is your employer brand working for or against you?


Employer Branding has rapidly become an indispensable component of any successful Talent Acquisition Strategy. If candidates and your existing employees can’t confidently articulate the ‘WHY WORK HERE’, you may struggle to attract and retain the top talent you need.

So what exactly is Employer Branding and why is it so important now?

Your Employer Brand should not be confused with your Product/Service Brand. When a candidate is considering a role with your organisation, they are less interested in what your company sells and instead want to know what they can expect their experience of working with you will be.

With low unemployment, candidates can now afford to be choosier and of course COVID has given all of us a chance to reflect on what’s really important to us.

COVID provided a lot of people a chance to re-evaluate where work sits in the grand scheme. A sense of needing more purpose in our professional lives, along with an employer that cared for our mental and physical wellbeing, grew in importance. Flexibility around working arrangements was a cat that some employers are still trying in vain to get back in the bag, and a sense of social/environmental responsibility was also placed under the spotlight. Added to these are the perennial drivers of salary, leadership quality and opportunities for development.

COVID also highlighted that an Employer Brand does not exist in a vacuum so it cannot remain static. Your value proposition to potential employees needs to adapt in response to external situations. As an example, organisations that had invested heavily in office hubs or campus workplaces, to create a unique work environment as part of their unique selling point to candidates, found themselves less attractive than other employers who simply let everyone work from home. They had to rethink their EVP and adapt again or miss out on great candidates.

While COVID has certainly accelerated things, the role of social media and technology in decision making was already driving up the importance of Employer Brand  Applicants were able to evaluate companies, hiring managers, competitors and past employees in far more granular detail as part of their decision-making process when applying for roles. This meant that those companies who had invested in creating and cultivating a ‘shop-front’ which showcased their EVP were in a far stronger position to control the narrative around their reputation and desirability.

What message do  you want to convey?

Having a strong employer brand is an extremely important aspect of candidate attraction and the message your brand communicates needs to be a clear projection of your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). The starting point needs to be ‘Why work here above anywhere else?’(EVP), not just ‘what is nice about working here?’ (a feature). This means deciding as a team what you have, or plan to have, that is attractive to your target employees (past and present) and that you do better than anyone else. There are no rules here (within reason) – it may be that you pay better, or you train your people better, or you offer more career opportunity. They are simply features that you are great at delivering, and most importantly, they are attractive to the employees that you really want to attract. If they attract the wrong people, then you need to rethink them until you have an EVP that aligns with your goals.

No matter what the recruitment landscape looks like, being able to attract and retain top talent delivers the best possible outcomes for your business. An investment in your Employer Brand is an investment in the future success of your organisation.

If you’d like to find out if your current employer brand is working for you (and how to improve it if it’s not), get in touch for free Talent Acquisition Capability (TAC) Review.