Four horsemen of employer branding: HR, Communications, Management, and people


Marko Pelesk

February, 2024


To truly have a great and unique employer brand – a company has to have employee brand ambassadors. That is a fact.

But how? Who is an employee ambassador? They come in all shapes and sizes, but they all need guidance on how to be an ambassador. Direct top-down direction from those with a comprehensive understanding of the company’s strategic direction is essential.

There are many unanswered questions, so let’s get down to exploring the huge subject that is employee advocacy. 

Who is an employer branding ambassador?

An employer branding ambassador is an enthusiastic and engaged employee who has a deep understanding of the organization’s culture, values, and overall employee experience and is passionate about promoting it. By promoting it, they are not only inspiring current colleagues but also attracting new and great candidates to the organization. They do it by sharing company content (or even better, they create the content themselves), being involved in company events, actively participating in employee referral programs, and, well… Talking nicely behind their company’s back.

As mentioned above, employer branding ambassadors will sometimes generate their own content which comes as a blessing to anyone who manages the company’s reputation. This type of content is a great way to showcase a truly unique culture, is more likely to be engaged with by other colleagues, and has so much more value than the company’s generated content. Because, at the end of the day, people trust people more than they do companies

How to establish employer branding ambassadors? 

First and foremost, you have to create an amazing working environment where people will actually enjoy working. But do bear in mind that you simply can not please everyone. That is what makes your workplace unique and authentic, and consequently, your employer brand too. 

As your workplace is unique, you have to communicate it in a way that reflects your culture genuinely. Most commonly, the HR department is the heart of every company and knows everything about it. They possess a vast knowledge of company benefits, how people communicate, and what is so unique about the company. 

Communications department, on the other hand, is an expert in… Communication. Obviously. Everything that HR knows, cherishes, and knows that employees like, should be combined and communicated to both internal and external audiences. As the Communications department has an overview of all the platforms of communication and which ones perform the best — they are a perfect fit for such a task. 

Together, both HR and Communications departments craft storytelling that communicates the authentic culture that is appealing to current employees and people your company wants to attract, in other words — they create an employer branding strategy. Defined storytelling is then adapted and implemented for social media, job fair events, internal company events, offer letters, and so much more!

All that while the management’s endorsing the efforts. Let’s face it, there is not much you can do without management’s endorsement, much less without their approval. The first stop is, of course, getting the budget from the management, later on — everything goes more smoothly. Management needs to follow certain KPIs to see the company strategy through, and there should always be an employer branding strategy involved too. 

Perfectly, the three horsemen should work together to set up the strategy. Talking to the employees to get a clear picture of what is great in the company, and what target audiences cherish can give a clear understanding on what to communicate on your social media, PR articles, or via other channels. 

While talking to your employees, you will get a clear understanding of employees who would make an amazing ambassador. They are well spoken, happy to be included, and know how to fix an issue or two. This is a great chance for you to show your people that you do not focus only on the good, but on the bad and ugly too. With such insights, you can challenge ways of doing things, update your internal procedures, or implement new benefits that your colleagues will adore.    


What do employer branding ambassadors need? 

Employer branding ambassadors need to know what and how to communicate with their internal and external audiences. The first thing for you to consider is to create a comprehensive employer branding strategy that comes straight from your employees. As mentioned before, create an employer branding strategy along with your employees. As a matter of fact, co-create an employer branding strategy! When you learn more about the great stuff your employees enjoy you will certainly know what to communicate and how to get great candidates to think about your company as a great place to work. On top of that, your employees will be more engaged. With a defined employer branding strategy you will get a perfect overview of your unique benefits as an employer — your EVP! EVP will be your blueprint for internal and external communication efforts. 

Then, let’s face it — not everyone is willing or knows how to communicate on professional networks, such as LinkedIn. And that is perfectly fine. That is where the Communications department comes in! Organize a LinkedIn education that will teach your employees how to set up their LinkedIn profile, how, and why to post on LinkedIn, and how to generate their content! Some companies are not really prone to having their employees talk publicly about them, and well… You do you, but our suggestion is to rethink those regulations. On top of that, try to stay away from editing your employees’ content. Again, we get it, but let your employees be authentic. There is no faster way of killing your employer brand than not to be authentic. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

When everyone is onboard on how to communicate, there is always an ongoing question on what to communicate. Remember when we said that your EVP is the blueprint for your communication? You can always go back to your EVP statement and draw inspiration on what to communicate. Other than that, how about you check with your recruiter if there is an open position that needs a bit of a boost? From there, you are free to create an entire narrative of what your company provides in exchange for the work, and why this position benefits the company. And this goes without saying, do not forget to post a link to the job ad where people can apply! 

What happens when employees start generating their content? 

Magic. When you get your employees all the necessary resources for them to start posting, and they start to voluntarily come to job fairs, try to be as engaged in their efforts as possible. Like their posts, comment if possible, ask your other colleagues to do the same, take a few spontaneous photos at the job fair, and just go with the flow. We highly encourage you to give them internal praise for others to see. Tell your company how they stood out and how you and your company are grateful. If you are in a really great mood, think about more things you can give them in return — additional days off, a personal gift, some company merch, or even a yearly bonus. Let’s be honest — some of your colleagues do expect or want to expect, something in return. And that is completely normal. Just do not over-promise — that is always a mood killer. For your brand and for your ambassadors too.   

How to engage people to join employer branding activities 

Do not forget the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all, especially when it comes to employer branding and how to establish employer branding ambassadors. Some colleagues of yours will be happy to be part of the ambassador crew, some will need a bit more of a push, and some… Well… Are not as likely to embark on such a journey. To engage people to actively participate in employer branding efforts is a topic of its own. Learn all about it here.