The rise of the employer brand

What attracts top candidates to your business? And importantly, what motivates them to stay?

Our latest research, Understanding Talent, which polled more than 3,000 job seekers and 100 employers, revealed employer brand is more important than ever before. In fact, 91% of the employers we heard from said brand is important to their recruitment process.

No business does ‘employer brand’ quite like Google. In a recent article in The Telegraph, we learnt that its UK HQ comes equipped with a British pub-themed room, a communal space called ‘Granny’s Flat’, and something called ‘The Lala library’.

“It’s all about human beings and that’s it. Think sunken snugs, comfort, fun, comfy slippers, squishy carpets, cushions, daybeds, nice fresh food, gardening, vegetables, health, visual stimulation, relaxation, exercise, fresh air and you’ll get what it’s all about as a HQ.” So said Lee Penson, founder of Penson — the design company behind Google’s UK HQ.

Google, like other big brands such as Warburtons and EE (which were named by the Sunday Times among the Top 25 Best Big Companies to work for in 2016) have worked hard to cultivate a creative brand, which works wonders for helping to attract and retain top talent.

But employer brand is about more than the lavish HQs, onsite gyms and free meals. It’s how you treat your employees and potential candidates, and how valued they feel. You don’t need to make a Google-sized investment to strengthen yours – instead, start small and focus on improving the things we know employees value in their jobs.

According to our research, here are the most important factors for job satisfaction:

  • Interesting/enjoyable work (20%)
  • Work/life balance (17%)
  • Career progression and development (13%).

Improving these is attainable for most employers through simple measures such as allowing flexible working or working from home days, or ensuring you have robust training and development in place.

Building a strong employer brand has other positive effects.  When we asked employers why they were investing in their brand, 39% said the main objective was to improve the external perception of the company, 25% said to attract candidate applications, and 20% said to improve employee retention. Most companies are investing in their website (69%) and social media (63%).

Creating your employer brand doesn’t have to involve significant effort or investment – small steps will go a long way to attracting and retaining the best candidates.

To find out more, read the fourth report in our Understanding Talent Series, Retaining Top Talent.

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