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Employer branding - the little sister of corporate branding becomes the star of the family

29/03/2022 2022/03

In the past, we in HR lived without employer branding. The HR world was still in order then. We reported vacancies to the employment agency and placed job advertisements on job portals. And even before the coffee on the desk got cold, we were already recording the receipt of the first applications in the applicant management system.

Employer branding is on everyone's lips - what's behind it?

At ARTS, we like to call this era 'Post & Get'.  At some point over time, this Post & Get has become Post & Pray. Why? What happened in the meantime? There are several reasons for this in Germany:

  • The baby boomers have started to leave the labour market to enjoy their retirement. 
  • Our birth rate is relatively low at 1.5 

And this has turned the previously clearly defined cosmos of HR marketing upside down and expanded our awareness. We, HR leaders, need to do more than just post job ads and wait for applications to come in, which are dwindling.
Besides the expansion of recruiting through e.g. direct approach of candidates, social-recruiting, multiposting etc., employer branding is now also part of the tasks of an HR department.

Is the employer brand something completely different from the corporate brand?

The employer brand is not identical with the corporate brand. While the corporate brand is aimed at the sales market (e.g. buyers, dealers, etc.), the target group of the employer brand includes existing employees and potential candidates. But we do have a congruence. Namely in the area of the vision, the mission and the purpose.

The difference between employer brand and employer branding

The employer brand is the brand personality. The strategic foundation, so to speak. Employer branding, on the other hand, is the implementation of this strategic basis in different communication measures on different communication channels and with different messages. A simple but important example is the career section on your company's website. 

ten people hold their hands in the air holding wooden puzzle pieces
A successful employer brand requires an attractive, differentiated and authentic brand personality to attract suitable candidates and achieve high employee identification.
A successful employer brand requires an attractive, differentiated and authentic brand personality to attract suitable candidates and achieve high employee identification.

The task of the employer brand

When choosing a good property, there is only one key concept: location, location, location. That's easy! With the employer brand it is more difficult. The formulation of its brand personality must be attractive and relevant on the one hand. And at the same time be as differentiated as possible, but authentic. The result is an employer brand that exerts maximum appeal on suitable candidates and offers equally great identification potential for employees.
In the daily competition for the best talents, an attractive employer brand makes recruiting easier. Your recruiting costs will decrease. In addition, for employers with a top brand image, the coveted 'high potentials' move within reach. In addition to this external impact, the employer brand also has an important internal function. And this is even very far-reaching! An authentic and attractive employer brand offers its employees the opportunity to identify with the company. To be proud of their company. You bind your employees to the company and, last but not least, their motivation to work increases, which in turn increases productivity.

And what are the tasks of employer branding?

The term employer branding refers to all communication measures to communicate with employees and potential applicants. Preferably interactively or in dialogue. The employer branding measure of a job advertisement, for example, optimises your recruiting success by attracting positive attention and being perceived. On the other hand, it clearly communicates your employer brand. Above all, clarity in terms of your purpose and vision. A good example is the vision of Elon Musk's company SpaceX. Namely, the colonisation of Mars. A vision that attracts a lot of talent. Especially those who have a similar mindset as Elon Musk, i.e. talents who most likely have an excellent cultural fit. 
A very different example is the employee event. In name, it is an event. In content, however, it is communication. Let's take the example of the Christmas party and stay with the SpaceX company: The employee event could be the annual Christmas party, for example. What could the ambience and the decoration concept of a SpaceX Christmas party look like? Based on the American science fiction film "The Martian - Save Mark Wattney", which probably has a 98% awareness rate among the SpaceX workforce, the party setting could be a huge white habitat. In the film "The Martian", Mark Wattney cultivated potatoes there. A Christmas party in a white Martian habitat with potato-based snacks is an excellent way to convey the employer brand and remind all employees what they work for. This freely invented experience-oriented example of employer brand communication would not only increase employee loyalty, but also ensure many good ratings on employer evaluation portals (e.g. Glassdoor or kununu in Germany).

What does good employer branding cost?

Employer branding costs depend on the scope and type of communication measures. Therefore, there is no general answer to this question. But: The costs for good employer branding are well invested and already pay for themselves in the short to medium term.

Our conclusion:

Employer branding is the conscious and targeted shaping of a company's perception as an employer. Employer branding is aimed at two target groups: applicants and employees. The aim of employer branding measures is to present the employer brand as attractively as possible without losing a sense of reality. Good employer branding leads to a faster and better quality filling of vacancies. And it increases employee loyalty and productivity. Ultimately, you reduce your current personnel costs.

As a 360° full-service HR agency, ARTS supports you, for example, with workshops and employee surveys to develop your employer brand. And of course also with the conception and implementation of creative employer branding measures, e.g. career pages, job advertisements, social media content, recruiting videos and much more. Tell the story of your employer brand with us!

About the Author
Sally Kießling
Employer Branding Consultant

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