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How to Conduct an Employer Brand Study

Conducting an employer brand study to uncover your authentic employer brand plays a pivotal role in sharing what your company stands for and what you expect from others.

It can provide a strong signal and help to attract the most talented people in highly competitive markets. It can even work to keep candidates more connected and engaged (or reengaged), and employees morally committed after they join your firm.

Having a clear and compelling employer value proposition (EVP) in place will help reflect who you are as an organization, and can be used to explain the true give-and-take relationship between your company and the people inside.

Having a strong employer signal makes it easier to recruit and can lower associated costs, deliver a higher quality of candidates and improve your quality of hire, increase attraction and access to passive candidates, up engagement and lower employee turnover, give you more intentional (and believable) brand advocates, and help to smooth out your on-boarding process.

It can even help your company maximize its business value and retain its competitive advantage. Over the top? Probably not.

Setting Up Your Employer Brand Study

CMOs and leaders in Talent Acquisition conduct employer brand studies because they want to strengthen the employer brand, validate the EVP, and use their findings to build out a forward-looking roadmap and optimize processes, approaches, and messaging across their talent acquisition landscape.

Our own research shows the primary reasons companies conduct employer brand studies are to:

  • Gather the authentic voice of the employees’ perspective and use insights to validate EVPs – and frame (or reframe) marketing content, messaging, and more.
  • Synthesize, and put into context, the feedback for benchmark purposes in the future – to set up improvements across key performance indicators and to improve competitive advantage, employer-of-choice status.
  • Help determine where the company can deliver more successful outcomes across the entire talent acquisition landscape, including: attraction, engagement (touch-points, experiences, etc), recruiting, and on-boarding, and more.
  • Determine “right fit” candidate personas and potential markets and map out attributes, character traits, interests, values, etc.
  • Initiate a high-value conversation with the team by listening and then, as a team, actually do something about what is now known to be true.

Now that we know why most companies conduct an employer brand study, let’s actually conduct one ourselves.

DIY Hack – How to Conduct an Employer Brand Study

One of the early steps would be to set up an intake meeting where you meet with your executive team to understand the philosophy, procedures, players, brand, and culture – as well as the client network, the vision, goals and strategies already in place. Don’t forget to engage employees and ask for their feedback and ratings relative to their relationship with the company.

At the same time, ask the executive team to define a subset of employees so you can hold a few deeper, more personal interviews and get an even more nuanced view of inside the company.

Don’t forget to hold a set of process-only intake meetings with various leaders to gather their perspectives on a whole range of issues. You should also reach outside the company to survey past candidates and employees about their first impressions – and use that data to score candidate touch-points and map out their journey with your company. It even makes sense to talk with passive candidates who might be a good fit but haven’t yet engaged with your company – for whatever reason. You do all of this to get to the true story about your company.

After you’ve completed all of your interviews, and have collected all survey and interview data – and any other materials or information you can get your hands on – synthesize the information and present your findings with the team and set up your next steps of action.

Use your new insights to craft an authentic employer brand and use it to validate your EVP. From here, you can reevaluate (or recreate) your employer brand content and make sure all programs and experiences are aligned to improve attraction, engagement and hiring initiatives inside the organization. Obviously, we’re leaving out a lot of detail here but this should provide a template for you to get started.

Need our help?

Check out our Pro Plan if you want us to provide a little guidance to keep you moving in the right direction.

Need something more? See our capabilities page. We’re set up to implement leading practices to take your processes to the next level, provide capacity at scale on an ongoing basis, or even deploy variable resourcing to augment your core in-house team.

And if you know that you have big problems all across your talent acquisition landscape but have absolutely no idea where to start, you might want to consider TALENTSUM 360.