Beyond Compensation. Building an Employer Brand to attract, engage, and retain talent

In the wake of the pandemic’s shift to hybrid work, securing and retaining top talent within the professional services sector has become increasingly challenging. While competitive compensation remains crucial, factors such as purpose-driven work, a positive organizational culture, job satisfaction, and work-life balance are now equally important for both employees and job seekers. Demonstrating how your firm adds value to both career and life has become paramount.

Authentic employer branding emerges as a pivotal strategy for firms seeking to attract and engage with the right talent to bolster capabilities, expand client base, and drive business growth. By positioning your firm as an employer of choice, you not only enhance awareness and boost applicant conversion but also streamline the recruitment process.

Moreover, a strong employer brand extends beyond recruitment; it also fosters credibility and goodwill with clients, prospects, and business partners. When you invest in nurturing and valuing your team, they, in turn, extend the same level of care and respect to your clients and prospects.

External Employer Brand – Building the right team

To portray an authentic image of your firm as an employer, first impressions matter. Prospective candidates often begin their research by visiting your website and social media platforms.

MacKenzie King – Recruiting with the power of authenticity

Collaborating with specialist accountancy & finance recruitment firm MacKenzie King, we helped develop their employer brand by:

  • Clearly conveying your firm’s purpose, culture, and distinguishing factors.
  • Highlighting excellent customer service and strong client/candidate relationships through surveys and testimonials.
  • Providing insights into the workplace culture through testimonials and photography on the careers page.
  • Articulating the strengths, benefits, and growth opportunities available within your firm.

When he first applied for his role, recruitment consultant Ben’s first impression was, that “MacKenzie is a company that has ambition and real clarity on who they are and how they make a difference in the recruitment space. They really stood out to me with their bold, fresh and bright appearance. Their message was authentic, simple and focused. Something you don’t see very often in this industry.”

Similarly, newest team member Ted says that he “felt drawn in by MacKenzie King’s personable approach and their values. They really shone through and when I met the team for the first time, I felt I fitted right in. This is a very competitive industry, but at MacKenzie King they hold true to their values, I am feeling encouraged and supported.”

Internal Employer Branding – Fostering Engagement from Within

Your people are your brand. Internal employer branding focuses on cultivating values and fostering behaviours that align with your firm’s brand strategy. Clear brand communication empowers employees to embrace the firm’s purpose, fostering a sense of value and understanding of their contribution towards organisational goals.

Birketts – Designing a brand book for a leading law firm

There are so many different opportunities and channels to engage your employees. The clearer and more impactful the communication, the better. We helped 1,000 employee-strong Birketts Solicitors with the visual design of their internal culture programme, including a clearly laid out and engaging brand book that clarifies the firm’s purpose, positioning and explains their core values in a meaningful and actionable manner.

GSW – Creating a print magazine to feel togetherness

For large and complex German social services organisation GSW we have created an engaging print magazine that is distributed to clients, staff and prospects to improve the efficacy of internal and marketing communications. From day one it fulfils it purpose of bringing all stakeholders closer together through evocative storytelling.

GSW’s marketing manager Claudi says: “We want to inspire trust and emphasise, how innovative, informative and warm we are as an organisation, and the magazine captures and oozes this on every single page. … Since the reading material is so diverse, people immediately had something to talk about. The magazine beautifully fulfils its purpose to create space for conversations, ideas and togetherness.”

Enhancing Employee Value and Purpose Understanding

The list is not exhaustive, but to make your team feel valued and your firm’s purpose understood, consider implementing some of these initiatives:

  • Create a Welcome Pack for new hires to facilitate seamless integration.
  • Establish buddy programs to introduce new employees to the organisational culture.
  • Conduct onboarding workshops to explain the firm’s purpose and story.
  • Develop a brand book or manifesto outlining actionable values and behaviours.
  • Strengthen internal communication channels, such as intranets, to promote connectivity and celebrate achievements.
  • Implement Professional Development Frameworks to foster growth opportunities.
  • Engage employees in your firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives, aligning with the overarching purpose.

Conclusion

In essence, effective employer branding not only attracts top talent but also retains and sustains a workforce aligned with the firm’s purpose. Clarity of purpose, coupled with compelling storytelling and impactful design, forms the bedrock of successful employer branding initiatives.

By leveraging your brand strategy and assets, both internally and externally, you can cultivate a work environment that resonates with employees and prospects alike. Whether you’re seeking an outsider’s perspective or fresh ideas to rejuvenate your employer branding efforts, we’re here to help.

Book a free, no obligation chat with us to get started on your journey towards building a stronger, more compelling employer brand.

About Franzi Scheithauer

Franzi is Creative Director at Studio Brand Up and specialises in brand strategy and identity design.