Research Library Article


How Branding Influences Staffing

David Earle

Guidance on how employers are using branding to attract scarce talent in an increasingly transparent and competitive labor market.

Two reviews of employer branding focused on:

Why branding is so critical in today’s marketplace…thinking like a marketer…candidates as consumers…candidates’ information resources…where and how employers brand themselves…where employers need to be seen…advice on presentation content and style…measuring brand impact.

The branding process, including key questions to answer…areas to analyze…key metrics…reputation monitoring…candidate analysis…competitive analysis…getting started.

 Importance vs Perceptions

One key to brand success is tracking discrepancies between what employees and candidates say they value (importance) and how they view employer performance against those values (perception). A low perception against a high value (compensation in this case) or high performance against a low value (training and organizational culture) both suggest that the company brand is not well aligned with marketplace needs.

Last week’s RESEARCH UPDATE reviewed how changes in the job marketplace have changed the behavior of job seekers. For the first time in history, job seekers are information rich, which means they have access to enough material about employers’ performance and behavior to make informed and accurate decisions about whether or not to apply for the jobs they offer. And as that research pointed out, they are making those decisions every day.

Successful employers are responding by paying more attention to their reputation in the  talent marketplace, in other words, to their employer brands. There are three important implications for HR departments.

First — In today’s famously transparent job marketplace, a respected employment brand, particularly if built through word of mouth, is a powerful recruiting tool. In essence, it puts an authoritative, job seeker stamp of approval on a company. A poor brand, on the other hand, has the opposite effect, warning talent that no matter how attractive on the surface, the employer is not a good place to work. Recruiters for disrespected employers are always working uphill, especially with higher quality talent.

Second — Branding is a product of actions far more than words. Every aspect of the recruiting process contributes, or not, to the integrity of the employer brand. If an employer’s words say one thing about its workforce relationships, but his actions say another, it is the actions that will determine the marketplace brand.

Third — Staffing departments play an under-appreciated but critical role in employer branding. They are the first point of contact for potential employees and, therefore, responsible for those first actions that either support or contradict the brand reputation. These studies confirm the link between superior recruiting and positive branding.

In progressive companies, where HR’s responsibilities extend beyond recruiting to include active stewardship of the employer’s culture, behavior and values, the department’s impact on the employer’s brand is magnified. Satisfied employees are the most authoritative expression of a successful employer brand: proof that the employer knows how to manage people well and actually does so.

“After years of minimal funding and attention, strategic employer branding returns as the only long-term recruiting strategy. This shift is partially due to increased recruiting competition but it also comes about because social media now makes it so easy for others to virally spread either positive or negative comments covering working at your firm…There is now a growing division between the one percent top employer brand firms in each industry and the remaining 99 percent of firms that simply offer “paycheck jobs.”  Career builder / Dr. John Sullivan

Additional Reading

Research Info

Author: Careerbuilder, Glassdoor

Date published: 2015

Pages: 54 slides, 29 pages

Sample size: NA

Industries: All

Company size: All

Geography: All

Cost: Free

URL:  Link 1  Link 2

Staffing library keywords: marketing, branding (use these words to search our research library)