How to Launch Employer Branding for Startups?

Juggling between quick decisions, fast growth, defining responsibilities, securing clients, meeting stakeholders desires, it is easy to ignore the development of the employer brand. Why wasting time and energy for something, that is not of immediate necessity for realising a potential idea into a billion-dollars-business?

Do you really need to build a strong employer brand from the very beginning?

Two main reasons might make you consider investing time and efforts:

  • Better recruitment opportunities – secure talents to join your team and optimize the hiring costs
  • Support stakeholder activities – optimize marketing costs while still delivering a great product

Employees seek to work for organizations just as customers seek to do business with them: when they feel the organization offers what they desire.

Edward E. Lawler III & Christopher G. Worley

Where should you start?

Building a strong culture is a total must-have. It will help you define internal and external relationships. It will distinguish you from the rest on the market. It will serve as a platform for creating processes when you scale. And last but not least, it will support your effort to attract great talent. As the Glassdoor’s 2019 Mission & Culture Survey shows 77% of candidates would consider a company’s culture before applying.

For these reasons, start with establishing a system of values and beliefs. Make sure that your leaders understand them and check whether they match with their own vision. Secure tools, knowledge and skills to enable the leaders to scale the values and beliefs both internally and externally.

Another crucial element for launching the employer brand is identifying candidate personas. Your culture will define whether you will be in search of like-minded people or a diverse team. Still, it is vital to know the types of talents that you want to attract, where you will find them and how you will reach them.

Next step is to write down key messages which will describe you, your startup, and your product. They will serve as a base for all your marketing and communication efforts. On top of them, you should create and tell your story.

Here comes my favourite rule – KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Keep it simple and focus on what matters. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed.


The communication sphere is overwhelmed with formats and channels. You should double-check with your candidate personas what will best grab their attention. Still, focus on a few things and create a great job.

In terms of digital presence, an official website and a career webpage are mandatory. Besides them, choose one social platform – the one, which your critical candidate personas use. If it is not a ‘job dedicated media’, like LinkedIn or Glassdoor, then you should also consider to include a job site.

Having all these set – culture, leadership, candidate personas, messages, stories and digital presence, you could do nothing better than grow.