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Employer Branding for Small Businesses: Tips & Tricks to Stand Out

Authentic and engaging employer branding for small businesses can be a competitive advantage.

Our Founder + Managing Partner Brianna Blaney puts it simply: your employer brand is how your organization shows up as an employer to current and potential employees. It represents the people who work for you and helps you attract top talent.

Your company has an employer brand, whether or not you choose to manage it. It’s at the sweet spot where HR meets marketing. As a small business, managing and developing your employer brand is likely part of someone’s role, rather than anyone’s dedicated role purpose.

We get it. This article guides you through employer branding for small businesses, sharing 5 easy ways to boost your employer brand to attract top talent, and provide you with the resources to get started today!

1. Understand Your Audience

Who are you talking to? What do they care about? To attract the right people to your small business, it’s critical to create content that will excite them and keep them coming back for more! 

Understand your audience by developing a candidate persona for each of your key audience groups. You may have used customer personas to market effectively to potential customers. Candidate personas serve the same purpose!

A candidate persona is a hypothetical profile of a target candidate based on top performers or ideal employees. Key information includes who they are, what they care about, and where they spend time.  

Once you have this information, you can use it to focus your marketing and recruitment efforts to specific audiences and attract the right people. Download our Candidate Persona Tool to begin understanding your audience today!

2. Get Social

In a perpetually connected world, the way we communicate continues to evolve. Job seekers expect organizations to have a social media presence. For a large percentage of the population, this is the tool of choice for receiving news and information. It is the first place most of us go to look for information on another person or company. 

How are you bringing your employer brand to life across your social media platforms?

As a small business, social media is likely just one among a long list of responsibilities, rather than the entire focus of their role. Consistency is important to achieve success with social media. You can’t post once today, then again in three months, and expect results. Make your life easier by carving out an hour or two each month to create and schedule social media posts using a platform like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Keep the tone of your social media profiles authentic. Focus on sharing content that offers job seekers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business. Engage your people as brand ambassadors to leverage the power of social sharing!

Check out our Social Media Tool for content tips and insight into popular social media platforms!  

 3. Give Your Job Ads a Facelift

A job ad is often a job seeker’s first impression of your business. Especially for small businesses with a less established brand presence. What do your job ads say about you? If you use the same template for every role – a template that hasn’t been updated in years – it’s time to re-evaluate your job advertisement strategy.  

The new generations in our workforce have more access to on-demand information than ever before. They expect more from employers, including customized communication and connection.  

Stand out from the crowd in a sea of static black and white ads in Times New Roman. Build dynamic job ads that include branded visual elements, conversational language, and a “you” focus. Our rule of thumb? For every time you use “we”, use “you” 4 times. Talk more about benefits than features, and preemptively address every candidate’s underlying question: “what’s in it for me?”

Download our Job Ad Tool for help giving your job ads a much-needed facelift!

4. Build Your Career Page

Where do job seekers go to explore what it’s like to be part of your business? Your career page! As competition for top talent increases, organizations are getting more creative than ever to sell their business to job seekers.  

If you don’t already have a section of your website dedicated to careers and recruitment, start here! Your career page should tell a story that engages readers and leaves them wanting more.  

Focus on the WIIFM – what’s in it for me. What sets you apart from the competition? How do you reward people? Help candidates understand what to expect by including an overview of your hiring process. Or go even further, outlining what they can expect in their first few months and highlighting members of their future team! 

5. Step Away From the Stock Photography 

Your organization is so much more than posed photos and fake smiles! Show off your culture by using real photos of your team.  

If you have the budget, work with a photographer to capture high quality photos for your image library. Use these photos across platforms – from your social channels to your career site and recruitment advertising.

If you don’t have a budget for professional photography, no problem! Job seekers love authenticity. Ask your team to capture candid shots on-the-job. Real photos help to bring your employer brand to life, showcasing your culture, your people, and what you’re all about. After all – a picture tells a thousand words. 

Still not sure where to start?
Get started with our Employer Brand Audit!

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