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Industry Insights | 10 minute read

The 5 whys of employment branding 

April 11, 2022

As talent leaders continue to face widening skills gaps, it has become increasingly important for businesses to pay closer attention to their employment branding. And while employment branding fundamentals haven’t changed, jobseeker behavior has. It's a talent-driven market, and candidates are interested in brands that provide an authentic and elevated employee experience.  

To attract the right talent, you must understand what employees want from a job and live and breathe that truth every day. 

First, let’s go over some basics. 

If you want to skip right to the whys of employment branding, click here. >> 

What is meant by employment branding? 

Employment branding is the way your company positions itself to prospective employees. The aim is align with your employee value proposition (EVP) and share what it’s like to work for your organization. EVP and employment branding are inextricably linked and define the way you source, recruit, interview, hire and onboard new employees. It also includes telling the story of the employee experience as a means of attracting new talent. 

Read our 2022 Employment Branding Report for all the latest insights to modernize your brand 

How does employer branding affect recruitment? 

A strong brand differentiates your company and speeds up your recruitment process by making employment at your organization attractive to top talent. Consider employer branding an investment into pipelining talent straight to your recruiters — simplifying hiring by having an aligned pool of candidates to reach out to when it comes time to hire new team members. 

Why do we need employer branding? 

 

  1. Ensures you retain talent as you gain 
  2. Jobseekers prioritize companies with the best culture 
  3. Diversity is a board-level agenda item now 
  4. Differentiates your organization from the competition 
  5. You can't afford not to!   

#1: Ensures you retain talent as you gain 

People should be the focus of every employment branding strategy — and that means retaining employees first. To modernize, there’s a clear objective to know what your employees want so they stay long term. That includes evaluating your learning and development (L&D) opportunities, compensation, benefits packages, culture and more. 

Research indicates compensation is often not the top reason employees stay with an organization. In fact, 37% of candidates in a PWC survey indicated upskilling opportunities are the most important factor when considering a new role, after compensation and benefits.  

#2: Jobseekers prioritize companies with the best culture 

Remember when we mentioned jobseekers desire authentic employment experiences? That ties in directly to your culture. Your employment brand is the window-shopping equivalent of what a prospective employee can expect from working at your company. There are too many options out there for candidates these days, so they’re just not willing to settle for an employee experience that is less-than-stellar. 

Where do I start with my employment brand? 

Start by evaluating all aspects of your day-to-day workplace culture, including: 

  • Flexible working hours that fit around employees’ lives 
  • Work-life balance that utilizes well-being programs and prevents burnout 
  • Learning and development opportunities for internal mobility 
  • Operationalizing belonging in the workplace and encouraging authenticity  
  • Leaving a positive impact on society through corporate social responsibility (CSR) 

Documenting progress in all these areas is an incredibly impactful way of showcasing what you stand for and how you support employees every day. Vocalize your benefits and parental leave options so employees feel they’re able to be their true selves and express the need for breaks and time off. 

Read more: See how WilsonHCG supports parents every day in the workplace 

#3: Diversity is a board-level agenda item now 

More and more, your employment brand is synonymous with your workplace environment and fostering a sense of belonging — candidates, current employees and customers included. It’s why diversity has become a major priority now for executive leadership. In a recent pwc study, 62% of jobseekers said they would be more likely to apply for a job if a company is openly committed to improving diversity and inclusion within its workforce.  

Do you encourage employees to bring their true selves to work? Everyone’s voices should be heard in your company. Consider conducting anonymous internal surveys regularly so you know what should be measured. It's vital to have this valuable data, as it provides a bird’s-eye view for leadership, and functions as a baseline to evaluate and improve diversity initiatives over time.

#4: Differentiates your organization from the competition 

Most jobseekers will be more receptive to believing what you offer if it’s coming from the lips of an actual employee versus someone in the C-suite. Encourage your employees to share their career stories — this will breathe life into your company’s identity better than anything else you can do.  

Pro tip: Use video on your careers page to showcase your people (unfiltered!) and what they believe in. According to a wyzowl survey, people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content, and you could attract like-minded candidates that way! 

#5: You can’t afford not to! 

Nine out of 10 executives and managers say their companies already face skills gaps or expect gaps to develop within the next five years, according to a global survey from McKinsey.  

Additionally, the Great Resignation has made its case known over the last year — that people aren’t willing to work for less than they’re worth. By prioritizing long-term, strategic solutions to improve working conditions, compensation and workplace health, you’ll see the returns in your employees’ contributions and loyalty.  

Great employment branding makes great brands 

To modernize, you must embrace employment branding in your recruiting and hiring efforts. Doing so will result in vetting talent while continuing to support your top performers and loyal contributors – for the long term. Stay consistent and know who you are as a company to witness the benefits of employment branding. Being genuine and documenting your progress openly will make a positive impact.  

Learn more about how to modernize your brand, regardless of company size, with our latest report. 

Elevate your employment brand.
Read our 2022 Employment Branding report on how you can improve your business, regardless of size!
Read the report

About Gillisa Pope

Gillisa Pope is a senior member of WilsonHCG’s innovation team. As director of sourcing strategy, she melds creative ideas, analytics and best practices to design and action impactful sourcing solutions. An expert in employment branding, Gillisa is also part of the team that produces WilsonHCG’s award-winning annual Fortune 500 employment brand report. She has over 15 years of experience in designing and building talent attraction strategies for some of the world’s most admired brands.

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