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  • Ingeborg van Harten

Employer Branding 3.0

Employer Branding is evolving, FINALLY. We are loving the shift to more authentic branding, companies having a voice and the rise of micro-influencers. With a lot of companies cutting costs and hiring a bit less aggressive, it makes sense to focus on low-cost employer branding. The time of expensive brand videos is over, so we recommend you use your internal free content machine!

The worst mistake you can make is to stop with employer branding

Because it’s not something you can ‘turn on’ when you have a few vacancies. It doesn’t provide instant results, it’s not a paid Instagram campaign. Employer branding is a long-term strategy, which revolves around creating an audience/community, internally and externally. This community enjoys reading about you, learning from you and eventually falls in 💛 with your brand (and maybe applies for a job).

A brand is always built overtime, and consistency is key. When a company is going through a tough time, one of the best things to do for morale is actually increase employer branding. Put the spotlight on your employees, highlight all the fun things you are (still) doing, promote the benefits and culture you have. It costs a bit of time and creativity, but no money. It’s probably the cheapest engagement tool you have.

🧐 Employer Branding - Marketing or HR?

Employer Branding and content creation are often done by the HR / TA teams. However, their core skills aren’t necessarily creating engaging content, nor do they have time to do this well. There are exceptions, but realistically you need someone who is passionate about content creation and loves creating visuals. Someone who has the time and energy to write and post consistently. Content creation can be a lot of work!

When employer branding sits with the marketing team, the tone of voice can get boring, too safe, or way too salesy. It’s not authentic. Also, it tends to drop off the priority list quickly in favour of sales results. There seems to be an ongoing battle between marketing/HR on this topic. So, how do you create authentic content and a lot of it… Without spending a lot of time and money on it?

In conversations about influencer marketing, the word “authenticity” comes up a lot. And, in the world of micro-influencers, authenticity is currency — social media users develop it by building rapport with their audiences, and brands try to harness it. People are tired of advertising, and they know when they are being targeted by a marketing machine. They are looking for something, or someone, they actually trust. This is no different when it comes to Employer Branding. Employees are more trustworthy than the content shared by your marketing team.

Turn your Employees into Micro-Influencers

The starting point is creating an authentic employer brand, which instils your current employees with pride. You then turn this pride into branding 👉🏻 by enabling your employees to show off the company. Literally every single employee is online. So rally your troops = your people! The key to low-cost and authentic employer branding is Employee Branding.

DEFINITION: Micro-influencer

A micro-influencer is an influencer with a follower count within the range of 10,000–100,000 followers. They tend to use their social media presence to promote products relevant to their interests or expertise.

How do I start this with my employees?

We’ve got 7 tips for you to get you started. The most important tip however is to start small, celebrate some wins and then get more people excited.

  1. Use your internal communication channels to find a group of enthusiasts. Ask them ‘Who is interested in helping us build our online presence?’ or ‘Who is wants to use their social media skills to help us attract great new colleagues?’.

  2. Bring them together and explain your plan.

  3. Enable them to write and post, don’t make it difficult. If they need to get approval for each post or picture, this won’t work.

  4. Give them access to post directly on the company's social channels.

  5. Train them in using the right brand colours, and involve your marketing/brand team where needed to ensure they are aligned with the approach.

  6. Offer them training, for example, social media training, creative writing training, video editing training or work on their iPhone photography skills.

  7. Create a channel where you all agree to post all social posts, so the rest of the group can like/respond.

📣 Employer Branding basics, worth repeating:

1️⃣ Employee testimonials: Ask your employees ‘Why they work for you?’, ‘Why they would recommend you?’ and ‘What the best thing is about working at this company?’. Use these quotes everywhere. They might not leave their testimonial on Glassdoor, but they will probably tell you when asked. We normally use a short brand survey in which we ask for these types of comments. They are gold, as it’s authentic and relatable.

2️⃣ Your Company LinkedIn voice: LinkedIn has made it very easy to comment on posts as an employer (instead of responding as a person). By responding to posts from employees, or on topics closely aligned with your company values, you can create a lot of good visibility. Companies that are great at this are for example: Canva,, and Monzo. Also, having a CEO or other leader regularly post about company culture, jobs, employee initiatives, etc is very smart. If they are ‘too busy’ to post, you can always offer to do it on their behalf…

3️⃣ Glassdoor: It remains a very powerful platform when you know how to use it. Don’t view it as a 'bad review' site but as an opportunity to show off your culture. If you are proactive about Glassdoor, you can totally drive the narrative. Ask candidates after their interview process to leave a review, ask new joiners after their onboarding to leave a review, and ask employees who celebrate their anniversary to leave a review. Actually, no matter when you ask… just ask. You also ask your customers for reviews and post these online, don’t be scared to ask employees! Don’t wait for bad reviews to come in (which will always happen at some point, nobody’s perfect), generate positive ones! Update Glassdoor regularly with some new images, respond to reviews and if you are into KPIs - turn positive interview reviews into a recruitment KPI.

4️⃣ Reddit, Twitter, Medium: If you are serious about employer branding, find communities on these platforms and actively engage with them. This is where you find passionate people, who write about their work projects. If you are looking for professionals who are not afraid to show some thought leadership - the place to go is where they publish.

5️⃣ TikTok: It’s not just for Gen-Z. Over 3.5 million people in the Netherlands age 21+ are using TikTok. Creating videos (even better, having your employees create videos) about working at your company will reach a huge audience. Especially audiences that can be really hard to reach via traditional channels like interns, and recent graduates - but also people who are simply not on LinkedIn.

Let’s create irresistible organizations…and rock your Employer Branding! 💖


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