Content, Social Media, and Candidate Experience: The 3 Pillars of Building an Effective Employer Brand

If you’ve ever been fishing, you know that there are two main ways to catch fish: one involves a fishing rod, line, bait, and a whole lot of time and patience as you hope that one of the little guys will bite. The other method relies on casting a wide net and waiting for the fish to swim into it. The first method works fine if you’re just looking to catch one or two fish, but it doesn’t really scale (haha—fish pun!). The second method might take a bit more groundwork, but it means that you can set it and forget it and you’ll still have a constant stream of fish coming your way.

And if you’ve done any recruiting, you’ve probably found that sourcing and talent attraction work the same way: Sourcing is a lot like fishing with a rod and line, while talent attraction is more like casting a net and letting the talent come to you.

Stacy Zapar, Founder of Tenfold, made this analogy at last year’s Greenhouse Recruiting Optimization Roadshow during her presentation, “Building an Employer Brand that Attracts Top Talent.” But in order to excel at talent attraction, you need to have a strong employer brand. Unfortunately, 60% of HR leaders feel confused about employer branding, and 50% of recruiters have no idea what the employer brand is for their current company. Eek!

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Stacy describes not only how to develop your employer brand but how to make it effective—using the three pillars of employer branding: content, social media, and candidate experience.

So how do content, social media, and candidate experience come together to form an outstanding employer brand? Read on for Stacy’s valuable insights!

Defining “employer brand”

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what an “employer brand” is. According to Stacy, the concept of employer brand is built around four main points:

1. Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP)—a statement geared towards prospective (and current) talent, creating a clear vision of why they would want to work there

2. Your company culture—the description of what it’s like to actually work there

3. Your people—those whose talent, personality, and diversity shape the perception of your company, from both an internal and external point-of-view

4. Your candidate experience—everything from the frequency of your email communication with candidates to how streamlined and enjoyable the interview process is for them on-site

Overall, what you’re trying to accomplish by building an employer brand is telling a clear story of what it’s like to work at your company. Think of it as a way to give a tour of your office space and work environment before people even walk in the door or apply. And Stacy emphasizes the importance of authenticity in telling this story. For instance, a shaky iPhone movie that’s shot by an employee trumps a slick agency-produced video because it’s more honest and relatable.

Now, let’s dive into the three pillars:

1. Content

Whether it’s a blog post, video, or podcast, content is an asset that you create, generally with the goal of educating, entertaining, or solving a particular problem. Here are just a few ideas for employer brand-related content you can create:

  • Blog posts where employees talk about projects they’re working on

  • Videos that showcase a typical day on the job

  • Podcasts where employees offer advice on getting started in a particular profession or industry

2. Social media

Recruiters are increasingly turning to social media to connect with candidates and amplify their message. Here are some ways you can use social media to share your employer brand:

  • Post photos of your office and employees on Instagram

  • Create a company profile on LinkedIn and update it with news about your company and the people who work there

  • Build a Facebook group where people can ask questions and share insights related to your company and/or industry

3. Candidate experience

At the end of the day, the personal connection that candidates have (or don’t have) with your company will matter more than any piece of content or social media strategy.

To create a positive candidate experience, you can:

Overall, Stacy stressed that being creative is your ticket to developing a successful employer brand. Don’t feel like you need to do the same thing as everyone else out there. In fact, making an effort to approach each pillar differently will help you to differentiate yourself and create an employer brand that candidates not only remember but can’t resist. We’ll cover more of Stacy’s specific strategies in tomorrow's post, so make sure to check it out!


Want to hear more thought leadership and best practices from Stacy? She’ll be joining us as a speaker at Greenhouse Open 2016, taking place May 25-27th in San Francisco. Simply click the button below to learn how you can also attend this not-to-miss event!

Greenhouse Open 2016

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno is Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis. Before joining Greenhouse, Melissa built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Hiring Brand