Employer Branding for Indian Startups Part 3

Employer Branding Strategy For Startups

This is part three of a three-part series on employer branding for Indian startups.

  1. In Part 1: We discuss why employer branding is crucial for Indian startups to attract top talent.
  2. In Part 2: Discover the unique advantages startups possess and how investing in employer branding helps them attract top talent.
  3. In Part 3: Learn how to get started with employer branding using a practical framework that startups can implement today.

Part 3: Practical Employer Branding Framework for Indian Startups

Sure, there are comprehensive frameworks out there for crafting a stellar employer brand and promoting it to the high heavens. In my experience with large corporations, including F500s, these detailed processes can take a minimum of 6 months to even get off the ground – that’s just developing the core employee value proposition before you even start promoting it! It’s a time and resource intensive endeavor.

This section offers a simpler, more practical framework specifically designed for Indian startups. It’s a frugal approach that allows you the flexibility and the power you need to punch way above your weight class. After all, that’s what the startup spirit is all about, right? Implementing this structured framework can help in systematically building and promoting your employer brand:

Let’s unpack this framework in action!

Step 1: Create a talent proposition

Employer Branding Framework for Startups - TP Creation

Large companies, with their established footprints (think: history, legions of employees, sprawling customer bases, and offices on every continent), can afford to get super detailed when crafting their employee value proposition (EVP). But startups? You don’t have that same layer of complexity – or frankly, the luxury of time. That’s why this framework focuses on a simpler, yet equally powerful, concept: the “talent proposition”. 


Think of it as your company’s core message to potential hires. It boils down to two key points:


  1. Why you?: What makes your startup such a compelling place to land (and stick around)? What kind of unique value do you offer your employees? 
  2. The Dream Machine. Capture the essence of your company’s aspirations and what sets you apart. How do you want your team to think, feel, and operate on a daily basis? This is your chance to paint a picture of the exciting journey you’re all on together.


So, how do you actually craft this magic bullet? Here’s a three-pronged approach:


  1. Deep Dive with the A-Team: Get up close and personal with your founding team and key employees.  Uncover the company culture, values, and the day-to-day experience. What makes your company tick? What are everyone’s aspirations? This is where you unearth the raw materials for your talent proposition.
  2. Process Power: Take a close look at your existing infrastructure: processes, tools, policies, documents. They all tell a story about your current state. Analyze these to identify any gaps between your aspirations and how things are actually done. 
  3. Know Your Competition (and Your Friends): Don’t reinvent the wheel! Conduct some quick research on current talent trends and what your competitors are offering. This intel can help you fine-tune your messaging and ensure you stand out from the crowd.

Finally, weave these insights together to create a talent memo. This concise document captures the essence of your company – who you are today, what you’re striving for, and what makes you truly unique. It’s your company’s elevator pitch not just to the best and brightest talent out there, but also to your own employees. It serves as a guiding light for how everyone lives and conducts themselves within the company, ensuring everyone’s on the same exciting journey.

Activate your Talent Proposition

For Indian Startups - Activate Your Brand

Alright, talent memo in hand – time to activate it!


Now that you’ve crafted your company’s core message, let’s get your online presence singing the same tune. Here’s your simple, yet powerful, activation toolkit:


  1. Craft a Compelling Career Page: This is your digital storefront for attracting top talent. Showcase your talent memo front and center, alongside captivating profiles of your founders and employees. Let your team shine! Short, employee-generated videos showcasing your work culture (think: fun, collaboration, celebrations) are a goldmine here.  Don’t forget to list your benefits and policies – transparency is key, even for a lean startup crew. Even with a team of five, you can establish a strong online presence that builds trust with potential hires.
  2. Synchronize Your Social Media: Harmony is key across your company’s LinkedIn profiles, leadership team pages, and employee accounts. Develop a consistent graphic style and tone – think of it as your company’s visual fingerprint. This creates a cohesive brand identity that resonates across platforms. It’s a simple toolkit you can empower your team to use!
  3. Build a Template Library: Streamline your hiring process with a library of pre-made templates. Craft job descriptions that echo your talent memo, create a winning elevator pitch, and develop scripts for your recruiters that authentically represent your company culture. Consistency is key! From offer letters to benefit packages, ensure all your recruitment materials paint a clear picture of your unique employer brand.  
  4. Map Your Hiring Process: Don’t leave your hiring process to chance! Define a clear, documented path from phone screening to interview to offer. While there are mountains of complex hiring methodologies out there, remember, simplicity is key. Consider the “working backwards” approach – map out each touchpoint a candidate has with your company and articulate how you’ll communicate at each stage.   
  5. Get Peer Input:  Sometimes, the best insights come from fresh eyes. Get a seasoned HR leader from your network to review your recruitment materials. Their critical feedback can help you refine your strategy and elevate your employer brand.   


Remember, this activation plan is all about intention and effort – not hefty budgets. With a little time and dedication, you can create a talent acquisition strategy that rivals even the biggest companies. 

Promote your Talent Proposition

Employer Branding For Indian Startups - Promote Your Talent Proposition

With the foundation in place, now Let’s spread the word and promote your talent brand


Big companies might have marketing budgets the size of small countries, but that doesn’t mean startups can’t play the promotion game. Here’s how to get your talent proposition singing from the rooftops (without breaking the bank):


  1. Content Calendar Cadence:  Consistency is key!  Craft a monthly content calendar outlining what topics you’ll explore (think: company culture, team profiles, industry insights), when you’ll post (a minimum of once a week is a great start), where you’ll share it (social media, blog posts, etc.), and how you’ll bring it to life (engaging visuals, employee-generated content). Remember, quality trumps quantity – focus on creating valuable content that resonates with your target audience.
  2. Newsletter Power:  Build a community and showcase your amazing team with a regular newsletter (monthly or quarterly is a good cadence). Platforms like Medium or LinkedIn provide user-friendly, free options to get started.  Use this space to share the human side of your company: new team members, exciting achievements, and company celebrations.  Building your company narrative publicly is a powerful way to attract top talent.
  3. YouTube: Your Video Voice:  Videos are fantastic in the engagement world – they’re proven to be 8x more engaging than text!  Start a YouTube channel and leverage the power of employee advocacy videos.  Think one video every two weeks showcasing your team members, company culture, and the exciting projects they’re working on. Authenticity sells, so let your employees shine!

Measure progress & Impact

For Indian Startups - Metrics

All revved up and ready to go! But how do you know your efforts are paying off?

It is absolutely essential to track and see how you are doing and fine tune your efforts accordingly. While there are many metrics one can use to measure the effectiveness of your talent marketing and employer branding efforts (see blog here), for startups, let’s start with measuring the most basic metrics:

  1. Reduction in time to hire:  It measures how quickly you fill an open role from the moment it’s posted. Here’s the logic: a strong applicant pool translates to a faster hiring timeframe. Conversely, a longer timeframe often indicates a need to tweak your talent proposition or outreach channels. Chat with your startup peers to get a sense of their average time-to-hire and use that as a benchmark to measure against.
  2. Lower cost per hire: This metric sheds light on where your hires are coming from (referrals, organic applications, job boards, agencies) and how much you’re spending to fill each role. A decrease in cost-per-hire can signal a growing employer brand – people are naturally drawn to your company, reducing your reliance on expensive recruitment channels.
  3. Quality of hire: This metric goes beyond just filling the seat. Here’s a simple approach: Implement a 3-point rating system (1 = Very Good, 2 = Average, 3 = Not Good) to assess new hires at 3, 6, and 12 months. The goal? To see the average rating for new hires climb over time, indicating a continuous improvement in the quality of talent you attract.

Remember, these are just the starting points – you can tailor your measurement approach as your company grows. The key is to focus on metrics that provide actionable insights and help you refine your strategy for maximum impact!


Alright, that’s the roadmap! We’ve unpacked the unique challenges faced by Indian startups when it comes to attracting top talent. We explored why a strong employer brand is the answer to all those burning questions potential hires have (think: company culture, growth opportunities, value proposition). Read Part 1 of the series to learn more here.

But building a stellar employer brand doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, resource-draining endeavor.  Read Part 2 of the series to learn the super powers you possess. That’s where this simple, yet effective framework comes in. We’ve covered the four key stages: crafting a compelling talent proposition, activating it across your online presence, promoting it to the right audience, and finally, measuring your progress.

Thanks for joining me on this exploration of employer branding for Indian startups! If you’re ready to build a winning talent brand and attract top talent, reach out to me on LinkedIn or shoot me an email at info@krita.ai – let’s chat about your unique challenges.

Comments are closed.

Thank you!

Click the button below to download the audit report.