All about employer branding

Why LGBTQIA inclusion matters

Here’s why companies should care about LGBTQIA inclusion

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Given that it’s June, an annual celebration of Pride, we have seen the social space abuzz with conversations around LGBTQIA equality, inclusion, and policies. We’ve also seen rainbow logos. We’ve also seen some policies changing and some companies leaning into inclusivity. During Pride, we’re reminded that as employers, it is our responsibility to make our workplaces inclusive, accepting, and welcoming.

As Pride month comes to a close, we are asking an important question: what happens during the next 11 months of the year? As we put our rainbow flags away, and change our logos back to their regular colors, what we do next is what will make the longest lasting impact.

First, let’s look at why it’s important to care about LGBTQIA inclusion all year, not just during Pride.

The numbers show that LGBTQIA employees don’t have an easy time at work. 19% of LGBT workers have experienced verbal bullying from their colleagues and customers. 13% of LGBT workers do not feel confident reporting homophobic bullying in their workplace. 42% of trans people who are not living permanently in their preferred gender role say that they are prevented from doing so because they feel it will threaten their employment status.

Over the years, the situation has improved for the LGBTQIA staff in some key ways.

  • 91% of Fortune 500 companies have introduced non-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation.
  • 67% have voluntarily extended health and insurance benefits to all LGBTQIA families.

Despite coming a long way in the last few decades, there’s still a lot of work to be done to create a psychologically safe, inclusive, and accepting work environment for LGBTQIA employees.

Zooming out, let’s take a look at the economics of inclusivity.

Do you know how much the US economy would add per year if American companies improved their ability to retain LGBTQIA staff with inclusive policies? If you guessed $9 billion, you’re right.

According to the World Bank, how much would India add to its economic output if it addressed discrimination against LGBTQIA people? Did you guess $32 billion? Correct.

Last one, and then we’ll move on. What’s the aggregate spending power of this LGBTQIA consumer base ? Does your answer include “Trillion”? If not, guess again. The spending power of the LGBTQIA consumer base was estimated to be US$3.6 trillion per annum in 2018. Trillion, with a “T.”

Changes to policies, practices and workplaces add up to billions and trillions of dollars of impact, not to mention making your employees feel like whole people when they come to work.

In fact, the impact of inclusion is so broad that almost every measure of a company’s success improves with inclusivity: client perception, retention, talent pool, brand recognition, market share, legal costs, etc. Below, we’ve compiled more information on each of these, as there’s a wealth of data to show that inclusivity is good for business.

With the world becoming more accepting and understanding of the LGBTQIA community, companies are expected to be more inclusive and create a safe, tolerant environment where your LGBTQIA staff can be themselves and thrive at work.

So, what can companies do to be more inclusive?  Where do you start?

Commit to do the work.

Being an LGBTQIA-inclusive employer is not an overnight process; it takes time and consistent commitment.

Here a few things you could start with as you begin your journey towards inclusion:

Think and act ‘glocally’

It is an employer’s responsibility towards their staff to look after their welfare, be fair and accepting to all. Look at the policies and actions taken globally by employers. Find out what would work best in your local context considering the laws to make the workplace more inclusive and adopt the best practices.

 Assess your policies

Take stock of your current workplace policies and see if they are conducive to people being open and receptive to others. Check with your LGBTQIA staff if they feel safe, disclosing their sexual identity at work, and are not being bullied. Put measures in place to make sure your work environment is safe for your employees and continually review them to make them better.

Visible LGBTQIA role models

Have visible role models in your organization; they send a powerful message that you walk the talk when it comes to inclusion in your own staff. These role models serve as allies who also educate the workforce on the differences and how to behave with people different than themselves.

Don’t just do one thing, and don’t stop.

Individually, start with any or all of the strategies mentioned. As a company, look at your policies and commit to change the ones that are not inclusive based on sexuality and gender. Have networking events, trainings to address the bias and discrimination and struggles faced by the LGBTQIA community all year long. There are many resources out there (a google search for “LGBTQIA company resources” returns dozens of them), and you can also take a look at these free trainings by LinkedIn for your staff to foster more inclusivity and belonging in your workplace.

Companies who do the work all year round will be the harbinger of powerful societal change, reap the benefits of inclusion, enjoy a positive perception of the market, and enjoy brand loyalty from one of the most loyal customers.


The detailed case for how inclusion is good for business. Here’s are some reasons why:

Positive client perception

Diverse, inclusive companies enjoy an enhanced public image. Clients are keen to partner with companies that are non-discriminatory and inclusive. Millennials who are touted to be 75% of the global workforce by 2025 and form a chunk of consumers are inclined towards companies who are more embracing of their LGBTQIA staff, making them employers and brands of choice.

Reduced legal costs

Companies that care about the inclusion of their LGBTQIA staff observe a drop in their legal costs as the discrimination suits against employers reduce. It also translates in lower health insurance spends on employees as employees’ health improves working in a good environment, reducing stress.

Higher retention

LGBTQIA employees who feel comfortable being out with their colleagues, tend to stay on longer with the company compared to those who feel stifled by the office environment. This reduces hiring and training costs associated with hiring and onboarding new employees. Employee engagement is also said to suffer by 30% when work environments are now accepting of the LGBTQIA staff.

Bigger talent pool

Companies who embrace diversity, especially with LGBTQIA staff, open themselves to the large, talent-rich demographic, increasing their competitive advantage. The diverse team is more innovative and happier.

Brand loyalty

LGBTQIA people tend to be loyal customers. 87% would switch the brand, which is known for providing equal workplace benefits. 23% of LGBTQIA consumers already switched to companies who were more supportive of their cause disregarding the cost and convenience of using the brand.

Higher market share

There has been a sharp increase in the number of same-sex households over the past years along with the increase in their buying power. Inclusive companies will get a share of this pie if they work on being more open and receiving of their staff.

Lastly and most importantly, a diverse and inclusive workplace fosters creativity, leads to innovation, and brings a multitude of ideas thanks to their staff.


Are you hiring and wondering how to make sure your team is diverse and inclusive? Shortlist can help, we offer a wide range of recruitment solutions that help companies build great, diverse teams.

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Brand Ambassador: Employees Help Promote Companies

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Traditionally, the term ‘brand ambassadors’ has been associated with A-list celebrities that charge a large sum of money to sell a product or service. But according to a Nielsen study, 84% of people trust recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues over other forms of marketing.

This principle also holds true for marketing your employer brand. As highlighted in LinkedIn’s Talent Trends Report, job seekers are looking for unfiltered insights from current employees while considering new jobs. Some of their comments include:

“Connect me with insiders — nothing like hearing straight from the horse’s mouth.”

“I would like to hear the positives and negatives from real professional staff members — not the marketing gloss from the CEO or marketing. Real people. Real jobs.”

This was further corroborated in our recent survey in Kenya. Our findings revealed that while researching to learn more about a company, 38% of the candidates preferred speaking to current and/or former employees, 27% of them view current and/or former employees on LinkedIn and 20% of them check Glassdoor for reviews.

READ | Ask these 10 questions to define your Employee Value Proposition

Now that we know the importance of promoting your company’s employer brand through your employees, let’s move on to understanding what a company needs to foster a recruitment brand ambassador :

Show off your employees

Your employees define your company culture, manifest your company’s vision and live your values. Without them, your employer brand would cease to exist. By showing off your employees and increasing their engagement with the values of your company, you can bring out the recruitment brand ambassador in them!

Highlight employee experiences on social media

Did you know that one in four job-seekers view other employee profiles after finding out about a job opening? It would therefore be beneficial to encourage your employees to keep an updated, attention-worthy and professional online profile. Additionally, you can also leverage their experiences by having them share their stories as recruitment brand ambassadors on social media.

Encourage your employees to use their LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media handles to represent the values and culture of your company. For instance, if you’re hosting a mixer for your employees, create a hashtag and ensure your employees use it to share inside pictures from the event! Here’s an example of one of our Shortlisters doing the same:

brand ambassador

Not too long ago, Thomson Reuters’ stint with employee-generated content took Instagram by storm. In order to help prospective hires picture themselves working in offices across the world, they launched a campaign called #FeaturedFriday. Every Friday their Instagram handle featured an external or internal office photo captured by one of their employees.


The campaign garnered 30% of the likes for their Instagram account in 2016, but the real winner? Their employer brand visibility grew and so did their positive brand image!

Urge your employees to share company values & culture on LinkedIn

Make sure that your employees have up-to-date LinkedIn profiles with their company photo, descriptions, cover photo etc. coordinated, which lends a polished and cohesive feel when candidates are searching on LinkedIn.

You can even give employees a line about your work culture to add to their LinkedIn summary, e.g., “I have thrived both personally and professionally thanks to the supportive culture at <Company name> — check out our careers page or reach out if you’re interested in joining us!”.

Encourage your employees to write reviews on Glassdoor

Ask your employees to write reviews of your company on popular sites like Glassdoor. Ideally, favourable reviews will help strengthen a prospective candidate’s urge to work for your company. According to our latest candidate survey conducted in Kenya, job seekers claimed they would accept lower pay if the company has positive reviews online.

In the event that you receive negative reports on platforms such as Glassdoor, don’t give up! Your response to those negative reviews can actually help build your employer brand. For instance, you can use this as a chance to address negative feedback tactfully. Responding to negative feedback by current or former employees in a positive manner on this public platform will help secure the trust of job-seekers or anyone else out there.

Looking to grow your team? We can help you; Shortlist offers a wide range of recruitment solutions that help companies build great teams.

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Include employee testimonials directly on your careers page and in job descriptions

Add employee testimonials to show off your office culture and day-to-day activities in the form of pictures and videos in your job description or on your careers landing page. For instance, marketing giant HubSpot uses this feature on their careers page in the following manner:

Image credit — HubSpot

If you do not have a careers page you can always share testimonials on your social media handles. Moreover, if you do not have the option of making sophisticated video clips of employee testimonials, don’t worry! A smartphone camera and a video posted to social media still brings your employer brand to life!

READ | What is your employer brand and why does it matter?

As reflected in our recent candidate survey in Kenya, over half of the candidates use the job description and careers landing page to learn more about what it’s like to work at a company — over Glassdoor and all social media platforms. It’s therefore important to capitalise on your website as much as possible.

Employee referral programs can go a long way

Unlike other recruiting strategies, the employee referral program uses existing employees to find and hire the best talent from their networks. Research shows that referred candidates are 55% faster to hire than employees shortlisted through careers sites, and that employee referral programs reduce cost per hire, improve the quality of hire and reduce attrition rate.

With the help of some of these tips, you bolster recruitment brand ambassadors who can help you find talented job-seekers excited about coming on board!

Stay tuned for more

As part of our latest campaign on employer branding, we will be sharing actionable resources and tools like these over the next few months. To receive all of our latest tips straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

Anything specific about employer branding that you’re hoping to learn? Let us know in the comments below.

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Effective Job Description: How to make it inclusive and engaging

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“Recruiting is a selling process, and people have options. Look at the job description as a marketing opportunity.”

– Adam Robinson, CEO of applicant tracking system Hireology

Gone are the days of writing general and thoughtless job posts. According to a study by, 61% of employed applicants said that an interesting job description would prompt them to consider a new job. And according to our recent candidate survey in Kenya, over half of candidates use the job description to learn more about what it’s like to work at a company — over Glassdoor and all social media platforms.

Needless to say, in order to hire the best talent you want to ensure your job post gets noticed. To create an effective job description, you need to strike a balance between being succinct and providing just the right amount of information so candidates can self-qualify for the role. How can you achieve this?

1. The right job title

Make your title accurate and SEO-friendly. If you’re hiring a Senior Customer Service Representative, avoid using acronyms like “Sr. Customer Service Rep.” or off-beat titles like “Customer Support Guru.” These deviations reduce clarity in a case where it’s beneficial to be as clear as possible.

Moreover, sticking to the conventional title also makes sure your JD is search engine optimised — meaning candidates searching for that type of job will be more likely to find it while searching on Google. If you’re not sure what title to go with, it could be useful to do some research on popular job listing sites for most-used titles of similar job openings.

2. An effective job description is gender-neutral

It is imperative to be mindful of using non-gender-specific pronouns and job titles in order to promote diversity and inclusion. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, replacing words with gender stereotypes attached to them — like “ninja,” “rockstar” and “guru” — in your role title with more straightforward words like “sales representative” and “developer” can help make prospective candidates feel more included. You can always scan your job description through the Gender Decoder tool, which will tell you whether your job description is too gender-specific.

3. Pictures and videos

It’s one thing to say your company culture is great, it’s another to show it in action. We recommend you add pictures and videos on the careers landing page to show off your work environment, day-to-day office activities and people in your company. For more tips on improving your careers page click here.

effective job description

On our recruitment landing page for Africa’s Talking, we highlighted their fun work culture with this office snapshot.

4. Explanation of the role’s purpose

An effective job description says why this role is needed and important within your organisation. Individuals like to feel needed and that their role is a crucial piece of the bigger puzzle.

5. An effective job description includes your mission statement

You may know what a company does or sells, but often its broader mission or “reason for being” is far more compelling to prospective employees.

In our latest employer branding survey, when asked what factors are most important to respondents when considering joining a new company, Kenyan professionals ranked the company’s mission and impact on society over flexible working hours and well-known brand name!

6. Showcase your EVP

Focus on highlighting your Employee Value Proposition — the set of differentiators that make you an attractive place to work. According to a studyby Gartner, a strong EVP can help you attract significant talent, boost employee engagement and reduce compensation premium by 50%. Read more about creating an EVP here.

For instance, TransferWise’s latest job post for a Senior Java Developer clearly states the opportunities this role will give a candidate.

Image Credit:

Similar to most marketing tools, job titles and postings customised to a target audience are likely to produce higher conversion rates. So think carefully about the target audience for this role (e.g., Are they more senior and would be excited by taking on a lot of responsibility? Is it geared towards millennials so they might be excited by your fun, open-plan office?) and tweak your EVP accordingly!

7. Highlight future prospects

According to a study by LinkedIn, future career prospects, intellectual and financial advancements are among the key factors that make an applicant accept or reject an offer. Include the potential career path that someone in this role could take, and map out how they could take on more responsibilities, learn new skills, and eventually be promoted within the organisation.

8. An effective job description is mobile-friendly

A recent study by indicated that 77% of people aged 16–34 use a mobile device in their job search, and that 72% of people aged 35–44 also turn to mobile. Therefore, it is imperative to make your JDs mobile-friendly!

Learn more about optimising your employer branding for the mobile generation here.

9. Mention something unique about your office culture

An effective job description highlights your company culture. Do you have bring-your-pet-to-work Fridays? Flexible schedules? Happy hour Thursdays? Remote work opportunities? Shout these out in the job description!

10. Go beyond “an equal opportunity employer”

Stating that you are ‘an equal opportunity employer’ may not be enough. To show your dedication toward building a diverse team, a few more words about can go a long way. A good example is IBM’s statement on diversity and inclusion:

IBM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

You should also highlight any inclusive benefits your company offers. For instance, if you offer paternity leave or any other childcare subsidies and facilities, definitely mention them in your JD.

With the help of some of these tips, you will have talented job-seekers excited about coming on board!

Stay tuned for more

As part of our latest campaign on employer branding, we will be sharing actionable resources and tools like these over the next few months. To receive all of our latest tips straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

Anything specific about employer branding that you’re hoping to learn? Let us know in the comments below.

Employer branding tips for Kenyan companies

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careers page

Follow these steps to improve your company’s careers page

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If an outstanding candidate visited your careers page today, would they be excited by the content they see? Your careers page is the home base for all of your recruitment activities. Make sure it accurately and enthusiastically highlights your employer brand!

Here are some steps to follow to improve the candidate experience and showcase your employer brand on your careers page. If you need to work on the basics first, check out this intro to employer branding and this post to help you define what your company offers to prospective employers.

Lay the foundation for a great user experience on your careers page

Optimise for the mobile generation

careers page

Image credit — Indeed

It is imperative to optimise your website for mobile usage. According to a survey conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Indeed, 78% of people in the US apply to jobs on their mobile devices.

If your careers page isn’t optimised for mobile, applicants may exit the site if they’re required to shift the screen, or zoom in and out continuously. Invest in creating a great user experience and you’ll keep your prospective employees engaged throughout the application.

Do not compromise on SEO

In a bid to sound relatable, your job titles should not disregard Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) guidelines. Showcasing a fun company culture should be achieved without sacrificing your website’s SEO potential. Certain SEO guidelines like not using abbreviations and ensuring a minimum word count is just as important as sharing creative and captivating content on your careers webpage.

For instance, unconventional job titles such as Chief Creative Leader or Imagination Officer sound fun and quirky, but they reduce your webpage’s reach on Google. Using the right (and perhaps more conventional) keywords can help candidates find your careers page easily.

Use filters

Make it as easy as possible for applicants to find relevant job postings. Categorisation based on location, experience level and the department would be a great place to start. The aim is to streamline the application process for the job-seeker, so it is vital to not overcomplicate the search process by using too many filters!

Take a look at Spotify’s careers pages for inspiration:

Image Credit — Spotify

Provide an explainer of the job process 

Letting a potential hire know what to expect through the application process can save you loads of emails with similar questions. Take a look at the Boston Consulting Group’s careers page, which provides tips on how to excel in an interview with their company.

Excite candidates by highlighting your employee experience on the careers page

Use videos

Videos are a great way to bring your values and office culture to life. A short video featuring a few employees sharing a unique experience they’ve had at your company and a shot of the team eating lunch could be an excellent starting point. For example, marketing giant HubSpot uses this feature on their careers page in the following manner:

Image credit — HubSpot

Add blog content

Provide engaging reading material to your applicants that goes beyond the usual website copy. For instance, your main careers page could showcase your blog posts that highlight employee experiences and company events.

Be proud of your values

In addition to relevant content and high-quality videos, a succinct slideshow displaying the core values of your company can help build your brand. We like the way that Airbnb has showcased their values and office culture with creative illustrations:

Image credit: Airbnb

Show off your workspaces

Insider pictures of a regular day at the office are a great way to showcase your employer brand. Anything from cozy work spots, your office pet to the coffee you serve could all be flaunted on your careers page.

Image credit: Airbnb

With the help of some of these tips, you will have prospective candidates excited about joining your team!

Want to get started? Our new recruitment tool, Shortlist Connect can help you create customized career pages that appeal to candidates, show off your company culture, and help you streamline your recruitment process.

Building your team? Let us help you build your employer brand.

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Stay tuned for more

As part of our latest campaign on employer branding, we will be sharing actionable resources and tools like these over the next few months. To receive all of our latest tips straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

Anything specific about employer branding that you’re hoping to learn? Let us know on our social media platforms: Linked In, Twitter

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Employee Value Proposition: Defining your company’s EVP

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It’s every hiring manager’s nightmare — you have found the perfect candidate for an open position, but your dream hire has another offer on the table. At this point, the candidate is weighing every element of what each company has to offer, including salary, benefits, work culture, room to grow, and more. Here’s when your unique identity as an employer kicks in, and the importance of crafting a strong employer brand (Read More) becomes clear. It’s time to present your employee value proposition.

What is an Employee Value Proposition?

Similar to the way a company’s brand communicates its offerings and differentiators to the consumer, an employer brand aims to connect with a potential hire by demonstrating specific characteristics to attract the ‘right fit’ talent. We call those specific characteristics the employee value proposition (EVP). Put simply an EVP is the set of differentiators that make you an attractive place to work. According to a study by Gartner, a strong EVP can help you attract significant talent, boost employee engagement and reduce compensation premium by 50%. An EVP answers the following questions:

  • Why is your company a great workplace?
  • Why should a candidate work for your company instead of somewhere else?
  • What is in it for them?

While compensation and benefits are a crucial part of a company’s EVP, culture, career growth prospects and overall work environment sum up the whole package. Defining your company’s EVP is a significant part of your recruitment marketing and employer branding strategy. In order to attract the type of candidates who will thrive in your workplace and personalise your talent acquisition strategy, you must clearly define all the values you stand for and provide as an employer.

Image Credit:

How to define your Employee Value Proposition?

Now that we know the importance of an EVP, we’ve created a set of questions that can help you define yours. To get started, plan a focus group or send a survey to all or a selection of your employees. It’s important to learn about your differentiators from your employees themselves, and not just the HR tear — after all, they are the ones living and breathing your company’s culture. Below is a list of starter questions, but feel free to customize and add in ones that are specific to your company or industry

Ten questions to ask your employees to define your employee value proposition

1. What are some of your biggest motivators at work?

2. What makes our company different from others you’ve worked for?

3. What do you think are the organisation’s most meaningful traditions?

4. What qualities do people need to have to be successful here?

5. What work are you most proud of? And why?

6. If you were considering joining another company for a similar compensation package, what are the factors that would make you want to stay with us?

7. What values are important to you in an organisation? How do you experience those values here?

8. How satisfied are you with your opportunity to learn and grow in our organisation?

9. How satisfied are you with the recognition you receive for doing a good job?

10. Does the management support your pursuits and commitments outside of work?

What’s next?

Once you have your survey results, analyze the answers to derive common themes, values and stories from the feedback to better understand and crystalize your company’s EVP. Your clearly defined EVP should shine through on every platform that a prospective candidate might see — job descriptions, career pages on your company website, marketing materials and social media.

And it’s not just online — you should also train your employees on communicating your EVP so that it can be conveyed during networking, candidate interviews and throughout recruitment more generally. In our next several blog posts in the series, we will be exploring these crucial steps in more depth, so stay tuned!

Keep it real

In the words of Michelle Hord-White, NBCUniversal’s VP of Talent Acquisition, “Your EVP has to be inspirational, not aspirational. It shouldn’t be a goal. It should be an experience that we can talk to candidates about, and 100 days after they get there, they can confirm.”

It’s important that your EVP represents where you are as an organisation today, not where you want to be tomorrow, in order to have it effectively attract talent who will thrive in your workplace.

Different strokes for different folks

In order to use your EVP effectively, customisation is key. Keep in mind the different priorities of your employee respondents based on their work experience and commitments outside of work.

If you want to attract recent graduates to fill in entry-level positions, pay attention to the answers to this exercise from people with similar profiles in order to highlight why your company is a great fit for millennials.

Similarly, if you’re looking to hire managers at more senior level who may have children, you can highlight your company’s childcare services and other parent-friendly components in the interview and job description.

Looking to hire? We can help you find the right people for your team. Shortlist offers a wide range of recruitment solutions that help companies build great teams.

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Stand by for more on employer branding

As a part of our latest campaign on employer branding, we will be sharing fresh and actionable resources and tools like these over the next few months. To receive all of our top tips straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter here!

If you’re hoping to learn any specific about EVP, let us know in the comments below.

Employer branding tips for Kenyan companies

Download our survey report for actionable insights from 1,200+ Kenyan professionals