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Employer Branding: Benefits and Challenges | SHRM

Employer Branding Benefits and Challenges by Never Grow Up®

The term Employer Branding, was first publicly introduced to a management audience in 1990 and was defined by Simon Barrow, Chairman of People in Business and Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow of London Business School. It was meant to denote an organisation’s reputation as an employer. Since then, it has gained considerable acceptance in the global management community.

‘Employer Branding’ could also be defined as the image an organisation has, as a place for work, in the minds of the present employees and key stakeholders. Often considered as a combination of art and science, the discipline of Employer Branding concerns itself with attraction, engagement and retention initiatives driven through enhancement of an organisation’s employer brand. It is all about advertising your workplace culture, values and goals to potential and existing employees.

Targeting the right talent

Employer Branding helps companies attract and retain high performing employees. In the increasingly competitive talent market, companies use employer branding as a key tool to attract and retain talent. In the process, companies can create a productive workforce which can help them in achieving long term success.

From an HR point of view, employer branding is essential. In recent years, there has been a phenomenal increase in the entrance and success of Indian corporations in the global market. Simultaneously there has been an influx of multinational companies in India. As such, the opportunities for India to contribute to the world economy have significantly increased.

In the present job market scenario, where companies are competing to attract the best talent, creating the right image of your company as an employer is a challenge. Employer Brand may at times assume more importance than critical factors like job profile and pay package. Thus creating the perfect image of your company in the minds of employees can be quite a task.

Two-way street

Building a brand is typically a two-fold process requiring both external and internal branding. The first is for prospective employees and the second is for the present set of employees. To develop a successful employer brand, the HR department of an organisation should first understand what perceptions and beliefs the current employees and the candidates aspiring to join in hold about the organization’s culture and brand promise. That would require some research.

It is really important to know your strengths and weaknesses as a potential employer. But what is more important is to understand how your employees, at all levels, perceive the organization’s brand and what value they attach to it.

If a company has a good brand image in the market, it will help get the right kind of workforce at the right time. This will also enable the company to control employee costs. Contrarily, an organisation with no brand name has to shell out lots of money to attract and retain the right candidates.

A strong employer brand can help your organisation stand out. In the present hiring conditions, it can be challenging to recruit and retain employees if you do not have a consistent employer brand. A popular and compelling employer brand can help identify, attract and retain the right kind of people, people who are fit to perform the duties that your company requires them to perform.

The value of values

Many employees prefer working for employers who have their own value system and have a proven track record of living by them. A great employer brand can make employees pick your company even when you do not have the resources to provide outstanding salaries or perks. You therefore have the opportunity to be an ’employer of choice’, if you have a proper employer brand.

As India forges ahead to make its impact on the world, employer brand as a strategic human resource tool will gain greater importance in the Indian organisations. Take care while developing, communicating and marketing the brand so that it ultimately yields growth and profits.

Finally, just as a business does not remain static, an employer brand also does not. It is important to periodically measure the success of the employer brand and its continued relevance to employees through ongoing research.

This post first appeared on the SHRM Blog. To know more about how we can help create a happy workplace write to

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