Claire Treloar

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July 23, 2021

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Employer brand message and tone of voice

When employees or candidates come into contact with your employer brand, what do you want to tell them? And how will you position yourself? Developing your message and tone of voice are essential aspects in differentiating your copywriting from other employers and giving your target audiences reasons to want to engage with your employer brand.

What is an employer brand message?

 

Messaging in employer branding is a system of communicating your Employer Value Proposition(EVP) with employees and candidates in a consistent way across all possible touchpoints.

 

Your message will convey what people will get out of working for you, which could mean anything from more money to more time with family to a greater sense of fulfilment.

 

It will also detail the specifics of what you do to enable those things to come true, from rewards and benefits to working policies to Learning & Development.

 

Developing your employer brand messaging

 

By conducting focus groups and other types of candidate research, your employer marketing agency will learn what it is that your existing workforce both likes and dislikes about working for you.

 

This gives you the opportunity to magnify the positive aspects in your talent attraction content—pushing to the front a message that leverages those selling points. It also allows you to directly address any issues that may surface during research—using content to repair any identified breakdowns in internal communications.

 

Great employer brand messaging is not top-down. It is responsive and pivots off of employee feedback in a way that resolves their issues and builds their loyalty. Imagine, for instance, an employee says that they don’t have enough systems training. Part of your employer marketing agency’s strategy may then be to develop ‘how to’ guides on those systems for your blog.

 

Finally, your message will be encapsulated in your EVP and expressed externally via your employer brand slogan, which should be locked up with your logo in all communications as a consistent payoff that centres more specific messages.

 

What is tone of voice in employer communications?

 

Not to be confused with your employer brand message, your tone of voice is not what you are saying about working for your organisation, but how you say it in your copywriting. It leverages your employee personas, identified during the research phase, to give a voice to your employer brand that mirrors your target audience’s.

 

Why is tone of voice important? Well, it creates an emotional attachment between your employer brand and the talent you are looking to engage. That emotional attachment activates audience curiosity, drives interaction and, as the candidate journey progresses, turns engaged audience members into loyal employees.

 

Developing a segmented tone of voice for different personas

 

Most organisations—and the larger they are, the more likely this is—will employ different people across different departments from different backgrounds and with very different ways of communicating. So how do you establish a reliable copy tone within such a diverse environment?

 

It’s actually not that complicated. An ‘umbrella’ tone of voice is the style of communication broadly used to communicate the personality of your employer brand to ensure you get the right people fit. This will include guidelines pertaining to broad things like friendliness, formality, sentence structure and punctuation usage.

 

This broad tone of voice can then be segmented to reflect the different employee personas that come into contact with your employer brand at its various touchpoints. Because you would, of course, communicate differently to a highly experienced finance professional returning to work after a career break than you would to a brand-new marketing graduate with no experience at all.

 

You might also take a similar segmented approach to developing a visual identity system for various audiences.

 

Tone of voice dos and don’ts

 

Do get to know your audience and understand how they like to be communicated with.

Don’t assume you know the way they communicate.

 

Do try to mirror your audience’s tone of voice.

Don’t patronise or caricature your audience—that will drive them away rather than engage them.

 

Do develop an employer personality that’s unique to you and your organisation.

Don’t be wacky, cheesy or unintelligible—great employer brands engender respect.

 

Do be conversational—talk to your audience in the same way you’d talk to a colleague.

Don’t be rude, offhand or talk down to your audience—put yourself on the receiving end.

 

 Want to talk through your brand message and tone of voice with us? Get in touch today

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