Employer Branding - communication strategy - Universum Sweden Skip to main content

Employer Branding – communication strategy

By on 21/01/2022

On January 20th we hosted a webinar about communication strategy. During these 45 minutes we discussed the importance of having an Employer Brand communication strategy in place for 2022 and also gave the audience five concrete tips on how to do that.


In beginning of 2022 Universum hosted the webinar “Nailing your Employer Brand”. There was a remarkably high engagement on this topic, and we received loads of interesting questions from the audience. Unfortunately, we did not have time to answer them all during the live sessions, instead we decided to publish them all here for you.

We love getting questions during our webinars, because when you have a question, ask – you are probably not the only one who is wondering!

How many people have answered the global survey?
More than 1,5 million people around the globe, and between 20 000 and 100 000 per country in the Nordics and UK.

Does your research apply to employers within municipality organizations as well?
– Yes, we survey lots of the local municipalities and government agencies. Municipalities and government agencies have become more attractive as employers over the last 10 years and are now competing with the big companies for talent (even for tech talent) who in many markets find job security particularly important.

What do you think is the reason for most people to spend money on Employer Branding under Q4?
– Lack of planning. They start defining what to do when the budget is approved in March, then develop content. Content and campaign approved in September, campaign launch in October is a quite common scenario. Some companies have a lot of recruitment activities in Q3 and Q4, as well and uses employer branding/recruitment marketing campaigns to boost recruitment. A smarter way is to soften the audience up and build interest/desire to work AND then activate recruitment activities as a Phase 2.

What are the methods/ways to validate EVP externally?
1. Define which target groups you wish to validate (business critical is recommended). For example, internally in general/Internal IT/Tech and External in engineers, IT/tech talent, Researchers etc.
2. Match the EVP with the research questions (for example Universum’s 40 drivers of employer attractiveness)
3. Analyze the GAP between your EVP, what is attractive in your target groups, how you are perceived (if possible) in those groups. It is also good to learn how you are perceived internally as well.
4. Summarize in a list of new suggested routes, parts of the EVP to pause/focus on.
5. Run by management to ensure that they are not planning something new.
6. Start testing internally & externally.

Mediastrategi & distibution

Universum hjälper dig skapa och kommunicera engagerande content

Om du arbetar med Universum får du tillgång till en unik targetingmetod som hjälper dig att utveckla och kommunicera engagerande och relevant Employer Branding-content. Vår omfattande databas av talanger innehåller värdefull information om karriärbeteenden och karriärpreferenser. Genom denna når du fram i bruset till din specifika målgrupp – mer framgångsrikt än någon annan.

Which channel is the best to reach students?
– Social media – Facebook and Instagram (still). I would also try Tik Tok and IP targeting (Schools) and programmatic – Specific narrow target groups to reach outside of social media and YouTube.  But you should also try to meet the students – digital or physical career fairs, your own events. Create a student competition, for example Tech-student of the year or can you beat our employees.

What if I don’t know what our internal culture is? How do I approach this?
1. Internal surveys, focus groups, interviews with management
2. Summarize
3. Create personas to showcase your culture in a more visualized way

As all companies are looking for software competence at the moment, what are your reflections on how to reach that group?
Analyze the survey data from that target group in your country to learn (and to know what to say) – what they think is important when choosing an employer. Analyze which channels they are most present on (in the survey data). Use external data sources to reach them in social media or news media (programmatic). You can for example make sure to only reach tech talent in a certain area/region when you show your ads in social media, or, when they are browsing their favorite blog/news media (programmatic). For these target groups the content is particularly important. They are not as interested in the end-product they work on as others – more about the technology and concrete software development projects they run. Talk their language – not your product/corporate language.

What are the ways/methods to validate EVP externally?
See answers above. If you let us know which market and specific target group, you are aiming at – we can give you the answer.

How to validate our strengths and weaknesses externally? By the survey?
Yes, through an internal and external survey. For many target groups we at Universum already have the latest data. We can easily set up a 7 min survey initially for a sample of employees with the exact same questions. Out pops the results.

The pandemic still puts pressure on many organizations, and we still see many hiring freezes, org. restructures (cont.)
So far, we do see many organizations moving into action mode – to promote themselves as employers but some do as you suggest. Focus on strategies such as validating EVP or validating communication focus for a business-critical target group. Create a strategy with clear KPI:s and engage top management. When your KPI:s are in the annual reports, then you have succeeded. BUT the winning employer brands out there never pause their employer branding efforts externally and internally. You just need to be creative.

In a time where it’s more difficult than ever to attract talent, what do you suggest focusing on in the EB comms?
Define your most business-critical target groups. Set a long-term plan to attract talent  It is crucial to create a communication plan and execute the plan continuously. Sometimes it takes three years, sometimes five, sometimes faster, but suddenly recruitment starts to become easier. “After 20 years within Employer Branding, I have seen and heard the HR directors feel very happy when recruiters and hiring managers say that” – Daniel Wägerth, Head of business development Nordics at Universum

Which industries are the respondents within in the global survey?
All sorts of industries. The main focus is white collar jobs such as Tech, engineering, business, natural science, humanities etc… But we do a lot of bespoke surveys for other target groups such as blue collar within different segments (transportation to mention one of many)

Should I have different content in different time periods (Q1, Q2 etc).?
Yes, it can be good to bring in content including “new opportunities” at the beginning of the year or after/during/summer. Use pictures of employees skiing in the winter, outside in the sun in the spring etc. Or that cozy feeling during autumn. Some of your EVP pillars or creative concepts can be placed out during the year depending on what emotions they generate.

Which channel do you think is the best to reach students?
See above. But let us know which market and specific target group you are aiming at and we can give you the answer.

What are your thoughts on the Great Resignation/Reshuffle – is it a real thing? Or will we see a regular turnover?
We do see a “ketchup” effect now as we say after the economic crisis 2009. People have stayed a bit longer than planned at their workplaces due to circumstances. As we can see now, when people are starting to change workplace, it influences others to do the same. However, it differs a lot between industries and specific employers. In our survey, where we also measure employee NPS (net promotor score), we can also see that employers with a strong internal Employer Brand does not have the same turnover in comparison to the one with a weak internal brand. Even when comparing employers within the same industry.

Can you comment on the distribution of blue- and white-collar respondents in the survey? Respondents to your employer ranking survey seems to be mostly uni students, how relevant is it to experienced hires?
That is our reputation but these days more than 50% of the respondents in UK, Ireland, and the Nordics consist of academic talents who are working. Young and senior professionals. We have been part of the Stepstone Group/Total Jobs for a few years which has led to even greater expansion into that field.

Do you recommend adapting the EVP primarily based on talent type (e.g., STEM) or based on culture e.g., countries?
I should look at the survey data to decide that. If STEM talent for example has remarkably similar preferences in different countries I would go for that angle.

Working in a company with massive layovers, how should we adapt our EB comms towards employees and candidates?
I would identify two groups of employees with people who are part of the future workforce n people you see as raw models for your organization. Together with focus groups and a small internal survey I would identify what your strengths are today – which are your “new strengths”. Based on that for a communication route focusing on the how people interact at work together for example – something not focusing you your top management direction but the good things that you currently have since it might be a temporary disturbance in trust for top management. Celebrate how people care for each other, win together and/or what direction you are taking as a company. The layoffs are because of digital transformation. In that case focus on that – your new strengths.

Thanks a lot for engaging and refreshing questions – this is exactly the kind of engagement we always strive to receive, where great discussion are born. If you would like to discuss any of the points made with one of our Employer Branding specialists, fill in the form below and we will have one of us from your market to contact you to set up a call. 

You can see the webinar the here >>  

Contact us!

// Team Universum