Driving employer branding up the agenda

Posted in Employee on 27 June 2017 By Sarah Eklund, Marketing Manager

The role of employer brand is perhaps more topical than ever with millennials moving into management positions and Generation Z about to enter the workforce. But how is it being managed in 2017? 

Talent attraction

Since our last survey in 2015, there’s been a complete turnaround in objectives, with the importance of the role that employer brand plays to generate the talent pipeline jumping to the top of the to-do list. Two years ago, this sat firmly at the bottom with the support of change management initiatives ranking first. What’s more, quality of hire, internal engagement surveys and low churn rates were cited as the top three metrics of a successful employer brand. So, happy employees really do mean productive, loyal employees who will invest themselves in your business for the long term, acting as brand ambassadors.

HR ownership

Another total turnaround is illustrated in this year’s results with HR taking primary responsibility for employer brand management. As we have seen with our own clients, this is often in partnership with marketing and corporate communications teams, whereas it used to rest predominantly with the CEO and leadership team. We’ve found that a true partnership between HR and marketing makes the world of difference because we can get much more under the skin of different stakeholders’ needs and can be truly pragmatic when it comes to bringing the employer brand story to life.

A digital workplace

In just two years we can really see how much more the digital workplace is helping businesses to engage and connect with employees through the use of social media and intranets. Similarly, attraction programmes leverage video content from dedicated careers sites and replace traditional graduate and on-boarding schemes.

Here to stay

60% of our respondents said they are committed to employer brand management for the long term but there is still plenty of work to do. Of this, 50% believe budgets will increase – up 23% from 2015. For us, this commitment is also reflected in the creation of specific employer brand management roles within our own clients’ businesses and budget planning for employee engagement campaigns once the employer brand has been defined.

The time is now!

What’s clear to us is that more than ever, organisations accept that building brands from the inside out with the vital ingredients of culture and engagement really does help to drive your business forward.

Employers recognise the importance of developing and monitoring human capital

While the annual report is often considered a review of a company’s financial performance, the great majority of organisations include information on the value of their employees. In our research, over 80% of companies producing an annual report reported on human capital and the number who formally accounted for human capital has risen significantly over the past two years as companies look to quantify the value of human capital. Furthermore, three times as many respondents felt that investors understand the value of human capital than those who didn’t.

Employers seek happy, well-trained and diverse people

It appears that employers agree with the old saying that happy workers are good workers. Companies are increasingly focused on attracting and retaining high quality employees and measuring their performance on human capital indicators is an important part of this process. Almost two-thirds viewed employee satisfaction as the most important measure of human capital management. In addition, over half believed that training and development of their people was important. Maintaining a diverse workforce, staff turnover and employee well-being rounded off the most valuable indicators of human capital.

Companies plan to focus more on human capital in the future

Of those surveyed, twice as many felt reporting on human capital would increase in the future than those who did not. When asked what could be done to help improve investor understanding, almost half of those asked suggested publishing a leadership statement that defined the company’s human capital strategy. Almost a third cited greater disclosure of human capital in the annual report. Read on to learn more about our survey and its results.


Email [email protected] for a full copy of the research findings.



Why focus on employer branding?

With the growing competition for talent, companies are having to work much harder to attract and retain the best people.

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