How to Build a Good Employer Brand
How to Build a Good Employer Brand
Picture of Santi
16 March 2023

First, I think it is important to define what an employer brand is.

What is an employer brand?

Employer brand is how people perceive what being an employee and working in a certain company is like.

Here it is very important to take into account two audiences:

● The external audience: people who are not employees of the company, but who interact with it in some way,

either because they buy a product, consume a service, or because they came across the company when they were looking for a job

on websites such as Glassdoor, or saw it in surveys such as Great Place to Work, or because they heard about it. 

● The internal audience: people who are already employed within the company and who truly know what it's really like to work there. 

There is fruit on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we play ping pong, we run the marathon as a company, we have a soccer (or netball) tournament.

It's things like those that a lot of companies focus on when it comes to communicating what it's like to work for them.

But all those group activities or participating in a survey such as a Great Place to Work are things that are external to the company's

day-to-day operations, that are offered for people to use.

These are the tools that are used to say what you want to be, but they don't necessarily represent what you are. 

The importance of company culture

Culture defines the employer brand. 

The problem is that, when describing culture, many companies name things like the soccer game, the marathon they ran together as employees,

the hackathon that was held, the breakfasts they had together, and the Great Place to Work certification. 

But again: these are external things, and don't necessarily speak about what the culture is really like.

What is culture, then?

All the things that happen within an organization:

● how decisions are made within the company

● how much room there is for one to participate 

● whether employees' health is really taken into consideration

● whether they are allowed to take their vacations when they want to and not when it is convenient for the company

● whether the company really listens to its employees because they want to listen to them to see how they are going to do

something or whether they are just doing it to manipulate a decision and try to get them to go a certain way

● what is allowed within the organization: 

  • being late or not 
  • yelling at people
  • making decisions
  • growing within the organization, looking for initiatives so that people can grow within the company

Regarding the last point, there is often a contradiction: on the one hand, it is said that there are many opportunities,

but on the other hand, there is a fixed structure that does not allow growth within the company.  

All of this has to do with culture. Basically, the employer brand.

You can't say that you have a good employer brand and do marketing on that, because the message would be empty.

It is not the company that decides whether the employer brand is good or not, it is the employees. 

They are the ones who can say in this company they let me take my vacation when it is good for me,

obviously organizing it so that we can all do what we have to do. I am allowed to make decisions,

I have room to try new things, to make mistakes (taking responsibility, of course) and to keep suggesting things. 

What to do to have a good employer brand

Do everything possible to make people choose to work in the company, to make them feel comfortable. 

Today there is a lot of talk about how to attract and retain employees and for me it is how to attract and make people choose us on a daily basis.

You cannot retain someone to work there with short-term incentives. You have to do everything you can to make people want to come back

to work for that company every day because that is what they choose, not because they are retained. 

That is a good employer brand.

And how do you get people to choose to work at the company? 

It's a lot harder than ping pong, breakfast pictures and activities together. 

At the end of the day, the employer brand is what real life is all about.

So it's not something you can control, it's something that happens. 

Every person in the company who interacts with someone outside the company is going to

communicate your employer brand. 

If you have employees who are unhappy, frustrated, overwhelmed and stressed, that is the employer brand that they will transmit to the external audience:

the people who consume the products and services, and those who participate in interviews. If during the interview, the employees who participate

in the process do it in a hurry, without giving the interviewee time to get to know them, saying that they have to go to another meeting,

they will be transmitting this message of pressure and stress. 

All this is what will make your employer brand. 

People who are not part of the company also perceive your employer brand

They perceive it when they apply for a job: do they get a response or not? Do they get feedback on why they did well or poorly in the interview process?

Are they told how the company works, how it functions, what decisions need to be made,

and what problems need to be solved? Is everything the company says verifiable throughout the process? 

And if that person starts to be part of the company, the most important thing is to be able to see that everything that was said in the interview process is real. 


The employer brand is a consequence of the culture, that is, of what happens on a daily basis in the company, not of planned group activities,

breakfasts or having the Great Place to Work certification. These are simply communication channels, tools to reach people, but they do not make the culture. 

The employer brand cannot be controlled, it is something that both the internal and external audience communicate.

The internal audience does it through their attitude: do they enjoy working in the company, do they feel comfortable, do they choose to be there,

or are they retained by a salary, benefits and flexibility, but do not really want to be there? And the external one, through what they perceive

by consuming the products and services, by being in contact with the internal audience, and by participating in an interview, for example.

You can’t control your employer brand, but you can control everything you do so that your employees have the best possible day-to-day experience

and choose to work with you. At the end of the day, they are the ones who build your employer brand. 

About  Santi  
Helping candidates find a job and companies find candidates, by understanding exactly what both are looking for. Constantly talking with candidates to get to know them and connect them with roles that match their knowledge, skills and capabilities.
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