How To Build A Strong Employer Brand in 2020

There has never been a greater need to invest in building a strong Employer Brand than now. With big organizations having big budgets pulling in talent through employer branding and content marketing, what are the SME's supposed to do?

We are not talking about just attracting employees, but the most skilled talent pool. This is the segment that does not jump on the first given opportunity. Instead, they approach things differently, and look for an employer with a brand that they recognize and can trust. Here are some tips that SME’s can use to swing the race in their favor.

How To Build A Strong Employer Brand in 2020 1

Your brand isn’t a logo or slogan. It’s the governing principles for how you conduct business and take care of your employees and customers. HR should be at the strategic forefront of attracting new talent and developing current talent. Your brand is reinforced (or compromised) by every interaction with HR and the focus should be on creating exceptional experiences for the applicants and the employees.

Lead with your values and company culture in a transparent way. You can do this by making a prominent page on your website that outlines your corporate culture and structure, or even by providing a downloadable brochure about your business to potential applicants. The employer brand starts with visibility and clarity, so be open from the start if you want to impress job seekers.

HR should partner with marketing to promote the company brand, particularly in hiring and onboarding. From the website to the job ads, recruitment efforts should sell the position and the company to attract qualified applicants who resonate with your company’s values, mission and culture. During interviews and onboarding, HR can further promote that triad to boost engagement and retention. 

A big part employer branding is sharing your story with applicants and employees. We have a unique history, and it’s important for our applicants and employees to understand our history and legacy. For an employee to truly become passionate about our mission and values, they have to have a solid understanding of who we are and how we got to be the successful organization that we are today.


The employer brand needs to be authentic. Potential candidates want to hear from other employees, not corporate or HR. They want to know why people stay at your company. What makes it special and different? Showcase real employee stories on your job sites and social media accounts. 

HR leaders should identify what makes their company different from all the rest, then turn up the volume, speak to it, post it on social media, add it to the company web pages and LinkedIn profiles. Demonstrate why it’s so great to work at your employer and highlight the “specialness” that makes you unique from all the rest. Everybody has one. 

There are five generations working alongside each other: traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z. Employers must understand the expectations of each generation with a brand that speaks to the individuality of each group. And the days of siloing talent — treating permanent and contingent separately — are long gone. Put simply, it’s all talent so the brand needs to cater to all. 

We let all of our employees speak out about our brand. In essence, our employees serve as highly credible brand ambassadors. We built a social media campaign around individual employees talking about their favorite perks (we called it “the icing on the cupcake”). All of our employees meet new candidates during the interviewing process, sharing their perspectives about our business and culture. is strictly a UAE National Talent, members only, platform where Employers can invest in growing ONLY UAE National followers and receive applications ONLY from UAE National Talent across all seven Emirates. ​We screen every single candidate to validate their nationality, before they become members. For Employers this means investing in an echo-system where they will get the maximum ROI if they want to promote their culture, values, workplace and career opportunities to UAE National Talent. 

The promise of continuous employee development is one of the strongest organizations can make to potential employees. Nearly every employee is motivated by the prospect of investment in professional growth, so if an employer brand can stand for commitment to learning and development it will stand out. Stories highlighting employees who have benefited are key in “marketing” this brand advantage.

Companies should provide a template, prompts or consistent messaging to their employees to share via social media in order to increase the impact of social networks of their employees. Companies benefit from a consistent employer brand because the messaging is controlled, but the social network sharing is organic and can be exponential beyond the employees’ postings.

Social media platforms are great ways to keep favorable talent in the loop and give insight into your employer brand. Highlight information that shows balance, diversity and inclusion and overall appreciation for the people who work for you. Your brand is about how you serve others and that is the connection that most people are looking for in strong employer brands. 

Know your company’s values and standards. Don’t market ideas and what you are planning to implement soon. Be confident in what you are and represent as a company and you will find the talent that suits your needs. Top talent includes cultural fit, as well.

I recently took a role at a tech company and they defined their culture as “one of free will.” The brand, culture and values supported this philosophy once on the inside. If you want to build a strong employer brand, the outside needs to match the inside. HR leaders who cultivate a positive and magnetic culture find they have created ambassadors on the outside.

Start by sharing short videos on your social channels. Videos should include testimonials of current employees and what they love about their job. Even companies with little to no budget for employer branding can see fast results with this method. Employees who are featured will also share on their social channels and will influence their own networks to seek out your employment opportunities.

HR leaders need to understand the pulse in the organization and how both current and former employees view the organization. From there, HR leaders can partner with other company leaders to help improve or promote the view on the employer brand by its unique cultural characteristics and demonstrate how your organization is a good employer.