Building a Cohesive Employer Brand Narrative: A Step-by-Step Guide

Imagine your employer brand as a storybook about your company, where every page, picture, and word aligns perfectly to tell the world who you are, what you stand for, and why the best talent should flock to you like bees to honey. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Well, if you’re having difficulty attracting the right talent to your organization, you’ll want to read this guide. Now, let’s get started on how to write that story.

Think of your favorite book for a moment. Why do you love it? Chances are, it’s because the story pulled you in, made you care about the characters, and presented a world you could immerse yourself in. That’s exactly what a strong employer brand narrative does. It doesn’t just list facts about your company; it weaves those facts into a compelling story that resonates with potential employees. This story helps them see not just a workplace, but a community they can be a part of, where their work matters, and their contributions are valued.

But how do you create this magnetic narrative? Let’s walk through 5 steps, and tips on how to apply each step.


Step 1: Define Your Core Values

Before you can tell your story, you need to know its heart. What are the core values that define your company culture? Is it innovation, teamwork, integrity, compassion? Once you’ve nailed these down, you’re ready to start building your narrative around them.


  • If one of your core values is sustainability, don’t just mention it in passing. Create a series of feature stories about how your teams are innovating to reduce environmental impact, like a product team that redesigned packaging to eliminate waste. Highlight the employees behind these initiatives, sharing their passion and how they’re making a real difference. This approach transforms abstract values into tangible actions that candidates can connect with.


  • Suppose one of your core values is diversity and inclusion. You could showcase this by organizing a virtual global culture day, where employees share stories, foods, and traditions from their countries. Highlighting these events in your narrative not only demonstrates your commitment to celebrating diversity but also shows prospective employees the rich, inclusive culture they can be a part of.


Step 2: Understand Your Audience

Who are you trying to attract? Knowing your audience is key to crafting a narrative that speaks directly to them. Are they fresh grads hungry for learning, or seasoned professionals looking for meaningful impact? Your story should reflect what matters most to your target audience.


  • For experienced professionals seeking a career pivot, craft stories around the theme of reinvention and growth. Highlight programs that support skill development in new areas, like an engineer who transitioned to a product management role through internal workshops and mentorship. This signals to potential candidates that your company values lifelong learning and supports career progression.


  • If you’re aiming to attract remote workers, your narrative should emphasize your supportive remote work culture. Share stories of remote team-building activities, like virtual escape rooms or online coffee breaks, where team members from around the world connect and bond. Detail the tools and practices you’ve implemented to ensure remote employees feel just as included and valued as those in the office.


Step 3: Share Real Employee Stories

In the heart of every compelling employer brand narrative lies the truth of the people who bring it to life – your employees. Today, Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword. It’s the golden thread that weaves through the fabric of your company culture, making it vivid and real for those on the outside looking in. Sharing real stories from your team members about their experiences at your company doesn’t just add color and depth to your narrative; it serves as a sign of trust and relatability.


  • Go beyond just testimonials. Create a monthly spotlight series on different roles within your company, detailing a day in the life, key projects, and personal growth stories. Use diverse formats like video diaries, podcast episodes, or photo essays to bring these stories to life in a way that’s engaging and relatable.


  • For an even deeper dive into authenticity, consider a “Career Journey” series that follows employees from their first day through significant milestones at the company. For instance, an employee who started as a junior developer and rose to lead a major project initiative. This kind of storytelling not only highlights career growth opportunities within your company but also the supportive environment that makes these stories possible.


Step 4: Highlight Your Unique Employer Value Proposition (UEVP)

What makes you stand out from competitors? Maybe it’s your innovative approach to work-life balance, unique team-building activities, or exceptional learning opportunities. These USPs should be front and center in your narrative. By including these distinct advantages into your story, you light up the path for potential candidates, guiding them towards a company culture that celebrates and nurtures individuality and growth. It’s these specific elements that can transform a job opportunity from appealing to irresistible for the right candidate.


  • If one of your UEVP is a global exchange program for employees, share a “travelogue” series from participants. Include their first-hand accounts, photos, and learnings from working in a different country. This not only showcases the program but also highlights your commitment to global perspectives and personal growth.


  • If another UEVP is a commitment to employee mental health, you might share how you’ve integrated mental health days into your leave policies. Go further by sharing a mini documentary featuring employees talking about how this policy has positively impacted their lives and work. This approach humanizes your UEVP, making it more relatable and attractive to potential candidates.


Step 5: Be Consistent Across All Platforms

Building brand recognition is not isolated to logo’s, colours and typography – it applies to your story too. Your employer brand narrative should be cohesive across all platforms – from your career site and social media to job postings and recruitment events. Consistency reinforces your story, making it more memorable and powerful


  • Use your core values as themes for each month and align your content across all platforms to these themes. For example, if June is about innovation, curate stories, posts, and events around this theme. This approach keeps your narrative fresh while reinforcing key aspects of your brand in a structured way.


  • Here’s another twist for creating consistency. Suppose your company prides itself on its cutting-edge technology. Each month, you could feature a different technology team on your social media platforms, sharing insights into their projects, the challenges they’ve overcome, and how they’re pushing the boundaries in their field. This keeps your narrative focused on innovation while offering a varied and engaging look at your company’s technological capabilities.


Building a cohesive employer brand narrative isn’t just about attracting talent; it’s about attracting the right talent. It’s about creating a story so compelling that potential employees can’t help but want to be a part of it. Remember, your employer brand is more than just a marketing tool; it’s the heart and soul of your company’s identity as an employer. By following these steps and infusing your narrative with authenticity, consistency, and a clear understanding of your audience, you’ll not only attract candidates but inspire them to become loyal ambassadors for your brand.

So, take these tips, get creative, and start writing your story. After all, every great story needs a great storyteller. And who better to tell the story of your company than you?

There you have it – a guide to building a cohesive employer brand narrative that’s professional, engaging, and accessible. Remember, the power of a strong narrative lies in its ability to connect on a personal level, so keep your story genuine, and your audience will listen.

Written by Colette O’Neill, Chief Employer Branding and Founder of Advance Human Capital Solutions