Secret to Employer Branding that Attracts Top Talent

The Secret to Employer Branding That Attracts Top Talent (& 4 Templates to Get You Started)

It’s easy to think about employer branding and wonder, “Yeah, we could really work on our employer brand – can’t tell you how much time we spend simply explaining to candidates what we do and who we are. But I’m not sure where to begin.” I hear some form of this thought on an almost daily basis, and honestly, I completely understand. Talent acquisition teams are dealing with a lot of reqs and not nearly enough help to handle them all, especially in high-growth industries like tech. So getting started with actively managing your employer brand (because believe me, you have one whether you like it or not) can seem daunting.

Fortunately, getting started isn’t complicated or time-consuming at all.

What Employer Branding Really Is

Having worked with dozens of companies on their employer branding and hundreds of talented (read: very picky) professionals who are happily employed but always passively considering new jobs, I’ve realized something. It’s a competitive secret – the ultimate recruiting weapon, really – and is something that your super-branded competitors or a fancy employer branding agency will never tell you.

So I’ll tell you.

At its core, employer branding (when done right) ultimately breaks down into two components:

  1. Content. That’s what talent will consume and interact with to get to know you better. Think photos, videos, and text-based content. And don’t worry, you don’t have to create any of it because…
  2. Your employees. That’s who talent wants to hear from, because your employees are the most authentic source for sharing what life is like at your company. So your employees (not you, and not marketing) will be the ones creating that content.

That’s it.

Content. And your employees. Which, in practice, becomes employee-generated content (EGC). That, in a nutshell, is the heart and soul of any good employer branding effort.

Let that sink in for a minute.

At its core, employer branding breaks down into two components: 1) content & 2) your employees. Click To Tweet

Kind of crazy how simple it is when you break it down like that, right?

Getting Started with Employee-Generated Content

Ok, so what does EGC look like? And how do you get started? As I mentioned above, EGC can utilize any medium that’s capable of portraying what life is like at your company – so it’s photos, videos, and text-based content, sure…but you can get as creative as you like. Nevertheless, at the start, keep it simple. Very simple. I highly recommend starting with a primarily text-based format: the humble, trusty Q&A.

At FirmPlay, we call these Workplace Stories. They’re basically individual Q&A surveys, with about 3-10 questions each, that focus on a particular topic or theme. Every company that uses FirmPlay’s employer branding software gets a pre-loaded library of these Stories that they can immediately start sending to employees throughout the company to answer. To get you started, we’re giving you four of the templates that we give to all of our clients. You can use them as-is (just remember to fill in the {company name} placeholders in the template), or you can customize them however you like. Point is, they’re a painless way to start creating the type of content that talent absolutely loves – content that comes directly from your employees. And you’ll be able to share these pieces of content in a number of ways (we’ll write about how and where to share this content in a future blog post).

For now, take Step 1 in your employer branding journey and ask a few coworkers to spend 5-10 minutes answering a Story or two. I promise: it’s easier than you think, and a hell of a lot better than doing nothing.

Take Step 1 in your employer branding journey: ask a few coworkers to spend 5-10 min answering a Story… Click To Tweet

The Templates You Should Start With

We recommend reviewing the questions in the templates and dropping them into an easy-to-distribute format of your choice, like a Google Doc, Google Form, or Survey Monkey. Then sit back and watch the employer branding content get created.

(Click here to download editable versions of the templates below.)

Template #1: What We Do for Fun at {Company Name}

Employee-Generated Content: What We Do For Fun

  1. Let’s jump in! Describe a cool or quirky event you’ve had recently?
  2. What does 4pm on a Friday look like at {company name}?
  3. What are some other ways that you bond outside of typical work activities? (Think wellness activities, social groups, etc.)
  4. Office toys and games – got any? If so, details please!
  5. You’re at work and you feel like taking a 15-minute break. What do you do? Where do you go? And who joins you?

Template #2: Why I Joined {Company Name}

Employee-Generated Content: Why I Joined

  1. When did you join {company name}? What were you doing before you joined?
  2. How did you first hear about {company name}? What caught your interest and made you want to learn more?
  3. How did you get to know {company name} better before you joined?
  4. What were some of the key reasons you decided to join {company name}? What convinced you?
  5. Anything surprise you (for better or worse) after you joined?
  6. A potential hire is considering joining {company name} – what advice would you give them on how to make the right decision?

Template #3: How Hiring Works at {Company Name}

Employee-Generated Content: How Hiring Works

  1. Describe your role at {company name}?
  2. Describe your hiring process. What steps (and which people) are involved?
  3. How do you assess cultural fit in interviews?
  4. What’s the most surprising or quirky thing about your hiring process?
  5. What’s the best way for a candidate’s application to get noticed?
  6. What can new hires expect in the first few weeks after they join?

Template #4: Get to Know the Engineering Team at {Company Name}

Employee-Generated Content: Get to Know the Engineering Team

  1. Describe your role at {company name}?
  2. How is the engineering team structured? How many people are on the team?
  3. What’s the engineering team like? How would you describe the team?
  4. What’s the engineering team focused on right now? What are some of the top projects in progress?
  5. What’s your technology stack?
  6. Any cool gear / hardware / tech toys at use in the office?
  7. What does the engineering team do for fun?
  8. Describe your hiring process for engineering positions. What steps (and which people) are involved?
  9. What can new engineering hires expect in the first few weeks after they join?

(Click here to download editable versions of the templates above.)

Vasilios Alexiou

Co-Founder at FirmPlay
Vasilios is an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast interested in the intersection of employee advocacy, social media, and employer branding. He works with forward-thinking companies to turn their employees into passionate advocates for recruiting.