Employer Branding on the Cheap: 8 Things You Can Do for Next to Nothing
The Employer Brand Forum is a Facebook group specifically for professionals who are responsible for employer branding efforts. Below, we collect some of our favorite dirt-cheap employer branding tips from members of the group. Check them out for inspiration that won’t break the bank:
1. Ask Employees to Create Videos
Having your employees make videos about their work is an easy, fun way to get them acting as brand ambassadors. Here’s Skill Scout Cofounder Abby Cheesman on how to make it happen:
“Create realistic job preview videos featuring real employees. Just film 30-second clips of employees answering one or more questions [about their jobs] and post those directly. [You can] get fancier with some lightweight editing [software like] iMovie templates for intros/outros [and] Pixel Film Studios for Final Cut templates.”
2. Reuse Communications You Already Have
While a dedicated employer branding strategy can produce great results, you can also get a lot of mileage out of normal, day-to-day company communications and activities.
Adam Gordon, CEO of Candidate.ID, suggests taking the following small steps to boost your employer brand:
“- Make your hiring managers’ LinkedIn profiles great.
- Make your hiring managers share employer branding content on LinkedIn and other social media.
- [Record videos of] your hiring managers explaining what it’s like to work for them [and] outlining job opportunities.
- [Regularly post] photos of fun (or serious — whatever your culture is) stuff going on at work.
- Try to influence corporate marketing to include real [employees] in all [its] content.”
Leela Srinivasan, an advisor for Lever, agrees with Gordon’s assessment of LinkedIn profiles as quick employer branding wins:
“We asked every employee at Lever a while back to update their profiles — not just hiring managers and recruiters, because candidates look up the profiles of everyone on the interview panel. [We] gave them guardrails and guidelines [and] had an 80 rate participation rate.”
Srinivasan also points out that employees can easily help one another boost their personal brands — and, by extension, the overall brand of the company — by writing LinkedIn recommendations:
“We ran a contest to have employees submit LinkedIn recommendations for one another because cross-functional empathy is a core value. Every recommendation you wrote earned you a ticket in a raffle for a nice dinner with the CEO. If I recall, the [two] most prolific reviewers wrote 19 or 20 unique and authentic reviews each!”
Ruutly Founder Ryan Porter reminds us that every employee can be a brand ambassador for your company if you give them the tools and materials they need:
“At Hiring Success last week, [Twitter's Director of Talent Experience and People Analytics] Steve Fogarty talked about how Adidas makes all of [its] digital assets available to all recruiters [and talent acquisition team members] as soon as the assets are created. This ensures [everyone] has the most up-to-date/relevant assets to brand opportunities. If the content exists, it only costs a little bit of time to make it available in one place for the [talent acquisition] team.”
3. Livestream Social Events
Several employer branding professionals have suggested livestreaming social events, fun meetings, and new employee welcome parties, but RecTech Media Founder Chris Russell has a unique suggestions: “Livestream your recruiter making an offer to a candidate.”
4. Build Candidate Personas
Steve Ward, head of staffing agency solutions at Candidate.ID, doesn’t come right out and say you should build candidate personas, but he does imply it:
“Make your content about the stuff the talent you are targeting [is] already talking about. Identify professional commonalities and mutual professional interests. Creating content doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s all a waste of money regardless of budget if you don’t talk on the same page as your target audiences. Then track engagement.”
5. Hire a Copywriter to Rewrite Your Job Descriptions
Or borrow one from the marketing department. Or ask employees who already hold the jobs to revamp your ads to reflect the reality of the positions.
6. Have Employees Write for Your Blog
This is a powerful way to grow your employer brand organically without spending any additional money. Give employees clear parameters so they know exactly what the boundaries are, and then let them loose. It may be helpful to keep a public folder of inspirational material handy as well.
7. Get People Together
You’re going to have employee gatherings anyway, so why not invite job seekers to attend? Hold a lunch and learn and invite employee referrals. Host a networking breakfast and have a hiring manager speak at it. Hold a coding or design challenge.
8. Showcase Your Values
Laptop stickers, hoodies, and t-shirts are just a few ways to encourage employees to carry your values out into the world. If your company space regularly has visitors, be sure to post some values-related materials in places they might see it. As Srinivasan points out, “Every visitor is a potential candidate or referrer.”
A version of this article originally appeared on Red Branch Media.