What is employer branding?

Employer branding is the way an organization enhances its hiring process and helps attract the right talent by defining its values and culture to its potential job candidates. It also involves changing or improving the company’s identity and reputation in the eyes of its employees, customers, as well as potential candidates. 

Employer branding affects the quality of candidates that apply to the company, employee happiness, and employee retention rates significantly.

Here are 8 key steps to improve employer branding for your startup:

1. Understand your employer value proposition


What is the deciding factor for prospective employees to pick your startup as the place to work among all others? Employer value proposition involves factors like:

—and more that set you apart from the competition and peers. 

It’s imperative to understand what your startup has to offer in order to improve your employer branding—determining what your company stands for will help bring clarity to what you want your employees and candidates to perceive. 

You can do this by talking to your existing employees to understand their current perception, assess what you are and where you think you need to be—and document these takeaways to take further action.

2. Refining your recruitment process

The kind of people you hire significantly impact your workplace culture and the way the environment turns out. So understanding and defining what kind of candidates you want to attract is extremely important for boosting your employer branding. That begins with:

When you want to attract the right candidates for positions in your startup, most companies sponsor job postings and pay for job boards like LinkedIn, Ziprecruiter, Indeed, and so many more—but what is your ROI like?

Which job board is giving you the best candidates? How much are you spending on the ones that give you unsuitable candidates? Using the right HR software for startups, it’s easier to understand your candidate persona, as well as predict where you can find them for your startup—this helps refine your hiring process, reduces hiring costs by over 30%,  and enhances your employer branding as well. 

It isn’t just your employees who experience your startup’s culture and work environment—your ideal candidates do too. How seamless and fast the interview process is will create a lasting impression on your candidates and aids in enhancing employer branding easily. 

Avoid chaotic, misscheduled, and un-contextual interview processes with the right kind of interview scheduling and management tools. These help you automate most of the processes in the interview process, making it quicker and error-free. So your candidate interviews are scheduled instantly, the interviewers have plenty of time to understand the candidate profile, share and view notes from the interview, and make better hiring decisions. 

Candidate engagement is crucial to improving employer branding. Not informing your ideal candidates about the interview process and their status in it can lead to a lot of drop-offs—good candidates get taken by your competitors or peers, affecting their impression of your employer brand. 

Using HR automation in the recruitment process helps keep the candidate continuously engaged without expending any manual effort. Your ideal candidates will be notified automatically via email about what they can expect next and feedback about their performance so far as they cross each stage. 

Speaking of drop-offs and competition, companies that take too long to roll out the offer for their ideal candidates experience a reduced quality of hiring. This impacts employee productivity and employee retention rates as well—and all of it influences whether or not you can enhance your employer branding. 

Using an offer management system, it’s easy to close positions more than 20% faster by rolling out offer letters effortlessly.

3. Don’t repeat this major employer branding error

Converting your ideal candidates into your employees, making sure they’re regularly updated and sent offer letters faster—that’s great for improving your employer branding. But there’s one more crucial component that most companies forget—the candidates that get rejected during the course of their interview process. 

By communicating that a candidate has been rejected due to specific reasons, sharing timely feedback with them, encouraging them to apply again, and archiving their profile to your talent pool, they leave with the right impression of your employer brand. They might even encourage other people to apply for positions with your company and despite not being selected, they become your brand ambassadors too


4. Make onboarding smooth for your new hires

Onboarding new employees is a crucial step to boost employer branding. How you onboard your new employees impacts your company culture, how they perpetuate your branding and determines how long the employees stay with your organization. To make this process as smooth and thorough as possible, 

With employee onboarding software like Freshteam, set up the entire process automatically and eliminate any delays or oversight. 

5. Reward your employees with time offs

How your employees feel about working for you reflects in how others perceive your employer brand. Especially since the onset of the Great Resignation phenomenon, employees expect much more than monetary compensation—and having a good work-life balance is on top of this list. Organizations that encourage this have better online branding as employees rate the company higher on platforms like Glassdoor. 

Giving your employees more time off doesn’t mean reduced productivity—it’s the opposite. And with the right leave management tool, improving your employer branding can be a piece of cake. 

6. Create an employee referral program

Creating an employee referral program helps improve the hiring process, employee retention, and of course, the overall employer branding. Employees refer their peers to their organization if they are happy with the work culture, so your referral hiring rate is a good indicator of whether your employer brand is on the right track or not. Create and manage your employee referral program with the right tools and develop your employer branding easily. 


7. Measure and enhance employer branding

The only way to improve anything is by measuring how your previous efforts have fared. This applies to improving your employer branding as well. You need to know your offer rejection rate, employee turnover rate, candidate application volume—and how much it has grown or reduced at regular intervals. 

Though this data is crucial to improving your employee branding, it can be very time-consuming and inaccurate without the right HR reporting software. Consider the reporting software options available and minimize the manual effort involved in creating these reports. 


8. Offboard your employees the right way

Set online assessment tests to gauge the apt skills of candidates that apply to positions like customer support, IT, and marketing to weed out ineligible candidates in the initial stages. The fewer the candidates that progress to subsequent levels, the higher the quality of hires—and not to mention, it reduces the recruitment cost too.

HR software for startups like Freshteam enables automatic candidate assessments to be sent as part of the hiring workflow. You can also send out automated emails that inform candidates about whether they will be progressing to the next stage or not. 


What are key elements affecting employer branding?

Here are the top 6 factors that affect employer branding:

1. Good recruitment experience

2. Workplace culture

3. Work-life balance for employees

4. Monetary as well as other modes of compensation like good time-off policies

5. Social media and online presence 

6. Career growth opportunities

How can the HR team help improve employer branding?

The HR team can help improve employer branding by ensuring that the hiring process is more streamlined and efficient from start to finish. They can also train new and existing employees to share more about the company online to improve their reach and credibility. 

Exit and other offboarding processes also fall under the control of the HR team—they can ensure that employee feedback is communicated to the right people and changes are implemented on time. But managing all of these tasks without the right HR software, especially for startups, can become overwhelming. HR teams equipped with the right tools can help improve employer branding a lot better.