How to Build an Attractive Tech Employer Brand in 2023
Strong employer branding is a valuable asset. By building an attractive employer brand, you spend less time and energy reaching out to talent and more time talking to engaged tech candidates.
But how do you achieve this status for your company? It all comes down to excellent work culture and consistent company communication.
These recommendations will help you be more attractive to tech talent.
Employer branding: a key differentiator for tech recruiters
In a crowded job market, developers have the upper hand in finding their next job. They can access numerous job opportunities online and receive many offers from proactive recruiters. So why settle for a company with a dubious reputation or forgettable brand image?
That’s one reason you should take care of your employer branding as a tech recruiter. Tech candidates want to be sure they are joining an organization that fits their expectations and values. They are checking your corporate website, social media channels, and review sites to decide.
By working on your digital reputation, you ensure a good first impression. This investment in brand image can pay off significantly well.
Compared to an average one, data shows that exceptional employer branding gives you a number of benefits:
- Reducing cost-per-hire (up to 50% less)
- Minimizing employee turnover (up to 28%)
- Increasing your number of applicants (up to +50%)
- Speeding up recruitment times (up to 2 times faster)
Here are five recommendations to get you started.
The 5 Pillars of Strong Employer Branding for Developers
Employer branding is about communicating your employee value proposition (EVP). Having a great work culture and environment is a great start, but you must make it clear to prospective employees. You need to advertise it correctly and to the right audience. Here’s how:
1. Know your ideal developer persona
Look at your most dedicated and valuable tech employees. Do they have anything in common? We’re ready to bet that they do.
That’s because their work ethics and career expectations fit with your company’s core values. When joining your company, they had specific expectations which fit perfectly with your work environment. Ideally, you want to find, hire, and retain these employees. And they are the ones that define the ideal developer persona of your company:
- Career-driven: are they ambitious individuals who want to climb the ladder and contribute to a fast-paced company?
- Community-driven: do they look for an active and reassuring social environment?
- Purpose-driven: do they value the product you’re building and its purpose?
- Flexibility-driven: do they care much about remote working and their work-life balance?
This is, of course, an oversimplification. Your company might attract career-driven developers who also value work-life balance. It is essential to draw a clear portrait of your best-fit employees, with their personalities, aspirations, and core values. It will help you target the candidates most likely to resonate with your company.
2. Know your unique value proposition
Now that you know who to target, you can craft your employee value proposition (EVP). Ask your existing tech employees what they love most about your company. Is it social rituals like coding contests or informal debates? Is it a sense of self-ownership that enables them to learn and grow every day? Is it an exciting mission that inspires them to do their best work?
You can sum up your value proposition, based on their answers, in one sentence. Here’s a little inspiration from famous tech companies’ EVPs:
- “Create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.” – Airbnb highlights the importance of its company mission and its value of diversity and inclusivity.
- “Your best work starts here”. – Hubspot promotes its culture of constant learning, work flexibility, and belonging to one community.
- “Strong values and purpose, empathetic leadership, and a place where all people feel they belong.” – Shopify puts forward both its positive working culture and its mission-driven values.
Your EVP will shape all of your recruitment communications.
3. Share authentic stories
Expressing your company’s values is one thing, you also have to prove them. Tech talents are wary of organizations that tell but don’t show and even more of content that sounds fake. 75% of them rigorously check the company’s website before making their decision.
That’s why you should share first-hand stories about your employees and workplace. Developers are especially fond of content such as:
- Employee testimonials: you can interview a diverse panel of your most devoted employees to share what it feels like to work at your company and what they like about it. This employee advocacy should be the heart of your branded content.
- Behind-the-scene videos: videos of the latest team-building event, coding challenges, or a virtual tour of the office.
- First-time employee video: showcase what the first week of your new employee will look like. This will give them a concrete picture of the onboarding process.
- Purpose and mission-driven videos: share what kind of impact your employees make globally.
4. Promote your branding through different channels
Some developers receive job offers and corporate communication every day. They are overwhelmed with job advertising. You want to reach out to them at the right place and time to get their attention. You want to make your employer branding relevant for every communication channel.
Developers are especially paying attention to channels such as:
- Company and career websites: build a dedicated “culture page” articulating your employee value proposition. Besides your job openings, you might put forward your company’s values, missions, purpose, and employee perks.
- Job boards like Indeed, Dice, Hired, or Well Found: post a job description highlighting all aspects of your EVP and employee benefits (as well of a clear description of the role, of course).
- Social media like LinkedIn and Twitter: regularly post company news, stories about employees, and new openings. Social media presence can be a great differentiator for your employer branding!
5. Monitor reviews
Employer reviewing platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Career Bliss have gained traction recently. Many employees share their opinions about their previous and current employers. And that’s even more the case for tech talent, who care a lot about what is said of companies online.
Monitoring these platforms can have a huge impact on your employer branding.
Set up and manage the company’s profile page. Comment on every review and thank every contributor for their feedback. Even if they are negative, you want to show appreciation for their thoughts and consider these suggestions for future hires. Don’t hesitate to encourage your existing employees to publish their honest reviews to turn it in your favor.
Also, use this feedback to improve your work culture and organization. Which cons often come up in your employee reviews? Nobody is perfect, think about what can be improved.
The recurrent issues expressed by developers in 2023 are related to work planning, lack of leadership, and inadequate technical tools. Every organization is confronted with issues regarding retaining tech employees. These reviewing platforms will help you get a reality check.
4 examples of tech companies with great employer branding
Many tech companies -large and small- have already mastered the art of employer branding. They have focused on their work culture, value proposition, and communication to attract the right type of developers. Let’s see what we can learn from them:
Salesforce employer branding initiatives revolve around a core value: “Ohana.” This Hawaiian word -meaning “family-” embodies the sense of community.
The HR & marketing teams communicate this employer philosophy via video content on social media about the company’s mission and purpose. They especially insist on their Glassdoor presence, with regular posts on the review website. Furthermore, they leverage employee advocacy to receive and pass along genuine employee feedback and appreciation.
Twilio sees each employee as a “builder” and especially conveys this value during their onboarding process. Every new employee is asked to imagine a new app based on the Twilio API. The company encourages creativity and risk taking.
The “Twilio magic” page presents the four pillars of their work culture: “We are builders, we are owners, we are curious, and we are positrons.” The team also reinforces the message via regular social media posts on Twitter and Instagram.
VMware is a Californian B2B tech company with solid employer branding for tech talent. Its EVP, “Own your future,” translates the company’s importance to investing in its talent’s future. VMware wants to be an organization where employees are valued for who they are, where they can achieve both personal and professional progress. This means fluent career opportunities but also a huge emphasis on flexible work. Via the “Future of Work” initiative, WMware pioneered an international strategy for recruiting tech talent worldwide just before the pandemic. Employees can work remotely, fixed (entirely in-person), or flexibly (a mix of remote and fixed).
VMware publishes honest testimonials on channels like YouTube and WeChat.
Datadog is a tech company that puts a lot of emphasis on diversity and international expansion. In recent years, the company has grown rapidly and opened offices in many countries to attract tech talent worldwide.
The HR & marketing teams leverage this diverse and open collaborative culture to build employer branding. They encourage employees to share stories of their work life, in every one of their offices. They highlight employee advocacy via LinkedIn and Instagram testimonial posts but also use these social media platforms to share their initiatives around DEI & learning programs.