Why Employer Brand Matters

ITA Group
ITA Group

Two employees talking

One of the biggest challenges in the recruitment process is persuading candidates that your organization is a great place to work. The best talent have plenty of opportunities; differentiating your organization as a preferred employer is critical. The time to start thinking about positioning your company as a great employer is long before you ever post a job or interview a candidate.

Employment branding forms the foundation for an effective recruitment strategy and can make a significant difference in attracting talented employees again and again.

A strong employer brand aligns with your business, culture and reputation. It gives job seekers and candidates a realistic and authentic preview of working at your company.

So how much does a company’s reputation as a place to work—its employer brand—really matter when it comes to hiring? And what exactly makes up a bad reputation or a good one?

Your Employer Brand Can Set You Apart

A company’s employer brand communicates why the company is an attractive place to work. It also sets you apart from other companies competing for the same talent.

Did you know, 69% of Americans would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed? What’s more, 84% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent reputation. Most people would only require a 1 to 10% salary increase to consider such a move.

Top Factors Tied to Brand Reputation

In 2016, Harvard Business Review partnered with ICM Unlimited to conduct a survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,003 full-time professionals in the U.S.

The research found that the top three factors that contribute most to a bad reputation as a place to work are:

  1. Concerns about job security

  2. Dysfunctional teams

  3. Poor leadership

The top three factors associated with a good reputation as an employer are:

  1. Stability

  2. Opportunities for career growth

  3. The ability to work with a top-notch team

Resources like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter are a deep well of information for job seekers. These platforms put powerful tools in the hands of candidates and have flipped the script on the interviewing and hiring process by turning it into a review by all parties.

Meanwhile, many companies have failed to step up their game when it comes to talent acquisition. Employee feedback and reaction surveys can help companies build a great employee brand, but attracting top talent requires those organizations to market and advertise that attractive brand and employee experience to a wide audience. Smart companies need to take steps to reduce the gap between their intended and perceived brand, as well as find external avenues for their employee stories to be shared.

How to Strengthen Your Employer Reputation

Employers who deliver on the experience they promise enjoy better recruitment, engagement, employee brand advocacy and retention outcomes. Because of this, their employees are more likely to recommend their employer as a place to work, to post or share praise about their employer online, and to put more effort into their job than is required.

In an article from Sarah Clayton, Executive Vice President of Employee Engagement and Change Management at Weber Shandwick, she offers the following steps to achieve a more authentic employer brand:

  1. Live Your Brand Truth. The most effective employer brands have a clear corporate purpose and set of values, which serve to attract job seekers who share those fundamental beliefs.
  2. Deliver on Promises. Many brands can benefit greatly from assessing the distance between their recruitment marketing and the actual employee experience. Talking to new hires, conducting employee engagement surveys and exit interviews, engaging in social listening, and paying close attention to online reviews that employees have written about the company can all help address claims the company is making and what it’s actually delivering.
  3. Utilize Employee Advocates. Candidates see employees as a window into the true nature of your organization. In an era when only 12% of employees put a lot of trust in what employers say about themselves, companies must increasingly rely on their employees to be their spokespeople on the employee experience.

Having a reputable employer brand is a must for an organization’s strategy because it helps companies recruit better candidates, reduce hiring and marketing costs, and improve productivity. A staggering 78% of people 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 very important. So having a strong employer brand that potential candidates can access at any time, especially online, allows them to see their potential fit to your company.

Want to learn more about what it takes to be a great place to work? Our employees voted ITA Group a great place to work for its positive workplace culture and commitment to employee wellbeing. Take a look at the results and hear what our people have to say about ITA Group.