Building a Successful Employer Brand

Building a Successful Employer Brand

by Matt Burns, PE

Attracting and retaining top talent is critical to the health of a professional service firm. At Burns, we recognize that a strong, cohesive, and authentic employer brand is essential in attracting and retaining the best of the best. A successful employer brand works comprehensively to attract top talent, keep employees engaged, and serve as a solid platform for recruitment through employee referrals.

A solid employer brand begins with the hiring process. In this digital age, the hiring process takes on a whole new dimension with the digital platforms available to candidates. The employer process is no longer just employers seeking top candidates – it is also candidates seeking top firms to work for. Today’s top candidates know their value and carefully research workplaces for their next career move. Candidates look at a company’s digital footprint for a quick and easy look into the firm’s culture. Just as consumers can window shop in a department storefront to get a peek into what is available behind the doors, candidates are doing the same through a company’s website and social media presence. Candidates peer into an organization’s culture to determine workplace attractiveness, job satisfaction, pay practices, and senior management ratings to evaluate the company’s alignment with their work ethic, passions and interests.

What candidates see from the outside is an important part of a company’s employer brand. A strong website puts an emphasis on employees by highlighting team achievements, awards, and new team members, as well as work that employees are doing to positively impact their community. Successful Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages mirror a company’s website, and showcase accomplishments, people, and give a true glimpse into what it’s like to work for the firm.

The importance of a strong employer brand stretches far past the point of hire, and extends seamlessly into an employee’s tenure with a company. A solid employer brand requires focus not only on how a company attracts top talent, but also how it engages and retains its employees. Once a candidate joins a company, they are looking for the same culture they saw as an outsider – the employer brand, to hold true. At Burns, we believe it is as important to nurture our employer brand, as it has a very direct impact on culture, employee engagement, and our team’s willingness to provide candidate referrals.

Employees desire an environment that’s rich in development opportunities. We believe in providing continuous learning opportunities, whether through an online learning management system, custom in-house training, or support of employees to attend conferences and seminars. It is important to give staff the tools they need to enrich their technical skills and refine their subject matter expertise. Strong support of professional development keeps our firm at the forefront of industry trends and best practices, fosters an environment of out-of-the-box thinking, and strengthens a culture of learning and innovation.

Employees are also more engaged in their work when they have a good relationship with their immediate supervisor. We place an emphasis on the continuous development of our team, which allows them to work more collaboratively, embody our company values, and tie corporate strategy to everyday assignments. This culture of engagement strengthens employee satisfaction, involves employees at all levels in meeting organizational goals, and allows us to consistently help our clients achieve their business goals.

A great work environment not only assists in the retention of top talent, but also enables employees to become part of the recruitment effort through referrals and word of mouth endorsement of the company. When employees are engaged they will spread the word, and in today’s world, word of mouth marketing is quite possibly the most powerful (and inexpensive!) form of marketing in which your firm can invest. Word of mouth marketing brings a strong employer brand full circle.

Firms with a strong employer brand naturally attract more candidates, allowing them to select the very best people who are aligned with the company’s culture. When every employee is engaged and aligned with the firm’s culture – that provides a true competitive advantage.

Learn more about our one-of-a-kind culture.