Employer branding: Adopt a marketing mindset to attract the right talent

Jennifer Jackson, senior careers content editor at employer branding agency, Wonderful Workplaces, explains why employer branding should be a central part of your recruitment strategy.

Employer branding: Adopt a marketing mindset to attract the right talent

Do you repeatedly struggle at the point of an urgent hiring need? Have you considered employer branding to be a central part of your recruitment strategy? What does employer branding mean and why should you even care?

What is employer branding?

The CIPD defines employer branding as “a useful tool to help organisations differentiate what they offer in the labour market, and recruit, retain and engage the people they need to succeed.”

Employer branding is where recruitment and marketing meet, and in our increasingly candidate-driven market, you need to adopt a marketing mindset in order to attract the right talent.

In a nutshell, your employer brand is your reputation as a great place to work – or a ‘bad’ place to work in the minds of employees past, present and future. It should be a business-wide strategy that supports long-term growth, future proofs your talent pipeline and improves employee retention, as well as building upon the overall company brand.

Why should you care about your employer brand?

Research tells us employer brand is key to recruitment success and employee retention. A Haymarket Business Media Recruitment survey in 2016 revealed that an overwhelming 90% of jobseekers would take an employer’s brand into consideration when applying for jobs, and 40% of passive jobseekers would apply for a job if it was to work for an amazing brand.

A plethora of other research supports the importance of employer brand. For example, research by our job board provider, Madgex, reveals job seekers spend up to two hours per week researching potential employers. They want to understand the culture of a company and get a real feel for what it’s like to work there before filling in an application form.

Every touchpoint is important, from your company website to the application process and beyond. The job interview itself could give candidates the right or wrong impression, and whether or not you offer them the job, your reputation matters.

What challenges are employers facing and how can they overcome these?

There is currently a gap between candidates’ expectations and reality, as LinkedIn research showed recruiters fail to communicate the values of the hiring company in 55% of cases. Employer brand is clearly important, but this isn’t always appreciated by employers wondering why they’re struggling to hire and retain the best talent.

As an employer, what sort of working environment and culture do you offer and are you communicating that to the outside world as well as within your organisation? Why not ask your current and potential employees what they think about your employer brand and what is important to them in a workplace?

What makes a ‘wonderful workplace’?

A dream employer for one person might not be another’s, so whilst there is no one-size-fits-all solution, our user feedback survey in September 2017 gave us some insights into what people describe as ‘a great place to work’. The most popular responses were ‘flexible working’, ‘good leadership’, ‘training opportunities’ and ‘salary’. Other less typical responses included ‘autonomy’, ‘intrinsically rewarding work’, ‘an open and collaborative culture’, ‘career development’,’ trust-based working hours’, ‘generous annual leave’, and ‘the people’. So it makes sense to consider soft perks as well as the usual salary and benefits package.

Investment in training and upskilling is also likely to continue to increase in importance with the ageing population and shortage of skills, and this will be key to employee retention, as well as your overall employer brand.

Here are a few questions for you to consider:

  • Is your organisation or team doing lots of great things but not communicating it enough?
  • Do you know how candidates perceive your organisation as a place to work?
  • How can you position your organisation as an exciting place to work?


Got questions about how to build your company’s profile and become an ‘employer of choice’? Come and see us for a free one-to-one consultation at The Festival of Work on Wonderful Workplaces Stand H13. www.wonderfulworkplaces.co.uk


Get involved:

The CIPD’s Festival of Work (12-13 June 2019, Olympia London, www.festivalofwork.com) promises to be a landmark event for both people professionals and business leaders. By focusing on the most innovative strategies in management, technology and learning, the festival will help you, and 7,000 of your colleagues, to harness the latest transformations and drive a human future of work. With 7,000+ attendees, 160+ inspiring speakers, filled with inspirational live experiences and challenging ideas, it’s the ultimate celebration of people in the workplace.


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