How to improve your employer brand

Gerald Ratner -
Gerald Ratner -
Sir Richard Branson  -
Sir Richard Branson -

A strong Employer Brand is vitally important for companies if you want to attract and retain top talent in any industry, let alone when you’re vying for attention from potential employees amongst the skills shortages we’re experiencing in the Digital, Marketing and Creative Sector in the UK.

Staff generally want to work for companies who have good benefits, a strong industry track record and a reputation for being a good employer. The 50,000-plus people employed by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin were probably attracted by the company’s inextricable association with positive brand values such as honesty, integrity, fun

and openness.

It takes time, however, to reach that position, especially in the increasingly competitive digital, design, marketing and communications industries where companies have to fight hard to gain market share and attract the best staff. But it is possible for employers to stand out from the crowd by adopting some very simple best practise policies when recruiting new talent and coupling it with a strong benefits package which doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

It’s important to respond quickly to an application and check that staff on the receiving end know which procedure to follow. Interview quickly and feedback as soon as possible or make sure that your candidates know when they’re going to hear back from you and make sure you stick to this deadline.

Communication is key and it’s likely that your candidates will have several irons in the fire in such a candidate short market. Make sure unsuccessful candidates are given constructive feedback on why they didn’t get the job. These candidates could be your applicants of the future once they’ve gained a few more years of experience or some more strings to their bow.

All of this helps to create a strong brand in the eyes of prospective, current and former staff. Responsibility for creating a good employer brand lies with everybody in the business, from the MD or CEO to the receptionist. Essentially everyone who comes into contact with people either face to face or via online platforms such as social media.

According to a recent survey conducted by employer review site Glassdoor, 69% of job seekers are more likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand ie responds to reviews, updates its profile, shares updates on culture and work environment etc. Here at Concept Personnel we have certainly experienced an increase in the number of candidates who are influenced by employer review sites.

Job interviews should be an opportunity for employers to sell themselves and their brand values to potential candidates. As well as discussing the requirements of the role and the benefits package, the interviewer should also talk about the culture, the company’s approach to work-life balance and the values to which staff must adhere. That will leave candidates with a good first impression of the company, regardless of whether or not they end up taking the job.

If there’s one thing we’re great at in Milton Keynes it’s networking. Imagine how great it would be for attracting new talent, if everyone who comes into contact with your business, either employees or job seekers (even those who aren’t successful in the process) are all talking about what a great experience they’ve had with your business and what a great place it is to work.

It takes years to build a strong brand but, as Gerald Ratner discovered, only a matter of seconds to ruin it. During a speech at an Institute of Directors conference in 1991, the high street jeweller infamously described his company’s products as “crap”. His reputation (and the reputation of his company’s brand) was reduced to similar stuff.

Continually making a good impression on the wider world really matters. Who would you rather be Sir Richard Branson or Gerald Ratner?

If you would like to discuss how a focus on your employer brand will have a positive impact on your recruitment strategy call Jo Carter on 01908 424310 or You can find Jo Carter on Linkedin here:

Jo Carter - Founder & Managing Director of Concept Personnel
Jo Carter - Founder & Managing Director of Concept Personnel