• Sarah Robinson

It’s 2016. Do You Know Your Employer Brand?


No doubt most everyone has heard about Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya’s announcement that he would be giving all of his 2,000 full-time workers awards that could be worth up to 10% of the privately held company’s future value if it goes public or is sold. When I heard it, my immediate thought was “Wow! That’s how you build a Fiercely Loyal employer brand”

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Employer Brand” here’s a quick definition from SHRM:

An employer brand is an important part of the employee value proposition and is essentially what the organization communicates as its identity to both potential and current employees. It encompasses an organization’s mission, values, culture and personality. A positive employer brand communicates that the organization is a good employer and a great place to work. Employer brand affects recruitment of new employees, retention and engagement of current employees, and the overall perception of the organization in the market.

While the idea of having an Employer Brand isn’t new (it’s been around since the mid-1990’s), organizations are drastically shifting the way they view this concept. What was once a sole function of HR is now owned and lead from the top of the organization. Even more exciting is that these c-suite leaders are focused on building community into their Employer Brand concept.

Why are top leaders willing to invest their personal time in creating a cutting-edge employee value proposition? Because the competition for top talent is fiercer than ever and the cost of employee turnover is staggering (some estimates put it at 250% of annual salary). Creating a stellar Employer Brand and company culture is just smart business.

You may already be crystal clear on your Employer Brand. If so, congratulations on a job well done. If you are a little fuzzy on your Employer Brand, here are a few ideas to help bring it into focus:

  1. Ask yourself why your current people work for you and why a potential job candidate would choose to work for you over another company.

  2. Check your recruiting stats and see how many potential job candidates are referrals from current employees.

  3. Dip into any customer-facing social media streams, both formal and informal, to hear and see how your employer brand is being communicated.

  4. Poll your senior level managers and ask them to articulate your Employer Brand.

  5. Study other organizations like Google, Amtrak, UnitedHealth Group, Ritz-Carlton, LinkedIn, Marriott, Ferrero, IKEA, and Nike that have a clear and powerful Employer Brand.

What do you think are the must-have characteristics of a strong Employer Brand? Please share in the comments. I’d love to discuss@