The Importance of Employer Branding

Business planners discussing employer branding ideas

Surveys show that an overwhelming majority of candidates evaluate a company’s employer branding before applying for a job. In a world that’s comprised of younger, more digitally-savvy candidates, what job seekers say they want from a company is changing. For instance, an increasingly large number of candidates are seeking professional development opportunities, workplace flexibility, and a sincere commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Monster’s Employer Branding Guide can help you evaluate your brand as it’s perceived by potential new hires. In our guide, you’ll learn:

  1. The key components of a strong brand.
  2. How to conduct a brand audit.
  3. The three things Gen Z candidates say they want companies to communicate through their brand.

What is Employer Branding?

Your company branding conveys your company’s values, what’s rewarded, what’s discussed, and the success metrics. It’s closely related to, and conveys aspects of, your company culture. When it’s successfully cultivated and put out into the world, you’re better able to attract, hire, and retain the types of employees who will feel comfortable in your company and do their best work. Just like consumer brands, it won’t (and shouldn’t) resonate with everyone.

This type of branding goes beyond your career site, job postings, and all the other elements of your marketing collateral. It’s also not your “pillars” or your list of “values.” And it’s not your corporate brand. It’s all of the above and more. This is why it can’t simply be a message—it needs to be something that is felt and lived.

Why is it so Important?

Prior to the digital age, companies spent a lot of time, energy, and money closing the curtain and making sure candidates knew nothing about what really went on inside the company. But now, in addition to creating customer-focused branding, it’s important also “sell” yourself as a preferred employer as you seek out and retain top talent.

The thing that really forced companies to pull back that curtain and focus on employer branding is the use of social media in recruiting. Some of it was unavoidable, since job seekers are able to see who works where on professional networking sites. It’s also not that difficult to connect the dots with comments and status updates by those sample people (and their connections) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms.

Since it’s not realistic to stop the flow of information about you as an employer on social media, and candidates have more tools than ever to help them learn about a potential employer (warts and all), it’s even more critical for companies to help steer the narrative in a positive direction.

Top Talent Will Vet You

If you look to media headlines as inspiration, you’ll have an idea of what can go wrong with employer branding. Celebrities and other public figures typically work hard to maintain a certain image, especially if their personal brand is inextricably linked to their success.

On an incredibly simplified level, think of how Ellen DeGeneres went from being the darling of daytime TV to being known as a terrible employer in a matter of weeks. All it took was a few former employees to come out with stories of how they were mistreated, and then many more followed, shredding her affable image quickly.

Millennials in particular are less willing to work for a company that’s associated with bad corporate behavior. For example, the ride share company Uber got a lot of heat for alleged widespread sexism in the boardroom prior to its reshuffling of the executive deck. It’s best to assume that every candidate you bring in for an interview has done their research and has formed a first impression of your brand.

Better Branding Gets You Better Candidate Matches

Students used to all come out of school with the same thinking process, having read the same books, and having learned the same business processes. You could just stick those candidates into various positions around the company and they were virtually interchangeable, and if one was slightly more effective than another, they would get the promotion.

But that’s not how great work gets done anymore. Great workers are adaptive, creative, and sometimes disruptive—they’re not cogs. Effective employer branding in recruitment will help your company reach out and connect with the types of people who can make the right impact on your success.

In other words, your company branding should be able to attract a diverse team that will all pull in the same direction. Your branding and your company’s values and culture can attract those aspirational candidates, while also keeping mismatched candidates from wanting to work with you.

Where Should You Start?

As detailed in Monster’s Employer Branding Guide, a great way to start enhancing your brand right away is to monitor your media mentions. Are you being talked about or featured in the media? If so, what’s being said about you? What about your social media policies? How do people respond to your outreach? Are you met with positivity overall or snark?

If you have the budget, you might consider a focus group to answer some questions in an unbiased way to help you understand if your brand creates the desired impression with your target audience.

Ready to Optimize Your Company Branding Strategy?

As you shape your brand and your branding strategy, you’re going to have some important questions to answer and decisions to make. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Monster’s Employer Branding Guide offers insights culled from the best experts and market data.