Employer Branding Ideas for Next to Nothing: 14 Tips From the Pros!

By Maren Hogan

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Employer Brand on the Cheap

I've been asked for inexpensive ways to help people promote their employer brand, and boy did the community deliver! Below are some of the greatest ideas sourced from the Employer Brand Forum. Check it out! 

Employee- Generated Videos

Making employee job preview videos don’t have to take forever. In fact, it can be a fun activity to get your current employees involved in being brand ambassadors! Abby Cheesman gives us the skinny on how to make your own easy employee videos to boost your employer brand:

 Create realistic job preview videos, featuring real employees. These don’t have to be expensive. In fact, they can be free. You just film 30-second clips of employees answering one or more of the questions in the attached “recipe” and post those directly or get fancier with some lightweight editing: iMovie templates for intro/outro. Pixel Film Studios for Final Cut Templates. Full free video guide & free tutorials: https://www.skillscout.com/diy-tutorials.html 

Using Communications You Already Have

While having an overarching employer branding strategy is amazing, sometimes it’s daily tactics that build the fabric of a consistent and successful employer/employee brand as Adam Gordon and Leela Srinivasan pointed out.

Adam W Gordon provided a hit list of tactical opportunities:

  • Make your hiring managers’ LinkedIn profiles great.
  • Make your hiring managers share Employer Branded content on LinkedIn and other social media.
  • Video your hiring managers explaining what it’s like to work for them outlining job opportunities. Post regular photos of fun (or serious – whatever your culture is) stuff going on at your work. Recycle all corporate comms, investor comms, leadership comms as part of your employer brand.
  • Try to influence corp marketing to include real people in your business in all their content – as in, make them work for you!

Leela Srinivasan doubled down on LinkedIn profiles as a quick employer branding win everyone could help with:

“We asked every employee at  Lever  a while back to update their profiles (not just hiring managers and recruiters – because candidates look up the profiles of everyone on the interview panel) – gave them guardrails and guidelines – had an 80% participation rate.”

Leela pointed out that employees can easily help one another boost their employer brand and career picture by giving recommendations!

“We ran a contest to have employees submit LI recommendations for one another. Why: because cross-functional empathy (XFE) is a core value. Every recommendation you wrote earned you a ticket in a raffle for a nice dinner with the CEO. If I recall, the most prolific reviewers (tied) wrote 19 or 20 unique and authentic reviews each!”

Ryan Porter observed some great advice he came by at Hiring Success, in that every employee can be an ambassador for your company, if you simply give them to tools to access all the materials your recruiting and branding team work so hard to make!

“At Hiring Success last week,  Steve Fogarty talked about how Adidas makes all of their digital assets available to all recruiters/TA as soon as the assets are created. This ensures all TA has the most up-to-date/relevant assets to brand opportunities and aligns with what’s happening on the consumer brand side. If the content exists, it only costs a little bit of time to make it available in one place for the TA team.”

Livestream Social Events

Several Employer Brand Professionals mentioned streaming social events, fun meetings, new employee welcomes and more, but Chris Russell had a unique take.

 Live-stream your recruiter making an offer to a candidate.”

Build Candidate Personas

Okay, so Steve Ward didn’t say exactly that, but he did intimate it:

“Make your content about the stuff the talent marketplaces you are targeting, are already talking about. Identify professional commonality, and mutual professional interest. Creating content doesn’t have to be expensive. But it’s all a waste of money regardless of budget, if you don’t talk on the same page as your target audiences. Then track engagement.”

Other ideas from the community on how to quickly and cheaply boost your employer brand when you don’t have a lot of time or a lot of cash:

Hire a copywriter (or borrow one from the marketing department) to rewrite your job descriptions. Better yet, ask employees in the positions to revamp them to be more realistic and reflect the reality of the position.

Get your employees on your blog. This was mentioned by several EB pros, as it’s mission critical to growing your employer brand in an organic way (whether you have money or not). Give them parameters that are specific and direct so they don’t stress about what is allowed and what isn’t. Keeping a folder of inspires the team can draw from is also recommended.

Get people together. This one is just obvious. You’re going to have employee gatherings anyway. Make it a lunch and learn and invite employee referrals. Have a get-together and encourage your employees to support D&I efforts. Have a hiring manager speak at a networking breakfast you host/ Have a coding or design challenge. Sponsor $500 scholarship at your local university.

Showcase your values. From laptop stickers and table tents in the lunchroom to hoodies and t-shirts that allow your people to show off the company values, ensure your people understand what the values of the company are, especially if you hire, measure and fire against them. Also post them where they can be seen by those who are not yet employees, after all as Leela pointed out “every visitor is a potential candidate or referrer.”

Do you have incredible employer branding ideas to add to this? If so, there are some amazing facebook groups you may want to be a part of. Membership is carefully vetted, so don’t join if you’re planning to sell but to have amazing conversations with awesome pros like the ones highlighted above!

The Employer Brand Forum

This is a forum for professionals who have employer branding as part of their job description. Our goal is to bring together people who do EB work so they can ask questions to their peers and get feedback. Please invite others who work in EB as a primary focus of their job following the membership instructions in the pinned post. Please note: this is a no sales zone. Vendors are welcome but no soliciting or selling. Please see pinned post for more details. Your group moderators are Susan LaMotte and Lis Cervenka. Please PM us with questions or feedback!

Talent Brand Alliance

Welcome to the Talent Brand Alliance! Just a friendly reminder that if you are inviting friends to join please have them fill out the questions when requesting to join the FB group and include a link to their Linkedin profile so we can verify they fall within our community guidelines for entry.

As a reminder, our community is not yet accepting people in a sales capacity at technology vendors or folks in roles that do not either lead or directly work on employer branding and recruitment marketing programs either in-house or in a consulting/agency environment. Moderators: Will Staney and Bryan Chaney

Guidelines can be found on the website here: http://www.talentbrand.org/communityguidelines/


HR Open Source (#HROS) is an initiative launched by Ambrosia Vertesi and Lars Schmidt designed to bring an open-source approach to HR and recruiting. The intent of #HROS is to make it easier for practitioners to access the resources, tips, tools, and tricks they need to succeed in today’s world of work while hiring and developing the top talent of tomorrow. #HROS is committed to showcasing detailed case studies, resources, and success stories dedicated to informing, educating and inspiring the work of real HR and recruiting professionals.

About Maren Hogan:

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer, writer and business builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. Founder and CEO of Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and outsourcing and thought leadership to HR and Recruiting Technology and Services organizations internationally, Hogan is a consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques. She has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies and been a thought leader in the global recruitment and talent space. You can read more of her work on Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and The Red Branch Media Blog.

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