Engage New Recruits with Branded Merchandise

new recruit with branded merchandise

We hear your challenge, unemployment is low, applicant numbers are down and candidates are being choosy. And why shouldn’t they be, it’s an ‘applicant’s market’.

And as businesses continue to grow, the demand for new recruits increases. This leads to more expenditure on recruitment efforts. And turning more roles over to recruitment companies who we hope will always have candidates.

While attracting new talent to your organisation is essential, it is expensive. With various figures of £30,000 and even higher being touted as the cost of onboarding and inducting new team members. One way to reduce your recruitment budget in the long term is by engaging new recruits with your employer brand.

The best people are already in work

80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent. (LinkedIn)

It’s true; you ’design’ the job role, write the job description and person specification and post the advert and the great candidates don’t seem to come.

At least not enough of them and not enough of the really good candidates.

But we all know the best people are already in work and are not necessarily looking so what do we do to inspire and even induce the best of the best to turn their heads and consider moving over to our Organisations?

The answer is in a commitment to building your Organisation’s employer brand which includes all your online and offline brand touch points. In this article, we focus on a very tangible offline touchpoint that everyone loves – the branded onboarding pack.

What onboarding packs do

Onboarding packs can consist of any number of branded gifts from branded water bottles to embroidered caps to phone chargers or sweet treats. There are regular items that surprise and delight people and make an impact to new recruits. The trick is to insert an onboarding pack into the recruitment ‘experience’ and the best time is immediately after you’ve sent an offer letter.


Because human nature means when people make a big decision (like accepting a new job) they will reflect and occasionally wonder if they’ve done the right thing. At that time they take another step and resign from their current job – the very time when they might be lured by a counter-offer from their current employer.

Right at that point in time, you have an opportunity to create a vital connection with a new staff member with an onboarding merchandise pack which:

  • shows your brand at its best
  • Creates a personal connection between your Company and new employee
  • Gifts applicants practical usable products
  • Gives the new recruit something to talk about with their friends and family

Increase Employee Retention

Recruitment done professionally with a strong employer brand leads to a 28% higher retention rate according to Harvard Business Review. That’s because branded merchandise serves as a way to promote your brand and create brand loyalty among your new recruits.

An engaging onboarding process that engages your newest new recruits from the moment they sign their contract can help reduce your recruitment budget in the long term.

Branded merchandise creates a sense of belonging and pride among your employees and when employees feel connected to your brand, they are more likely to stay with your organisation for longer periods, reducing the need for costly recruitment efforts.

Attract Top Talent

Branded merchandise can also attract top talent to your organisation. When new recruits receive branded merchandise during the onboarding process, it creates a positive first impression of your company.

The next thing we see is new recruits posting pictures on social media which creates free ripple-effect advertising. The networks of your new recruits get the chance to see the new employee’s story and suddenly, almost instinctively they’re telling the world.

This can entice top talent to choose your organization over competitors, reducing the need to spend more on recruitment efforts.

This is something Google does very well – just ‘Google’ it and you’ll see hundreds of videos of onboarding pack unboxing that thousands of people have enjoyed watching – not just Google employees!

Create raving fans

Branded merchandise is the perfect tool to promote your brand to a wider audience. Not just for engaging new recruits but also your current employees and clients and prospects too. 

When your employees use your branded products or wear branded clothing, they become walking advertisements for your brand. This can lead to increased brand awareness and recognition, reducing the need for costly marketing efforts.

And it becomes a fantastic talking point too. 78% of B2B marketers say that referral marketing generates good or excellent leads (according to Forbes) and exactly the same happens with candidates. A good experience with a new employer becomes talked about effectively referring new possible recruits to the same Company or brand.

Carry on building a Positive Company Culture:

Gifting branded merchandise at key times in your employee’s lifecycle can also help build a positive company culture. When your team feels connected to your brand, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and loyalty to your business.

This can lead to increased productivity, better teamwork, and improved employee morale, reducing the need for sometimes costly employee engagement initiatives.

There are dozens of opportunities – here are a few:

  • Onboarding
  • Birthdays
  • New baby
  • Summer surprise
  • Winter or Christmas drop
  • Engagement or marriage
  • Workiversaries
  • Company milestone
  • Successful month or quarter
  • Health and safety record

Do it Cost-Effectively

Branded merchandise is a cost-effective way to engage new recruits. Compared to other recruitment initiatives, such as job fairs and recruitment events, branded merchandise can be relatively inexpensive and go a long way. Additionally, you can order in large quantities and store for future needs, further reducing costs.

Improving your employer brand with branded merchandise is an effective way to reduce your recruitment budget and increase recruitment effectiveness in the long term. By increasing employee retention rates, attracting top talent, promoting your brand, building a positive company culture, and being cost-effective, branded merchandise can help your organization achieve its recruitment goals while saving you money.

To speak to our branded merchandise experts about how we can help you engage your new recruits, contact us.