We all know that real talents are hard to find. Branding the company as a great place to work is an essential part in luring in the best employees. We have previously talked about why is employer branding is important, but how do you start about it? Here you can find a handy canvas to get started and to make sure you consider each aspect when building your image in the eyes of possible future employees.
You can open the Canvas as A3 here and use it as foundation when you start the developoment process. Feel free to use it as your own checklist or in workshop with others. Reserve enough time, post-its and pens. Go through each section one by one, write your notes on post-its and attach your notes in particular section. Below, I guide you through the Employer Branding Canvas section by section.
If you wish to download the whole handbook about employer branding, you can do it here. Handbook covers more topics than just Employer Branding Canvas and it includes ideas to convey employer image and measure success in branding, examples of career pages and two different inquiries - one for managers and one for current employees.
Employer Branding Canvas section by section
1. Who are you?
First section of the Employer Branding Canvas helps you to map out company’s identity. Every employee wants to find the suitable workplace for themselves and by communicating truthfully about your company culture, you make sure to find the right match. Go through together, what kind of characteristics does your company have and do factors help you to stand out in the eyes of future employees. How are the current employees like and is there something particularly good is in the atmosphere? Do you as a company stand behind a certain ideology or do you have a common hobby?
In marketing, one the most important aspect is the story of the company. Top employer brands are succesful because of their compelling stories. People love stories. Do you have some story about how the company was established? Did the company face challenges in the past from which it survived together with its employees? What are the stories your employees have about working at your company? Does your product or service have a story that the future employees would like to relate to?
2. What is it that you do?
Describe briefly what does the company really do. What is your product or services like? Why would the future employees want to take part in creating your product or services? If you have open positions now or in the near future, you can briefly write the job description here.
3. What makes the company credible?
When you are defining how to build employer brand and build trust amongst suitable candidates, you want to think like they think. They might be interested if the company or its employees have been awarded for successful projects or job well done in some field. Maybe you should display these awards in your employer branding. Sometimes a charity or other social project might convey company’s values and make a difference in the eyes of a job seeker. And if it makes a difference, probably you both share the same values.
4. Employee benefits
In this section, you should form a value proposition for job seekers. Value proposition in employer branding means a promise, a value or combination of these two that the company conveys to its employees. Traditionally a value proposition means a marketing message that describes why customers should purchase your products. In employer branding a value proposition answers the question: “Why should I work here and how does this company fit my needs?”. Employees’ needs are divided in four categories that are functional, emotional, self-expressional and social.
A salary, a computer and other tools or concrete benefits that fulfil employee’s functional needs. These are the basic requirements that must be fulfilled but these factors rarely make the difference in the end. Eminently, salary is not the most important factor amongst young professionals. Instead they want to develop their skills and they wish an employer to support the professional growth. How are you meeting the basic needs?
Is there a characteristic in your company, that pleases employees? Is your company buying only fair-trade coffee or are all colleagues greeted every morning with a group hug. What kind of emotions do you evoke?
Does working for you tell something about the employees as people? Maybe you are pioneers with harnessing or developing technology in your field, so the employees also get to be part of the company’s success and be profiled as the vanguard of technology. People working for Harley-Davidson can be seen as masculine, when on the other hand people working for Louis Vuitton possibly prefer luxurious products. Is there a distinctive feature in your company, that you wish the employees to identify with?
Who are the people and stakeholders around the employees and why it is good to be part of this group?
5. Why are you the best employer?
Put here a list of reasons why an employee should work for you and not for some other company. How to verbalise these reasons?
6. Who do you want to know of your company?
Who do you want to work for you? The descriptions in this section can vary depending on the vacant job. In addition to demographics and the needed qualifications, also try to describe the emotional features or specific personality traits, that you wish to have in your organisation.
7. How does your future employees find out about you?
In the previous section, your described your ideal employee, but where does this person move? In your quest of finding the right employees, you should learn where you can find your top talent, how to reach them, and what message you should use. Ask a possible marketing team for help to create a tempting content. Try to find out if there are active employees in the team, whose personal channels could work for messaging the employer brand.
8. What do you need to success?
Of what is your employer brand consisted of? You may need a new career page to attract new employees or an access to your company’s social media accounts, in order to share your message. You may need to use video interviews to ensure candidate experience from the very first contact to your company. Most likely, you will need assistance from the marketing department, for you might want to produce blog posts or video material to support the employer brand. What kind of investments do you need from the management? You might want to meet up with management or marketing team on a regular basis about the employer brand or you want them to be part of building it. Count also how much financial support you could need for the projects and how much of your own time the employer brand’s developing will take. Will you or your colleagues need education about the subject? List also all the intangible and tangible assets that you may need.
As a conclusion, Employer Branding Canvas is a tool to get you started and make sure that every party participating to employer branding has the basic knowledge and knows what you are about to do. Building an employer image is about committing current employees and managers to mutual goals an making them to convey the employer image also. You can't do it all alone.
If you wish to dig deeper, downloand the whole employer branding handbook.