Why Start-Ups Need an Employer Branding Strategy (and Easy Ways to Get a Good One!)

Whether you have 10 or 1000 employees, it is crucial to your organization’s success that you carefully think through your employer brand. Start-ups can grow quickly, and it’s important to have a strong brand to project who you are, and attract the right talent, from the onset.

Start-ups often need to scale up quickly. However, most do not have recruitment teams spending quality time sourcing candidates. A lengthy recruitment process and the cost of a bad hire can have a negative impact. Having a clearly expressed brand will help narrow down candidates to those that have what you’re looking for.

On job search websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, one bad rating can turn off potential talent. You need to be at the top of your game from the beginning, and coming up with a clear employer branding strategy helps do that. Here are a couple of ways that start-ups can achieve top recruiting results through an effective employer branding strategy:

1. Define and Promote your Companys EVP (like Shopify!)

The first step in creating a cohesive and outstanding employer branding strategy is by clearly defining your Employee Value Proposition. Your EVP is a unique set of values and benefits that give both current and future employees a reason to work for you. Your EVP should describe what makes you stand out as an employer, and what makes you a great place to work. For, example visiting the “About” page on online retailing platform Shopify’s website, it is safe to say they don’t run their company by the book. With a brief but engaging origin story, and a promise to place all creative control in the hands of their customers, Shopify is the perfect example of a start-up whose unique EVP helped them rise to the top.

2. Focus on a Social Media Strategy (like Virgin!)

Since their start-up days, Virgin has been a disruptive presence, thinking differently and attracting talent who were not cut out for the mainstream. Of course Virgin CEO Richard Branson, their disruptor-in-chief, was an early adopter of social media. Today, Branson’s accounts are active pretty much 24/7 and play a big part in Virgin’s employer brand.  Here are a few tips for how you can effectively use social media to bolster your employer brand:

  • Select the platforms that you will use. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, and Instagram are all very popular, and having a presence on some or all of these is a good idea.
  • Present authentic stories from a wide variety of real employees, including the boss.
  • Diversify content by making sure it includes a mix of photo and video content, as well as showcases day to day and behind the scenes activities, showing what life is like at your office.
  • Be active on your social platforms, using them as a way to present your story, and as a means to communicate with the public.
  • Use a customized hashtag for your posts. This is a great way to group together all your platforms.
  • Develop a brand ambassador program. Employees who are enthusiastic and passionate about the organization will jump at the chance to share content with their networks, especially if they are given a little incentive.
  1. Create a Visually Engaging Careers Website (like Pinterest!)

While, social media is a great way to share your EVP and your brand, perhaps your most important digital presence is your careers page on your website, as it specifically targets potential employees. On Pinterest’s career page, it defines the four core values of the organization, and has quotes by current employees that are separated by role, to better speak to the motivators of each type of worker. Here are a few important tips to consider when creating your careers page:

  • Ensure content is relevant and shows what makes your organization special.
  • Make it mobile friendly.
  • Upload engaging video and photo content.
  • Include an overview of the hiring process.
  • Design it to be easy to navigate, with information clearly laid out

When your start-up is in its early stages, developing an employer branding strategy that encompasses a clear EVP, a strong social media strategy, and an engaging careers website will help you attract the right people, and help take your company to the next level.


About Blu Ivy Group

Blu Ivy Group is a leading employer branding and employee engagement consultancy that aligns your organization with contemporary workplace paradigms. Blu Ivy Group’s mission is to help client’s build award-winning people practices, inspire extraordinary employee engagement, and cultivate unique and desirable workplaces.

We provide integrated solutions in employer brand and engagement research, strategic consulting, employer brand integration, creative and talent communications. Blu Ivy Group is a trusted partner to many of North America’s most respected employer brands. For more information, go to www.bluivygroup.com

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