Your Employer Branding Agency. Ruess Group

To attract the best specialists and managers today and keep them in the company for the long term, selective measures such as placing job advertisements are no longer sufficient. As an experienced employer branding agency, we support our clients in establishing a strong and sustainable employer brand through a comprehensive process: from strategy to branding and campaigning to media implementation.

Your contact

Steffen Ruess

Steffen Ruess

Managing Partner
Ruess Group

The agency for employer branding: Directly at the heart of the company

The increasing decoupling of the economy and the demand for personnel shows just how tense the personnel issue and the skilled labour situation have become. Recruiting and retaining staff is the question of the day. For this, companies need to follow longer and more arduous paths than in the past.

The following figures show how arduous this is: 49% (source: DIHK, 2019) searched unsuccessfully for candidates with dual vocational training, 34% were unsuccessful with university graduates. The fact alone that a good 30% of companies are now looking for staff without a vocational qualification shows how dire the situation is.

Classic job advertisements are no longer enough. What is needed is an employer branding agency that works both internally (employee retention) and externally (recruiting). In a holistic process: from strategy to branding and campaign to media.

There is a lot to consider, because the campaign has to match the company, its purpose and the expectations of the new employees. Staging the appropriate ‘mental cinema’ across all contact points is an exciting task: We at the Ruess Group have been passionate about this for years.

From personnel marketing to employer branding

What is the difference between traditional personnel marketing and the new term employer branding?

Quite simply: Employer branding is always strategic and not just operational. It isn’t just about reaching out to suitable candidates as in HR marketing.

Instead, employer branding is about providing the candidates to be won with messages about the company not only in the short term, but in the long term. This calls for a high level of expertise in campaigning, content marketing, media and a comprehensive knowledge of the various target groups.

Employer Branding

01 Analysis

The first step is the self-discovery process that every company has to undergo: What makes me special as an employer? What do I stand for? What is the purpose of my work and what do I want to stand for in the future? What is my long-term vision? What makes me unique and what distinguishes me from others? Why is employment with me more desirable than with the competition?

What about my existing employees? How do I ensure that they stay with the company? That they also recommend my company to potential new employees. After all, the best recruiters for new employees are existing satisfied ones.

But where do I find these new employees? On what channels and how do I reach them? What is the competition doing? How do I distinguish myself from them? Where am I attractive? How can I become even better? These are all important questions and they’re not easy to answer. This is where experienced employer branding agencies come in.

02 Strategy

Once the company’s value propositions have been developed in the first step – ideally with an employer branding agency at your side to ensure an independent view from the outside – the second step is to define how they are communicated to the target group.

To do this, it is important to determine where there are various contact points for communication: On which social media channels, online media, career pages, blogs, newsletters, events or career fairs. In short, extensive media knowledge is needed here. Another reason to use an experienced employer branding agency.

03 Campaign

The corporate brand is set, the communication channels are determined – now is the time to create the campaign. With a targeted strategy, a clear concept, predefined KPIs and a clear editorial plan that ensures that contact with potential applicants is ongoing.

To achieve this, the editorial plan has to include the content that will be published, when and where. What the content will look like: Which stories, visuals, text elements, films, clips. Moving images are playing an increasingly important role here as well. Especially in social media. More about that later.

Don’t forget face-to-face communication. At trade fairs or events. Also: your own employees, who are the best company ambassadors. This is very important, because the positive impressions made during the application process have to be confirmed in the company’s day-to-day work. Otherwise, even the best campaign won’t work.

Good employer branding agencies know this and are aware of the trigger points of a successful campaign: an open corporate culture, transparent communication, responsibility for your own area, training and development opportunities, flexible home office arrangements, team events, office yoga, free food and beverages.

Advertising agency
04 Media

The key to the success of an established employer brand lies in the right choice and mix of individual marketing channels. There is a lot to consider here and requires an experienced employer branding agency with a lot of media expertise – in the selection and in the actual placement and use.

But that’s not enough: Since events and classic PR are also needed in addition to the channels, the employer branding agency has to be broadly positioned. Ideally in the form of an international full-service agency. Because the sought-after skilled workers are not only sought nationally, but increasingly also abroad.

Before selecting the most suitable marketing channels for the company, it is important to research where the target group is located. There are complicated and pragmatic ways to do this. The quickest and simplest is to take a quick look at user statistics of the individual platforms – and the situation becomes much clearer.

Media agency
05 Implementation

Internally, the company’s value proposition is first integrated into HR business processes and recruiting. In the roll-out phase throughout the company, the focus is first and foremost on the managers, then on the HR department and finally on the rest of the workforce.

In the external implementation, the main focus is on the creative concept. Here, the current measures have to be compared with the employer brand for the last time and the planning with deadlines and budgets need to be finalised. This is where it becomes clear whether the employer branding agency is on the right track.

Employer branding channels

Career site

Startseite Karriere-Website für Schubert System Elektronik

A company’s own career site should not only include job offers. Because, in fact, it is one of the first places where potential candidates come into contact with the company. Outdated information, a poor UI design or the notice “No job offers” are absolute exclusion criteria.

Instead, potential applicants should be greeted in a friendly manner and provided with the most important information such as vacancies, information about the company, team photos or employee interviews. To find out everything about the company. And so attractive that it leads to an application.

Brand ambassadors

Brand ambassadors

Employees themselves have an ever-increasing influence in corporate communication. As brand ambassadors, they are authentic and should therefore be integrated into the employer branding process. Investing in this pays off and promotes a positive brand message overall.

Experience shows that employee recommendations significantly increase the hiring rate. In addition to employees, brand ambassadors can also be brand advocates and partners who help recruiters make contacts or speak positively about the company.

Social media

Social media

Social networks are primarily used to establish targeted contacts with interesting candidates, to keep them up to date with regular news, to make them curious about the company and to retain their interest in the employer brand in the long term.

Print media

Print media

Although print has been forever transformed by the internet, the print medium can still be a powerful tool to build a brand. There is always something different about holding a brochure or a magazine in your hand. A valuable approach, but also an expensive one.   

Job boards

Job boards

Job boards or job forums are one of the most important channels in employer branding. This is where many potential applicants look at current job offers before they make a decision and apply. There, the presentation of the job advertisement is important as is clear differentiation from the competition.

Career events

Career events

Often the personal approach is the best way to create relationships and contacts with the target group. Career events such as job fairs can serve as a platform for the company to pick up applicants and inform them face-to-face about their development opportunities.

Many paths lead to the applicant: Especially the social channels

Today, social media platforms are probably the best way to reach applicants, candidates or undiscovered talents exactly where they already are. Another argument is that social media are not only targeted, but also cost-effective

There are many other advantages to having a well-implemented employer brand on social media. Not only does it help attract new talent, it also supports employee retention, lowering recruitment costs, the company’s image in general and a better corporate culture.

Not to forget: social media is the starting point for interested people to learn more about a company. Factors like work culture, company values and employee benefits then play an important role in the decision-making process. All this can be easily communicated via social media.

It can be done with photos, clips, films, impressions of company events, satisfied employees, trainings, anniversary celebrations, successful projects, etc. Nothing is more important on the way to becoming the best employer brand than social media content. The more attractive it is, the faster the career website will be visited.

Social media are ideal for employer branding if they are used correctly:

01 The right network

The social media platform with the most users may not necessarily be the right site. This is why it is essential to research in advance where potential candidates tend to hang out. Younger ones on TikTok, older, more mature and established ones more on Instagram and LinkedIn.

02 The right content

Only if you know your target group can you provide them with targeted content and campaigns. In this respect, in-depth research is indispensable. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be rocket science. It often helps to interview existing employees and let them inspire you.

This will provide valuable clues as to, for example, what social issues the potential employees are interested in: Whether a healthy work culture is more important to them than leisure activities? Or vice versa? It can be demanding, but it’s necessary. Because it’s the only way to get to the right content.

03 The right interaction with the community

Community management and interaction with followers are essential: How do they react to the posts? Do they have doubts, suggestions or questions? The company’s responses to the comments are also very important. Especially if they are negative.

04 The right involvement of existing employees

The best people to judge whether the employer brand is on the mark are the company’s own employees. And this calls for an ongoing dialogue. Of course, on an equal footing and without any pressure to perform or be judged. This is the only way they can become brand ambassadors for the company.

05 The right degree of creativity

Standard recruiting strategies usually achieve an unsatisfactory level of attention. Therefore, you should always ask yourself how you can attract even more interest from the right candidates. Those who do things differently from the competition will be more successful.

06 The right “real-life match”

A creative campaign is never a substitute for a lack of corporate culture. That everything works well in real life is paramount. Because on career websites like Indeed, employees can report on “real life” at work. And if it doesn’t match the campaign, it will all have been in vain.

07 The right benefits

Stock options, parental leave, free food or beverages – these benefits build loyalty to the company among both old and new employees. It’s important that these benefits stand out from the competition and that they give employees the feeling that the company is actively investing in their lives and their future.

08 The right “behind the scenes”

Potential candidates don’t expect stock photos, but real insights into the company. This applies to every single post in social media, as well as to the career website. Moments from everyday working life that are attractive for the applicants and with which they can identify are important.

To sum up: It takes a lot of heart to make employer branding work

Employees and skilled workers are becoming increasingly rare and harder to recruit. In this respect, employer branding agencies work directly on the lifeblood of the company and are an indispensable part of today’s corporate communication.

It is important that the right employer branding agency internalises the company and strategically positions it as an attractive employer brand. To do this, it needs to understand both the industry and the various target groups, and reach them with the right media measures.

To achieve this, it also has to be an experienced advertising agency. With high-level media expertise, professional editors, native social media managers, SEO experts, video filmmakers and website specialists who know that every marketing activity has to be docked to the career page and the website.

The agency also has to work internationally. After all, professionals and specialists are sought all over the world. To this end, it has to understand the individual cultures, work with professional translation agencies – in order to attract the right candidates to Germany.

And, last but not least, it has to work with the right personnel consultancy. One that has offices and staff worldwide to channel the candidates. At the Ruess Group, we work with AIMS* – no less than the largest recruitment consultancy in the world.

* AIMS is a recruitment consultancy focusing on executive and specialist search as well as human resources development – executive search and talent management under the motto “We find and grow your leaders”.  AIMS’ clients come from many different industries and work on a long-term basis with the world’s largest HR consultancy. AIMS partners in 50 countries with 90 offices understand the market-specific requirements of clients worldwide. Through local expertise and global presence, AIMS guarantees an efficient, cross-border search. The offices of the personnel consultancy are located in Neuss, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Kissing/Munich as well as in Eindhoven (NL).

To our partner AIMS
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References in employer branding

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website / digital
SSE career microsite

SSE career microsite

When competing for experienced and future skilled workers, companies today have to present themselves in a way that suits the times. We developed an exciting user experience for Schubert System Elektronik GmbH (SSE) that not only informs, but also inspires potential recruits with the company’s unique advantages.

Your contact for employer branding

Steffen Ruess

Steffen Ruess

Managing Partner
Ruess Group