The importance of Employer Branding

Employer branding is important. That would have been the shortest article ever, but the point would have been made, right? However, it wouldn’t answer the question of why it’s important. In short, employer branding is important to recruit and retain talent. Let’s elaborate on that in this article. Are you ready to learn the importance of employer branding?

A first Google Search for employer branding gives 99.300.000 results in 0,35 seconds. That’s 99 million results in 2020. When you did the same search 10 years, 5, or even 1 year ago, the results would be completely different and a lot less. Again, this shows the importance of employer branding but doesn’t explain it. In this article, we’ll explain the importance of employer branding.

What is employer branding?

Before we can explain the importance of employer branding we need to define what employer branding is. Like the Google Search results, there are many angles and definitions.

Wikipedia says the following.

“Employer brand describes an employer’s reputation as a place to work, and their employee value proposition, as opposed to the more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers.”

Brett Michington, Chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International (EBI) and one of the world’s leading authorities on employer branding describes employer branding as follows.

“Employer branding is not an HR function, nor a Marketing or Communications function. Employer branding is a BUSINESS FUNCTION!”

Beamery, a worldwide talent operating system defines employer branding as follows.

“Employer branding then is defined as a company’s ability to differentiate and promote this identity to a defined group of candidates that they’re interested in hiring.”

And last but not least Universum vision on employer branding.

“Employer Branding is a long-standing concept that has found momentum in the interconnected world. It is the process of promoting a company, or an organization, as the employer of choice to the desired target group. One which a company needs and wants to attract, recruit and retain.”

Looking at these definitions we can agree that many organizations see employer branding as part of the recruitment process. Although they aren’t wrong, we believe that employer branding is more than just recruiting new employees.

We define employer branding as the way your organization stands out of the crowd as an employer. It is basically the way your organization is perceived by and marketed towards (future) employees.

Who’s responsible for employer branding?

A quick side note. Remember the State of the Union of Human Resources we wrote?

We wrote that Human Resources is mainly responsible for two things: attracting and retaining talent. Enter: employer branding.

In retrospect, we can say employer branding gives Human Resources the opportunity to become the business partner they want to be.

Having said this, you would think it’s HR their responsibility. And although it’s mostly true, employer branding is an equally shared responsibility throughout the whole company.

Everyone should care and chip in as much effort as they possibly can. However, like always, someone should be in the lead and we think it’s safe to say this should be HR.

HR can lead this project cross-functionally to improve the overall performance of the company.

And although 80 percent of HR leaders think that an employer brand has an impact on their recruiting, for example, only 8% budget resources to implement employer branding.

Maybe HR needs more reasons on why employer branding is important.

3 reasons why employer branding is important

A positive employer brand will boost recruiting, employee engagement, and retention. The opposite is also true. Let’s have a look at three reasons why employer branding is important.

1. The war for talent is real

Today we live in a candidate-driven market powered by the ‘war for talent’.

This means that employers are fighting over the same small pool of candidates to fill their open roles, especially in hard-to-fill areas like data scientist and other STEM-based roles.

Moreover, consumer behavior has changed the way that people look for jobs.

The candidate journey isn’t simply a job seeker finding your job and applying. This is especially true for the best candidates — they want to research a company and build a relationship with it over months before applying for a job.

This creates a dynamic where companies who invest in employer branding and their according employee experience are seeing lower costs per hire and time to fill.

2. The ROI is incredible

The importance of employer branding can be best shown in data and statistics.

If you research employer branding statistics, then it’s only a matter of time before you start activating your employer brand. To highlight a few statistics:

Other statistics are shown by

Many companies struggle with ways to measure the money saved or earned from efforts such as creating a culture video, having a better career site, or developing talent pipelines. However, calculating the exact ROI of employer branding (or its efforts) is hard.

The simplest ways of measuring a return on employer branding investment are:

  1. Increased awareness leads to more applicants, and tracking how these applicants translate to hires.
  2. Increased conversion rates of interested applicants after implementing employer branding tactics.
  3. Decreases in time to fill, and the progress this allows a business to make.
  4. Decreases in third-party recruiter spend.

If you let the numbers do their work, then you know why employer branding is important.

3. The benefits affect the whole company

By now you should have a good idea of the current job market and statistics that prove employer branding is important.

In addition to this, there’s another reason why you should embrace and integrate employer branding within your organization. That’s because the benefits affect the whole company.

  • Long-term impact: Successful employer brand can have a positive impact on recruiting for a considerable amount of time while considering any Major PR issues.
  • Increased volume of spontaneous candidates: The number of applicants tends to increase each year as employer branding gets stronger. Cases of a 500% increase in applications have also been observed.
  • Increase in quality of the applicants: The quality of candidates will also improve dramatically; individuals who never would have considered in the past will start applying.
  • Higher offer-acceptance rates: The rate of acceptance increase proportionately with the increase of image and goodwill of the company.
  • Higher Employee Motivation: Employees can be easily motivated or will stay motivated longer in the company because of the perceived pride in working for the company, and better management practices (generally) that is tied in with the company’s brand image, thus making it a company people work for because they chose.
  • A stronger corporate culture: Employment branding can help strengthen a firm’s corporate culture because of the inertia it gains from the very essence of employer branding; making a company desirable to work for.
  • Diminished negative publicity and image: Effective branding can pinpoint problems by dealing with negative comments and preparing effective countermeasures.
  • Increased manager satisfaction: As a direct result of increased interest from more able and proficient applicants, the managers will have more time for managerial functions as the demand to devote more time to the recruitment process will decrease with the quality of the applicant group.
  • Healthy competition: Employer branding is similar to product branding. Hence to keep a company desirable, it has to update its UPS and keep up with its promise of delivery. This increases healthy competition and also makes the companies better by the minute.
  • Increased shareholder value: The ripple effect of the company’s goodwill via employer branding can also positively impact a firm’s stock price.
  • Support for the product brand: If a company has a brilliant brand image, it is more likely that its product will reap the benefits and be branded automatically. This helps especially when the company launches a new product.

In conclusion

If you made it here you might wonder, is your employer branding the magic sauce? Although we tend to say yes employer branding is important, we have to say there is no magic sauce.

Starting, managing, and maintaining an employer brand is hard work. However, with Social Seeder you can give your employees a voice and let them do part of the work.

CEO of Social Seeder. Our mission is to help build meaningful companies through an increased brand pride and employee engagement among the workforce.