Building a strong employer brand has become essential to attract and retain the best employees. However, crafting an effective employer brand requires expertise, creativity, and strategic thinking. While some companies have a dedicated employer branding team, many need outside help (even with a dedicated team).
This is where an employer branding agency comes into play.
Employer branding agencies come in a variety of shapes, sizes and strategies, but for the most part, an employer branding agency will work with your team to help you reach your employer branding goals. It may involved content creation, paid advertising, video production, or other tactics, depending on the agency.
But with so many agencies out there, how do you find the right one for your company?
Don't worry, we've got you covered when it comes to selecting the perfect employer branding agency for your team — and your goals.
8 Things To Remember To Choose the Right Employer Branding Agency
Define Your Objectives
Before diving into the sea of agencies, take a step back and define your goals. What are you looking to achieve with your employer brand? Is it to improve recruitment efforts, enhance employee engagement, or boost employer reputation? Perhaps it's all of the above. Either way, having clear objectives will help you narrow down your search and find an agency that specializes in meeting your specific needs. Here are few examples of employer branding goals you might be after:
- increase the number of qualified applicants
- grow your talent community while you're not actively hiring
- build a brand on LinkedIn by increasing content production
- become thought leaders in the recruiting industry and/or your company's industry
Expand Your Search Beyond Google
Of course a quick Google search can drum up a number of employer branding agencies, but expand your hunt beyond the search engine. Ask your peers if they've used any great employer branding agencies in the past. Post a question online in a forum like Reddit or any industry-specific Slack groups you might be a part of. You could even pose the question on LinkedIn and see what your network says. Word of mouth is often the best way to find what you're looking for.
Assess Their Expertise
Now that you have a shortlist of agencies to look at, it's time to evaluate. When assessing potential employer branding agencies, look beyond flashy portfolios and delve into their expertise:
- Do they have a deep understanding of your industry and target audience?
- Have they worked with companies similar to yours?
- What kind of success to you see from the case studies offered?
Assess their track record (and ask questions!) to gauge their effectiveness in delivering results. And remember, an employer branding agency will have a much deeper understanding than a regular marketing agency will have of the specific strategies and content that will make a real impact.
Seek Out Creativity and Innovation
In the realm of employer branding, creativity is key. Expertise on what to do is great, but if the agency doesn't have creative content that will cut through the noise, your brand won't have a lot of power behind it.
Look for agencies that can offer fresh and innovative ideas to differentiate your employer brand from the competition. Whether it's through unique storytelling, captivating visuals, or out-of-the-box campaigns, creativity should be at the core of their approach. This is especially important if you're seeking an agency to help with content creation.
Make Sure They Have a Good Process
Agencies can work in a number of ways, but regardless, a well-defined process is crucial for the success of any employer branding initiative. Take the time to understand the agency's approach, from initial strategy development to execution and measurement.
Are they thorough in their research and planning? Do they provide regular updates and feedback throughout the project? A transparent and collaborative process is essential for a fruitful partnership. And don't be afraid to ask the tough questions! Inquire about their process, methodologies, and timelines for delivering results.
It's also critical that this process works in alignment with how your own team operates. It doesn't have to be exactly the same, but it should match your needs. For example, if you're looking for an agency that works directly with your team, like an embedded member, make sure that's part of their process.
Consider Cultural Fit
In a similar way to making sure the process works for your team, finding an overall culture fit can make or break the success of your initiatives. Building a strong employer brand requires a deep understanding of your company culture and values. Look for an agency that shares your ethos and can seamlessly integrate with your team. Cultural fit goes beyond just delivering projects; it's about fostering a long-term partnership built on trust, communication, and shared goals. This is one of the main reasons we at Purpose Jobs work primarily with purpose-driven organizations: the partnerships are more aligned from the start and we share similar passions for purpose-driven work. It's a win-win, which is exactly what a great partnership should be.
Look Out For Transparent Communication
Effective communication is key to any successful partnership. Look for an agency that prioritizes transparency and keeps you informed every step of the way. They should be responsive to your inquiries, open to feedback, and proactive in providing updates on the progress of your employer branding initiatives.
It's great to ask about how the team communicates throughout the partnership, but one of the biggest indicators for how they'll communicate in the future is how they communicate right now. If they're responsive, helpful, and want to make it work, they'll carry that attitude throughout the partnership.
Be Realistic about Metrics and ROI
While cost shouldn't be the sole determining factor (you know what they say, you get what you pay for), it's essential to consider the agency's pricing structure and potential return on investment (ROI). Compare quotes from multiple agencies and assess the value they offer in relation to your budget.
What's even more important is that the ROI you're looking for is something this employer branding agency can offer. If you're looking for an agency that will help you paid LinkedIn ads and they primarily focus on organic growth, you probably won't see the ROI you're looking for. Make sure everyone is clearly aligned on the objectives — and how to get there — before you sign anything.
In the end, a lot of it comes down to trusting your instincts. As you go about this journey of finding a great employer branding agency, pay attention to how you vibe with the agency team during meetings and interactions. Do they understand your vision and demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for your project?
A strong gut feeling can often steer you in the right direction when making tough decisions. And finding the right employer branding agency is a strategic investment that can pay dividends in attracting and retaining top talent.