What is Employer Branding? Strategies and Best Practices

May 12, 2023

Employer branding is important to find and keep top talent. Learn how to build the right reputation to attract prospective employees.

You’ve nailed your company’s branding — packaging, messaging, that magical something — and customers are eating it up. But that je ne sais quoi isn’t exactly translating when it comes to finding and attracting the top talent needed to keep your business on top.

So, what gives? Unfortunately, the branding that attracts customers doesn’t always have the same sway to attract top talent.

To get the best and brightest, you need to focus on your employer branding — the messaging and image that attracts employees, creating a desire to work for your company.

In this guide, we’ll explain the concept and importance of employer branding, best practices, real-life examples, and more.

What is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the image a business conveys in its recruitment efforts or its reputation as an employer. It encompasses what it’s like to work for a company, including its benefits, opportunities, structure, and more.

Apple, Google, Nike are some examples of high visbility and emotion evoking in the branding discussion. What image immediately popped into your head when you read the names? That image, feeling, and opinion is branding. Now think about how you would feel if tomorrow one of those companies, or another brand offered you your dream job. That feeling reflects the employer brand.

Employer branding aims to position your business as the ideal workplace, which is key to attracting and retaining star talent.

Why is Employer Branding Important in Recruitment?

Employer branding helps you stand out by creating a positive perception of the company before applicants hit “apply.” This positive perception means increased interest from top talent and improved recruitment outcomes.

Here’s our top five benefits for creating an intentional employer branding strategy:

  1. Attracting top talent: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, a company with a strong employer brand is more likely to attract high-quality candidates looking for employers with a positive reputation.
  2. Retaining current employees: Most people don't want to just punch in and punch out day after day at their job. They want to take pride in their work. A well-cultivated employer brand can improve employee engagement, leading to better retention rates.
  3. Differentiating from competitors: In a competitive job market, having a strong employer brand can help your company stand out from its competitors and attract candidates looking for a distinctive workplace.
  4. Improving recruitment efficiency: Part of enhancing your employer brand is nailing your recruitment process. A strong employer brand can reduce the need for as much passive candidate recruiting and manual outreach, as word-of-mouth will help ensure top candidates are lining up to apply.
  5. Enhancing company culture: In the end, investing in employer branding initiatives, allows your organization to create a positive and engaging workplace culture that can help attract and retain top talent.

Learn More: Brand Identity and Its Impact on Recruiting with Monica Roberts

What is an Employer Value Proposition?

Employer value proposition, or EVP, is the entire package your company brings to the table during recruitment. It's your values, culture, benefits; anything you can offer an employee in exchange for their skills.

EVP is a foundational component of your employer brand. It represents how you want your organization to be perceived by current and prospective talent.

Take the time to crystalize your EVP and it can serve as a north star for all your employer branding initiatives. Survey employees about why they love where they work, take inventory of your benefits and offerings, define your differentiators, and hone in on what your organization stands for. Distill these findings into a few resonant statements, and you have your guiding pillars for your EVP.

Once you have a well-defined EVP, it will be easier to communicate your employer brand to your employees and prospective employees.

Let's explore some best practices will help you focus on fine tuning benefits, improving your company's culture, and beefing up your EVP for building a strong employer brand.

Example of an Employer Value Proposition

At Paylocity, “Forward Together” is at the core of our company culture, and forms the basis of our mission and value proposition: Together, we'll help you achieve the promise of tomorrow, today.

“Forward Together” is how we communicate our brand promise and differentiator. It conveys partnership. It conveys innovation. And it articulates what’s so special about Paylocity — the idea that we work together across different parts of the organization. work with each other, striving to get our clients to a better place.

This simple phrase is woven into our brand narrative and reinforces our brand identity.

How to Create a Successful Employer Branding Strategy

1. Communicate Your EVP

Use a variety of communication channels to promote your EVP and share it with prospective employees, current employees, and other stakeholders. It should be evident in your job postings, social media, employee testimonials, and other marketing materials.

Check out how we communicate Paylocity’s EVP in this video:

2. Leverage Employees

Encourage employees to be brand ambassadors and to share their positive experiences. Employee advocacy is a powerful tool for building a strong employer brand, but make sure it's authentic to everyone’s experience.

3. Bolster Benefits Beyond Compensation

Prospective employees will want to know about their salary, but they'll be equally concerned about benefits, perks, and where your company stands in the community. Highlight how your company gives back to the community, diversity initiatives, benefits that go above and beyond (like employee assistance programs, mental health support, and payment on demand), and also your organization’s stance on professional development.

4. Monitor Your Online Reputation

Monitor your online reputation regularly and stay active on your primary channels. Respond to reviews and address negative feedback constructively. This can significantly impact your employer brand.

5. Measure and Evaluate Your Employer Brand

Continuously measure and assess the effectiveness of your employer branding efforts. Use metrics such as employee satisfaction, retention rates, and candidate feedback to identify areas for improvement. Consider implementing an annual review of your employer branding and EVP to guarantee it's current.

How to Measure Your Employer Brand

Keeping tabs on your employer branding strategy may seem impossible. How do you measure something that seems so intangible?

Luckily, there are a few tried-and-true ways to measure your employer branding efforts so you know when you're on course and when you need to redirect.

Engagement Surveys

A straightforward way to measure employer branding is through employee engagement surveys. These surveys provide direct feedback on how your employees view the company culture, leadership, opportunities for professional development, and more.

The right HR platform will allow for easy employee survey creation and collection. Consider sending out an annual survey to measure how employees feel about your organization. Since survey data is stored right in the software, you can track results over time and see the impact of your employer branding strategy.

Social Media

Social media metrics can also help you measure employer branding. Using native or third-party tools, you can track metrics like engagement rates, follower growth, and sentiment analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.

You can also use social media to convey your employer value proposition and promote a positive image of your company as an employer.

Employee Referrals

Employee referrals are an often-overlooked way to measure employer branding. They can show if employees are proud to work for the organization and are willing to recommend it to others.

You can examine the number of employee referrals as an indicator or survey your workforce to uncover your Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). eNPS is how likely an employee is to recommend your organization as an employer, usually measured on a scale of 1-10. This is a common tactic for measuring overall employee engagement and a direct reflection of your employer brand.

Read More: 10 HR Metrics That Matter to Your C-Suite

Real Life Examples of Strong Employer Brands

So, how have real-life companies developed their employer brand? We've talked at length about building your business's reputation with potential candidates and current employees through measures beyond compensation, and no one showcases this more than Paylocity (in our humble opinion).


Paylocity prides itself on being a great place to work (not to brag, but we’ve received a number of awards!). A few ways we’ve built our employer brand:

  • We value our employees' voices and want them to feel like their opinions and ideas matter. We proactively seek out feedback and act on it to improve the way we work.
  • We let our employees be our own advocates. You can read employee testimonials and on our website and listen to their first-hand accounts on social media.
  • We champion diversity, our community, and the environment. Our strong commitment to these values is evidenced through our actions and words.
  • We care for our employees and their personal and professional growth. Beyond offering competitive salaries and benefits, we heavily invest in our workforce’s development through training and career opportunities.
  • All of these efforts are amplified through our owned channels. We make sure to promote what makes us a great place to work where we can so potential candidates can get to know us. #ForwardTogether!


Weigel’s, a Tennessee-based convenience store chain, cultivated a strong employer brand through benefits that match the needs of their workforce and local initiatives that showcase their community-focused culture.

Weigel’s has built an employee-centric brand by offering flexible benefits, like payment on demand. The company also demonstrates their commitment to the community through local sponsorships, and notably partnered with a local news station to report on "A Day in the Life of a Weigel's Employee". These efforts are highlighted on Weigel’s social channels for prospective talent to see.

Boost Your Employer Brand and Draw in the Best Talent

With a fully realized employer branding strategy, you can attract the talent needed to maintain your established branding efforts.

Defining your employer brand is one thing, but living it is another. The right HR platform can help. A robust HRIS can enhance your job descriptions to showcase your culture, provide a community for your employees to connect with one another, and offer a foundation for learning and development opportunities that foster (and retain) a strong workforce.

Request a demo today to see how Paylocity can help boost your employer brand.


Keep Your Workforce Ready 

Finding the right talent for your team can be challenging in today’s market. But with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be a strain on your internal resources as well. Our recruiting platform streamlines the process, bringing you an intuitive way to search for and engage with top candidates. With communication methods like texting and video, and data that helps you track progress, attracting and winning has never been easier.