How To Attract Talent: Employer Brand vs. Company Culture

Hiring RemoteWorking Remotely

Employer brand on autopilot? Pass the vibe check & stop missing out on top remote talent by aligning it with your company culture. 

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Crafting a magnetic employer brand is the X factor that reels in the best and brightest. It's the shiny beacon that beckons candidates to apply to your roles out of the sea of remote job postings.

However, your employer branding can't exist in a vacuum. It has to be rooted in something real, something that breathes life into your company's identity — your company culture.

So, before you get swept away in designing the perfect image, let's untangle the difference between your employer brand and company culture. Then, we'll walk you through a step-by-step strategy for creating compelling employer branding that attracts candidates who align with your mission and values.

What’s the Difference Between Company Culture and Your Employer Brand?

They’re two sides of the same coin:

🫶  Your Company Culture Is the Heart & Soul of Your Organization

Company culture is the shared set of core values, beliefs, and behaviors that define how your remote team works together. It’s the behind-the-scenes magic that makes your company tick. It also:

  • Explains your company’s purpose
  • Creates your remote work environment
  • Guides decision-making
  • Shapes employee experiences
  • Outlines the way your team tackles challenges and celebrates wins
  • Gets employees excited to contribute to your organization’s future
  • Keeps employees engaged, motivated, and feeling valued

This is the internal environment your team experiences daily; the vibe of working styles and social norms that act like glue to hold everything together. 

An authentic company culture naturally cultivates a powerful employer brand. But while company culture reflects the internal reality, your employer brand shapes external perceptions. 

Read more aboutHow To Build a Strong Culture with a Remote Team!

✨  Your Employer Brand is Like a Billboard for Your Company

Employer branding is all about how you present yourself to potential hires. It's the strategic messaging that tells the world why working at your remote company beats working anywhere else. 

So think of it as a carefully curated Instagram feed or dating profile that catches the eye of potential hires scrolling through endless job boards. Or a shiny storefront that lures people into a shop.

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This public image you project as a remote employer is usually the first thing candidates see. So, to attract top talent, your employer brand must:

  • Tell your brand story
  • Showcase your company's unique personality, values, and vibe
  • Offer a glimpse of what it's like to work there
  • Reflect the incredible talent you attract
  • Convince candidates to apply to your jobs

Culture shapes your employer brand, not the other way around. You can’t slap a witty slogan on a toxic work environment and expect recruiting magic. Your employer brand must be the genuine expression of your exceptional company culture.

👑  Why Culture Reigns Supreme in Employer Branding

A strong employer brand built on a solid foundation of company culture is pure gold. It attracts the right talent, fosters a positive work environment, boosts employee engagement, reduces turnover — you name it! 

Making company culture the driving force behind your employer brand:

  • Fosters authenticity. People can sniff out inauthenticity a mile away. When your employer brand reflects your company culture, it resonates as genuine and attracts folks who legitimately share your values and fit your vibe. 

  • Builds trust. Trust flourishes when your employer brand promises something and your remote team actually experiences it. This trust helps you retain remote talent and translates to a more invested workforce. 

  • Creates loyal brand advocates. Happy, engaged employees become your biggest brand champions. They'll sing your praises on social media, at conferences, and in their professional circles to fill your candidate pipeline.

That's the importance of value alignment for remote companies; it saves your team time, money, and stress.

So while it might be tempting to craft a flashy employer brand to entice candidates, it'll all come crashing down if your company culture doesn't reflect those values. Example: Your branding screams "fun, laid-back, and quirky," but your team's drowning in micromanagement. 

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Mismatches between your employer brand and company culture trigger a boomerang effect — attracting the wrong talent and leading to high turnover.

So now that you understand the power of company culture in shaping your employer brand, let's dive into actionable steps to build a winning strategy for your remote company.

💪  How To Build an Employer Brand Rooted In Culture

Here’s your action plan. Grab your virtual whiteboard or favorite brainstorming app, and let’s get started!

1. Unearth the Shiniest Gems In Your Company Culture  💎

A high-level overview of your company culture includes your brand story, mission, principles, and goals. But these can feel like lofty ambitions if they're not grounded in your day-to-day.

So try to jot down some examples of how your team manifests its culture by asking:

  • What core values drive us? Which principles do we prioritize most during decision-making?

  • What makes us unique? Are we known for our flexibility, regular team-building activities, commitment to social impact, digital nomad communities, initiatives to improve work-life balance, etc.?

  • How do we work together? Is it highly collaborative or autonomous and self-directed? Results-oriented and data-driven? Agile and resourceful? Empathetic?

  • What is our employee experience like? Is it a fast-paced thrill ride or a supportive learning environment? 

Don't just list generic values like "excellence" or "integrity" here. Be specific! What does excellence really look like in your company? Is it encouraging experimentation or celebrating calculated risks?

2. Amplify Employee Voices  📣

Your employees are the living embodiment of your culture. So ask them what aspects of your company culture resonate most with them. What makes them feel valued and engaged? What attracted them to your organization?

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To do this:

  • Send out employee surveys, host virtual focus groups, or launch an anonymous virtual feedback portal. Ask your team open-ended questions to learn what they love most about working at your company, how they feel supported, how they rate their work-life balance, etc. 

  • Hold leadership interviews. Chat with your team leads to understand how they foster your culture within their departments. What are their leadership styles? How do they encourage collaboration and communication?

Psst! Ask your managers if they've seen these key findings from our 2024 Remote Leader Playbook too!

When you identify these bright spots, use them to form the base layer of your employer brand messaging.

3. Craft Your Authentic Employer Brand Message  ✍️

Now that you have a collection of culture treasures and on-the-ground intel, it's time to craft a compelling brand message that reflects them.

Start with your brand story. People connect with stories. So reel them in with a captivating origin story that briefly describes why your company exists. How did it start? What problems are you trying to solve? What are your goals? And how will your employees contribute to your wins?

Use your company voice and be authentic. Avoid industry jargon and clichés. Speak in a way that lets your company's personality shine through! People crave genuine connections. So don't be afraid to show your team's sense of humor, unique quirks, emoji game, etc.

Refine your aesthetics. Like the branding of your favorite products and services, your employer branding helps your organization stand out, connect with people, and leave a memorable impression. Brainstorm aesthetic choices like Instagram filters, fonts for your website and videos, emoji preferences, social media hashtags, and the overall image you want to curate across channels.

🎨 Steal a few branding tips from this guide!

Show, don't tell. Use employee testimonials, case studies, infographics, employee-generated content, and even candid photos and videos that capture the essence of your remote team. These all reveal your culture in action and bring your employer brand story to life. 

4. Launch Your Employer Brand Everywhere  🚀

You've got the message; now it's time to spread the word! Make your employer brand a living, breathing part of your online presence. Use these launchpad ideas for your employer branding rocket:

Your Careers page. Give your Careers page a culture refresh. Feature snaps from your annual retreats, diverse employee stories, videos/photos from your virtual team's different work environments, and more to paint a vibrant picture of who you are.

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Candidates also want to know how your culture creates positive work experiences. So focus on the best company benefits that align with your values. 

Do you have a wellness program that encourages better mental health in the workplace? A monthly meal delivery policy to fuel epic brainstorming sessions? Initiatives to support career growth?

Your remote job ads. Ditch the generic job descriptions and write remote job listings that sell. Infuse them with your company culture and values. Explain how the role contributes to your organization's mission. And inspire applicants to join your crew.

Your WWR Company Profile. Don't just post on every job board under the sun. We Work Remotely is the #1 destination for listing remote jobs and attracting stellar remote candidates around the globe. 

Your WWR Company Profile allows candidates to see who your remote company is in a snapshot before they apply to your roles.

🌟 Learn how to Stand Out As a Remote Company and Update Your Profile here!

5. Elevate Your Employer Brand Marketing  😎

Nurture your employer brand by consistently communicating your company culture via engaging content. These ideas are an easy addition to any content marketing strategy:

Blog posts. Craft articles that delve deeper into your company culture, remote work philosophy, and the unique perks your team offers. Highlight aspects of your volunteer efforts and annual retreats. Spotlight team members who embody your culture by interviewing them about their experiences.

Recognize and reward cultural champions. Celebrate employees who go the extra mile to uphold your values and make the company culture thrive. Public recognition goes a long way in reinforcing desired behaviors and showcasing the positive aspects of your culture to the world.

Social media posts. Over 90% of social media users follow at least one brand.[*] So engage with potential and future hires where they hang out most. Share company updates, industry insights, or even a "Day in the Life of a Remote Worker" video series.

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Encourage employee-generated content too! Let your team share their daily wins, remote work hacks, and company culture moments on social media using your organization's designated hashtags.

Industry forums and online community engagement. Look for opportunities to engage with remote work blogs, podcasts, and advocacy groups. Share your tips and participate in discussions. This positions your brand as a thought leader and attracts potential hires who resonate with your culture. ️

As your company grows and your culture evolves, so should your employer brand. Regularly revisit your messaging and visuals to ensure they stay aligned with your company's current identity. Feel free to experiment, adapt your strategies, and keep your content fresh.

Employer Branding: It's All About Company Culture Alignment 

Building a strong employer brand for your remote company means showcasing a workplace where talent can thrive. It takes continuously refining your brand message, adapting to your evolving culture, and staying true to your core values.

Using your company culture as the foundation will empower your team to attract the best candidates, create an inclusive remote work environment, and retain great minds eager to contribute to your organization's success.

Once you've perfected your employer branding, check out our guide on How To Hire Remotely in 2024 to Win Top Talent for Your Team!

🧲  Become a magnet for the best and brightest. It only takes a few clicks to create your WWR Employer Account, post your remote jobs, and reach the largest remote community in the world!

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