Employer Branding Recruitment Marketing

14 Employer Brand Opportunities in the Candidate and Employee Journey

14 Opportunities to Infuse Employer Brand Throughout Candidate and Employee Journey
Profile photo of Natasha Makovora
Written by Natasha Makovora

Infusing your employer brand throughout the candidate experience and employee journey is not just good practice, it’s vital for attracting and retaining great talent. Don’t miss these 14 opportunities to bring your brand values to life from prehire to retire.

14 Employer Brand Opportunities in the Candidate and Employee Journey
5 (100%) 3 votes

Our employer brands are most often used to attract external talent to our organizations. However, activating your employer brand internally is just as integral (if not more so!) because you need to uphold the promises you’re making during the recruiting process in order for your employer brand to be successful. In addition, activating your employer brand internally helps to provide a positive and purposeful employee experience that keeps talent sticking around long term.

However, knowing how to bring your employer brand to life across your candidate and employee journey is often easier said than done. To help you make it happen, we’re sharing 14 opportunities to infuse your employer brand across every candidate and employee journey touchpoint. Let’s dive in.

Infuse your employer brand in the candidate journey and employee experienceRally note: Want even more inspiration? Check out our guide to learn 50 ways to brand your candidate and employee experience, so that you can build a plan to deliver a standout experience across the entire employee lifecycle from prehire to retire. After reading this guide, you’ll be empowered to create and activate a plan for infusing your employer brand into the new digital employee lifecycle with support from your leadership team and other important stakeholders.

Candidate iconCandidate Journey

Stage: Open to Change

Whether actively searching for a role or passively open to considering new opportunities that come their way, candidates need to know about your organization’s culture and employment opportunities to keep you on their radar.

According to CareerArc, 68% of Millennials visit an employer’s social media page specifically to evaluate the employer’s brand.

Employer brand opportunity: Partner with your marketing team to provide content that’s geared specifically to marketing your company as an employer to speak directly to your candidate audience. Employee stories are an effective content type because they help candidates envision themselves working at your organization, but they also can engage customers and partners by helping them learn more about your team.

Mondelez International won the 2020 Rally Awards for Best Social Careers Channel for their creative approach to using Instagram to showcase their employee value propositions (EVP).

Stage: Search for Jobs

Once candidates are familiar with your employer brand story and are actively looking for open roles, your goal is to educate them on the application process and the specific experience they’ll have on a given team.

Employer brand opportunity: Provide initial content about your application process, including the steps involved and typical timelines associated with each. And if you’re using a virtual interview process as a result of COVID-19, share updated information about what to expect as a result. By doing this, you’re positioning yourself as an employer that truly cares about their candidates’ success, which can help paint your organization in a positive light and improve your employer brand reputation.

Stage: Employer Research

Changing jobs is always a big decision, and that’s been especially true over the past year. Candidates are looking for stability, and your Recruitment Marketing content on your careers site is important to giving candidates the information and assurances they need to decide to apply.

Employer brand opportunity: Creating a careers blog hosted on your careers site is a great way to give candidates a more in-depth look into life at your organization by showcasing your company culture through employee stories in varied formats like long-form blogs and videos.

The Life at Cisco blog

The Life at Cisco blog makes personal connections between Cisco employees, the cool projects they work on and the external world of potential top talent and press.

Stage: Apply for Jobs

A long, frustrating and difficult job application process can negatively impact your employer brand and dissuade great talent from going any further with your company. Research by Appcast shows that applications that take longer than 5 minutes see a 50-75% drop off rate, and applications with more than 25 questions see a 25-50% abandon rate. This can have a negative impact on your overall employer brand, as candidates may think that your organization is bureaucratic and unattainable.

Employer brand opportunity: Take a hard look at your application flow from start to finish and work to eliminate unnecessary steps like creating an account, while adding ease-of-use features like auto-filling the application from their resume or social profiles.

Stage: Attend Interviews

With most interviews now being conducted virtually, this can add even more stress to a candidate’s experience as they juggle making the tech work while worrying about background noise at home.

Employer brand opportunity: You can help make the process less daunting for candidates by sending them virtual interview best practices ahead of time — like how to use your video conferencing tech and interview tips with your hiring managers. Candidates will ultimately appreciate that you took the time to help them and they’ll be able to open up more freely as they’re coming into their first meeting with you more prepared, relaxed and confident.

Stage: Consider Offer(s)

Once you’ve reached the final stages with your top candidate, you may still need to do some persuading to get them to accept your offer since they might be considering offers from other employers too. Your company’s reputation is influential at this stage, but so is the experience you provide, as it represents what experience they’ll have as an employee.

Employer brand opportunity: Offer packages are often filled with complex legal documents like employment agreements, NDAs and non-competes. Reviewing all the documents and reading the fine print can be overwhelming and not a fun experience.

Make this process easier (and more enjoyable!) by creating content to help candidates navigate your offer processes, such as videos and infographics. You can also use this as an opportunity to showcase your EVP and company culture to help candidates better evaluate your offer and decide if this is truly the right fit for them.

Wells Fargo Understanding Offer Video

Wells Fargo developed a section filled with articles and videos on how candidates can make sure they’re considering everything on the table when they’ve been given an offer.

Stage: Accepted Offer

There’s typically a gap between when your new hire signs their offer letter and their first day. There are plenty of activities you can do during this period to provide a positive experience so that candidates feel engaged and excited from day one onwards.

Employer brand opportunity: Sending a physical welcome package with company swag and maybe even a gift card is a great way to make your new hire feel welcome and like they’re already a part of the team (and these also make for great photo-ops that can amplify your organization and employer brand across social media).

The candidate and employee journey

The candidate and employee journey, from prehire to retire

Employee iconEmployee Journey

Stage: New Hire Onboarding

Onboarding is the critical transition from being a candidate to an employee, and their first experience with your organization as a new hire could validate their perception about your employer brand or blow it up.

Employer brand opportunity: Update your onboarding systems to feature visuals, messaging and a tone of voice that aligns with your brand. And think beyond just physical branded elements like your company logo — what about the overall experience? Did you position yourself as a fun and relaxed company during the recruitment process, but your onboarding is filled with dry and outdated paperwork?

You want to make sure that the promises you made during the recruitment process are upheld once candidates actually join your organization — otherwise you risk having them leave early on!

Stage: Complete Training

Effective training programs are critical for helping new employees to better understand their roles and how they contribute to the company’s success. It also makes it clear where they should focus their efforts in the first few weeks to hit the ground running.

Employer brand opportunity: Ditch the traditional PowerPoint training for more engaging methods, such as interactive videos or gamification-style digital training. This way, your new team members will remain engaged and ramp faster, which can help them build confidence and feel like they made the right decision to join your organization.

Stage: Belonging

Research by BetterUp shows that workplace belonging is vital for employee well-being and organizational functioning. In fact, employees with a high sense of belonging take 75% fewer sick days and see a 56% increase in job performance! That means that belonging in the workplace is good for employees and good for the business too.

Employer brand opportunity: One way to approach this is by creating a committee responsible for social events and other team activities that can help strengthen your culture by enhancing the employee experience and bringing people together — this also makes great content for external Recruitment Marketing posts.

Keep in mind that Zoom fatigue is real right now, so think about ways you can elevate these experiences by incorporating augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) to bring real life elements to the digital world.

Lemonly party planning committee

Lemonly put together a party planning committee known as the PPC that organizes company events to build camaraderie and celebrate milestones and achievements.

Stage: Growth and Development

By consistently encouraging professional development with your team, you can help employees to upgrade their skills and grow within your organization, and internally re-recruit your own workforce for roles too as their skills evolve.

Employer brand opportunity: Celebrate promotions and transfers with swag or a gift card and through a department-wide email or shout out during an all-hands meeting. Linking EVP pillars like growth and development to recognition efforts is an excellent way to reinforce that this is a priority area for your organization.

Stage: Retention

By infusing your employer brand through the employee lifecycle, you increase the chances that employees will stay on board for the long term because they know that your company “walks the walk” and is committed to providing a positive experience.

Employer brand opportunity: Conducting regular employee pulse checks or eNPS surveys to gauge employee engagement and satisfaction levels is a great way to understand how employees currently feel about your organization. You can also capture employee feedback from review sites and create an anonymous internal comment box too so you can iterate and improve your employee experience over time.

By providing your team members with frequent opportunities to provide feedback, they’ll feel more engaged — which can help with employee satisfaction and retention efforts! This feedback can also help you to learn what employees really value about working with you so that you can iterate on your employer brand over time.

Stage: Advocate

Employees who have a positive experience will openly share their stories with others and recommend your organization as a great place to work. And don’t forget, your ex-employees can also be strong advocates for your brand too!

Employer brand opportunity: Create an employee advocacy program to encourage employees to share your company culture content with their networks on social media.You could also consider creating an EVP and social media training guide to equip your ambassadors with the best practices.


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A post shared by Nestlé USA (@nestleusa)

Nestlé USA leverages their team of employee ambassadors to amplify their content, which has helped draw in nearly 25,000 organic, unpaid engagements!

Stage: Separation

Creating a positive final employee experience that paints your company in a good light can help boost your employer brand. When your team members leave on a positive note, they’re more likely to refer others to your organization or even boomerang back to you!

Employer brand opportunity: When possible, celebrate offboarding moments to let employees know you value their time and contribution. This can look like publicly recognizing their contributions, throwing a going away party, or writing a thank you for your service card and providing them with a small parting gift.


An employer brand is most effective and authentic when it’s built and reinforced from the inside out, so if you can infuse your employer brand throughout the entire candidate and employee lifecycle, you’ll see much better results on talent acquisition and attention in the long run.

Infuse your employer brand in the candidate journey and employee experienceWe hope these tips are helpful as you strive to bring your employer brand to life holistically. And if you’re looking for more inspiration, we’ve got you covered! Check out our how-to guide in partnership with InFlight to learn 50 ways to brand your candidate and employee experience. Across the 14 stages of recruiting, onboarding and belonging, you’ll discover 50 opportunities to infuse what your employer brand represents into your new virtual candidate and employee experience. Plus, you’ll see examples of 5 leading employers that you can learn from.

14 Employer Brand Opportunities in the Candidate and Employee Journey
5 (100%) 3 votes

About the Author

Profile photo of Natasha Makovora

Natasha Makovora

Natasha Makovora is a Rally Content Contributor and Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing Specialist at The Employer Brand Shop.

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