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When it comes to your employer brand, show, don’t tell

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This is a guest post courtesy of Jamie Nichol of CultureIQ.

As a simple definition, your employer brand is how people view working at your company. But my favorite way to explain the concept is that it is the reaction when someone says I work at so-and-so company. The reaction can fall somewhere between positive (Lucky! I’ve heard so-and-so company really invests in their employees.), confusion (What is so-and-so company? Never heard of it.), and not-so-great (Yikes. I heard they run you into the ground there).

The challenge with employer branding is that it’s not just about having a brand, it’s also about curating it and making sure it elicits the associations and feelings that represent what you’re all about.

The value in showing, not telling your employer brand

Remember that writing technique your third grade teacher repeated over and over? It also comes in handy when communicating your employer brand with the world.

An “About Us” page with your values listed and a paragraph about what it’s like to work at your company is a great first step, but that provides a one-dimensional view into your employer brand. These pages usually don’t bring about any sort of emotional reaction. They simply tell you what it’s like to work there.

Shake it up! Get creative! Seek out ways to show what it’s really like to work at your company and invite opportunities for people to interact with your employer brand.

What is our company’s personality? What makes us different? What are some weird traditions we have? How do you interact with the rest of the team? What attracted you to this company? What three words come to mind when you think about your experience here?

Ask around and translate the answers into blogs, videos, images, stories, slideshares, events, etc. Check out Canva’s story timeline to see an example of showing an employer brand.

Empower employees to be employer brand champions
Happy employees are your best resource for showing your authentic employer brand to the world. Afterall, an authentic employer brand is rooted in your company’s values, culture, and community — and who better to demonstrate that than those living it every day? Of course, this is only effective if your culture is strong and employees genuinely would recommend your company as a place to work.

Here are a few ways to empower your team to be employer brand champions:

  • Leverage social channels, such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, to get the word out about what it’s like to join your team. You can even set up a separate Twitter account for your employer brand — “Life at So-and-So Company,” or consider assigning a few employees each week to be your social employer brand champions who are responsible for sharing on your social channels. Encourage everyone to submit photos, videos, and stories.
  • Encourage the team to bring their friends into the office or allow team members to bring a guest to company events. When people experience first-hand what it’s like to work at your company, they are bound to remember and share their experience with others.
  • Provide fun, branded swag that employees can wear around town. This might sound superficial, but seeing people wear their company name with pride creates positive brand association and can seed a conversation about what it’s like to work there. For example, I once sat across from someone wearing a company-branded shirt at a social gathering. I knew about the company, but I knew nothing about what it was like to work there. Ever since my conversation with this informal employer brand champion, I have had a positive association with employment at their company and their product.

As you work on showing your employer brand to the world, remember to always prioritize the experience of your current team. Afterall, a strong culture is the foundation for any strong employer brand.

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Jamie Nichol

Jamie is the Head of Community at CultureIQ, a platform that helps companies strengthen their culture. Jamie connects people, companies, and ideas to create an ecosystem for people to collaborate around company culture. Sign up to receive updates about community events and opportunities here, or feel free to shoot her an email at