500 word series (1) How to Improve your Employer Brand


Contrary to popular perception, creating a strong employer brand in the field of tech has nothing to do with beanbags, table football or at-seat massages. It’s less about selling perks and more about forging and managing perceptions.

Your employer brand is the face of your company. Through it, you set out your stall as a potential career destination, giving a complete picture of the type of experience employees can expect to receive.

If you are approaching employer branding for the first time, an employer branding audit is a useful starting point. You can do this by asking three key questions:

1. What are candidates looking for from potential employers?
2. What type of experience can we offer to new employees?
3. How do we present and, where necessary reframe our offering so it reflects what’s important to the people we are trying to recruit?

There are several measures that can equip you to answer these questions:

  • Create candidate personas – A candidate persona is a hypothetical pen portrait of your ideal recruit. This should include their attributes (e.g. desired qualifications and skillsets), along with their motivations: i.e. what they are looking for in their next role. This helps you understand what candidates are looking for from employers, enabling you to flesh out and refine your own employer brand offering. Note, these personas should be role specific: for instance, the motivations and attributes of a Machine Learning Engineer will look different to that of an Oracle Developer.
  • Consider where candidates get their careers information and industry news. Reviewing these sources shows you what’s important to candidates, helping you hit the right tone in your job spec and all other content you distribute to support your employer brand. E.g. Publications a Data Scientist may looking look at could include Dataversity, Information Management, Inside Big Data etc.
  • Encourage existing employees to leave Glassdoor feedback. Building trust is a vital part of branding, and your existing staff are your most credible and trustworthy brand ambassadors. Glassdoor is regarded as the bible for honest feedback on what companies are like to work for. In fact, the ‘apply rate’ for organisations with a 5-star rating is almost a third higher than those with 3 stars.
  • Be honest when framing your employer brand promise. It might be tempting to try and entice sought-after data engineers with promises such as market leading earnings potential, international secondment, or rapid elevation to board level. If such promises are unlikely to come to fruition, then do not make them: you are only setting yourself up for a disgruntled hire and the need to re-advertise the role in the near future.
  • Be consistent. Let’s say your job advert states that you are already transforming customer care through data-driven insights and AI-powered technology. It also suggests that you encourage flexible working. The problem is that none of this is backed up in your Website About and Careers pages, LinkedIn profile or indeed anywhere else. Make sure your message is coherent and non-contradictory across all channels, otherwise your employer brand message will lack credibility.