What Is Employer Branding & Why Should You Care?

No doubt, you're already familiar with the concept of a company "brand," which involves how customers perceive your company and its products or services.

But did you know that you also need to think about your brand from your employees' perspectives as well? It's true. This is called employer branding, and today, we're going to discuss what it means, why you should care, and what it's got to do with background checks.

What is employer branding?

HubSpot, the marketing software giant, defines employer branding in the following way: "At its most basic, an employer brand is your reputation among the workforce as well as your employees' perception of you as an employer."

Let's apply that definition to something concrete. Have you ever looked at Glassdoor and read reviews about your company from current and past employees? That right there is employer branding—it's the stuff people are saying and sharing about your company. (And whether you think people's reviews are accurate is irrelevant. Remember, perception is reality.)

Is 'employer branding' nothing more than marketing gibberish or business school jargon?

A name for the concept has been around since the mid-90s, but we'd argue the concept itself existed long before that. People have always wanted to work for companies with good reputations for treating employees well. Prior to the Internet, however, it wasn't always easy to share your own experience or access others' experiences.

Today, thanks to blogs, review sites, and social media, people can effortlessly share this intel. As a result, people can also make decisions based on this readily available information. For example, prospective employees can avoid applying to companies with bad reputations. On the other hand, companies with good reps can be championed and celebrated (and attract workers from companies with the bad reps).

Is employer branding a passing fad, or is it truly important?

Again, the term "employer branding" has been around since 1996, and the concept itself has been around longer than that. But even if it didn't have a name, its essence would exist regardless.

Don't believe us? Consider this research from Randstad US, which discusses how workers approach jobs: "Most (86%) would not apply for or continue to work for a company that has a bad reputation with former employees or the general public, and 65 percent would likely leave if their employers were being negatively portrayed in the news or on social media because of a crisis or negative business practices."

HubSpot cites further stats: "A good employer brand can reduce turnover rates by 28% and cut your costs-per-hire by half. Additionally, 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand."

Bottom line: We predict that employer branding is going to become even more important, not less.

OK, so what do I have to keep in mind when it comes to employer branding?

You need to pay attention to your company's reputation among employees, and you need to respond when something isn't right.

To get a baseline of where your company is today, HubSpot suggests conducting an employer branding audit. This involves (among other things) conducting employee surveys and reading what current and past employees have to say about your company on places like Glassdoor.

Most importantly, you want to consider the employee experience from soup to nuts, meaning from the moment a person applies to a job with your company to the moment they leave your company (for whatever reason).

In other words, you must evaluate the entire employee life cycle and audit EVERY STEP.

From there, you'll want an ongoing plan that:

  • Addresses any areas that need work. For example, if some of the feedback says your workforce is lacking diversity, work on implementing a diversity and inclusion plan.
  • Actively monitors reviews/feedback on a go-forward basis. The audit simply sets the baseline. You need to regularly monitor reviews/feedback regarding your employer branding. Do more of what's working and address any issues.

What does employer branding have to do with a background check company like Good Egg?

Part of the employee lifecycle audit involves reviewing your hiring process, which includes candidate experience. A poor candidate experience can adversely affect your employer brand.

Consider some of these revealing stats:

  • 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience [Source: Career Arc]
  • 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly [Source: Career Arc]
  • 59% would tell others not to apply to the company [Source: Software Advice]
  • 42% would go so far as not to buy the company's products or services [Source: Software Advice]

Taking time to create better candidate experiences is good for candidates and the company doing the hiring. You'll generate goodwill with people (even if they don't become employees), and you'll gain a hiring advantage, something that's especially important when competing for top talent.

At Good Egg, we spend a lot of time discussing how better pre-hire screening can improve the candidate experience. After all, a smooth background check process not only reduces time to hire, but also influences the first impression a candidate has of your company's brand—for better or worse.

If you need to overhaul your company's candidate experience, you'll likely find these resources helpful:

So, Good Egg can help improve my employer branding?

We can certainly help improve certain aspects of it, particularly the experience that candidates have as they go through their background check process. Want to learn more? Get in touch and let's chat about your company's needs.


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Danielle Deutsch

Posted by Danielle Deutsch

Danielle is the Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator at Good Egg & Foley Services. In her spare time you can find her either visiting an aquarium, enjoying a Broadway show or competing in a Crossfit competition.

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