Inclusive Employer Branding: How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Did you know that 50% of job candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation, even if it came with a pay increase?

Employer branding is a vital factor in your company’s ability to attract and retain employees. As a recruiter or hiring manager, a good employer brand can make your life infinitely easier. Poor branding, on the other hand, can make every day feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. 

But building an employer brand strategy can be a large undertaking. To help you out, JobSage has created an exercise that companies of any size can use to jumpstart their strategic planning: an employer branding SWOT analysis.

Download the complete JobSage guide!

Learn how to complete a SWOT analysis and start your employer branding strategic planning.

What is employer branding?

Would you buy a television if you looked online and found that it had overwhelmingly negative reviews? You’d probably steer clear and warn any friends who were thinking of buying the same TV. 

Employer branding works the same way. 

In essence, your employer brand is a combination of your reputation as a workplace and the value that you offer your prospective employees. 

Is your company known for its positive environment or is your CEO known around town for being a nightmare to work for? Does your interview process create delight or scare candidates away? Do you give your employees a host of unique perks or do you only offer below-average compensation?  

All of this is your employer brand.

Why is employer branding important?

A strong employer brand can be a major win for companies. A better employee and candidate experience means reduced recruitment costs, increased retention rates, and a more efficient business overall. 

We’ll let some statistics speak for themselves:

  • 75% of jobseekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying to a job (LinkedIn)
  • 92% of people would consider changing jobs if offered a role with a company with an excellent corporate reputation. (CR Magazine)
  • A good employer brand can reduce cost-per-hire by 50% (LinkedIn)
  • 86% of HR professionals surveyed said recruitment is becoming more like marketing (iCIMS)
  • Having a good employer brand brings in 50% more qualified applicants (LinkedIn)

Part of your company’s reputation will create itself based on how your organization treats its employees— but a large portion will be influenced by how your build, shape, and amplify your brand.

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning and management method that helps organizations identify: 

  • Strengths: Strengths are positive internal factors, resources, and experiences that are within your control and set your company apart from others. In short, it’s what your company already does well. 
  • Weaknesses: Weaknesses are negative internal factors that you also have control over. These prevent your employee brand from being as strong as it could be.
  • Opportunities: Opportunities are external forces that affect or have the potential to affect your company positively. These can give your employer brand a unique advantage.
  • Threats: Threats are the external forces that affect your organization negatively or have the potential to harm your brand. 

Your SWOT analysis should be a guide when formulating your employer brand strategy. It allows you to think about the big picture, but narrow your focus on the points that matter most.

How can a SWOT analysis help you?

Some aspects of employer branding are outside of your control— but conducting a SWOT analysis can help you identify the areas that you have the power to change. The fact-based analysis can lead you to new perspectives and fresh ideas on how to manage your brand. You’ll be able to formulate employer branding goals and strategies that:

  • Capitalize on your organization’s strengths
  • Improve or limit your organization’s weaknesses
  • Invest in external opportunities
  • Minimize the impact of external threats to your employer brand

Because of this, it’s always a good idea to conduct a SWOT analysis before committing to company action, exploring new initiatives, changing company policies, or changing your course of action.

Using JobSage’s SWOT exercise PDF

We designed our guide as a workbook that you can use to guide your employer brand SWOT analysis. In the guide, you’ll find questions that are designed to get you thinking about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as an employer.

When completing this exercise, it’s a good idea to consult with different stakeholders across your organization such as the executive team and marketing team, all of which may have different insights or perspectives. Block out some time to do the analysis. It may take anywhere from an hour to meetings over several days, depending on your organization and depth of analysis.

As you go down the list of questions, try to use only precise, verifiable statements. While your list of factors may start long, try to narrow them down, focusing only on the most important in each category. The best way to use the SWOT analysis is if you use it to make changes in key areas— not try to tackle everything that comes to mind.

Download the complete JobSage guide!

Learn how to complete a SWOT analysis and start your employer branding strategic planning.

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