Lessons from the World’s Leading Employer Brands

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Talented, motivated employees are a venture’s most important assets, but skills shortages mean that sourcing talent is not likely to get easier any time soon.

Companies that can attract and retain talent are able to persuade candidates and employees that the environment and opportunities are better with them than at other organisations competing for talent. Employer brand management is a hot topic for leadership because their workforce is a significant competitive advantage. The objective of a strong employer brand is more effective recruitment for the organisation; when candidates join they’ll expect to see the brand values promoted during the recruitment process at work in the organisation.

Will Staney, formerly head of global recruiting at Glassdoor says “Everything a candidate has ever heard, read or witnessed about your company will enter into the decision of whether to work with your company.”

Culture and communication

What this means is that employer brand must align with organisational culture and the employee experience and your authentic employee value proposition message must be inherent in all corporate communications. A strong employer brand helps to establish confidence, loyalty, and commitment throughout the organisation.

L’Oreal is a great example of an organisation that does this well. They took time to develop their employee value proposition afresh in 2012, and did so by seeking input from employees. This is a particularly valuable strategy in employer branding – what employees have to say is critical. The employee value proposition that L’Oreal defines offers prospective employees “a thrilling experience,” “an environment that will inspire you,” and “a school of excellence.”

PwC is another organisation with a strong employer brand, their recruitment offer says recruits will “make an impact in a place where people, quality and value mean everything”. They aim for an environment where all their staff can flourish with information and tools to help employees make lifestyle decisions, cope with different life events and generally make the best use of their time both at work and outside.

Great employers

The annual Great Place to Work survey assesses the levels of trust and engagement in an organisation through the Trust Index employee survey and they suggest that organisations with a good employer brand and strong EVP are able to attract the best candidates via:

  • Competitive advantage – sets the organisation apart from competitors
  • Employer of choice – signals to the market ‘we’re a great employer’
  • Attraction – attracts the kind of employee most likely to support the organisation’s brand and values
  • Retention – employees are more committed, and less likely to leave
  • Advocacy – employees become brand ambassadors

Another great British brand Rolls-Royce take their employer brand seriously and point to excellence, pride, personal growth (through training and development), an ambitious future for the company, responsibility, (including global ethics, and CSR) and innovation as core pillars of their brand. Building their talent pipeline is key and this means that employer branding activity is closely linked with employee engagement.

Aim for an organisational culture that supports, sustains and engages employees so they will stay and a healthy organisation will evolve.


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