Employer Branding’s Value to HR

“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 – Wikipedia

Employer branding has gone though a bit of an evolution from a hip buzzword backed by great intentions to a critical component of an organization’s strategic growth plan. But is there really a tangible, talent management value to employer branding? 

What is considered a “strong” employer brand?

A strong employer brand is one that improves your company’s reputation both internally and externally. It’s a mission statement or value proposition that is so tightly woven into the fiber of a company that it becomes known for that which is claims to be. Be it excellent customer service, compassion, or an employee-centric culture, when strong employer branding is practiced to such an extent at every level it can significantly increase your organizational attractiveness and boost your company’s capacity to retain its best talent. 

To ignore employer branding in this market is to acknowledge that your company’s reputation is not an important factor in hiring and retaining talent or creating a positive employee experience.

Why should you care about employer branding?

Because it could mean the difference between being able to quickly and efficiently hire the Nurses, Project Managers, or Coders you need or losing them to the competition. Employer branding could also mean the difference between single vs. double-digit turnover. Still not quite sure if building an employment branding strategy should be a part of your talent management work in 2020? Consider how the following might benefit your organization:

  1. A good reputation can be profitable
    Compensation is important to candidates but workers are trending away from money as a primary factor in seeking or accepting employment. According to CareerBuilder, 67% of candidates would essentially accept lower pay if the company they were interested in had positive reviews.
  2. Attracting and retaining the right talent
    78% of job seekers will look into a company’s reputation as an employer before applying for a job and 88% of millennials believe that being part of the right company culture is of primary importance. So having a strong employer brand that applicants can access at any time allows them to see their potential fit in your company. It is critical that you incorporate the use of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to communicate your brand. 79% of job seekers are likely to use social media in their hunt for their next job. These are the platforms most commonly used.
  3. Closing time to fill gaps
    By investing in employer branding, you’re able to attract more talent and hire faster. One of the main benefits of having a strong employer brand is that you’ll have a larger talent pool from which to fill vacancies.

[CXR Recommends: Five things to consider in an employee advocacy tool]

Higher engagement = lower turnover

Leveraging employer branding to create a bond with prospective employees before and during the recruitment and onboarding process can go a long way towards retaining key employees. Companies that invest in employer branding experience a 28% decrease in staff turnover. Having a strong employer brand allows you to attract qualified applicants that are interested in your organization beyond the superficial and are seeking a long-term commitment, meaning you won’t be replacing them in the immediate future. Candidates that accept a position with your organization based on your employer brand are also more likely to have a higher level of engagement. And a more engaged staff means increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction and lower employee turnover.

To not include employer branding as part of your strategic talent management initiatives is to risk losing your best talent to your competitors. It’s just that simple.


Picture of William Wiggins

William Wiggins

William has held consulting and strategic HR roles at Mercer Human Resources Consulting, Kaiser Permanente, and Williams-Sonoma. He is an industry leader when it comes to building strong collaborative HR partnerships and leadership teams that focus on staff engagement, retention, career development, and staff recognition programs. William’s training curriculum includes Crucial Conversations, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, and EEOC 101.

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