Most savvy business people are well aware of how important visual branding is when it comes to marketing. A strong visual brand, after all, is key to defining your space in the marketplace, differentiating yourself from competitors and building recognition. But as important as branding is in helping you win over customers, it’s also just as important in helping you win over candidates.

Computer with 99designs imagery

So if you’re looking to hire — and really, what company isn’t? — it’s well worth keeping in mind. Here are a few ways that a compelling, cohesive visual brand can boost your recruiting efforts, along with some tips for how you can catch the eyes of job seekers.

3 ways a compelling, cohesive visual brand can boost your recruiting efforts

1. It establishes legitimacy

Ever been contacted about an opportunity that seems too good to be true? You know the kind—generous pay, flexible hours, the ability to work from home, all for just a small start-up fee… in a world where email and social media scams abound, today’s talent enters the job search with a healthy amount of skepticism for any opportunity they encounter. And if a company appears to be illegitimate in any way, candidates’ alarm bells start ringing.

Consider the following two job listings on Glassdoor, one featuring a company logo and the other featuring a default icon — which of these do you think looks more reputable in a job seeker’s eye?

Glassdoor job listings

Job seekers don’t want to waste their time applying to a position that doesn’t exist, and if a particular company doesn’t have the basics—a logo, a well-designed website, a company description—then they very well may move onto another one that does. This isn’t just anecdotal observation, either—Glassdoor data has shown that job seekers are twice as likely to apply when a job includes employer branded content.

Tips:

  • Work with a professional designer to create a sleek, modern logo and make sure it’s present everywhere your jobs are
  • Add your logo design and other branded images to your company’s Glassdoor profile and other job and recruiting sites
  • Ensure a cohesive look across platforms (company website, social media, job sites, etc.)—uniformity suggests reputability

2. It helps communicate your employer brand

Ask any company what their logo means and they’ll be able to talk your ear off—brands don’t just choose a logo because it looks cool. The iconic Nike logo, for example, is packed with meaning—the swoosh suggests speed and movement, the checkmark shape recalls success and the direction indicates upward momentum, all of which help define the company’s brand. And for employees and candidates, this can also help define their employer brand—the reputation a company has as an employer, and its unique proposition value to employees.

A picture from Zenefits’ Glassdoor profile

At Glassdoor, for example, we value qualities like transparency and openness, both of which are purposefully built into our logo.

Some companies even go so far as to specifically connect the dots for candidates and employees by outlining what exactly their logos mean. Take this picture from Zenefits’ Glassdoor profile, which highlights the different components of their logo and their corresponding brand attributes: fit, open & welcoming, together & connection and upward growth.

A picture from Zenefits’ Glassdoor profile

A candidate may not be able to glean all of these insights just by glancing at your logo, but at the very least there are certain things they’ll be able to pick up from it, like whether your company is corporate and traditional or nimble and modern. And the better idea they have of how your company works, the better idea they’ll have of whether or not they’re the right fit for you.

Tips:

  • Identify your company’s key values early on, and incorporate them into your look and feel
  • Don’t just assume candidates will know what your visual brand says about your employer brand—spell it out for them
  • Get direct feedback! Ask employees, and especially new hires, about how they perceived your visual brand during the application process

3. It conveys success

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but really, don’t we all engage in that pretty frequently? If you’re walking down the street and deciding which restaurant to go to, for example, you’re probably much more likely to go to a newly renovated café with a charming exterior than an old, run-down joint with letters missing from its sign. It’s plausible that the food at the latter location is just as good, but a restaurant that doesn’t care about its appearance makes you question whether or not they care about the quality of their food.

Similarly, a company with poor visual branding may make candidates question how sound their business is. If they can’t be bothered to create a visually compelling logo, website, career page and social media profiles, what does that say about how they run their finances and treat their employees?

On the other hand, viewing a company with a strong visual brand gets employees excited about working there. In their Glassdoor profile, Memorial Sloan Kettering not only puts their logo front and center of their profile and jobs—they also have a branded cover photo featuring actual employees, allowing candidates to easily picture themselves working there. The cohesive, polished look and feel of their profile confirms in the job seeker’s mind that this is indeed an exciting and thriving workplace.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Glassdoor profile

Tips:

  • Visual branding isn’t just exclusive to logos—photos of your workplace and products in line with your brand guidelines give candidates a deeper look inside your company
  • When choosing your color palette, keep color symbolism in mind—for example, green often brings to mind nature or financial success, while red is associated with passion and energy

When you’re building a small business, you might think of visual branding as a nice-to-have that you’ll invest in further down the line. But from marketing to recruiting, its impact cannot be overstated. If you need to bring in folks that can help you grow your business, a strong visual brand is a must.

Emily Moore

Emily Moore is a Senior Staff Writer for Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites. Glassdoor combines all the jobs with valuable data to make it easy for people to find a job that fits their life, while also helping employers hire quality talent at scale. Are you hiring? Post jobs for free with a 7-day trial.