What Our Research Tells Us About Talent Online

WRITTEN BY: Karim Ansari

2019 was a year full of data-driven insights coming from the Employer Brand Index. We analyzed companies with over 5 million employees put together, covered over 60 countries across the globe and explored over 15 different industries to understand how employer brand is perceived.

On the journey this year, we saw the development of new attributes such as Balance & Wellbeing and ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) as there was an increase in discussion on wellbeing in the workplace as well as the social and environmental implications of the companies people work for.

We also tailored the names of some attributes to correspond exactly with what people are saying in order to paint the most accurate picture.

These changes were made because we are constantly driven by data. The science behind what we do comes from people; what employees, candidates, and alumni are saying and feeling online. We continue to listen to their sentiment and alter our analytical approach in accordance with how they are feeling.

This is how the attributes ranked for the year. The Employer Brand Index score is based on sentiment. 0 would be very negative and 10 would be very positive:



Most appreciated by talent in 2019:

  • Benefits such as flexible schedules and healthcare
  • The ability to learn & develop their skills while at work
  • Forming a strong bond with their teammates and working collaboratively
  • Having purpose in their work and not feeling like a number

In contrast, the common issues were:

  • Monotonous jobs & micromanagement
  • Managers in highly bureaucratic companies playing politics
  • Anxiety due to constant change & company reorganizations
  • Unfair progression due to favoritism & lack of transparency

Issues like politics, lack of transparency and favoritism driven by different levels of management at top-down companies caused negative implications in the attributes Management & Organization, Diversity & Inclusion, and Career Progression.

What did talent talk about the most?

While the sentiment reveals how people feel about the attributes, we also look at the share of voice of attributes to understand what is being talked about the most, good or bad, in order to understand which attributes are having the biggest impact. 

The graphic below demonstrates the average share of voice in accordance with each attribute:



As you can see from the above, Job Satisfaction is the most influential attribute and companies with a higher Job Satisfaction score typically received a higher Employer Brand Index score. In fact, 5 of the top 10 companies with the highest Job Satisfaction scores in 2019 also received 5 of the top 10 highest scoring overall Employer Brand Index scores for the year.

Employees who reported stronger satisfaction with their jobs, in terms of the responsibility and impact, also commented more positively in areas such as Company Culture, Team & People and Mission & Purpose. 

Many of our attributes are interlinked so problems (and successes) in one area can have a domino effect on other attributes.

Exploring talent personas

Following many conversations we had with our clients, we introduced talent personas to the Employer Brand Index. We are able to source job titles, location, and seniority and provide our clients with independent scores corresponding to such information whenever the data allows.

While we explored a multitude of different job functions this year, the data revealed three top functions in terms of popularity:

  • Manufacturing & Production 
  • Sales (including Customer Service & other client-facing roles)
  • Technology (such as Software Engineering, IT & Digital roles)

This is how they ranked for 2019:


Benefits & Perks ranks as the most popular across all three job functions. This is because talent enjoys working for employers who recognize the importance of increasing employee morale through additional non-monetary rewards. Whether it be wellness perks, flexible schedules or health insurance, people prefer companies that show that they value employees beyond simply paying a salary.

Similarities across all three job functions also occur with the least popular attributes. Change & Stability is not necessarily a problem with the functions themselves but with the organizations they are apart of. We see issues such as employee anxiety and disinterest mirroring a company’s constant need to change, transform and reorganize.

Job Satisfaction scores were found to be much lower when Change & Stability scores were also poor. Moreover, the lowest Employer Brand Index score found in 2019 also included the lowest Change & Stability score for the year. 

What else did we do?

As well as providing an in-depth analysis of job functions, we examined the data in further detail for our clients in the following ways:

  • Analyzed EVP Pillars and illustrated how our clients’ scores fared against competitors. This helped the clients understand how they differentiate.
  • Evaluated talent personas to reveal how an employer brand is perceived by different talent types to help companies make data-driven recruitment decisions.
  • Scored different regions & countries in order to aid different stakeholders within a company to make more informed decisions in using data that is most relevant to them.

Learn more about what the Employer Brand Index can do for you!


Our newsletter is exclusively curated by our CEO, Jörgen Sundberg, for leaders who make decisions about talent. Subscribe for updates on The Employer Branding Podcast, new articles, eBooks, research and events we’re working on.


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