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What is Employer Branding, and why is it important?
What is Employer Branding?

When a consumer brand is mentioned to us, we will quickly link that brand to any positive or negative interactions that we, or people that we know, have had with them.  Those views are likely to impact who we spend money with, which companies we avoid, and who we recommend to others.  Marketers know how vital branding is for the success of a business and it’s no surprise that time, money and resources are spent on attracting and trying to maintain loyalty amongst a customer base. 

Employers who want to attract talented employees and retain them also need to be aware of the importance of branding, but in this case, of employer branding.  In a thriving job market, employees may have a range of potential opportunities and part of the rationale for choosing your business over others will be due to how good your branding is.  Employer branding allows people to understand more about what a business can offer them if they choose to be an employee.  It clarifies what an organisation promises in terms of experience – what development they are likely to receive, what the work environment is like, what benefits you offer – as well as what your culture, values and ethics are.    

Why is it important?

The importance of employer branding should not be underestimated. Research shows that 4 out of 5 jobseekers look at company reviews and ratings when making decisions about a job. Access to this information is getting easier to find, through websites such as Glassdoor, through social media channels and through business networks such as LinkedIn.  In fact, according to a survey by Indeed, seven out of 10 jobseekers would not apply for a role until they had researched their would-be employer’s online reputation. 

Once an employee has accepted a job, the work doesn’t stop as the employer brand plays a key role in an employee’s decision to stay in a business!  A recent Investors in People report states that 1-in-4 workers are expected to look for a new role in the next six months so it is important that your brand meets up to the expectations set at interview point.  The benefits of retaining employees are clear, especially when you consider the cost and time needed to recruit and train up new employees as well as the knowledge that can be lost when a key employee leaves a business. 

What can employers do?

So, how can you improve your employer branding?  To increase your understanding of where to focus your efforts, an employee survey can provide details on what your business is doing well and where your employees would like to see changes.  It can also help you to understand any disconnect between the expectations set at interview stage and the reality of what an employee experiences once they join.  Exit interviews can also help you establish if there are patterns in employees’ reasons for leaving which need to be addressed. 

Employer branding is linked to the whole employee experience so a holistic approach is needed to look at how your HR processes are influencing your brand.  The wording you use in job adverts, how the interview and induction process are managed, and how you communicate with, manage, develop and reward employees will all play a part in improving your employer brand. 

It’s also important to consider how to manage any bad feedback which may be received on social media or platforms such as Glassdoor.  Showing that lessons have been learnt from the views expressed can have a positive impact on how employees perceive a business’ interest in improving the workplace.   This can be balanced with examining, and where needed, adjusting employment contracts to have appropriate restrictions on what employees can broadcast on social media.

Remember that your current employees will be your greatest brand advocates, so focusing on your culture and implementing positive changes from lessons learned will help build your employer brand.

If you would like to read more about employer branding, the CIPD has prepared a helpful factsheet that contains additional information:

If you would like more information or would like ViewHR to help you review and improve your employer branding through cultural changes, please contact us for an initial discussion.