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Your Employees Are Your Employer Brand

We say it often: your employer brand is everything when it comes to hiring the right people.

(p.s. we can help you build your employer brand with these top 5 qualities you MUST include).

While salary and benefits are important in the recruiting world, the best candidates are looking for companies that already have a team of happy employees and a positive, rewarding work environment. 

In other words, the top talent you want to hire for your business are most likely to look to your other employees when deciding whether they want to work for you. Therefore, you can scale your company with the right people by cultivating a great workplace full of happy, fulfilled employees. 

Building a Team of Happy Employees

Happy employees are productive employeesand happy employees help you build a noticeable employer brand and a solid reputation among job seekers. When employees feel fairly compensated and enjoy the overall culture in the workplace, they’ll typically share their experience with other colleagues, both inside and outside of your company. These shared experiences are vital in building your employer brand and a strong reputation among job seekers within your industry.  

Of course, building a team of happy employees means ensuring potential candidates thoroughly understand your company’s culture before beginning the application process.  Your company’s unique offering needs to be highlighted in your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), an important part of your employer brand. 

What’s In Your Employee Value Proposition? 

The rewards and benefits you offer your employees help make up your EVP. The benefits and culture that your company has are what makes your organization unique and while we don’t suggest changing them, it’s important to give potential employees the full picture of what it’s like to work for you. Yes, your startup’s drivers of attraction, retention and engagement are paramount, but realistically, your EVP should go beyond to include info about financial compensation and healthcare benefits. This is key to establishing the way your company is structured and what employees can expect when they work for you. While examining an EVP, employees might also look for team-building opportunities, such as group volunteering or staff outings, as well as opportunities for further training and education. 

Salary and Benefits 

While salary isn’t everything, it’s definitely an important part of rewarding your employees and creating a strong employer brand. The amount of your employees’ salary is important, but your team must be satisfied with the frequency of raises, fairness of pay when compared to other employees, and reliability of your compensation system. That’s not to say you need to go broke providing above-average salaries but instead, it’s important to keep in mind that transparency and reliability are what sets your organization apart from other employers. 


Building a strong better employer brand means showing your employees and potential candidates that you're invested in them: consider competitive compensation, a flexible work environment, continuing education opportunities, retirement benefits, sick leave and flex days and vacation benefits as best practices when creating your recruitment strategy  


When it comes to benefits, consider offering your team a well-rounded package that goes beyond just health insurance. A well-rounded benefits package can include any combination of: 

  • Competitive compensation
  • A flexible work environment 
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Retirement benefits
  • Sick leave and flex days
  • Vacation benefits 

Advancement Opportunities and Career Development

Your employees will appreciate the opportunity to develop their skills while at work, as well as chances to earn promotions and advance within your organization. Ensuring your employees have job stability and chances to obtain ongoing training and education while they work for you is usually the best way to do this. Additionally, continue to provide them feedback about their performance and give them opportunities to improve wherever necessary. 

Challenging and Rewarding Work Environments

A work environment that challenges your employees while rewarding personal achievements can go a long way in promoting your employer brand. Be sure that your employees, both old and new, continually understand what’s expected of them in their role, as well as what’s happening within your organization. Additionally, offer your employees a good work-life balance by ensuring they have opportunities to unplug and spend time outside of work or work remotely whenever they need to. 

When it comes to work-life balance, many organizations are also turning to remote work opportunities and four-day work weeks. According to a study conducted by SHRM in 2019, 23% of organizations surveyed had implemented a four-day work week and 60% of those expressed gains in employee productivity and job satisfaction. 

Company Culture

As mentioned earlier, your company’s culture is what separates you from other employers. While it’s important to maintain the things that make your organization unique, it’s also important to ensure that your culture is appealing to potential employees. Building a collaborative team environment with a clear understanding of where responsibilities lie can help you to create a corporate culture that your employees can appreciate and lends to a higher level of morale throughout your business. 

A great example of corporate culture is Masabi, a mobile ticketing company that provides services for city transportation agencies. Instead of telling employees what the culture is, this company continually experiments with its culture and empowers its employees to self-govern and determine the shape of the company’s culture. The result of this has been a team that consistently builds Masabi’s employer brand through word-of-mouth marketing, as well as high approval ratings. 

Recruiting Via Employee Recommendations 

When your employees have a high level of job satisfaction, they’re often the best way to attract new talent to your organization. Often, this new talent will perform just as well as the employee who referred them. Your employees know what it takes to succeed in your organization and, because working with reliable, capable team members makes their own job easier, they’re most likely to recommend those who are up to the challenge. 

When you choose to recruit new team members by asking your employees for referrals, there are several things you’ll want to consider, such as: 

  • Transparency
  • Employee involvement in the recruiting process
  • Rewarding employees for great referrals
  • Maintaining an open-door policy when it comes to employee recommendations 

These considerations are discussed in more detail below. 

Be Transparent With Your Employees

If you want your employees to help you find new additions for your team that are going to value your company and work as hard as they do, it’s important that you share your hiring plan with your team and provide them with the information they need to find qualified candidates. Don’t be afraid to be transparent about everything from compensation packages to the new hire’s responsibilities. 

According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 70% of employees surveyed in North America and Europe agreed that salary transparency is good for employee satisfaction. Furthermore, 72% agreed that salary transparency is good for overall business. 

Let Your Employees Sit in on Interviews

There’s a good chance your employees are the people who will have to work directly with your new hire. If you want to make sure that the person you choose to fill an opening will fit well with your team’s culture, having one or two team members sit in on the interview is a great way to start. If you’re not comfortable having an employee join an interview, consider utilizing them for resume or telephone screenings or have them do a meet and greet with your top candidates before finalizing the decision. 

Referral Reward Programs

If you provide some sort of incentive, you might find that your employees are more motivated to find the right person for the role. Implementing a referral rewards program is the easiest way to do this. In most cases, companies award employees after their referrals have worked with the company for several months. Awards are typically monetary, but some companies also offer rewards in the form of paid vacation days or a physical gift. 

Always Be Open to Employee Recommendations

If an employee knows someone who might fit in well with your organization, take the time to hear them out and consider meeting with their recommendation. Building a network of people who have a desire to work for you can only improve your reputation as an employer. Besides building a bank of potential candidates to turn to when roles are available, this is a great way to build a strong employer brand. 

Companies That Have Built Their Employer Brand with the Help of Their People 

In recent years, there have been several tech companies of varying sizes that have built amazing employer brands. These companies have solid reputations as great organizations to work for. So, when job openings do come up, they have no trouble attracting talent. They’ve leveraged their employees in the hiring process by working hard to create a positive work environment and corporate culture that employees are passionate about. By following some of the techniques these companies have used, you can make great strides towards building a well-known employer brand and make waves in the recruiting world. Let’s take a look at some companies with model-perfect recruiting processes. 


Checkr consistently gains high employee ratings on Glassdoor thanks to its high level of employee happiness and retention. Comparably gave this tech company, which handles employee background checks, excellent employer brand ratings for these very same reasons. In short, it received an A rating in retention, an A+ in office culture and an A+ in happiness, placing it in the top 5% of rated companies.  


Based in Australia, Canva is a platform that simplifies graphic design and enables its users to create everything from logos to complex presentations with ease. When it comes to the company’s employer brand, Canva has leveraged the value of its employees to help build a culture that job seekers are eager to become a part of. Its EVP includes unique benefits that include free gym memberships, relocation funding, and hot meals for those working in the office. 

Your Employees Are Your Employer Brand

We can’t say it enough: investing in your employees and solidifying a powerful EVP to direct referrals to is the best way to reduce hiring costs and attract top talent to your organization. Using the processes and techniques outlined in The Ultimate Guide for Startup Employer Branding can help you develop a strong employer brand. This resource enables you to implement the right processes to hire and retain people who are passionate about your organization and its mission. 


Hiring great people for your startup means you need to build your employer brand around they why of your organization, not the what. Pivot+Edge Pivot and Edge can help you with startup hiring that works

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