Nine smiling people of various ethnicities sit in a circle of chairs in an office meeting space. Behind them is a large set of floor-to-ceiling windows showing another office room. On either side of the windows is a whiteboard covered with sticky notes.
No company is a monolith, so the company's owner should not be the only one building the brand. Allowing your employees to contribute feedback will only make your brand stronger. — Getty Images/Luis Alvarez

Having a strong employer brand that aligns with who you are as an organization is key to attracting successful candidates and maintaining success within your organization. In fact, 75% of job candidates say they research a company’s reputation when exploring new career opportunities.

A successful employer brand will not only attract top-ranking talent but will entice employees to stay loyal to your organization. Here’s how to build your brand as a great employer.

Focus on your reputation

One of the first things to focus on when building your employer brand is your reputation. Prospective employees will want to know how working for you will help their careers progress and the type of company culture you cultivate, as well as the benefits they can reap as an employee. Additionally, today’s workforce values the impact companies have on their community and society as a whole. Define your value and integrate it into your brand to attract and retain top talent.

Define your employer value proposition

If you want to stand out when attracting talent, define your employer value proposition (EVP), or your core values and principles as an organization. Think of it as the agreement between you and your potential new employees, including what they can expect in return for working hard for you.

While creating an EVP, include your unique offerings to employees, outline how your employer brand stands out from its competitors, and detail what your employees can expect from Day One of working with you.

Align your policies with your company values

Nearly 80% of job seekers examine a company’s mission and purpose before applying, so ensure your employer brand accurately reflects that mission. Align your brand with your company values and find ways to implement them into the workplace. For instance, if your company values work-life balance, allow your workers to create their own schedules or build in breaks throughout the workday.

[Read more: 8 Top Recruiting Tools for Hiring Managers]

One of the first things to focus on when building your employer brand is your reputation.

Build your culture around employee belonging

“Inclusion” has become a popular business buzzword, but in practice, it means ensuring every employee feels valued and like they truly belong in an organization, regardless of their background or experiences. Melanie Kelly, VP of Marketing at Pivot Energy, advised prioritizing employee belonging as a key tenet of your company culture if you want a strong employer reputation.

“Employees that truly feel valued are more likely to be engaged and motivated to be their best professional selves,” Kelly told CO—. “It also helps attract and retain talent and builds a positive reputation in the wider community.”

Utilize social media to promote your brand

Social media is more prominent than ever in the job market, with many candidates using platforms like LinkedIn as a primary source for finding job opportunities. Ensure your social media presence stands out positively among your competition by highlighting the best parts of your company on your pages. For example, shining a spotlight on employee accomplishments is an effective way to demonstrate your company provides room for growth and celebrates and recognizes its employees’ successes.

Cultivate a strong onboarding process

Onboarding is your new employees’ first look at your organization and how it operates, so you want it to be a positive experience. Most employees who have a negative onboarding experience do not stay long at that company, and they do not share favorable feedback once they have departed.

Not only do you want this process to be seamless and hassle-free for your new employee, but you also want to teach them about your company and its core values. Use the onboarding process to show them that their skills and talents are valued by the organization as a whole rather than just by one department.

Give employees a voice

Once you’ve developed your employer brand, engage your current employees in conversations about it so they can help you assess whether your brand is living up to its reputation. Renata Black, Co-Founder of EBY, recommended treating your employees like “thought partners” in your employer branding.

“Make them feel like they are a part of the business,” Black said. “Allow them to have a seat at the table and [consider] their feedback and ideas as valuable. [Your employees] are a natural extension of the brand.”

[Read more: Can’t Find Workers? It’s Time for a New Type of ‘Employer Branding’ To Woo Them]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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