Employment21 Jun 2023
The Art of Employer Branding Design: A Guide to Creating a Consistent Visual Identity
Employer Branding is much more than just developing an Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Its purpose is to create a coherent and uniquely visual identity that is communicated across online and offline platforms to prospective candidates and employees. The visual elements of the Employer Brand, such as design templates should be consistent and convey your EVP messaging across all platforms.
All the visual elements work together to build trust, quickly and easily. They tell the prospective and current employees about your offer as an employer. It helps to create a clearer picture of the employee experience in the target audience's hearts and minds.
Belong Creative has helped many leading employers create a visual brand identity specifically for their Employment Brand. To learn about our Employer Brand identity work, visit one of our key projects.
Why does Employer Branding matter?
Employer Branding conveys the tangible and intangible benefits that an employee receives from an organisation in the form of a promise. It helps to connect candidates favourably with the employer, to make the recruitment process more effective and efficient. Prospective employees judge an employer through the lens of the Employer Brand.
The more connected candidates are with the Employer Brand, the higher the chances of attracting the right employees.
The benefits of Employer Branding to the organisation are:
1. Helps attract, engage and retain the right employees
2. Sets offer apart from competitors to attract the best talent
3. Supports the desired work culture
4. Reduces recruitment and hiring costs
5. Reduces early attrition
6. Creates more belonging and improves performance
What are the key ingredients of an Employer Brand?
An Employer Brand helps organisations position themselves as the right place to work for certain employees. Many key ingredients help to build a positive and compelling Employer Brand. Some of the key elements are:
1. Employee Value Proposition
2. Organisation culture, values and vision
3. Employee stories and experiences
5. Visual brand elements such as logo, colours and other design elements.
All these ingredients help form a distinct identity of the organisation’s Employer Brand.
Elements that affect your Employer Brand
Employer Branding is a comprehensive tool that helps companies attract, engage and retain their relationships with employees.
Many elements affect your Employer Brand and how it is perceived in the marketplace. Some of the critical components are:
Companies that have a regular and strategic social media presence on platforms such as Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook portray their Employer Brand more effectively. Applying for a new job is a big life decision, so employees want to get it right. So they check everything a company posts on social media. That includes your products/services, job openings, vision and the people working for the organisation. All social media posts can influence your company's Employer Brand identity.
The vision and the purpose the organisation stands for helps candidates and employees decide whether their values align with the journey ahead. This is about attracting the right people, not all people. Doing meaningful work is high up on the list of requirements for employees. Therefore purpose-led organisations often have a more appealing Employer Brand.
An Employer Brand is ideally an authentic summation of the employee experience. Employees with positive experiences will be advocates and make referrals that help with the recruitment process by sharing the positive workplace culture. Conveying your employee experiences through storytelling can be a powerful way to position your business as an attractive workplace during recruitment of candidates.
What are the elements of an Employer Brand visual identity?
The Employer Brand visual identity helps to communicate how your brand should position itself in employment marketing channels both internal and external. Coherence is more important than consistency when designing the visual brand elements and what they should communicate.
Below are the essential visual brand elements and their meaning for creating a visual Employer Brand identity:
One of the first visual elements that often gets noticed in advertising is the company logo. It forms the primary and iconic differentiator of your company from the competition and helps employees’ recall what your brand stands for. All Employer Branding communications should include your business logo. You may consider locking it up in a tagline device if you create a specific talent positioning statement. By placing it near, or in a lock-up with your logo elevates the messaging beyond a one-off campaign.
Colours help the brand communicate its personality. Again, utilising the corporate brand palette is advisable, however you may wish to bring in more of the approved secondary palette which is often more diverse and vibrant to stand out and convey the breadth and depth of your human experience. This is key, especially on various communication platforms such as websites, or social media. It is proven that colour has a big impact on attracting attention and generating recall for a brand. So infusing your brand’s colours into your Employer Brand visual identity is an easy win.
Like colours, the right font helps propagate the brand's personality consistently across various platforms. While as a rule, your corporate font should be used, often the Employer Brand requires a more ‘softer voice’ and a supplementary font may be useful to convey this human side of the brand.
Shapes are powerful. Rounded or wavy suggests easy, smooth and flowing. Angles suggest dynamic, futuristic and determined. How you shapes in your visual identity should support your band’s personality and positioning. Often derived from the corporate brand, your Employer Brand may leverage iconic elements such as the curves or angles from your logo or a branded graphic device.
The symbolic representation of something, a person, thing or action, is an icon. In the case of creating a visual Employer Brand identity, icons can play a key role in communicating the diverse nature of work, divisions or key offerings in the employment experience. Rather than photos, an icon can quickly convey the meaning of a broad idea or subject, helping reinforce the EVP.
Utilising a certain photographic style makes it easier for a company to create distinctive ‘on-brand’ images that feel unique. Think about what type of style would suit your Employer Brand. Should it be people-focussed, posed or more spontaneous, professional or relaxed, serious or fun. Could it be more conceptual and convey a big idea, or more documentary capturing an everyday at work moment. The options are endless!
Instead of photography, illustrations can present a different and distinctive style to convey the EVP or employment experience. Because illustration is more rare, there is an opportunity to leverage a custom style that stands out and is memorable while playing into your brand’s personality. Illustration can make serious or complex subjects lighter and more easily digestible.
Every Employer Brand needs a style guide. This is a key document that brings all the visual identity elements together and explains how to use them across different platforms. The style guide usually contains your approved messaging such as EVP Narrative and Pillars and templates for job advertising. It may also include a specific approach to video, photography and how to capture storytelling. Essentially your Employer Brand style guide empowers your team and recruiters to deploy content consistently across channels and regions.
How to create a visual Employer Brand identity with impact
Many different factors go into making an effective and compelling Employer Brand visual identity. Such considerations include consistency, coherence, memorability, appropriateness and uniqueness:
Design consistency involves making elements consistent, ensuring they have a uniform appearance and behaviour. Designers frequently emphasise consistent navigation, page layouts and control elements. In each instance, the goal is to enhance usability by establishing uniformity, however this can be limited to certain areas and allow diversity or flexibility in other areas.
Coherence means making sure every part of your brand fits well together, instead of trying to make them exactly the same. Consistency doesn't have to mean everything looks identical - rather that they belong together. By thinking about coherence not just consistency, we avoid being too restrictive with the brand and give some flexibility to be more creative and evolve as values change over time.
Memorability is the principle of designing graphics templates that are easy to remember. This can be achieved by using clear and concise language, creating intuitive navigation and using consistent design elements through the use of templates. Memorability is important for creating a positive user experience so candidates and employees don’t have to relearn new structures when you deploy Employer Brand communications.
The visual identity should have a distinctive nature that differentiates it from competitors. This may be one key element or a unique mixture of elements together. Ideally you should be able to ‘hide’ your logo and the collateral still has a unique personality that demonstrates your brand qualities.
Visual elements like photography, illustrations, shapes and icons need careful selection when designing a careers web page or using them on social media. The content should be pleasing to the eye and appropriate for the space. So things like readability, accessibility and sensitivity should all be considered as part of a comprehensive visual identity system that understands how elements are consumed within different channels and platforms.
The utility of a visual element while designing is significant to building a successful brand identity. For example, using a photo instead of an icon to carry more emotion, or using typography in a balanced hierarchy, so the most important messages are recalled more easily. Every element needs to be considered as to how it will influence the audience.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Why is Employer Branding important?
Employer Branding remains vital to businesses seeking to attract potential employees. Creating an Employer Brand with an insights-led strategy places the organisation at the forefront of the right candidates’ minds and effectively reduces recruitment costs while reminding current employees of the workplace and culture benefits.
Q. What is the purpose of an Employer Brand?
Employer Brand helps companies attract, engage and retain the right talent pool and showcase their business as a desirable place to work and develop a rewarding career.
With a menu of proven creative ideas, including costings, deliverables and live examples you will have everything you need to build a comprehensive budget to activate your Employer Brand.