To be a successful business, you have to offer value in two ways. One, with the product or service that you’re selling, and two, with the culture you’re providing employees. Miss the mark on the latter, and you’re going to have a much tougher time with the former.

In their book Talent Force: A New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business, authors and executives Hank Stringer and Rusty Rueff note that while a product or service may be a company’s face, the talent behind it is their soul. Think of employer branding as the collective goodwill (or lack thereof) that drives your business’ reputation. And from there, think of what it’s saying to your customers.

For this post, we’re looking at the importance of employer branding — what it is, why it matters, and why you should be incorporating it into your marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding — also referred to as “talent branding” or “people branding” — is the value proposition that you offer your employees. It’s your reputation, benefits, and approach to the employee-employer relationship all rolled into one. Ir requires an active process of feedback and improvements to create a brand worthy of bringing in top talent.

As it stands, 69 percent of Americans say they won’t take a job with a company with a bad reputation, and 84 percent say they would leave their current job for a company with an excellent reputation. If you can’t afford to sacrifice on the quality of your team (and let’s be real, who can?), then your employer brand needs to be a top priority.

Marketing Your Employer Brand

Before you write off employer branding as an internal concern, keep in mind that it’s not just job candidates who pay attention. Today’s customers are as concerned about who your brand is as they are about what it sells, and they’re backing up those concerns with their spending.

A study of Glassdoor, a job review site, found that a one-star increase in a company’s employee satisfaction score resulted in an average 7.9 percent bump in market value. Another eight-year study found a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and stock performance. Companies boasting high employee satisfaction rates earned 1.35 percent extra returns above the market.

So what’s driving the connection between employer satisfaction and profit? Well, for starters, happier employees are more invested in their work, with more incentive to perform at their best. A strong, positive employer brand also speaks to customers, showing that a company has good values.

As for putting your employer brand forward in marketing and recruitment, start with these key steps.

1. Understand What Your Employer Brand Is. 

Where does your company’s reputation stand? To market your employer brand to both customers and potential employees, you need to know exactly what you’re bringing to the table — and where you might be falling short.

Get your team together and ask them how they would define your employer brand. It’s helpful to know what they think because they’re the ones who actually work for your company and have the best insight. 

2. Define Your Employer Brand and Document It. 

You should condense your employee value proposition into a clear statement of who you are and what you have to offer. This statement should be documented and disseminated to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Spend time putting together your core values and mission statement. Include input from your team and use them to help define what your company is about and what you want to convey to the outside world. 

3. Create Content that Pushes Your Employer Brand. 

A great employer brand is something worth sharing about, so create content on it. Write blogs about your company culture, share it on social media, and use it in your email marketing. Wherever your brand image lives, so should the information on your employer brand. 

4. Use Employer Branding in Recruitment. 

A great employer brand will attract great job candidates. In both the marketing of open positions and filling them,you should be touting the benefits of your employee culture and highlighting everything that makes your company the place to be.

Today’s consumers do a lot of research on their own before making a buying decision, and the same can be said for job seekers. If you don’t have any content out there that shares your company culture, you’re going to see fewer candidates interested in applying. Meet them halfway by sharing your content along with your job postings so they can get a clear idea of the type of company they’re applying to. 

5. Tie Employer Branding to Onboarding. 

Teaching recent hires about your employer brand should be a big part of training. From programs to benefits to your expectations around work-life balance, be as clear as possible in getting new hires up to speed with what it means to be part of your team.

Put together a spreadsheet that includes all your content on these topics so they can spend some time reading up on it while training for their new role. Make sure to check-in with them so they can ask you any questions or get further clarity where needed. 

Marketing your employer brand can lead to better employees and sales and elevate your business’s reputation in intangible ways. Invest in policies and best practices that back up a positive brand image, and when you’re there, shout it from the rooftops. You have a lot to gain from cementing a strong employer brand — and a lot to lose from neglecting it.