It’s an unusual time for recruitment, resourcing and retention. The pandemic provided a vigorous shake-up to the UK job economy, with many organisations adopting (or rejecting) new ways of working. In turn, employees began to vote with their feet, favouring hybrid or fully remote roles.

But underneath the headlines and the hyperbole is a thriving culture of organisations taking a stand and yelling, “HEY! We aren’t that bad!” We agree; you aren’t half bad at all. But you could do BETTER.

Many businesses are working harder than ever before on their employer brand. But it might surprise you to learn that the focus isn’t purely on reducing staff turnover, but a broader mission to improve company reputation. Even the best companies in the world say goodbye to colleagues from time to time. Perhaps they fancied a new challenge or simply a change of scenery. A realistic outlook isn’t “Why did they leave?” but “What will they say about us?”

The missing piece for many of these organisations is creative strategy. The big ideas. The hard-fought board-level buy-in. The brand rollout. The content and comms. For Silverback®, this is all in a day’s work. We are on a bold and brave mission to help organisations leverage brand integrity and intelligent design to build a people strategy that shows their staff—past, present and future—that they care.


Employer Stats web2 | Silverback



Employment as a journey

Your employee’s time with you is part of their wider career journey. We can’t stress this enough. Whether they’re with you for twelve months or twelve years, their experience within your organisation will help shape their career and what they say about you in the future. And because we are living in an age where reputation is everything, sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn have capitalised on this movement and built tools that allow us to peek behind the curtain and see what it’s actually like to work somewhere. 

That’s right, you can’t hide. According to TalentNow, 84% of job seekers say the reputation of a company as an employer is important when making a decision on where to apply for a job.

So it goes without saying that a positive and remarkable employee experience is invaluable when it comes to shaping your employer brand. But you may be thinking, “How an ex-colleague talks about us is out of our control.” Well, we’re here with some excellent news: It’s entirely within your control to turn employees into brand advocates through an authentic company culture.



Employer Stats web | Silverback



You are the gatekeeper

According to iCIMS, 86% of HR professionals say recruitment is becoming more like marketing, which is a clear sign to us that employer brand is now just as important as your organisation’s primary product or service. This stat presents a good opportunity to gain buy-in from your board of directors, who will identify with the importance of marketing (and, therefore, recruitment) on the company’s overall performance.

Whether you’re Head of HR, People Director or Chief of Staff, you’re at the heart of this unusual recruitment/marketing hybrid, and you’re in the unique and exciting position of being able to oversee it, form it and shape it. A bit like a lifeguard but without the tall chair and puffy shorts.

With the right team and resources around you, you can build an employer brand that attracts and retains great people and leaves them with a lasting impression should they ever move on.


Understand internal and external channels

When it comes to attraction, the focus is almost exclusively on external channels. From how you share your company culture with the outside world to the language and tone of voice used on your website – it all counts towards the impression you give off from your various marketing channels.

When we talk about retention, the focus shifts internally, and in the context of how we help organisations, the most powerful tool is internal communications. Modern-day businesses may have dozens of perks and benefits, but what good are they if they’re not communicated well? Internal comms is the conduit between the culture you want to foster, and the colleagues you want to keep (ideally, all of them!)

Make it a singular strategy

While these inward and outward-facing strategies can feel very different, it’s important to remember that they’re actually one singular strategy. We often see a disconnect between internal and external employer brands, with creative elements not aligning, teams not understanding their mission or an overall lack of vision.

So, how exactly can we fix this?


Design an EVP (employer value proposition) from the ground up

We like EVP because it covers everything that we think is important – the five key pillars of your employer brand. These pillars are, in fact, the holy grail. If you don’t know them already, read them and read them again. Write them on Post-its and dot them around your desk. Print them off and put them on your fridge.

Pillar 1: Compensation
This includes the basics, such as salary, commission and bonuses. It also extends to how pay raises and promotions are handled, as well as how employee performance is evaluated.

Pillar 2: Benefits
Benefits are the tangible things that a colleague receives as part of their employment, such as time off, perks, annual leave, health benefits and even flexibility.

Pillar 3: Career
Arguably the most important of the pillars. Career refers to personal development and career development, as well as training and sometimes further education too.

Pillar 4: Work environment
These are tangible and intangible things, from recognition, autonomy and work-life balance to the office, the amenities and the location.

Pillar 5: Culture
While company culture may feel like it should be first and foremost, it’s not actually the number one thing employees look for in an organisation. Culture covers things like vision, mission and values, relationships, support and teamwork.


Troop shot V2 | Silverback


How can a creative agency help with EVP?

As we said before, the problem that we often see within organisations is the misalignment of attraction and retention, a completely mis-balanced EVP strategy, or no strategy at all. So, it’s no surprise that it becomes difficult for us to build an employer brand around a broken system.

Thankfully, we like to fix things. We also like to do it properly. So when working with new clients, we always begin with ‘discovery’. This sounds mysterious, and in a way, it is. Discovery sessions allow us to uncover who you are as a business. We may even uncover things about you that you didn’t know yourself.


Vision/mission/value workshops and discovery sessions help us get back to basics and uncover what you are trying to achieve as a people and culture-focused team and where you want to be.

Auditing and market research mean that we can get a clear picture of your business through and through, as well as compare it to similar organisations within your sector.

Brand positioning and brand architecture work allow us to build a new employer brand with your EVP goals front of mind.  

Messaging hierarchies help to form a communication strategy that is clearly defined and refined for your internal and external audiences.

Design systems and graphical devices give you the creative tools you need to execute your deliverables, such as internal communications or external campaigns.

And finally, a clear content strategy arms you with the blogs, articles and posts that you need to really make your employer brand sing and reach new audiences.


If you’re feeling really adventurous, we can also explore app development, internal launch campaigns, email marketing, and even photography or video. Obviously, this is budget dependent.

While we think it’s important to start with the basics before moving on to these bigger, bolder ideas, we must remember that audiences expect a little more than a recruitment PDF or an uninspiring BCC email. Please don’t make us craft BCC emails for you.



Think brand, then think big

This is the journey that we recommend to all Silverback® partners looking to improve their HR experience, employer brand, people culture or EVP. Strip everything back to the bare bones, start afresh with strategy and discovery, and understand your culture and what your audiences truly need.

Then, it’s time to get creative. Big, bold and authentic campaigns, exciting and inclusive recognition schemes, a vastly improved employee experience, or maybe a fresh suite of learning and development materials. The sky is the limit, and when you’re working with a creative partner who truly cares about your mission, you’ll quickly see a cohesive set of deliverables that align with your vision and values. 

If this sounds exciting and like something your organisation is crying out for, let’s talk.

Let’s have a chat…

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