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What is an employer brand?

Employer brand describes an employer’s reputation as a place to work, as opposed to the more general corporate brand reputation.
Interior of glass fronted office building

The employer brand represents the market’s perception of your company as an employer, but also describes your promise (or employee value proposition) to employees in exchange for their experience, talents, contacts, or skills.

What does employer brand mean?

Employer brand describes an employer’s reputation as a place to work, as opposed to the more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers. The term became popular in the 90s and is now an established specialism within HR departments, drawing on techniques from marketing.

Employer branding

Employer branding is simply how you market your company to desired job seekers and to your own employees. You can do this by showcasing your organisation’s unique cultural differentiators, the working environment and benefits you offer your employees, and then working to amplify the messages so you can position yourself as a desirable place to work.

Employer branding has become a core HR function in the past years. Companies are famously fighting “the war for talent” and deploy techniques to attract talent, just as marketers aim to attract and retain new customers.

To start your employer branding process, you need to define your own employer value proposition, or EVP. In doing so, you develop a clear and compelling expression as to why your ideal candidates should want to join your company. This should be synergised with your corporate brand to ensure you manage the overall brand reputation.

A strong EVP is a talent magnet. It connects the company culture to applicant messages and articulates each company’s differentiating factors with catchy one-liners.

For example, Apple’s EVP tagline is:

“Do your life’s best work here, with the whole world watching.”
For L’Oreal, it is:
“A thrilling experience, a culture of excellence.”

Activity

  • What is your initial response to these examples of EVP taglines?
  • What do you think these taglines tell you about Apple or L’Oreal?
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