By DebbieH 13 May 2020 7 min read

How to create a brand that candidates are desperate to work for

When you’re working in a competitive industry, the way in which you position yourself against other companies in your market is essential – particularly if you want to be the number one choice for potential employees.

The best brands are unique, and authentic, providing every opportunity to answer the question “What’s it like to work here?” 

These are the brands that get the first pick. And done correctly, you can become a brand that is attractive to top talent too. 

Below, we’ve listed some proven tactics you can pursue that will help you to improve your brand.


Answer “Who are you?”

Before you can get started building a strong brand, you have to know who you are in the first place. Reflecting on the details that make your company special, and unique, will really help you identify a way of speaking to potential employees in a way they remember. 

Asking yourself these three questions should help identify what’s most important:

  • What is most appealing about us?
  • Why do our employees stick around?
  • Why do our employees leave?


Identify your ideal candidate

The next question to ask is “who” you want to attract to your company. This will help you to focus your branding towards this type of person. Are you looking for a young, ambitious type, or are you searching for someone with more experience and wisdom? The branding should reflect the type of person you want – their interests, demographic, ambitions etc. 

If you’re aiming to attract a different crowd to what you already have at your business, then it could be that your overall company culture, vision and values need some work too. 


Connect your brand and employer brand

As we mentioned in our previous point, a disconnect between your company branding and employer branding can put off people from applying, largely because they can’t work you out. Both brands need to support each other, so you’ll have to do some connecting of the dots in your marketing. For example, if your company is passionate about volunteer work, your ideal candidate should be someone who appreciates this too. 


Ensure your messages are consistent across the board

You’ll need to back up your brand in every aspect of marketing your role, including:

  • Your website
  • Your job advert
  • Communications via email or telephone
  • Your interview
  • Your social media efforts
  • Any third party sites advertising your job


Consistency between all of these areas is essential so as not to confuse your audience. Across the various platforms the department uses and throughout the recruitment team, internal information and recruitment advertising information have to be the same. 

And everyone on your team should be on board with the agreed branding – there’s nothing worse than an inconsistent message, so it’s crucial that all your efforts tie together. And this applies to your company throughout, not just your recruitment department.. 


Find out more about your staff

The people who can tell you why they like working at your company are – guess – the ones who actually work there! Putting out a survey to ask your employees what they like about their job is essential if you want to tap into the perks of working at your business. Find out why staff don’t leave. You might find that they come back with some real gems, like how they enjoy the opportunity to work flexibly, or that they’re paid competitively etc. A positive working environment is also a very attractive benefit. 

It’s equally as important to find out what your staff don’t like about the company – bear in mind that it can be hard to get people to complain about the company, so you should look to do this carefully so staff don’t feel that their views could come back against them. You might also consider speaking to ex-staff to identify why they left in the first place. 

If your company is on Glassdoor, you might also find positive and negative reviews about your company on this site – it could help you gain more information valuable to your employer brand.  


Consider the long term effects of rejection

Over the years, your company will have likely sifted through hundreds, maybe thousands of CVs for jobs. Did you ever consider that the people you shortlisted but didn’t get the job could still prove to be of value to your company one day? Candidates lose faith in a company when they commit to the recruitment process, only to hear nothing back in return – it’s particularly frustrating if you reach the final stages of the interview. Don’t waste time and effort rejecting a couple of applications, if you’re not going to do anything with the 50% you have retained as ‘maybe’ relevant for the job. Be consistent and ensure that those who were potentially worthy still know their value to your business. And in the future, who knows, you could have a really strong candidate pool before you even start recruiting.