How do you create an employer brand?

There are lots of phrases and concepts linked to employees and their relationship with organisations so it’s worth defining each of these before we go into the specifics of an employer brand:

Employer brand


A set of attributes and qualities, often intangible, that makes an organisation distinctive, promises a particular kind of employment experience, and appeals to those people who will thrive and perform best in its culture.
(CIPD)

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)


An employee value proposition (EVP) is part of an employer’s branding strategy that represents everything of value that the employer has to offer its employees. Items such as pay, benefits and career development are common, but employers also highlight offerings that are currently in demand—like technology, remote work and flexible scheduling.
(SHRM)

Employee Experience


Creating an operating environment that inspires your people to do great things
(Maylett and Wride, 2017)

Employee Engagement


A workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of well-being
(Macleod and Clarke, 2009)

Employee Lifecycle


The employee lifecycle typically consists of six stages: attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and separation. Each stage presents its own challenges and opportunities, so it’s important to focus on them individually rather than one big, long journey.

How do you create an employer brand?

You’ll see from all of these that there are links and interdependencies between them all. When we talk about employer branding with clients, we focus on our model that maps the employee experience and the employee lifecycle together – because this is where the brand comes to life. When it comes to exploring the employer brand, there are five stages we work through and for some, this is part of the The Fix element after The Field Model™:

How do you create an employer brand?

Stage one: Creating or changing the employer brand

This isn’t just a colour palette or icons or a purely visual piece of work. It needs to link to values and behaviours; the external brand and it needs to consider what you are now and where you want to go next. Using personas and brand archetypes is a good way of looking at what you want the brand to be. It’s during this phase that key messages and strategic narratives should also be discussed.

Stage two: Launching the employer brand

This is change. So whether it exists and you’re changing it or whether it’s brand new, it’s change for employees. Using models to help you look at the content to share to navigate this can help and my favourite for this is the six concerns of change. Explain why and how and invest in a campaign to do this. A piece of content on an internal social platform isn’t enough, and stage three links heavily to stage two.

Stage three: Training for line managers and all employees

There should be a change in how things get done as a result of the brand. It’s linked so closely to culture so there has to be some support for people to know what’s different. If there is an intentional change linked to the values and the behaviours, how does this show up in annual appraisals or team meetings or development programmes? How are line managers supported through the changes to enable them to help their teams?

Stage four: Maintaining the employer brand

This is about the everyday. How does the brand show up every day, every week, every month etc. It’s the maintenance that is key to support the different contracts that exist for a great employee experience (brand contract, transactional contract, psychological contract).

Stage five: Measuring success

There is a reason you decided to invest time and energy into this – what was it trying to achieve? Measure that, not how many people saw the campaign or know what the values are. Measure the organisational challenges it was designed to fix.

Get help with your employer brand in 2024

If you’re looking at your employer brand in 2024, or it’s one for further in the future, drop us email at info@redefiningcomms.com and we can sort out a one-hour consultancy call to help you make a plan!

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Subscribe to join our community and we’ll be in touch with helpful advice and updates about how we can take your organisation from chaos to calm. Our community gets invited to a quarterly 90-minute Ask Me Anything online session with Jenni Field, as well as early access to events, discounts and research.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.