Build Your Employer Brand Through Your Employees

September 3, 2009

Nearly 80% of companies build their employment brand through their employees. What about your company?

I’m Mario Sundar, Community Evangelist at LinkedIn. My role encompasses building and sustaining communication between our employees and users, by leveraging a slew of social media tools freely available today.

In a Q1 2009 LinkedIn survey completed by 210 directors and VP’s of HR at companies across the United States, 79% declared that their primary means of building their employer’s brand was through their employee base.

Looks like HR professionals these days spend time ensuring that their company provides a unique work environment and culture that their employees appreciate.  In today’s networked world, no one would be surprised that companies have come to regard their employees as the key “story tellers” of their brand’s unique value proposition to the outside world.

And, here’s why:

  • No one is better positioned to describe what it’s like to work within your company, in various departments, locations and functions than your employees. They are your high-profile ambassadors.
  • Remember that their voice is already being heard out there through social media, whether you like it or not. Social media represents an unprecedented forum to authentically display your company’s values, mission, and culture.
  • Finally, your employees are also the first ones contacted by potential candidates seeking information about your company’s work environment and challenges.

Your employees, starting with your executives, influence your company’s employment brand more than any advertising campaign that you will ever craft. They do so through their blog, word-of-mouth sites like Twitter, and of course on LinkedIn, where they build their “professional brand” in ways that are intrinsically tied to your company’s brand.

Each of them tells a unique story about your brand. One that is more personal and finely tailored to the audience that listens to them: their followers, friends and connections. And the sum of these stories paints a picture that reflects the reality of your employment brand.

Educating them on the correct usage and etiquette of social media encourages them to proudly wear their company brand at social networking forums, thereby generating more interest from their network some of whom may even be potential recruits.

Over the next few weeks I’ll share some tips on how you can train your employees to use the many social media tools at their disposal, with a emphasis on LinkedIn, in a smart and effective manner. Stay tuned for my next post on Social Media Guidelines.

Would love to hear questions, feedback and suggestions in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!