How to build Employer Brand Strategy in 3.5 steps

As you develop your employer brand strategy, it can take a lot of time and become frustrating to list and prioritise the things To Do. I want to share a simple step-by-step method that I developed over the years from my experience from more than 200 employer brand projects I have managed. You can develop and start implementing your organisation’s employer brand project in these 3,5 steps:

Step 1 – Discovery

This is where you check and understand the status of your employer brand. This step includes

  1. Form a steering committee with representatives from all the departments.
  2. Examine current HR practices and procedures (from sourcing to exit interviews)
  3. Analyse your data from surveys and social media (employer image e.g. Graduate Survey, candidate experience, onboarding, exit interviews, turnover reports, employee satisfaction and/or engagement, social media reports, etc.)
  4. Competitor analysis (not only from the same industry but also the competitors who are targeting the same talent as you)
  5. One-to-one meetings (especially with top management) and focus groups

Once you collected and checked all the data, you exactly know the current situation. You can prepare the interim report, present it to the steering committee.

Step 2 – Development

It is the stage where you define your target candidate persona, develop your EVP – value proposition- and creative work to attract and keep extraordinary talent.

I normally do it with a kickstart workshop where I present the interim report and then start talking about the future, the vision of the company and how we should align the talent force according to the business of the organisation.

A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal candidate. Define the candidate persona starting by asking

  • What kind of overall qualities do we need to recruit more of in the future to achieve our business goals in our corporate vision? What kind of person should they be?

Once you warm up answering this question, continue asking more questions.

  • Who do we want to attract into our organisation?
  • What kind of people will fit in your organisation?
  • What skills, competencies do they need to have to take the organisation to its future vision?

After defining the generic candidate persona, start putting your offer together to attract this person to your organisation.

  • What makes your organisation special as an employer?
  • Why should people join you, stay and commit?
  • What can you offer as an organisation to attract the target group of employees and retain them engaged?

Your answers will form your EVP.

Your HR practices will take a new form delivering the employee experience promised by your EVP.

Step 3 – Implementation

It is the most difficult stage. More than half of the employer brand projects are shelved at this stage or continued with undersized practises. It is a long journey.

During implementation, you should transform your EVP into an experience. To take the promised experience beyond a slogan, you need to apply it to all touch points from sourcing to exit interviews.

Step 3½ – Measurement and optimisation

They are half-way through in Step 3 and a little extra. So, I am adding as an extra half step.

This is where you will monitor how your new practices are working if you need to optimise, eliminate, or create new ones. Even if they work perfectly, you might need to change them after a couple of years with the changing business strategy of your organisation, or trends in the market.

If you like what you’ve read, please feel free to share this post on your preferred channels.

If you have a question or have had a similar experience, please leave a comment below so that fellow employer brand professionals can learn from your experiences.


Author: Ali Ayaz
Ali Ayaz is an Employer Brand and HR Consultant with Modern Management Consulting who is well-versed in Employer Brand Development, Candidate and Employee Surveys, Recruitment and Employee Engagement. Having successfully completed Employer Brand projects with multinational blue-chip companies in Automotive, Banking, FMCG, IT, Telecom and Retail industries, he teaches employer brand management, human resources and fundamentals of management at Employer Brand Academy (online) and European School of Economics (London). He is the author of the e-book “How to Built a Robust Employer Brand Strategy” and founder of the Employer Brand Academy. He is a chartered member of CIPD - the professional body for HR and people development.


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