Ultimate Employer Branding Checklist for the Employee Lifecycle

November 29, 2022

You’ve got your employee value proposition (EVP), and you’ve got your employer branding. Now, you might be stumped on how to embed them throughout the employee lifecycle. Maybe you haven’t updated any of your tactics since the pandemic started and it could all use a little upgrading.  

No matter what, ensuring that your EVP and employer branding are infused into every stage of the employee lifecycle will keep your employees engaged and able to connect their work to the goals of the organization.  

Let’s look at each stage of the employee lifecycle, and consider some key questions to ensure you’re bringing your employer branding to life in the most brilliant way.     

Table of Contents

@linkList; ;Hunting & Hiring;Day One & Onboarding;Day-to-Day Experience;Growth & Development;Exit & Retirement

Employee hunting and hiring


We’ve all heard it before, but it couldn’t be truer in terms of the employee experience – first impressions matter. Most new employees feel excited about joining your company on Day One.

But some new hires can feel misled when expectations don’t meet reality, and they’re less likely to be engaged as a result. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to set the tone with your candidate pool and bring in top talent.   

Job Descriptions
  • Are the job descriptions and benefit summaries accurate and reflective of what’s in it for the potential employee?  
  • Do they highlight life at our company without overselling or overpromising?  
  • Do they clearly convey what makes our organization special?  
  • Do candidates get a glimpse of our organization’s values and what we stand for?   

💡 FEELING STUMPED? Check out this post on how to inspire the candidates you admire with compelling job descriptions.   

Employee Photography
  • Have we updated our employee photography to reflect how our employees are actually working? (i.e., working from home, hybrid or in-office) 
  • Do all of our employee segments see themselves represented in our photography? (i.e., warehouse, headquarters and in-field) 
  • Is our employee photography reflective of the diversity within our organization? (i.e., race, gender, age, ability, etc.) 
Careers Page
  • Is our careers page messaging aligned with our EVP?  
  • Is the careers page visually compelling and branded with our employer brand?  
  • Is our careers page accessible to all candidates?   

💡 NEED SOME INSPO? Check out our blog post on 9 Careers Pages We Love to get those creative juices flowing. Need more help? No worries – we’ve got you!  

How to make an accessible careers site
Employee day one and onboarding


You’ve either heard about it or have experienced it yourself – onboarding can make or break a new hire’s experience. And we know this for a fact: the better the first 90 days, the more engaged your employees will be.

Now is the time to take that beautiful first impression and make it last throughout the onboarding experience! 

  • Are the onboarding materials designed in a way that matches the careers site? 
  • Is the tone and information consistent with what they heard in the interview process? 
New-Hire Training Videos 
  • Are they polished, branded and engaging? Or will they put our audience to sleep? 
  • Do they include closed-captioning and voiceover to capture audiences of all abilities?  
  • Is our new-employee orientation video reflective of our EVP while also making sure all those important day-one details are captured?   
New-Hire Microsite 
  • Do we have a new hire specific microsite? (No? It’s a great idea to have all your onboarding materials in one place so you can take out the fear of “where do I go for this?” on day one.  
  • Are we reaching our entire new-hire workforce? Or are we targeting those who work in the office?  
  • Have we considered a creative campaign to boost engagement?  
  • Do our managers have materials that provide them with language on how a new hire can use the microsite?  

💡 IDEA ALERT: Consider hosting a new-hire scavenger hunt on your intranet to drive traffic, build behaviors and adoption, and reward participation in a remote world. Plus, who doesn’t love winning a gift card their first month on the job?! 😉 Check out this post for some more brilliant ideas on how to do remote onboarding.  

Welcome Packets 
  • Is the welcome information designed in a way that matches earlier materials? 
  • Are welcome details presented in a way that’s consistent with our values? 
  • Are welcome materials accessible for all employees? Are they relevant to all types of workers and environments (remote, hybrid, deskless, etc.)? 
  • Does our swag feel consistent with our brand in design and in the item itself? 
  • Does our swag feel consistent with our goals around sustainability? 
  • PRO TIP: We love to partner with Kotis Design to create branded kits that can get delivered straight to people’s front doors.  
Memorable Onboarding That Wows
Day-to-Day Communication Tips


A 9-5 doesn’t have to be a grind. Instead, you can create materials and environments that communicate to your people in fresh, meaningful ways.

Take a peek at the following ways you can help your people connect the dots between their day-to-day work and your organization’s overall vision, values and strategy.

Environmental Branding and Physical Activations 
  • Have we created an immersive experience for our in-office employees that they can literally touch?  
  • Have we created unexpected moments of connection to our values?  
  • Could our break areas or other high-traffic areas use a little energy?   

💡 SERVE UP BRILLIANCE: Are most of your employees in the office? Consider a branded pop-up breakfast event with your values printed on the coffee mugs. Pair it with the launch of decals throughout high-traffic or unexpected areas to serve as a daily reminder of why your employees are doing the work they are doing.  

Digital Workplace Branding and Virtual Activations 
  • Do we have a distributed workforce that we are having a hard time reaching?  
  • Can we send our distributed workforce physical or virtual touchpoints like branded cards/stickers or SMS messages to engage them?  
  • Are there typical workflows people follow, and are those channels visually consistent with our brand? 
  • How much control do we have over third-party applications? What content and imagery can we customize? 

💡 IDEA ALERT: If you’re considering a physical activation of some kind, be sure to think through how you might create a similar experience for those who work remotely. Try a branded digital takeover of all of your virtual channels! We’re talking Zoom backgrounds, your intranet homepage, LCD screens, desktop backgrounds, etc.   

Employee Growth Communications


If your employees can’t see opportunities and a clear path to success, they might already have their eyes on the door. Yes, retention starts on day one! And if they’re not all in, they’re not giving their best.

Ask yourself the following questions to beef up your employees’ growth and development:   

Internal Mobility
  • Is our internal hiring process in line with our EVP?  
  • Does our process have the same visual approach as the external hiring process? 
  • Do we talk about internal opportunities with the same energy as we talk to new people joining the company? 
  • Do our employees have a streamlined experience in searching for internal opportunities to grow and develop?   

💡 THOUGHT STARTER: Are you supporting your managers to have conversations around internal mobility? We know managers can play a huge role in retaining employees so empower them with the right tools.

 Learning Management System (LMS) Platform  
  • Is our LMS designed and branded appropriately? 
  • Can our employees tell what information is related to the LMS program because it’s branded consistently from communication to communication?  
  • Does our LMS platform work for all types of learners and those with differing abilities? (i.e., visual, audible, verbal, and written)  
  • Is our LMS easily accessible from our intranet? What about remotely? 
Reward Programs 
  • Are we recognizing employees for the behaviors we desire?  
  • Does our reward program have a catchy look and feel that sets the tone of the program?  
  • Have we considered creating a peer recognition program to drive connection and camaraderie amongst our  team? 
  • Have we asked for employees' input on what types of rewards they’d like to receive?  
  • Are we recognizing employees in a way that is meaningful to them? 
How to create a peer recognition program


Regardless of why employees have left, an employee’s departure warrants attention. It’s also an opportunity to find ways to stay connected in a way that inspires former employees to recommend you as an employer of choice.  

Whether it's thinking through the offboarding process or updating your alumni networks, here are a few ways to make an impact:

  • Are we conducting exit interviews to capture data on how we can improve?  
  • Are our exit interviews consistent with our values?  
  • Are our communications around departures consistent with our values? 
  • Are our send-off gifts/materials for alumni consistent with our brand?  
  • Do we send any former employees with SWAG so they are walking billboards?   
Alumni Networks  
  • Are we staying connected to former employees via social media?  
  • Is our employer branding present and consistent on the alumni site, social media, newsletter, and beyond? 
  • Is the way we talk with former employees consistent with our values, employee messaging and branding? 
  • Is the hiring process for boomerang employees consistent with the rest of your employee experience? 
  • Is your voice and tone for communicating dismissals or layoffs aligned with your employer brand voice? 
  • Is our process for executing dismissals or layoffs consistent with your values?   
Get Employee Alumni Program Examples

Inspired? Terrified? You’ve got this!  

If this checklist sparked some genius ideas but you’re unsure how to get the ball rolling, have no fear! We’re here to help! At Brilliant Ink, we live and breathe employer branding.

Not only do we help our clients create it from the ground up, but we also help clients find places to infuse it and bring it to life to create a seamless, slick, polished and effective experience to keep employees engaged.   

For more bite-sized brilliance, subscribe to our monthly employee engagement newsletter, the Inkwell, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest

Claire Turk

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