruitment

Companies worldwide are already working on improving their employer brands. You don’t want to be left behind. Besides avoiding a bad employer brand, you also want to avoid lacking one altogether. Here are some key reasons employer branding is so important for your recruitment strategy:

Compete in the war for talent

A strong employer brand helps you attract right-fit candidates while a bad employer brand can cause the best people to avoid your company.

Recruiters are now taking a more proactive approach to attract and find the best candidates—including those who aren’t actively job searching. While it may seem impossible to compete with huge companies with prominent brand names, employer branding can actually be your secret weapon to attract candidates.

A strong employer brand is twice as likely to be linked to job consideration compared to a strong company brand, according to LinkedIn research. That means developing your employer brand can help you level the playing field in the war for talent. And it’s especially important when hiring younger and more junior demographics on a global scale.

Retain your best employees

Employees working at companies with strong employer brands are more motivated and engaged, which in turn lowers turnover rates. And more productive employees means more business growth. Employees will feel proud to be part of your company and can even become your brand ambassadors. They can refer you to new candidates and create a positive impression through word of mouth, which helps improve your employer brand without spending much on marketing.

Quick tip: Beyond the recruitment process, employer branding is also important for acquiring and retaining customers. People want to work with companies that treat their employees right. A negative or non-existing employer brand might have them question your reliability and trustworthiness.

Reduce cost per hire

Companies with a weak employer brand report spending almost double on cost per hire than companies with a strong employer brand, according to a LinkedIn survey. Many companies spend more in employee wages to compensate for a bad reputation. But the majority of job seekers would still completely rule out companies with a negative employer brand—a 10% pay raise would only tempt 28% of job seekers.

Employer branding is a smart business investment. Whereas a bad reputation costs you quality applicants, a great employer brand means you can spend less on recruiting costs because people will naturally find and apply to your open positions.

Employer branding statistics


of candidates are explicitly looking for what makes a company an attractive place to work (CISM).


Employee turnover can be reduced by 28% by investing in employer branding (LinkedIn).


of talent acquisition managers believe employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire top talent (LinkedIn).


of candidates use social media in their job search. (Glassdoor).


of candidates say they wouldn't work for a company with a bad reputation—even for a pay increase (Randstad).


of job seekers abandon applications after reading negative reviews online (CareerArc).

Create an employer branding action plan

Answer the following questions with your team to build an employer brand that attracts and retains employees. You can also use this employer branding canvas to get started.

  • Who are you? What makes your company unique?
  • What do you do?
  • What makes your company credible?
  • What’s your value proposition for job seekers? What unique benefits do you offer employees?
  • Why are you the best employer? How do you differ from your competitors?
  • How do you treat your current employees? How can you improve their employee experience?
  • Who do you want to know of your company?
  • How will your future employees find out about you?
  • What are your goals with employer branding?
  • What do you need to succeed?
  • How are you going to promote your employer brand? What channels will you use?
  • How are you going to measure your employer brand?

1. Make employer branding a central part of your HR strategy

If you want a strong employer brand, you can’t treat it as an afterthought. Prioritize building your employer brand with your team and make recruitment marketing a key component of your overall HR strategy.

2. Keep your employees happy

The mistreatment of a single employee can tarnish your employer brand. Whether through word of mouth or on social media, negative comments about your company can spread like wildfire and ruin your reputation. Keep your current employees happy and maintain good relations with your ex employees—you want to ensure people leave with no hard feelings.

3. Keep your candidates happy

Candidates can also spread the word about a negative recruitment process. Do all you can to ensure they have a pleasant experience applying to your position and keep them updated on the process along the way. Aim to keep the application process as smooth as possible.

4. Embrace storytelling

Craft a meaningful story about your company to help potential candidates connect with your brand. You wouldn’t have a company without your people—showcase your employees’ stories through videos and blog posts on your career page and on social media.

Want to make your recruitment process more efficient and improve your employer brand at the same time?

Download our handbook Video as a Recruitment Tool to learn how.

5. Show your values by doing something to benefit a cause

Volunteering or donating to a cause tells people what your company cares about. Ask employees what they’re interested in to generate ideas. For example, Holvi organized a free Python course for complete beginners in collaboration with The Shortcut, and F-Secure organized a free cybersecurity course with the University of Helsinki and MOOC. Also in collaboration with the University of Helsinki, Reaktor offers a series of free online courses about AI called The Elements of AI. All these companies showcase their values while making friends with like-minded organizations.

6. Be present and active on social media

Social media is one of the key ways to promote your employer brand. And it’s especially important when recruiting Millennials. LinkedIn is generally the best platform to reach potential candidates. You can share employee-created content and testimonials on LinkedIn Career Pages to drive interest in your company. If you’re hosting or attending an event, consider live streaming on Instagram or Facebook.

7. Engage the management team

While employer branding is a team effort, it’s crucial to get your company leaders involved in building your employer brand. When it comes to promoting it, they should set an example in sharing relevant content through their personal social networks.

8. Share the responsibility

Encourage all your employees to be active on social media, and provide social media training if necessary. Without being overly restrictive, explain what kind of messages you want to send out—and what you want to avoid.

9. Make friends with like-minded companies

We all get by with a little help from our friends—companies included. Build relationships with like-minded companies that share your values, or values you want to be associated with. You can amplify each other’s employer branding efforts or host an event together.

10. Host and attend public events

Arrange an open house day or an event in a relevant learning institution that will connect you with your target candidates and show your company image in a positive light.

11. Practice empathy

Last but definitely not least, keep empathy at the heart of everything you do to create meaningful connections with candidates through your various brand touchpoints—both online and offline.

When you’re wading through hundreds of resumes, it can be easy to forget what the process is like from the candidate’s perspective. Putting yourself in their shoes will improve the candidate experience, help you get to know your candidates better, spot warning signs that they’re not the right fit, and ultimately find the right match.

1. Create employer branding videos

Create and share employer branding videos to show potential candidates what your company is all about. You can interview employees, do an office tour, show what a typical day at your company is like, share your annual sports day, showcase your company’s vision as a story—or something different altogether.

Either way, make sure you’re providing relevant and insightful information about your company culture and that you’re speaking to the types of candidates you want to attract.

To increase your reach, share your videos on different channels including:

  • Your career page
  • YouTube
  • Your company and employees’ social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Instagram through IGTV, stories, and highlights

2. Add videos to job ads

Have you considered adding videos to your job ads? You can use a video instead of a written job ad, or use it to complement your existing ad.

You and your team could introduce yourselves and the role candidates will be applying for. Using videos in job ads allows you to share a glimpse of your unique company culture and strengthen your image as an employer in candidates’ eyes.

In these videos, be natural and portray an honest message about your company and the role. You don’t want to give candidates unrealistic expectations.

3. Use pre-recorded video interviews

Using pre-recorded video interviews in recruitment will help you improve the candidate experience. Even if you don’t end up hiring a candidate, you want to ensure their experience is as smooth as possible. The screening process is a key employer branding touchpoint so you want to get it right.

Video interviews also allow you to be seen as a modern and attractive recruiter, which can spread positive word of mouth about your company.

4. Send video messages

Have you ever communicated with candidates through video messages? If you’re using an ATS with a video interviewing platform, you can send direct video messages to candidates instead of emails.

Video messages allow you to better engage candidates and provide more information with little effort. You can send informative messages letting candidates know about the next steps in the recruitment process, or include questions and ask candidates to respond.

Depending on your message, send these videos to individual candidates, a select few, or a large candidate pool.

What do candidates really think of video interviews?

Download our 2020 Candidate Survey to find out.

The 10 best employer branding examples

Check out these examples of career pages and company culture videos to get some recruitment branding ideas for your own company.

1. Gant

Gant links to a variety of videos on their career page to introduce the CEO, show what life is like at the store, share wellness activities, highlight employee stories, and more.

2. Eficode

Rather than telling visitors about their company culture and values, Eficode communicates the message by showing who their employees are. Their career page features blog posts written by employees on a variety of topics from “How to write a thesis while working part-time” to “10 tips for a happy work/life in Stockholm.” Eficode shares employer branding videos on their social media and career page, including a “Humans of Eficode” series. While there’s a general assumption that developers aren’t willing to be featured in video content, Eficode proves this theory wrong.

3. Reaktor

Reaktor calls its employee career stories “A letter from your future colleague.” These personal, authentic messages are more memorable than a generic paragraph about the company culture. They allow Reaktor’s future employees to connect with current team members, as many employees invite visitors to personally reach out to them.

Reaktor also promotes their employer brand through video and they use video interviews to get in touch with a large number of candidates and give them the opportunity to shine.

Employer branding example: Reactor

4. Adidas

As soon as you land on Adidas’ career page, you can watch their “Make Your Move” video showcasing life at the headquarters in Germany. Adidas communicates their company culture through a video, and uses photos of real employees and their offices throughout the page.

See the video

Employer branding example: Adidas

5. Kone

Kone’s employer branding video shares the company’s values, vision, and purpose in a simple and honest way. In just over a minute, Kone portrays their company in a positive light without trying too hard to impress candidates.

6. Futurice

Futurice’s career page links to blog posts that give a clear picture of what it’s like working for them. They also link to their culture handbook with employee photos and real-life examples of what the onboarding process looks like to ensure there are no surprises.

Employer branding example: Futurice

7. Netflix

Netflix uses a loop video on the header of their career page and shares their latest videos, including one showcasing their female employees’ experiences for International Women’s Day.

Their famous company culture document has also been viewed over 16 million times—Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg described it as “the most important document ever to come out of the Valley.”

8. Spotify

On their career page, Spotify shares interviews with their brand ambassadors and includes a video celebrating the launch of their transgender benefits program.

Spotify also found a creative way to invite a candidate to join their team—they sent a playlist where the songs spelled out a hidden message.

Employer branding example: Spotify

9. Airbnb

Airbnb includes photo tours of their offices and candid photos of real employees on their career page. They share their mission, core values, and benefits—and they link to a helpful FAQ page for prospective employees.

Employer branding example: Airbnb

10. Dropbox

Dropbox’s career page promotes transparency by linking to photos of their head office space, their benefits and perks, and their Glassdoor reviews. In their 2015 employer branding video, Dropbox took a playful approach to showcasing their company culture.

“[RecRight] results in a much higher quality of candidates coming on-site for interviews, engages managers early in the process, gets them excited about the possibility of the new hire, demonstrates a strong employer brand by using the latest technology in a very personable way, and speeds up the recruitment process.”

Rebecca T., RecRight user

Want to see how it works for yourself? Request an online demo, or start your free trial today!

Strengthen your employer brand with RecRight

Using modern recruitment tools helps you build a sustainable employer brand that adapts to the changing world of work. RecRight is a video recruitment platform that has helped over 400 companies worldwide attract right-fit candidates and showcase their company culture through video interviews. It makes the screening process more human and promotes a smooth recruiter and candidate experience. Conduct video interviews with ease using our ATS, or integrate video interviews to your existing system.

Learn what recruiters think about video interviewing as a recruitment method in our 2019 Recruiter Survey.

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