Eurgh, the dreaded “it’s not quite working out for you here” conversation that one must have with an employee that isn’t proving a ‘good culture fit’ (euphemism for them not being very good). Regardless of how counter-productive they are proving, though, it’s never nice to have to be the one who makes the final call.

Maybe it’s just me, but that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach lingers for some time after the conversation has been had. I think it’s the thought of them having to make their way back home without being sure of what the future holds that does it. It’s making me feel uneasy just thinking about it.

As an employer, of course, those calls come with the territory. But I’m determined to make sure I only have to make them very sparingly indeed. So should you, quite frankly. Want to know how? Build a strong employer brand. This will help you attract the best talent – those that are a perfect fit for your business – and stop you making a bad judgement on somebody who just isn’t up to the job.

According to LinkedIn research, 83% of talent leaders agree that employer branding has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent.

So, where should you start with creating an employer brand that attracts the right sort of talent?

1. Develop a clear employee value proposition

What is it that makes your company different? What is it that makes people want to work for you? This is your employee value proposition (EVP). Think of it as the things that an employee can expect to receive in exchange for coming to work for your company, outside of their salary and benefits.

By developing a clear EVP, you stand a better chance of attracting new employees that have goals and values that are in alignment with organisational goals and values, which aids in employee retention.

2. Get active on company review sites

One of the first places a prospective employee might go to check what a company is like to work for is a company review site like Glassdoor. This gives them the ability to judge whether the perception the company gives of what it’s like to work for them tallies with the reality.

So, encourage employees to post their own reviews. With a bit of luck, the reviews will be largely positive, painting your business as a good place to work. However, even if you get some negative feedback, make sure that you respond to it, thus showing onlookers that you care about your employees.

3. Show people what it’s like to work for you

A video can go a long way when trying to show potential employees what it’s like to work for your business. It offers viewers a chance to get a feel for the team, the environment they would be working in, the technology they will be operating (more important than you might think), even where they can stretch their legs.

Ideally, you want the video to capture a ‘typical’ day in the office, so as to not misrepresent the atmosphere. If you were to portray your company as something it isn’t, potential employees would soon find out on interview day.

4. Encourage employee-generated content

We all know what user-generated content is nowadays and how it appeals to customers. Employee-generated content appeals to employees in the same way. It’s all to do with the concept of treating employees – or potential employees – like customers.

Nobody can do a better of job of transmitting the company culture than your employees – they are the ones living and breathing it. So, provide a platform for them to create content based upon their successes for the business, or the fun they’re having working for you. It’ll give some authenticity to your claims that employees thrive at your company.

Taking these steps will make your company more appealing with many employees. However, it’ll have the opposite effect on some people. They might be put off by your “quirky office” and “optimistic team”.

That means your employer brand is doing its job – it’s attracting the right people while detracting those who wouldn’t be at home at your business. It’s helping you avoid another awkward conversation.