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April 4

Develop your employer brand through HR marketing

Recruiting has never been so difficult. In Canada, vacancies reached 900,000 at the end of last year, while more than 300,000 positions are vacant in France since 2021.

The reasons behind this trend are numerous and diverse: the field may be unattractive, there may be a lack of affinity with the company’s values, its culture may not be engaging enough, or the company may have a straight out negative image…

Nowadays, developing their employer brand is crucial for companies that wish to attract the best talent. However, for this to work, this strategy must be as well prepared, thought out and rigorously planned as a marketing plan. 

Here’s how to make the most out of HR marketing tools in order to grow your employer brand. 

Outline of the article

  1. HR marketing and employer branding: principles and benefits
  2. 5 steps for setting up an effective employer branding plan
  3. Bring your HR marketing strategy to life!

Reading time: 6 minutes

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HR marketing and employer branding: principles and benefits

Employer brand: an HR marketing strategy with dual objectives

HR marketing is about applying commercial marketing principles to human resource management. It provides a better understanding of the job market, and it allows companies to adjust their actions and value proposition (making them unique employers). 

This approach is based on three pillars: 

  1. HR communication
  2. Collaborative engagement 
  3. Employer branding

Therefore, HR marketing is an integral part of the overall HR strategy; it is based on the company’s most precious asset: its identity.

Every business has an employer brand. The question is whether it plays in its favor or not.

HR marketing addresses two business objectives: 

  • An external objective: conveying a good image that will attract recruits 

Until a few years ago, candidates had to be desirable in the eyes of recruiters. The balance of power is now reversed: it is the companies who have to make an effort. And while this is not a new phenomenon, it has been greatly amplified by the pandemic.

Candidates are now searching for meaning, both in their career and in the choice of company they apply for. They pay particular attention to the managerial culture and values of companies.

The impact of the employer brand on recruitment is indeed considerable: 59% of candidates reconsider applying if they do not like the information they find about a particular company.

  • An internal objective: improving employees’ experience in order to keep recruits

Another challenge the HR marketing strategy addresses is new talent retention. If the goal is to make new employees want to stay, their experience must be positive from day one.

There are many ways to reassure a new employee: providing a schedule of the first week, offering a welcome lunch, training, meetings with other team members…

However important onboarding is, it's often not enough to secure talent. The employee experience is only appreciated if it truly reflects the company’s values and reality. 

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Therefore, expectations about work-life balance, management, transparency and well-being at work are particularly high. 

Check in regularly with your teams to assess their well-being at work and ensure a good employee experience.

By integrating HR marketing in your organizational practice, you give yourself the means to effectively address employee experience and employer brand. It is a winning strategy that offers several benefits.

Developing your employer brand: quick benefits overview  

Developing one’s employer brand is a crucial aspect of business. By aligning with your external and internal objectives, this strategy yields several long-term benefits. According to a LinkedIn study, developing one’s employer brand can yield up to:

  • 50% savings on recruitment
  • 28% less turnover in the company
  • 50% more qualified candidates
  • 1 to 2 times less time wasted hunting and sourcing potential candidates 

These figures alone should be enough to make you want to set up an effective employer brand action plan!

5 steps for setting up an effective employer branding plan

1. Establish your brand diagnosis 

To get a better understanding of the image that your company projects, it is necessary to establish a global diagnosis of the situation, both internally and externally.

Gather all the relevant information available (your positioning on the job market, the retention rate of your employees, the perception that your target audiences have of you as an employer…).

You can do this through surveys, focus groups or the analysis of HR indicators.

2. Define your employer positioning

Your employer positioning reflects the place that your company occupies in the mind of your target audience, compared to the positioning of your competitors. In order to set yourself apart and make your organization identifiable by your personas, this intermediate step is necessary.

It may seem obvious that you would need to define your employer positioning. But you’d be surprised at how often one can lose sight of the big picture. That is why it helps to take a break,  step back, and, if needed, reorient your goals. 

Ask yourself: what is your differentiating HR value proposition ? 

This is the core of your positioning, the starting point of your marketing plan aiming to deploy your employer brand. It allows you to identify your target audiences and position yourself accordingly, in relation to them.

For example, companies often choose to include diversity as a strong employer brand value. Fab’RH Savoie is a good example: the company develops an inclusive employer brand and facilitates the return to work of long-term job seekers.

3. Identify your target

Having identified your positioning as an organization, you must now identify your target: the candidate profiles you want to attract for your organization.

In doing so, it helps to ask yourself the right questions: What skills are you looking for? What type of personality aligns well with your values? How many years of experience are required?

This step of reflection is necessary because it acts as a first filter between your business and your future recruits. It will attract a majority of potential matches while powering your website and social media content. 

4. Promote your employer brand strategy 

This is it, you are ready to launch. It is time to develop your action plan through best practices. In other words, practices that highlight your competitive advantages, such as being an innovative company, or others.

That is the case of VINCI, a company which, while developing its employer brand strategy, has created an interactive recruitment chatbox on Facebook. Their goal: meeting the need for immediacy and customizing of the new generations.

5. Measure the ROI of your employer brand actions

One thing is obvious: developing a strong employer brand takes time. Measuring your ROI is a very effective way to see what works and what doesn’t. The results make it easier to correct the situation or to set up areas for improvement.

The formula is as follows: 

ROI = (gain or loss of investment – cost of investment) / cost of investment

Thus, to ensure that you are on the right path, measure its follow-up by evaluating the different key performance indicators (KPI) you have identified:

  • Communication KPIs: number of visits on your website, number of views on your social media posts, number of subscribers, Glassdoor reviews, engagement rates, satisfaction surveys or webinar participation rate, etc.
  • Recruitment KPIs:
    -Candidate-oriented KPIs: the number of recruitments vs the objectives, the entry channels of recruited profiles, the cost per hire, etc.
    -Employee-oriented KPIs: the number of breaks during the trial period, the results of internal satisfaction surveys, the absentee rate, the turnover rate, etc.

The employer brand is therefore embedded in a well-planned HR marketing strategy.

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Bring your HR marketing strategy to life!

Corporate training is often seen as an important benefit for job seekers. Knowing they will have the opportunity to develop their expertise within their position is a heavy-weighing argument.

Beyond helping train your employees, a platform like Didacte allows you to easily bring your HR marketing strategy to life.

Document and share your team values, internal announcements and best recruitment practices with all your employees! The real success of a brand lies in its reputation, so you may as well ensure you have the best ambassadors. 

Charles de Fréminville

Charles de Fréminville is Director of Human Resources at Lucca. Charles created Bloom at Work, a solution dedicated to well-being at work, which was acquired by Lucca in 2021. His belief that well-being at work is a key to business success has translated into experience. Today, he works daily to integrate it into his HR policy.