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Employment Brand Report > 5 Ways SMBs compete

Employment branding: 5 ways SMBs compete against larger companies

Regardless of company size, you can excel at employment branding. Our prior research showed smaller companies held their own against the big guys in the fierce competition for talent. That’s because no matter what size company you have, the jobseeker is the driver behind talent acquisition. If you listen to them, you can win. 

Complete our interactive checklist to get a snapshot of how effective your employment brand is in today's job market here.

Here are five small or medium companies with strong employment brands: 

Grammarly speaks the language of employee perspectives 

Where it excelled: Employee and candidate perspectives and accolades 

What we liked: Compelling employee reviews, presentation of awards and messaging 

With a clear vision of helping people improve their communication, Grammarly does a great job of applying that same concept to how it talks to jobseekers (and how employees speak about the company). Its careers page uses employee testimonials and accolades effectively to reinforce its positive reputation. In turn, Grammarly boasts impressive 4+ star employee review averages across Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably and TrustRadius (at the time of this posting).  


 Source: Grammarly careers page

Why it works 

Grammarly's simple messaging resonates well with its employee base, and the proof is in the pudding with a 4.6/5 Glassdoor score. Grammarly's writing is carefully crafted and humanized, which is true to its people-centric approach. The careers page mentions connecting with others and the reviews echo the sentiment of great, empathetic leadership and collaboration within. This consistency makes its brand compelling. Having clarity and a common thread in how you talk to jobseekers, employees and customers reinforces the authenticity of your brand, and Grammarly excels in this. 


Tip: A 2022 global talent survey indicated these top things candidates prioritize from job searches: 

#1: Compensation/benefits 

#2: Balance 

#3: Flexibility 

#4: Upskilling


Malouf puts its people on display 

Where it excelled: Employee and candidate perspectives and careers page 

What we liked: Authenticity through employee imagery  

With an imagery-dominant careers page, Malouf shows its culture candidly by displaying real images of employees at work together.  It uses similar imagery across its social media channels too and this cohesive approach shows from the perspective of employees what it’s really like to work there. Additionally, it presents its benefits package directly on the careers page, which appeals to candidates that prioritize a total rewards package when making an employment decision. 



Source: Malouf's LinkedIn page

Why it works 

Malouf builds its brand from its people — after all, the first line on its homepage reads: “We are lifestyle and wellness experts.” This approach works since people participating in activities that promote wellness are showcased across all areas of the business, and Malouf positions this strategically as a value proposition. Using clear, branded language such as its company mission to “redefine business” is successful because the company lives and breathes this message across all touchpoints and the employees reinforce it. At its core, that’s a strong employer brand. 


Afresh Technologies knows recruitment marketing 

Where it excelled: Recruitment marketing and careers page 

What we liked: Robust CSR and appeals to employees’ higher purpose for meaningful work 

Afresh uses AI to eliminate food waste from grocery stores and minimize the impact on the planet. Rated the No. 1 small business from Great Place to Work®, its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) policies make it an appealing workplace for those looking for meaningful work with a deeper purpose. With a goal to prevent 34 million pounds of food waste, it has a clear message that resonates with its culture and values. The true meaning of “small, yet mighty.”  


Source: Afresh careers page

Why it works 

Afresh reinforces the positive impact it has on the environment through its employment branding. This message will resonate with today’s jobseekers who want to work for companies that care for the environment.  Its recruitment marketing on social media speaks to its overall message to eliminate food waste (and make it accessible to all as well), so candidates are continually reminded of the good work they can be doing if they worked there. 


Check out the complete 2023 zip file for talent acquisition leaders  


Teradata walks the diversity talk 

Where it excelled: Careers page 

What we liked: Comprehensive diversity policy and use of video-driven storytelling 

Teradata does an exceptional job of demonstrating diversity on its website. Showcasing diverse leadership portrays a welcoming and inclusive workplace to prospective employees. Additionally, this openness translates across an employee video series, where they make commitments to minimize internal bias. This goes a long way in the eyes of jobseekers. Teradata’s resources and videos reinforce these diversity pledges and policies for a cohesive candidate experience. 


Source: Teradata inclusion and diversity page


Why it works 

Videos and employee-generated content show potential candidates an accurate picture of the culture in ways nothing else can. According to research from Glassdoor, 66% of jobseekers trust employees the most when it comes to understanding what diversity and inclusion really looks like at a company. This employee-generated content from Teradata speaks volumes toward authenticity and humanizing its brand at every touchpoint. It includes a pledge for DEIB and details of its supplier diversity program on its career site. This will help it to attract like-minded talent who want to feel like they belong at an organization. It will help retain diverse talent as well.  


Kemper understands the importance of segmenting talent 

Where it excelled: Candidate experience and careers page 

What we liked: Talent segmentation for students, internship program visibility and learning and development opportunities 

It can be difficult to segment talent in a way that makes sense, but Kemper insurance does it well. For example, its navigation prioritizes attracting students with a dedicated section and subpage. It also has tailored recommendations based on user information for jobseekers at the bottom of the careers site. It calls out veterans and philanthropic efforts as part of its welcoming culture to nod to other types of jobseekers. Additionally, Kemper has adapted its hiring events to be virtual to attract a wider talent pool. It includes details of a comprehensive internship program on its career site along with details of a product management 18-month accelerated leadership course.  


Source: Kemper's career page

Why it works 


Talent segmentation is a great way to speak to each of your potential candidates’ unique desires and pain points. For internships and early careers, Kemper’s dedicated page for students provides a wealth of information and candidates can join a talent community for future job updates. It clearly understands the importance of growing its pipeline of passive talent for the future. Companies like Kemper that invest in entry-level talent not only benefit from well-stocked talent pipelines, but also increased employee engagement, reduced costs and, of course, heightened employment brand awareness. This will be hugely beneficial as skills shortages become more prevalent in the coming years. Additionally, its job application page is easy to access with steps on how to apply, increasing the chances of more applicants hitting the apply button.   


Talent pipelining: How to plan for the biggest skills shortages 


How’s your employment brand looking? 

These companies provide an array of ways you can elevate your employment brand. You don’t have to have a Fortune 100 budget to create great messaging and deliver on what candidates and employees are seeking. If you showcase your brand authentically and deliver on your EVP and promises, you’ll find it easier to attract and retain talent. 

Our 2023 Fortune 100 Employment Branding Report showcases the evolution of employment branding, provides tips on how you can stay competitive in today’s market and ranks the top employment brands of Fortune 100 companies.   

View our resources

From top rankings to an interactive checklist, browse our findings below in an easy-to-digest format.
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