Employer Branding vs. Talent Branding

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Employer brand is centered on the promise that the enterprise makes to current and prospective employees in order to recruit and retain the brightest and best. It’s about the organization’s reputation as an employer and what makes the business a place where good people choose to work. The UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development defines it as “the way in which organizations differentiate themselves in the labor market, enabling them to recruit, retain and engage the right people”.

Talent brand is centered more on the employee experience, where the values and aspirations of the organization’s employees are strongly aligned with the overall brand. It’s about connecting talent to an organization’s brand, values, and mission. It’s important because great employees have the power to make the customer experience exemplary and enhance your reputation and performance.

Branding matters in the HR sphere because organizations need to be able to answer the question: ‘what sets us apart from our competitors?’ Talent brand is the social version of your employer brand – the perception people have about the organization, what they say and share about the enterprise as a place of employment.

Talent wars

Good candidates can pick and choose, as in a low unemployment economy employers compete over a small pool of potential candidates; the war for talent is a real thing. In addition, how we look for jobs has changed, we are more inclined to research potential employers and to engage with them before applying for a role and to invest in long-term career planning. 

Reputation matters and a poor reputation damages an organization’s ability to source and retain talent. According to Jody Ordoni, author of The Talent Brand, there is a “high correlation between customer admiration for a company’s products or services and their desire to want to work for that company.” A good reputation means the organization can attract talent and cultivate talent pipelines to fulfill business objectives and mission and purpose.

Employer and talent brand both function in terms of driving forward the business, employee value proposition, and recruitment. A good employer brand management strategy will focus on developing robust relationships in relation to resourcing, and on identifying and promoting opportunities to improve the candidate experience. The execution of employment brand strategy drives messaging and collateral, such as branding assets both physical and digital, managing the talent brand via career pages and social media channels to support candidate attraction across potential recruitment channels.

Communicate the candidate experience

Consistent branding enables an organization to partner with cross-functional stakeholders ensuring the organization is perceived as an employer of choice by highlighting people, culture, and opportunities. Talent branding promulgates the unique career experience and culture that employees enjoy, using communication strategies that establish and extend the “employer brand” message by evoking the candidate experience via social and digital recruitment marketing channels.

Manage employer and talent reputation by developing and executing scalable global employer brand strategies over internal and external channels, engaging across all candidate touchpoints. This is facilitated with creative strategies that support real-time recruiting needs including recruitment events, targeted advertising, and pipeline and engagement activities. Bolster branding efforts by building, maintaining and optimizing the employment brand experience that extends throughout the whole employee lifecycle; and by developing authentic and engaging content that will strengthen employer brand and attraction of high potential, diverse talent into the organization at all levels.

Aim to bring to life what it’s like to work for the organization and the values that drive the enterprise and the talent employed to accomplish organization goals and execute strategy, by building a talent community that drives employee engagement.


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