Employer Branding in the Manufacturing Industry

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Employer branding in the context of talent acquisition and retention is the package of psychological, economic, and other benefits that potential employees associate with employment with a particular organization. In the current economic climate those organizations with positive employer brands, performance management strategies that help workers build expertise to maximize their potential, and smart approaches to HR and L&D initiatives are most likely to thrive.

Hiring the right people can make the difference for your processes and products. Showcase your employer brand by highlighting your organization’s culture, growth opportunities, and commitment to employees, work environment, and teamwork.

Part of something great

In a discussion with Kumari Williams, Director of Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding for Harman International, we talked about how a global manufacturing enterprise manages this. Kumari is responsible for developing strategic partnerships that fuel the talent pipeline and maintains a watching brief on the skills needed now and in the future. She is also responsible for creating, driving and supporting the Harman International employer brand and EVP.

We heard how her team is pushing the message of global mobility, positive mindset, and innovative thinking as a magnet to attract candidates. She says that they “need an EVP to bring clarity and allow us to position ourselves as an employer of choice for those candidates who want to be a part of something great.”

At Harman, they want employees to bring their full self to work every day. So, they support staff, who can expect to be valued for exactly who they are, for every day to be different, and to be part of a team full of fun, unique and bright people. Harman is focused on helping employees reach their potential at every stage, they created Hungry Cubs and Hungry Tigers initiatives which recognize the achievements of high-performing employees, while challenging them to take their work to the next level.

Key to their success is her assertion that successful employer brands require both top-down and bottom-up buy-in. Harman’s executive leadership team has a vested interest in the project succeeding, that’s a vital part of building and launching a successful EVP and employment brand.

Building brands people want to work for

We also talked to Ellen Kapoor, the Director of Talent Acquisition and Leadership Development at ITW, her role involves developing the areas of employment brand, technology on talent acquisition and college recruitment. The company has some 48,000 people and operates under 87 brands.

ITW’s culture is a competitive advantage, as the company is working hard to make sure that its divisions think and act like smaller companies. ITW businesses have significant flexibility within the framework of the ITW business model to tailor their approach in order to best serve their customers and maximize performance. Their mission is ”to make life more connected, entertaining, personalized and productive”.

Ellen is proud of their strong track record of “do what we say” execution founded on working collaboratively, setting clear priorities and expectations, so all ITW colleagues work hard to ensure that the organization delivers on commitments. This conviction and commitment are obvious in their approach to corporate social responsibility, which is integral to ITW’s core values of integrity, respect, trust, shared risk, and simplicity.

Many companies say that they put their people first, at ITW Ellen says that they recognize the organization is the very best when they bring together unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas.


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