Employees’ Stories And Your Employer Brand

Phil Strazzulla

Reviews are powerful. They affect what movies we watch, what restaurants we select, and what hotels we choose. It’s one thing to proclaim yourself as great. But the real proof is in what other people say about you.

The search for great talent is no different these days. The Internet allows us to research every single purchase and decision we make long before taking any concrete steps. When you put out a job ad, you can bet that every prospective candidate is Googling you to find out what you’re like as an employer.

And the results that they get? This is what is known as your employer brand.

The thing with the employer brand is that it demands authenticity. You can commission all sorts of glossy recruitment media to position yourself as a family-friendly 9-to-5 that focuses on work-life balance. But if in reality your company is all about after-work meetings and overnight crunch time, then not only will you not attract the people who might thrive in the right environment, but you’ll experience dizzying turnover as new hires dash out the door for greener pastures.

Notes from the trenches

The thing is, you can be as honest as possible about your corporate culture, and you’ll still be greeted with skepticism. Why? Well, people are a bit jaded when it comes to what companies say about themselves. It’s like a restaurant advertising itself as being the best in town. Is it the truth? Or is it hyperbole-as-PR?

But what if your employees themselves describe what it’s like to work for you?

Employee testimonials work very much like a review, which is why they’re so powerful. If you’re interested in a payroll position and you read a testimonial from someone in admin describing how the day is busy and multi-faceted, but that they get great support and tools from higher-ups that allow them to get the job done with minimal bouts of “panic mode,” you’re going to take that person at their word.

Employee testimonials help talent get a satisfying answer to the question, “What’s it really like to work there?” And that’s the kind of information that will get the right people in the door and turn off the people who would be a costly, terrible fit.

Dropbox is one company that’s leveraging employee stories to great effect. Its jobs page gives a great overview of all the different teams offering talent eagle-eye view of how the different teams work together and function. Profile interviews with employees across all teams are compelling and offer authentic insider’s views on what their role is really like. Add in an unequivocal diversity statement and a brilliant recruitment video (seriously, it’s a must-see), and you’ve got a strong employer brand as a fun, energetic, caring, and professional place to work.

Contrast Dropbox’s jobs page with the average company’s traditional “Careers” page, and you can see how employee testimonials can give a great sense of what it’s really like to work for a company, as opposed to simply providing dry-as-dust links to job postings.

Employee testimonials and employer branding might take a little time and effort, but they are a smart company’s secret weapon when it comes to getting the right people making a beeline to your door, and staying there for the long haul.

For more recruitment strategies that boost your brand, see The 5 Levels Of Social Media Recruitment Maturity.


Phil Strazzulla

About Phil Strazzulla

Phil Strazzulla is the CEO of NextWave Hire, a software company that helps employers build their brands through authentic employee stories and marketing automation. NextWave Hire is used by companies like Dropbox, Monster.com, CEB and more. Phil is a graduate of Harvard's MBA program, and studied finance undergrad at NYU before joining Bessemer Venture Partners as an early stage software investor.