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What Is Employer Branding?

What Is Employer Branding?
Improve your candidate attraction and retention with employer branding.

Good pay and a good culture are no longer sufficient for drawing staff from the new generations of candidates. Whereas previously, nailing a competitive salary and having a well-promoted company culture would have been enough, future employees want to work for a company that appeals to their values.

Whether you know it or not, all businesses have an employer brand – it's how they are perceived by the jobs market and what makes them an attractive place to look for work with. Culture and salary are part of the employer's brand too, as these indicate how the employer treats staff and customers. Your employer brand is how your culture, salary, work environments, values and actions are viewed by current and prospective employees.

So, what is the benefit of having solid employer branding? When recruiting candidates for roles within your organisation, having clear employee branding allows applicants with similar values to identify that your company aligns with their identity, social values, goals and motivations. According to the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2019 Global Report, 97% of global employees who had recently changed jobs, or planned to change jobs, checked their potential employers' reputations first. This included via the company website, ratings on job boards and opinions of family and friends.

Encouraging similar-minded types of candidates to apply, and having them want to work for your company, will increase productivity and the longevity of your employees. This is due to their contentment and satisfaction at work which therefore decreases recruiting costs and workloads. The evidence says that “having a good employer brand can reduce turnover rates by 28%, and cut your costs-per-hire by half” (Hubspot).  In addition, according to Glassdoor, “75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand”. This goes to show how important, for both the long, and short-term, investing in building a good employer brand is, to every business.

According to Workstars, the best employers have the strongest brand and can win brand management awards, which of course, will make them even more attractive to applicants.

For example, in 2019 SAP won “Best alignment of the employer value proposition with corporate brand values” (among others), and say that being authentic is the best way to build a strong brand. “...to listen carefully to employees and to be genuinely prepared to take action on the strength of what they’re saying.”

Equal Experts ranked 2nd for Best Places to Work 2020 UK (employees’ choice list), due to how they purposefully attract candidates who value autonomy and innovation, and that matches their brand and company values.

Another example is Zappos who use social media to highlight their work cultures and values. Those values are different to Equal Experts, but similarly attract like-minded applicants who want to work in a place like that.

Whether you are a small, medium or large enterprise, you have an employer brand already, so does it match with your company and leadership’s values? A workplace culture and employer brand are intertwined because when you’ve attracted the candidates you want, you need to keep them. For example, no one would want to join a company known for their creative job freedom, only to find out that they are actually micromanagers. That would make their retention extremely low.

So why are we telling you this? Because in today’s labour market, good candidates are a valuable and precious resource who have the upper hand when it comes to their choice of workplace. As almost 30% of job seekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting (indicating misalignment between the candidate and the employer brand), businesses need to have a clear brand that is imbedded across the whole organisation.

They need to be attracting the candidates they want to keep because candidates want to work somewhere that understands their values and ideals.

Brand management therefore, is a fantastic tool that requires little or no monetary investment for a return on delivering a positive outcome.

To help you navigate through this process we’re releasing six blogs about Employer Branding, taking you from this introduction, through to the implementation and measurements.

We will also cover:

  • Employer Branding Goals
  • Candidate Personas
  • Value Propositions
  • Communications

The blogs are designed to give you some tips for you to identify your employer brand, and whether making some simple changes will improve the attraction and retention of applicants.

Plan of Action: Use a SWOT model to evaluate your business recruitment process and find key areas and threats that you would like to target and improve.

Ask yourself; what are our strengths when it comes to our employer brand? Do we already have a positive one? Does it match our values? What are our weaknesses?

Get your team involved and ask the opinions of new starters and staff who have been with you for a longer time.

You can also ask any of our Recruitment Consultants for advice or a non-biased external opinion.

About the author

Kier Sheehan

Kier loves an adventure, whether that’s through trying new and exotic food or cooking up a social media strategy. With a love of communications and a positive approach to any task, when he’s not working Kier can be found teaching skiing or travelling the world.