From the Experts: Why Employment Branding Is So Important

Five thousand people from across the globe signed up to watch the live stream. In a hotel conference room overlooking San Francisco, there were more than 100 recruitment marketing and talent acquisition professionals. For what? The inaugural Glassdoor Employment Branding Summit featuring many of the 2013 social recruiting Talent Warriors and industry thought leaders. In case you had meetings to attend or candidates to interview, here’s what you missed.

Why is employment branding important?

Kicking off the event, keynote speaker and Glassdoor CEO, Robert Hohman, passionately talked to the audience about his view on the importance of employer branding and the world of work. “As a world, we have shifted away from a lever-based society to a world that is fueled by skilled workers doing knowledge work. The thing that is new is that you can hire 10 amazing people and they can each have a dramatically disproportionate effect on your company.”

Employment branding is what helps companies stand out from their competition to attract top talent and dissuade those individuals who are not a fit.  A survey conducted by Glassdoor found that 94% of job seekers want to hear about what makes the company unique or special, and that 84% of people would change jobs if the new employer had a significantly better employer brand.

That’s why it is important. That’s why we’re seeing more companies create positions within their Communications, Marketing or Human Resources departments dedicated to employment branding. And why 39% of recruiting executives are focused on building an effective employer brand, according to a study conducted by CEB. The talent acquisition leadership team from Sodexo even referred to their strong employer brand as their “secret sauce.”

The world has become more transparent.

If I had a nickel for each time the word “transparent” was used during the summit, I would have at least an extra fifty bucks in my wallet this morning. It was a clear theme throughout the conference. But why? According to Glassdoor, as well as research conducted by the advisory firm that I work for, people want information about companies and expect transparency.

There is a great benefit to a great employer brand and giving people an inside view into what life and work is like within your company. It allows them to decide if your organization is right for them and influences whether or not they apply.

“Employee engagement is your brand.”

So how can an organization create an employer brand that is as irresistible cupcakes? As someone who cannot turn down a cupcake—chocolate, vanilla or otherwise–here are some takeaways from the session led by Josh Bersin.

  1. Allowing employees to add their “self” to work is a key to creating engagement and offering meaningful work.
  2. People need time to slack in order to be more engaged and productive. (Foosball anyone?)
  3. Recognition in the form of consistent small thank yous will make your workforce better.

Great brands give you access to great talent.

Investing in your employment brand will help you attract and retain top talent within your geographies and talent segments. The key is to “shine a light on what is already there,” advised Stacy Zapar, who is currently doing some very cool work with Zappos and Restoration Hardware. The goal is to find your unique value and tell that story so that the right people apply.

Learn more about employment branding.

There was a lot of information and expert advice shared during the Summit. Search Twitter using #GDSummit. And, I am sure that Glassdoor for Employers will be sharing more information, so why not follow their page on Facebook!

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Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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