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why your employer brand is failing female employees (incl. white paper)

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

Employer branding is a term which at first could sound quite ambiguous. Key questions which may come to mind are, what is employer branding, do I need an employer brand, what are the benefits of employer branding and how can you implement employer branding? In this post find the answers to these questions and why many companies are failing their female employees through not focusing on what really matters to them.

female leader giving speech to her company about the importance of employer branding

what is employer branding?

Before embarking on the journey of employer branding, it is important to know what employer branding means. As stated in the Harvard Business Review it is:

“An organisation’s reputation as an employer as opposed to its more general corporate brand recognition”

This means that it is how your company is perceived to both its current and prospective employees.

An example for a strong employer brand is Google, with its strong focus on innovation and tech focus.

what are the benefits of sufficient employer branding?

Looking at Google, the benefits of an awesome employer brand are quite obvious: Google literally gets the best of the best applicants and can day-by-day choose the best candidates.

But there are more benefits to it. These benefits listed do not only cover monetary gain but also brand reputation, improved relationships with stakeholders and gaining a strong position in the industry.

  • your underrated competitive advantage

  • recruit and retain the best talent easier

  • reduce recruitment costs

  • establish credibility

your underrated competitive advantage

The success of a company is not dependent on the profits made or revenue earned, it is the people involved that truly reflect achievement

Through a great employer brand, your company can achieve a competitive advantage in your industry. Your company can showcase its own individual strengths and how your company values its employees. This then provides an advantage over others who may not be as committed to ensuring a fair and diverse workplace for their staff.

recruit and retain the best talent easier

The best talent out there is harder to catch, as they have the power of choice when it comes to their employer of dreams. Through focus on employer branding your company attracts candidates which match your company culture. This ensures that you have access to the talents who you want to employ while simultaneously improving your retention rate. Why? Applicants can get a clear picture of your company in advance and can decide whether they fit into the corporate culture or not. By already having this information available, candidates can evaluate if your company is one which they want to work for and progress their career in.

reduce recruitment costs

A strong employer brand does not only provide non-monetary benefits, but it can actually save you money as well. Wondering how? Even if you need to invest resources to build your employer brand upfront, in the long run the money you will save far outweighs the amount you spend. This is due to your company becoming more known to potential employees and therefore appears more trustworthy. The cost per candidate could be reduced up to 50% and a LinkedIn study showed that 49% of candidates are willing to accept a lower salary if the employer brand is strong.

establish credibility

Having strong employer brand helps your company establish credibility, not only to potential employees but also to stakeholders, both existing and potential, and to competitors in the industry and beyond.

why is employer branding failing women in the workplace?

Employers start to understand that a strong employer brand is worth investing in. But women and underrepresented groups are often overlooked in the process.

“If you want to stay competitive in the war for (female) talents, it's important to invest in your employer brand and start showcasing your efforts.”

Failure to be inclusive and diverse can cause a wide range of problems when it comes to attracting female employees and creating a diverse workforce. In an effort of appearing "hip" career pages and job descriptions are often tailored around the “ideal” young, white, male candidate including:

  • Lack of diverse job descriptions with a strong usage of power words

  • Lack of inclusive employee initiatives and instead focus on football and Friday night beers

  • Inflexible working conditions not supporting needs of parental or care-giving duties

In order to ensure equal influx of female candidates and to make sure your existing female employees are content, it is important to understand and focus on their needs too!

Let's be honest, as a company in 2021 you cannot not afford to invest in a diverse workforce!

how to execute an employer branding strategy

There are several steps which can be taken to implement employer branding. These steps should be followed and revised to make sure that your company is successful with its employer branding.

  1. evaluate your current employer brand

  2. dare to dream big

  3. define your employer value proposition

  4. set strategic goals and KPIs

  5. develop an implementation plan

  6. engage with employees

  7. communicate your employer brand

  8. measure and analyse

evaluate the current status of your employer brand

Before beginning to create or change your employer brand, it is important to take note of the current status. Even if you believe you don’t have an employer brand yet, chances are high that someone out there has heard of your company before, which is essentially your brand. This can include reflecting on what processes you have in place which relate to your employer brand and your employees within the company. You can also ask your employees or your network and have them describe how they perceive your brand. Specifically, have an eye on the results with a female point of view! It is important to analyse what is working well and not working and what could potentially be improved upon.

dare to dream big

Get your team in a (virtual) room, bring the findings of your survey and dare to dream big about what kind of employer you want to be. It helps to get started with a values list, or thinking about what makes you stand out as an employer. Make sure your female employees have enough room to raise their ideas and concerns! Write down anything that comes to your mind and let everyone vote on their favourites.

define your employer value proposition (EVP)

Based on the outcome of the brainstorming and the learning, it’s time to define your employer brand promise, or your employer value proposition (EVP). As stated by LinkHumans EVP:

represents the values and culture the organisation embodies and the practical benefits for employees such as learning, growth and development opportunities.

It’s basically a statement telling talents why they should want to work at your company.

Through defining your company’s EVP it sets a clear precedent for the values which your company holds to esteem and shows employees that your company is committed to their development and progression.

set your strategic goal and KPIs to measure success

After taking note of what you have in place and what you want to achieve, it is important to turn it into a strategic goal and put in place Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your progress. These will help your company to create a tangible plan with actionable steps to be taken to achieve your employer branding goals. Looking for some inspiration when it comes to KPI’s? Here are some which we at the female factor recommend:

develop an implementation plan for your employer brand

Once your company has established KPIs, strategic goals and the EVP it is time to develop an implementation plan for your employer brand. This involves creating a proposal of how your company will create, utilise and implement your employer branding, both externally and internally amongst your employee target group.

engage your current employees

As you have now communicated and shown your changes it is important to check in with your current employees about the changes to the brand. You can utilise your employees to garner feedback on changes made, measure progress and receive suggestions for more improvements to be made.

communicate your employer brand

It is crucial that your company communicates the new employer brand to all stakeholders. This is to raise awareness, create hype and show that your company is committed (to change). Here at the female factor we encourage utilising social media to help communicate the changes you have made to your employer brand. Some of our favourite ways are:

  • use social proof to highlight your workplace with employee testimonials

  • give potential employees an impression of your amazing office through a video tour

  • show off your perks and benefits by giving examples of what they look like in reality and the impact it has on your current employees

  • highlight your employees and show that you recognize and celebrate your talents

  • visualise your company culture through pictures and videos of real moments

  • make sure employer review platforms are up-2-date and employees leave their insights there

  • work with relevant stakeholders within your employee target group to position your new employer brand and attract talent

measure and analyse your employer branding

Once you have completed the above steps, it is of vital importance that your organisation continuously measures and analyses the performance of the employer brand and the progress which is being made. Adjustments should then be made accordingly to maximize the success.

Ideally you’ll see progress directly through a higher influx of qualified applicants, a shortened time to hire and higher traffic on your career pages.

Additionally we recommend sending regular surveys to your employees as well as run employer brand awareness checks externally.

do you want to begin your employer branding journey?

Read more information in our white paper on employer branding including a checklist.

Are you ready to make a change in your company and adjust or build your employer brand? Look no further! Here at the female factor we will position you as an attractive and inclusive employer and help you to reach both your internal and external audience.


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