137 Questions to Ask About Your Digital Employer Branding
This is your checklist for a digital employer branding audit. Use it to improve how you attract people to your company using the web.
(Credit: Adobe Stock)
There is no “set it and forget it” with digital employer branding collateral. Context, clarity, consistency, and tone all matter when you’re aiming to build brand awareness and attract talented people. That means the social media channels, websites, and job boards that promote your company need regular attention and care.
The following list of 137 questions will help you audit your employer brand’s web presence. Use it as a checklist to identify what you are and aren’t doing, determine what’s working, and pinpoint areas that need improvement.
Alright, let’s go …
All social channels
Audience: Who is your target audience of talent? What social media platforms does your target audience use? Do you have a presence on those channels? Are you maintaining a presence on social channels your audience doesn’t use?
Corporate vs. careers: Do you maintain social media accounts for recruitment that are separate from your main corporate accounts? Do your corporate accounts also share recruiting content?
Management: Who in your company or on your team “owns” social media? Is one person responsible, is it a shared responsibility, or a free-for-all? Do you use a tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social to schedule posts, delegate tasks, and make channel management time-efficient?
Strategy: Do you have a written content strategy or playbook that guides how you use social media for recruitment? Do you plan out content with an editorial calendar? Do you have criteria that govern if, or when, you adopt a new social media channel?
Brand: Visually, is each of your social media profiles on-brand? Your profile photos, cover images, and posts that include an image? Are messages written in your brand’s voice? Do you have brand guidelines, graphic standards, or a style guide to help your team communicate consistent visuals and messaging?
Content: Are you sharing content regularly, consistently, and at a frequency that suits each social media channel you use? A mix of employer brand and industry-related content that is relevant, interesting, and useful for your target audience? Do you post a mix of links, text, images, and videos suitable to each channel?
Value: Do you give your followers something of value (e.g. relevant information, or even just a laugh) more often than you ask followers to do something (e.g. look at a job posting). Do you follow a five-to-one give-to-ask ratio, where you give resources and content five times for every one time you make an ask?
Integrations: Does your applicant tracking system automatically share new roles through social channels? What do those posts look like? Do they look auto-generated? Do your different social accounts post directly to each other (e.g. An Instagram post automatically appearing in your Twitter feed)? How do those auto-posts look?
Engagement: Are people liking or favoriting your content? Better yet, sharing and commenting? Are you tracking and comparing post performance? How about the reverse – are you liking or favoriting others’ content? Re-sharing and joining conversations? Is your social media presence a dialogue, or just a one-way blast of your own content?
LinkedIn company page
Content: Are you sharing more than just roles, thus avoiding “glorified job board” syndrome? Do you use images in your posts to catch your audience’s attention? Are your posts longer than 600 characters and getting cut off by a “…see more” link?
Competitors: On the right-hand sidebar, you’ll find a section called “Similar companies:” your competitors! How do they use LinkedIn to promote their employer brand?
Sponsored updates: Do you use LinkedIn’s targeted advertising to get your content in front of the exact candidates you’re trying to attract?
Complete profiles: Do the members of your recruiting team have complete, on-brand, easy to read profiles? How about your leadership team? Your hiring managers? Better yet, all employees (candidates can and will scope out the people who work at your company)?
Headline: Are recruiters using their headline to grab candidates’ attention? Share a relevant recruiting message?
Photo: Does every recruiter have a clear, professional – but also approachable – profile photo? How about managers and employees?
Summary: Does every recruiter have a complete summary that speaks directly to the people they’re working to recruit? Do they end their summary with a clear, targeted call to action?
Company name: Are all employees (not to mention recruiters!) using the same exact spelling of your company name so that their work experience links back to your company page?
LinkedIn resources: Could you run a workshop or lunch-and-learn to help employees dust off and update their personal LinkedIn profiles? Could you provide headshots, bio templates, headline examples, and branded background images to help your team complete their profiles?
Profile: Is your company overview complete and up to date? Have you uploaded a cover image to your profile? Do you list awards and accolades your company has received as an employer?
Photos: Have you uploaded a variety of office photos to your profile? Do they show employees enjoying daily life and special events at your company?
Company updates: Do you regularly post company news and successes to your profile? How recent was the latest update?
Reviews: Do you have any reviews? Do your reviews reflect a breadth of experiences and viewpoints, both positive and negative? Do you invite employees to leave honest reviews of their experience working for your company?
ATS integration: Does your applicant tracking system offer an “app” to add a job board tab to your Facebook page?
Paid posts: Posts only reach two percent of followers organically (i.e. for free) – do you use paid boosts to reach a bigger audience? How about dark posts (posts that don’t appear in your timeline), or Facebook ads to attract interest from a targeted audience outside your follower base?
Following: Do you follow members of your target audience and industry influencers?
Engagement: Are you tracking and comparing tweet performance using analytics.twitter.com?
Hashtags: Do you use a branded hashtag to connect employees, promote your brand, and share what life is like at your company (e.g. #AcmeLife, #InsideAcme)?
Promoted tweets: The shelf-life of a tweet is short – do you use ads.twitter.com to promote tweets to your followers or a targeted audience outside of your followers? Do you experiment with different campaign types and messages to see what work best for your particular audience?
Hashtags: Do you use – and encourage employees to use – a branded hashtag that represents your employer brand (e.g. #AcmeLife, #InsideAcme)? Do you use hashtags that your target audience of talent is using and following?
Feed: Do you share original photos, videos, and Boomerangs of daily life and special events at your company? Do you use a social media management tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Sprout Social, or Repost App to re-share employee content that they’ve tagged with your employer brand hashtag?
Stories: Do you use Instagram’s Stories feature? Do you plan and produce your stories in advance, following a defined strategy? Or do you capture stories spontaneously, during work days and special events?
Profile: Have you converted your Instagram account to a business profile? Does your bio include a call to action to direct users to your careers site?
Engagement: Are you tracking and comparing post performance using your business profile’s Instagram Insights?
Social media links: Do icons linking to your corporate social media accounts appear in your main or a secondary navigation menu? Do the links work properly and open the correct profiles? Does the website link to social media channels that are not actively managed?
About section: Does the website have an “about” or “company” section that includes pages discussing information relevant to candidates (e.g. About Us, Press, Team, Leadership, Investors, Values)? Is the information presented accurate and up to date? Is it in line with your employer brand messaging?
Company blog: Does the website include a company blog written by employees? Are posts published regularly and consistently? Who is responsible for managing the blog? Does it follow a defined content strategy? Do the posts integrate recruitment messages and calls to action?
Careers link: Is your careers page easy to find from your corporate website’s main or secondary navigation menu?
Content: Do you have content that speaks to who you are as an employer? Is the content up to date to within the last year – or better yet, six months?
Images and media: Do you use images to support your messaging? How about other media: video, audio, interactive graphics?
Mobile friendly: How does your careers site look on different devices and screen sizes? Desktop computer? Laptop? Tablet? Large phone? Small phone? How quickly – or slowly – does your website load on older or less powerful devices? Using network data, versus WiFi?
User experience: How many times does a user need to click to learn more about you as a company? Access your job board? Find any other information they might want? Does your site direct the user with calls to action (e.g. search jobs, apply now, follow #companylife)?
Social links: Do you have links to social media accounts? If you have recruitment-specific social media accounts, is that what you’re linking to? Does your website import your latest Tweets or Instagram posts? If so, is the content recent? Relevant?
Website integration: What technology is used to embed your job board into your website? Iframe? API? Does it load quickly and smoothly? Does its appearance integrate seamlessly with the website?
Searching and filtering: If your board lists many roles, can users easily search or filter to see just the roles relevant to them? By department, role-type, location? Are the search and filter functions intuitive to use? Are there just enough filter options to be useful – without overwhelming the user with choice?
Current roles: Are all listings on your job board currently active?
General application: If a user doesn’t find a current opening that suits them, can they submit a general application?
Understandable: Are your job descriptions easy to read? Are they precise and concise? Do they avoid jargon, acronyms, and corporate-speak? Can the user scan them quickly and easily?
Call to action: Do job descriptions end with an invitation to apply and instructions, or a button, for doing so?
Share buttons: Do your job descriptions include social share links? What do the auto-generated posts look like when the user clicks on your share links?
Personal information: If your application auto-populates with data from a third-party site (for example, if applicants can use their LinkedIn profile to apply), does it require them to accept onerous terms or grant permission in a way that might make them feel uncomfortable?
After they hit “submit:” What does your “application received” confirmation page look like? Does it include a call to action – an invitation to follow on relevant social channels, read company blog posts, or even something fun (but still on-brand)?
Confirmation of receipt: Does the applicant receive an email confirming their application has been received? Does it read like a person wrote it, or a machine?
Competitor scan: Identify two or three of your top competitors for talent and perform a similar review of their corporate websites, careers sites, job boards, and application processes. Mystery shop them! Do your content and overall user experience differentiate you? Do your competitors do anything differently that might serve you well to adopt, too?
Whew. That’s a lot of critical review and reflection. Not always easy to do – so take a breather and give yourself a pat on the back.
Don’t rest for too long, though: now you should have a good idea of what you need to do make your employer branding even better.
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