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The rise of the employer brand

Posted: 08 October 2014

Employer branding has become an almost inescapable term in the world of HR, but where has this come from and just how important is it?

The term was originally coined in the 90’s, but only over the past few years have companies began placing such an emphasis on this phenomenon. You only have to log on to some sort of HR or recruitment news site and you’re sure to find at least one article relating to it. So, what exactly is the employer brand?

CIPD  gives the definition as “a set of attributes and qualities – often intangible – that makes an organisation distinctive, promises a particular kind of employment experience, and appeals to those people who will thrive and perform best in its culture.”

As with any form of branding, employer branding is all about establishing an identity to its audience, in this case potential and existing employees, to differentiate the company from its competitors; It’s all about portraying the company as an appealing place to work.

In todays exceptionally competitive job market, it’s often argued that employer branding has never been more important in attracting and retaining that seemingly scarce talent. After a debilitating recession, public perception of a company brand has become dramatically more important.

With many employees having been witness to numerous redundancies, reductions in hours and salary freezes, candidates have become increasingly weary of employers.

It’s this shortage of suitably skilled candidates, enabling jobseekers to be far more picky as to who they choose to work for,  combined with the shared scepticism of employers post-recession, that has brought on the surge of employer branding. No longer is a hefty salary and a generous holiday allowance adequate in attracting and retaining that top talent; candidates simply want more.

Demonstrating this, a survey by Careerbuilder.com found that a staggering 56% of jobseekers ranked employer brand as the deciding factor when choosing an employer!

Moreover, according to Bernard Hodes Group, employer brand ROI expectations for employers include an increase in applicant quality by an enormous 89%!

With that in mind, it’s not difficult to comprehend why employers have placed such emphasis on employer branding to late.

Do you need help with your employer brand? Get in touch today.