Brett Minchington defines Employer branding as “the image of the
organization as a ‘great place to work’ in the minds of current
employees and key stakeholders in the external market (active
and passive candidates, clients, customers and other key
Employer branding is about capturing the essence of a company
in a way that engages employees and stakeholders. It expresses an
organization’s "value proposition" - the entirety of the
organizations culture, systems, attitudes, and employee
Employer Branding– Core Principles
How do employees currently perceive the employer
Do people have a strong sense of the organization's
purpose and values?
What behaviours are felt to be most characteristic of the
What currently drives people’s commitment and what
Why do people chose to join the organization and why do
What would be the reply of employees to the question:What kind of organization do you work for?
Provide a focal point to the employee’s relation with the
This could be either what the organization does or what
it plans to do.
This could also be how the organization does it i.e. the
values, style, culture and personality of the
It is important to identify the current focal point and if
need be, make a new focal point.
In either case, it is important to make the focal point
crystal clear to all employees.
What is it that makes the organization different from it’s
What is it that makes the organization better than it’s
These two points are always the key points at the core of
any employer branding exercise.
If you are going to make changes, communicate what’s in
it for the employees.
Benefits could be many like money, greater security,
greater share in success, competitive strength or wider
Don’t assume that employees will read between the lines.
Understand that change is not easy for anyone.
People will be more receptive to change if they can see
where it has come from and not just where it is going.
As far as possible, stress on continuity to the present
This is going to be the most critical factor in building a
brand that sustains itself over the long run.
There has to be a consistency in between what the
management is saying and the changes experienced by
employees within the organization.
Employer Brand Management
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Local Picture: practice
The employer brand mix
A Typical Employer Branding Project
What happens here
At this stage you’ll get a firm fix
on how your brand is perceived by
your top management, other
employees and your external
You’ll get a sense of how big a
task the new brand faces. You
need to develop relationships
with other Discovery disciplines,
and prepare your business case.
You’ll almost certainly have some
of the research data you need
already. Don’t forget to measure
the current performance.
Senior management workshop
Internal and external focus
Candidate journey audit
Building rapport with
Ensuring top-level buy-in
Select external partners
Apply baseline metrics
& Creation Stage
What happens here
This is the critical stage between
input and output.
You – or, more probably, your
external partner in the project –
will be creating your brand’s
‘stem analysis, cells’ or its unique
‘DNA’ and starting to build it from
You’ll start to get a clear picture
of interpretation what your
organization stands for, offers
and requires as an employer – its
distinctive value proposition.
Define brand attributes
Define overall employment
Associate specific behaviours
with each attribute
‘Flex’ attributes for each talent
Overall creative brief
initial creative expression of
What happens here
This will be the stage that will
showcase the brand to all key
stake holders – internal and
Before you rush to apply the
brand to your next big
recruitment push, make sure that
you can deliver what the brand
Ensure that the value proposition
is one your current employees can
recognize and believe in, and that
the candidates and will
experience full alignment
between what they expect and
what they experience.
Apply brand to:
• induction program material
• briefing for recruitment
• interview/assessment process
• talent-attracting programs &
materials, including website
Launch brand internally
Conduct activities / workshops
to reinforce brand
Start living the brand
& Optimization Stage
What happens here
Qualitative research, both
external and internal, will
reassure you that the new brand
is perceived the way you’d
By now, the brand is starting to
make its presence felt in day-today Measurement, internal
communications, and in your
‘people maintenance practices’.
For the first time you’ll be able to
and demonstrate improvements
on your original baseline
measures, and it will be clear to
all that optimization the brand is
delivering real value.
Probe internal response to new
Probe external perception
Measure improvements in
recruitment and retention
Complete application of brand
to candidate journey
Measure uptake of ‘living the
Review and Optimize the Brand
Benefits of Employer Branding
The major benefits of employer branding include:•
Increased productivity & profitability
Increased employee retention
Highly ranked for Employer Attractiveness
Increased level of staff engagement
Lower recruitment costs
Minimized loss of talented employees
Employees recommending organization as a “preferred” place to work
Maintenance of core competencies
Employees committed to organizational goals
Shorter recruitment time
Ensured long-term competitiveness
Improved employee relations
Decreased time from hire to productivity
Employer brand management doesn’t replace anything you’re doing
well already. It just brings it all together to greater effect.
Some points about
Like all brands, employer brands are essentially marketing concepts and
The tools and methodologies of employer brand development are
substantially the same as those for consumer or corporate brand
Employer brands are at least as much about retention and engagement as
they are about recruitment.
Never trust anyone who tries to wrap employer brands in a cloak of mystique
They’re not just for the big, glamorous MNCs with their own high-profile
consumer brands. They’re for every local authority, charity, SME,
government department, academic organization that needs to recruit, retain
and engage good people.
The basic difference between talent attraction the old way and the brandbased way is the introduction of research.
Employer brands can support corporate brands, and vice versa.
Every employer brand is an investment that should and must demonstrate a
return comparable to other forms of business investment.
To prove a brand’s effectiveness and demonstrate its ROI, you need to
accurately measure your current performance in recruitment and retention.
The highest ROI ever recorded by an employer brand was 290%.
Some points about
Starting a brand development project doesn’t commit you to completing it:
you can walk away at any stage, and every stage will yield its own value.
Developing an employer brand proves that HR can handle big, strategic
projects and issues.
The shortest realistic time to develop a brand is six to eight weeks: in reality,
you should allow a lot longer. Its value will last and grow for as many years,
and probably longer.
The biggest cost element of an employer brand project will be research.
You already have an employer brand, because your organization has a
reputation as an employer. It may not be the brand you want or deserve, but
it’s there just the same.
One of the first employer brands – and one that still enjoys a strong, welldefined reputation – is Civil Service Fast Stream.
Probably the first commercial organization to take the issue of employer
brand seriously was British Airways way back in the late 1980s.
You can’t develop a brand on your own – you need to involve marketing, PR,
your internal communications team.
Your recruitment website is one of the most potent expressions of your brand,
enabling potential applicants (and your own people) to see your values in
action and experience the reality of working for your organization.
The public sector has done as much to embrace the concept of employer
brands as the commercial sector.
Some points about
One of the keys to a successful brand is to ensure that expectation is fully
aligned with the reality of working for your organization.
Before you’re tempted to launch your brand externally, make sure it’s fully
communicated, understood and embedded internally.
Research for the brand may show up weaknesses in your product – the basic
features of working for your organization.
Brands breed engagement – the discretionary time and effort that people
put into their jobs, and that customers or service users notice.
Engagement – and the financial value of engagement – can be accurately
A brand toolkit will give recruiters and line managers the flexibility they
need, and the brand consistency you want.
Without compromising consistency, a brand can be tailored to create the
greatest resonance with a number of different audiences and talent market
Your employer brand can give new focus and consistency to your ongoing
If employer brands are a big HR issue today, they’ll be even bigger
Employer brand development is attracting managers from classic marketing
backgrounds to move into HR.
Employer Branding Case Studies
(Click on the icons below to view each case)
Employer Branding - Again
How a business builds and packages its identity, from its
origins and values, what it promises to deliver to
emotionally connect employees so that they in turn
deliver what the business promised to customers.
Definition: Liby Sartain and Mark Schumann, Brand from