Happier employees make your company a more desirable place to work. Common sense, right? Most people think so. But we wanted to know for sure. So, we recently compared about 100 companies’ Net Promoter Scores (NPS), determined by surveying their employees, to their InDemand Rankings.

Not surprisingly, we discovered that companies with higher employee NPS scores are more likely to be InDemand.

But one looming question remained: what are the high NPS/InDemand secrets to success? Sure, employees love benefits like free food, gyms and shuttles, but there must be more to it.

One interesting discovery we made is that promoters – employees who spread the positive word about their employers – are 40% more likely to be connected to their coworkers on LinkedIn, and twice as likely to be connected to the executives at their company. Connections strengthen bonds between employees and can improve teamwork culture. How connected are your employees on LinkedIn?

Check out the methodology behind the study:

Assuming there was more to it, we went straight to the source: several of last year’s most InDemand employers.

Here’s what they had to say about what most contributed to their strong talent brands:

  • Lauren Larose at Suncor said, “What really worked for us was being authentic. When we were developing our talent brand, we were trying to create a story about what it’s really like to work for our organization. We highlighted the benefits and culture, so a prospective employee would really know what it’s like to work with us. Being able to communicate the truth through the talent brand in a compelling way ensures we’re getting the best candidates for our organization.”

  • Jeremy Langhans at Expedia said, “Our content marketing strategy is key. We develop a lot of rich media that showcases what life at Expedia is all about and distribute it through all our social networks.”

  • Kitty Bertels at ABN AMRO Bank N.V. said, “We focus less on general ambition, and more focus on the individual and their beliefs. We created a campaign where dialogue and different thinking is key. We are attracting more people from diverse backgrounds as a result.”

  • Phil Hendrickson at Starbucks said, “We treat our candidates like our customers – period. Whenever we craft an e-mail or tweet, when we respond to a follower or send an InMail, when we answer someone on Facebook or in a direct message. It doesn’t matter if it’s a question about getting a job in India or internships in Ohio, we never forget that the people on the other end are also our customers. Making sure that our candidates are treated with respect is at the heart of everything we do.”

Feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your talent brand?

When asked what one piece of advice they’d give to companies trying to strengthen their talent brands, Kitty Bertels said that before you get started, “Make sure your talent brand is aligned with your corporate brand.”

Jeremy Langhans warns companies not to underestimate the power of rich and compelling content optimized for the web. And don’t forget, “It’s okay to reply and post things so your followers can see what it’s like to work at your company,” he said.

Lauren Larose says act like a researcher and marketer – “You must commit to understanding your organization’s strengths and challenges, and your prospective audience. Do focus groups and talk to employees, so you understand what differentiates you from the competition.”

Phil Hendrickson agrees, and urges recruiters to “lean out” via social media. “We are fortunate to have at our fingertips social tools that allow us to make human connections. At little cost and with moderate effort we can make someone feel special, answer a question or just say ‘hi’.”

employer brand tips