The vital role PR plays in building a strong employer brand

POSTED

20th February 2024

AUTHOR

Leigh-Ann Hewer

Reading time

3 minutes

Everybody talks about attracting and retaining top talent. And of course, it’s more important than ever to do exactly that in today’s tough market. But what does that really mean? And how do you actually do it? Because you’re an amazing employer, you know it after all. Your company works with great clients, has fantastic employee benefits and a great culture.

Thing is, that won’t go very far if nobody knows about it.

That’s where employer brand comes in.

What even is employer brand?

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the term. Something about it feels a bit forced. But the reality is, employer brand is just about managing and promoting your reputation as an employer. And there’s nothing fake or forced about that if what you say actually aligns with what you offer and do.

Think of your employer brand as how you want potential and current employees to think about you. What words do you want to be associated with you as a business and as an employer?

But wait a moment. Let’s bring things back to reality. Before you start listing out how you WANT to be perceived, ask your employees how they ACTUALLY perceive you. Because you can go out there talking a big game, but your current employees need to be advocates for that and they’ll soon express their frustration if they feel like the employer brand you’re pushing is disingenuous.

Everyone thinks they know how their current employees feel. But do you, really? Have you given them the space and anonymity to feedback honestly? Have you created the physiological safety they need to feel like they can offer genuine critique? If yes, great! If no, perhaps think about how you can offer those things. I promise it will pay off in the long run.

OK…

Assuming you received the feedback from your employees that they do in fact feel that you offer them the things you say you do, you’re now in a great position to bring PR into the equation. PR is how you share your great employer offering with the world.

PR helps to shape the narrative surrounding a company, both internally and externally. By crafting compelling stories that highlight positive workplace culture, employee success stories, and corporate social responsibility initiatives, PR can influence how potential candidates (as well as existing employees) perceive the company.

When it comes to attracting top talent, a positive employer brand is crucial. PR can help showcase a company’s unique selling points, emphasising its commitment to employee development, diversity and inclusion, and a supportive work environment.

But PR doesn’t stop once an employee is hired

As I mentioned, it’s not just about attracting new staff. PR also has a huge role to play when it comes to employee retention and advocacy. Maintaining open communication channels and fostering a positive workplace culture can help keep employees engaged and turn them into brand advocates who share their positive experiences both internally and externally.

Involving your employees in PR efforts also allows them a chance to feel heard and valued. It can really encourage a feeling of pride in a workplace and demonstrate a tangible way in which each employee can make an individual difference to the overall success of the company. More on this in our ‘benefits of PR‘ blog.

Ultimately…

PR serves as a powerful instrument by shaping perceptions, attracting top talent, retaining employees, and navigating challenges. As businesses strive to stay ahead in the competitive job market, you can’t just be a great employer, you have to make the effort to tell people about it. To show people, in fact.

Only then can you ensure you’ve got a skilled and dedicated team behind the business, and that the team will continue to grow!