Why is Employer Branding so Hot Right Now?

24th April 2018

Posted In: In Your Opinion

Branding is one of the biggest opportunities facing Irish business right now. Often solely focused on the consumer, many organisations miss the opportunity to build a more robust brand focused on multiple stakeholders.

Words: Gillian Horan, CEO, The Pudding

To build strong brand equity you need to think bigger. Most recently companies are seeing the need to brand their organisations to attract talent. Employer branding isn’t a new concept. Very simply, it’s your reputation as an employer. Right now, attracting and retaining talent is one of the top challenges facing Irish business leaders. If you can’t attract and engage great people to drive your business forward, do you have a sustainable business?

What is it?

At the core of your employer reputation is your Employer Value Proposition (EVP). Your EVP is a collection of reasons why talent chooses your company over another company. It’s how your company positions, differentiates and markets itself to the talent you want to attract to your business or team. It is about your values, your environment and your ambitions as a company. It is about your culture, the benefits your offer and much, much more.

What are the benefits?

Employer branding is one of the hottest topics in corporate Boardrooms right now. Recent research from Randstad reported that 89% of business leaders identified employer branding as their number one focus area. Why is this? Well ‘the proof is in the pudding’ of course! First of all, businesses can attract top talent, cut their costs per hire by 50% and reduce staff turnover by 33% if they develop a strong employer brand. By investing in employer branding, businesses will hire twice as fast and also attract 50% more qualified applicants. For me this shows just how much employer branding can impact any company regardless of size or industry. Yes, the impact will be seen in cost reductions and increased profits, but more importantly you’ll have a happy and motivated workforce, engaged in delivering business results.

What can you do right now?

So, we know from research that it’s critical to attract the right talent for your organisation. We know that doing this will positively impact your business and your people. How can we get started? Building a strong employer brand takes time. It is not a one-off project. We need to engage internally and externally to understand how your organisation is viewed today? We need to define an authentic EVP for your organisation. We need a clear proposition and messaging. We need to communicate all of this through engaging campaigns focused on attracting target hires. Who can help with this? Marketers, branding experts, storytellers, your talent acquisition team and of course your own people can help spread the message. Finally, how can we measure success?

There are lots of ways to see the impact; cost per hire, staff turnover, your career website analytics, internal communications and engagement surveys, external independent ratings websites (for example, check out www.glassdoor.ie. and the list goes on! Right now, irrespective of whether or not your leading a team, business unit or the business itself, having a strong employer brand is an absolute must for attracting and retaining top talent.

With over 15 years of experience working in the world of branding Gillian Horan is one of Ireland’s leading voices in the industry. She has been responsible for a number of significant rebrands and has worked with a range of major national and global clients in the pharmaceutical, engineering, technology and hospitality sectors. Gillian is non-executive Board member at Colourtrend, Ireland’s leading decorative paint brand. She is member of the Institute of Directors in Ireland and the Institute of Designers in Ireland. Gillian is CEO of The Pudding – a creative and commercial brand agency.