Employer Branding

How to Link Employer Brand with Company Performance

Employer brand is a powerful tool in shaping corporate culture and helping employees to internalize corporate values; and is invaluable in engaging employees and aligning talent management with business strategy. A number of academic studies have recognized the positive correlation between employer brand and employee engagement.

For example, Heger conducted an empirical study in 2007 which identified a relationship between a strong Employment Value Proposition (EVP), the core component of the employer brand, and respondents’ level of engagement. The study showed that employee engagement is largely influenced by an organization’s EVP, in that EVP attributes (elements appealing to employees) serve to motivate a firm’s workforce.

Furthermore, a 2011 study of 113 companies by Kucherov and Zavyalova found that in companies with developed employer brands, employees are more actively engaged in decision-making and management process  To continue this, in a 2012 study of the same 113 companies, they found the average turnover rate of the organizations with employer brands is 10%, while the overall turnover average is as high as 16%!

Tailor your current strategy

All investors know that an enterprise’s value depends on the quality of its workforce, but it is also understandable that different elements of employer brand have varied impact on overall organizational performance. Hence it is crucial to articulate the desired outcomes to tailor the employer brand strategy for effectiveness and efficiency. The key to success in influencing productivity outcomes is effective communication of the employer branding message.

Organizations invest in employer branding to attract high-quality applicants, retain high performing employees, and build an image as a great employer. In the UK employer expectations of their brand strategy include improved recruitment and retention rates and benefits to the service delivered to commercial customers; the metrics used to calibrate success are those such as cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, and turnover rates.

It is in the area of engagement that benefits are most apparent. Employer branding affords a strategic framework incorporating both marketing and human resource management that enables an organization to attract, retain, and motivate high-performing employees. Robust employer branding enhances employee engagement and satisfaction, and as a result, improves production efficiency because the employer brand creates an excellent employee experience value for talented people.

Act with purpose and pride

In essence effective employer branding ensures that employees are brand ambassadors. It is becoming more and more important that employees identify with the brand and that a positive attitude towards the organization can result in greater creativity and innovation.

A 2013 study by the Temkin Group found that engaged employees are very valuable. When compared with disengaged employees, highly engaged employees are more than three times as likely to do something good for their employer even if it’s not expected of them:

  • Almost three times as likely to make a recommendation about an improvement at work
  • More than 2.5 times as likely to stay late at work if something needs to be done
  • More than two times as likely to help someone else at work.

So how do we quantify all of this?

It can be difficult to quantify the return on investment and just filling vacancies is no guarantee of success. The objective is to ensure employees’ ability to deliver on organizational strategy, offering superior service, or other performance targets.

Employer branding activities must focus on more than attraction and retention if they are to deliver sustained and enhanced performance expectations. A well-defined brand unites employees and creates a feeling of shared purpose and pride in the organization that is a commanding advantage in a competitive marketplace.

By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.