The State of Employer Branding


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The State of Employer Branding

  1. 1. The State of Employer Branding A global report on the hottest topic in talent acquisition
  2. 2. Introduction & Big Picture Findings 03 Executive Summary 05 Global Results 10 Conclusion 21 Appendix I: Results by Country 23 Appendix II: Results by Industry 30 Appendix III: Results by Company Size 31 Contents
  3. 3. Employer branding is the new black. Articles, white papers, and conference panels are popping up everywhere while discussions and debates take place daily in the hallways, conference rooms, and executive suites of companies around the world. Strong competition for knowledge workers in particular and the proliferation of social media have augmented the importance of employer reputations in acquiring talent, particularly for the 80 percent of the labor market who are passive candidates1 . Whether or not a company is considered a great place to work can make all the difference in attracting and retaining this top talent. The hype isn’t just fueled by large corporations or household name brands: employer branding is a hot topic among companies with 100 employees or 100,000, from Canada to India and everywhere in between, and regardless of industry. So what’s really going on, and what are companies doing about it? We took a closer look at employer branding as part of our third annual Global Recruiting Trends Survey. Our large and diverse sample of over 3,000 talent acquisition leaders means our results are packed with powerful data points and interesting insights for just about everyone. Introduction
  4. 4. Employer branding is seen as important everywhere; 83 percent of global recruiting leaders agree it’s a critical driver of their ability to hire top talent. Over half (51 percent) of companies have increased their employer brand investment in 2012 and a further 40 percent have maintained their spend. Talent Acquisition is often at the helm, leading or co- leading employer branding 61 percent of the time. While career sites are viewed as a most effective employer branding vehicle, viral channels – including word of mouth and online professional networks – play a significant role in building a company’s talent brand. Despite the importance of employer brand, almost half do not have a proactive strategy, and only one-third say they regularly measure employer brand in a quantifiable way. The Big Picture 4
  5. 5. Executive Summary TA leaders know employer branding is important and are investing more – but strategy, listening and metrics are often missing 1. AWARENESS 2. INVESTMENT & ORGANIZATION 3. DELIVERY 4. STRATEGY & MEASUREMENT  83% agree that an employer brand significantly impacts their ability to hire top talent, and 69% consider it a top priority for their organization.  The #1 action that TA leaders are afraid competitors will do is invest in employer brand, and lack of employer brand awareness is considered one of the top three obstacles in recruiting.  Globally, upgrading employer branding is considered the second most essential and long- term trend in the industry.  A whopping 91% of companies are investing more or the same in 2012 compared to 2011, primarily due to a greater awareness about employer branding’s impact.  While the increase is a step in the right direction, it hasn’t been enough to date: only 39% of TA leaders report that they have the resources needed for success.  61% of TA leaders have a primary or shared employer brand responsibility with Marketing or Corporate Communications, with co- ownership (39%) the most common structure.  78% of TA leaders view their company website as their most effective channel for employer brand.  Of the remaining highly effective channels, only one – traditional job boards – is fully controlled by the company.  Instead, employer brand is coming to life in channels that companies influence without controlling: word of mouth, social professional networks and general social media.  These channels have the benefit of touching passive candidates in ways that company-controlled channels usually do not.  Only 54% of respondents have a proactive employer brand strategy.  53% claim to have a good understanding of how their employer brand varies by different talent populations.  Most companies are not listening to the appropriate stakeholder mix: only 37% regularly survey new hires and even fewer (32%) regularly survey candidates.  Measurement is the key area of weakness. Only 38% measure their brand relative to the competition, and just 35% prioritize their spend to shore up key weaknesses. TA leaders say employer branding is key to hiring success and an important long-term trend. Companies are starting to invest more in employer branding, with TA leaders often directly responsible. Effective employer brand delivery occurs as much through viral channels as via company-controlled ones.. Many companies are not adopting a strategic approach and even fewer are measuring for success.
  6. 6. Methodology All respondents:  work in a corporate HR/recruiting setting  represent an even mix of small, midsize and large enterprises  have at least some budget authority  focus solely or primarily on recruitment Surveyed 3,028 recruiting professionals globally with a LinkedIn profile UNITED STATES 755 CANADA 299 BRAZIL 226 SPAIN 100 UK 334 ITALY 99 GERMANY 97 NETHERLANDS 226 NORDICS 113 INDIA 255 AUSTRALIA 280 6 Respondents by country:
  7. 7. High awareness of employer brand’s impact
  8. 8. Talent acquisition (TA) leaders are highly aware that employer branding is critical to hiring success 83%Agree that employer brand has significant impact on ability to hire great talent 8
  9. 9. 1. Utilizing social and professional networks 2. Finding better ways to source passive candidates 3. Upgrading employer branding < 1,000 Employees > 1,000 Employees 9 Prioritization of employer brand (by company size) 69% Agree that employer brand is a top priority for their organization 67% 70% 67% 78% < 500 Employees 501-1,000 Employees 1,000-10,000 Employees > 10,000 Employees Top 3 long-term trends in recruiting professionals (by company size) Large organizations lead the way in prioritizing employer brand, but smaller companies are catching on 1. Utilizing social and professional networks 2. Upgrading employer branding 3. Finding better ways to source passive candidates
  10. 10. Employer branding is a top priority for companies worldwide TA leaders who agree employer brand is a top priority (by country) Significantly more INDIAN organizations prioritize employer brand Significantly fewer GERMAN organizations prioritize employer brand 10 77% 75% 75% 74% 73% 71% 70% 69% 68% 64% 61% 47% GLOBAL AVERAGE 69% INDIA UNITEDKINGDOM CANADA BRAZIL AUSTRALIA FRANCE ITALY SPAIN UNITEDSTATES NORDICS NETHERLANDS GERMANY
  11. 11. 1 Competition 1 Invest in their employer brand 1 Utilizing social and professional networks 2 Compensation 2 Build and nurture strong talent pools or pipelines 2 Upgrading employer branding 3 Lack of awareness or interest in our employer brand 3 Learn to use social networking and social media more effectively 3 Finding better ways to source passive candidates 4 Location 4 Improve their candidate experience 4 Boosting referral programs 5 Recruiting team too small 5 Improve their referral program 5 Training recruiters and hiring managers 6 Recruiting team doesn't have the right tools/systems 6 Further invest in their existing recruiting tools 6 Recruiting globally 7 Lack of awareness that we're hiring 7 Invest in new recruiting tools 7 Optimizing your career site 8 Inability to effectively use data to improve our approach 8 Hire recruiters to strengthen their team 8 Measuring quality of hire more consistently 9 Quality of talent currently at our company 9 Negotiate better pricing with vendors 9 Reducing spend on staffing firms 10 Company performance 10 Improve ways to track quality of hire 10 Using CRM technology to manage talent leads In fact, employer branding rises to the top, regardless of the question 11 Top choices to attracting the best talent Biggest concern is that competitors will… Top long-lasting trends
  12. 12. Investing more, with Talent Acquisition often leading
  13. 13. Employer brand investment is rising in 2012, primarily due to a greater awareness of its impact 91% Companies that are spending more or the same on employer brand in 2012 compared to 2011 51% 40% 9% Spending More Spending Same Spending Less 1. Increased belief in the impact of employer brand 49% 2. Need to raise general awareness 48% 3. Difficulty recruiting quality candidates 47% 4. Increased competition 37% 5. Difficulty recruiting candidates in specific sectors 32% Why spend more on employer brand? 13
  14. 14. TA leaders are organizing for success by partnering with Marketing and Communications 39% 22% TA shares ownership TA has primary ownership 15% TA has no ownership 14% TA is a contributor 10% Company doesn’t think about EB Most common departments that own employer brand outside of Talent Acquisition 1. Marketing 2. Corporate Communications Who owns employer brand? 14
  15. 15. Viral channels thought to be highly effective for employer brand delivery
  16. 16. While websites are seen as most effective, viral channels play important role in promoting employer brand Five channels seen as most effective to promote employer brand 78% 56% 46% 38% 34% Company website Word of mouth Social professional networks Social media Traditional job boards 16
  17. 17. Almost half already find social professional networks highly effective for employer branding 58% 57% 53% 48% 47% 47% 45% 44% 43% 40% 37% 35% Organizations that find social professional networks highly effective for promoting employer brand (by country) FRANCE CANADA INDIA NETHERLANDS UNITEDSTATES UNITEDKINGDOM AUSTRALIA ITALY* SPAIN BRAZIL NORDICS GERMANY* More organizations in FRANCE and CANADA consider social professional networks to be highly effective Fewer organizations in GERMANY and the NORDICS consider social professional networks to be highly effective 17 * Low base size (< 80 respondents) GLOBAL AVERAGE 46%
  18. 18. Disconnect between awareness and action
  19. 19. Despite recognizing its power, many companies don’t take a strategic approach to employer brand Recognize employer brand impact Have a proactive employer brand strategy Understand employer brand strength across different populations Feel they have the resources to succeed Measure employer brand strength relative to competitors for talent Regularly survey new hires to understand employer brand perceptions Prioritize spend on audiences where employer brand relatively weak Regularly survey candidates to understand perceptions 54% 53% 39% 38% 37% 35% 32% 83% 19
  20. 20. Not many say they regularly measure their employer brand in a quantifiable way 20 only one out of three
  21. 21. We know that talent acquisition leaders around the world understand the importance of employer branding. They're increasing investment—even at a time when doing more with less is the norm—because they see it as a critical foundation for attracting the best hires. However, two-thirds of talent acquisition leaders today admit that they don't consistently and quantifiably measure the health of their employer brands, and almost half say they lack a proactive strategy. Management can't succeed without measurement and focus. In the end, the key opportunity isn't simply to improve awareness of your company as a great place to work, it's to upgrade your strategy: by listening to key audiences and observing how they interact with your employer brand; by assessing how you fare versus your competitors for talent; and by investing differentially in engaging candidate populations where you have the most to gain. This is particularly true in an era in which social platforms have changed the game for where and how identities – both corporate and personal – form and evolve. There was a time when your employer brand consisted of the messaging that your company delivered out into the marketplace and periodically refreshed. Today your messaging is being consumed, supplemented and amplified – or questioned aloud – in real time based on talent’s actual experience with your brand across multiple touch points, including social platforms where prospective talent engages with you on a daily basis. And what often rises to the top now, louder and clearer than your own messaging, is your talent brand – your employer brand as seen through the social lens, incorporating what prospective talent thinks, feels and says about your company as a place to work. The good news is that, thanks to the reams of Big Data that are generated through billions of interactions on social platforms like LinkedIn, it’s easier than previously to assess how you’re really doing . And the companies that effectively assess their talent brands will be able to prioritize spend, shore up areas of weakness, build out competitive advantage, and ultimately engage target talent to greatest effect. Conclusion 21
  22. 22. “Today your messaging is being consumed, supplemented and amplified – or questioned aloud – in real time based on talent’s actual experience with your brand across multiple touch points. “
  23. 23. Appendix
  24. 24. Appendix I: Findings by Country AMERICAS EMEA ASIA PACIFIC  45% of Brazilian TA leaders measure their brands (vs. 33% globally,), which is likely why they claim to understand employer brand strength across populations more often (67% vs. 53% globally).  Canada ranks second in citing effectiveness of professional social networks for employer branding (57% vs. 46% overall), otherwise they are in the middle of the pack in investment and organization.  US TA leaders report above average employer brand investment, yet they are significantly below average on measurement (21% survey candidates vs. 32% overall; 31% survey new hires vs. 37% overall).  France leads the way in gauging stakeholders: surveying new hires (46%) and candidates (45%) are well above the global averages (37% and 32%, respectively).  UK Employer brand prioritization is well above average, as is investment, yet UK TA leaders are average or worse in measuring for success.  Germany has the fewest percentage of TA leaders who consider employer branding a top priority (47% vs. 69% globally); TA leads most often (66% co-own or own employer brand vs. 61% globally).  Spanish TA leaders set a high bar for other countries in calling the employer brand shots, with 72% of TA leaders owning or co-owning employer brand, far above the 61% global average.  In Italy, acknowledgment of employer brand significance is on par with other countries, yet its investment and measurement tend to be well behind most other countries.  Netherlands TA leaders are well below average in terms of investing in employer brand and TA owning it, yet they are more likely to measure employer brand and use viral channels such as online professional networks effectively.  TA leaders in the Nordics lag on most dimensions, except in measuring the health of employer brand (42% vs. 33% globally).  India is the sole country that ranks consistently well above average on employer brand prioritization, strategic action, and measurement.  Australia is investing in employer branding more aggressively than any other region (61% citing spend increase versus 51% globally), yet on all measurement metrics, Australia is either average or below average compared to other countries. Employer branding winner across the board: INDIA 24
  25. 25. Australia and the emerging markets lead the way in doubling down on employer brand 61% 58% 57% 57% 56% 53% 53% 48% 45% 45% 43% 38% Organizations spending more on employer brand in 2012 vs. 2011 (by country) AUSTRALIA INDIA BRAZIL UNITEDKINGDOM UNITEDSTATES FRANCE CANADA GERMANY* NORDICS SPAIN* NETHERLANDS ITALY* Organizations in AUSTRALIA and INDIA increasing spend more often than the global average Organizations in ITALY and the NETHERLANDS increasing spend less often than the global average 25 * Low base size (< 80 respondents) GLOBAL AVERAGE 51%
  26. 26. 26 72% 70% 66% 65% 61% 59% 58% 57% 56% 56% 56% 51% SPAIN INDIA GERMANY BRAZIL AUSTRALIA CANADA FRANCE ITALY NORDICS UNITEDSTATES UNITEDKINGDOM NETHERLANDS TA leaders most empowered to drive employer brand in SPAIN and INDIA TA leaders significantly less likely to own or co-own employer brand in the UK and the NETHERLANDS There is significant geographic variation in Talent Acquisition’s role in employer branding Organizations where TA has total or shared control of employer brand (by country) GLOBAL AVERAGE 61%
  27. 27. 27 67% 62% 57% 54% 54% 52% 52% 51% 50% 46% 44% 41% BRAZIL INDIA NETHERLANDS FRANCE CANADA NORDICS UNITEDKINGDOM SPAIN AUSTRALIA UNITEDSTATES GERMANY ITALY INDIA and BRAZIL significantly more likely to understand their employer brand strength across different talent populations Emerging markets lead the pack with the most understanding of employer brand strength by population Percentage understanding employer brand strength across different talent populations (by country) GLOBAL AVERAGE 53%
  28. 28. 28 50% 45% 42% 35% 33% 32% 32% 30% 29% 23% 22% 20% INDIA BRAZIL NORDICS CANADA AUSTRALIA NETHERLANDS UNITEDKINGDOM FRANCE UNITEDSTATES SPAIN ITALY GERMANY INDIA and BRAZIL more likely to consistently measure employer brand There is wide geographic variation in measuring the health of employer brands Quantifiable measurement of employer brand (by country) GERMANY, ITALY, and SPAIN less likely to consistently measure employer brand GLOBAL AVERAGE 33%
  29. 29. Most don’t survey new hires to understand employer brand perceptions; wide geographic differences 29 52% 46% 45% 39% 36% 35% 34% 34% 33% 31% 30% 23% INDIA FRANCE GERMANY BRAZIL AUSTRALIA SPAIN NETHERLANDS CANADA UNITEDKINGDOM UNITEDSTATES NORDICS ITALY More organizations survey new hires in INDIA and FRANCE Fewer organizations survey new hires in the NORDICS and ITALY Organizations that regularly survey new hires to understand brand position (by country) GLOBAL AVERAGE 37%
  30. 30. Even fewer organizations survey candidates; again, wide geographic variance 30 More organizations survey new hires in FRANCE and INDIA Fewer organizations survey candidates in AUSTRALIA and the UNITED STATES Organizations that regularly survey candidates to understand brand position (by country) 45% 45% 39% 36% 34% 32% 31% 28% 26% 25% 25% 21% FRANCE INDIA GERMANY SPAIN BRAZIL NORDICS ITALY NETHERLANDS UNITEDKINGDOM CANADA AUSTRALIA UNITEDSTATES GLOBAL AVERAGE 32%
  31. 31. Appendix II: Findings by Industry CONSUMER GOODS  Consumer Goods TA leaders are ahead of the curve, with 72% having primary or shared ownership of employer brand compared to 61% overall. They are also more likely to feel they have the resources needed for success (48% vs. 39% overall).  Finance appears to be one of the more strategic industries as more respondents (61% vs. 53% overall) report a good understanding of their employer brand across talent populations, likely due to better measurement: 46% of Finance TA leaders quantifiably measure their employer brands versus 33% overall.  Marketing/PR/Consulting are much more likely to have a proactive employer brand strategy (64% vs. 54% overall), and more likely to leverage online professional channels such as LinkedIn (64% of this group cite effectiveness, vs. 46% overall).  Manufacturing TA leaders are just as aware of employer branding’s importance as other industries, yet they are much less likely to make it a top organization priority (59% vs. 69% overall).  High-tech TA leaders (59% vs. 46% overall) are also more likely to use newer communication channels such as online professional networks and social media, and they are above average when it comes to regularly surveying new hires (41% vs. 37% overall).  Non-profit TA leaders cite the effectiveness of social media more than other industries (47% vs. 38% overall), but they are not yet capitalizing on other low- cost ‘passive candidate’ channels such as online professional networks (34% vs. 46% overall).  More than all other industries, Medical and Healthcare TA leaders have increased investment in employer brand due to higher awareness of its impact. Yet, the industry is below average in surveying new hires (29% vs. 37% overall) and surveying candidates (24% vs. 32% overall).  Education TA leaders consider investing in employer branding to be the #1 competitive threat, more than any other industry. At the same time, they tend to over-rely on company websites (84%) to communicate their brands, resulting in missed opportunities to engage with passive talent. Education TA leaders in particular have not yet fully realized the potential of professional and social networks. MARKETING/PR/ CONSULTING HIGH TECH MANUFACTURING FINANCEMEDICAL/ HEALTHCARE NON-PROFIT EDUCATION 31
  32. 32. Appendix III: Findings by Company Size  Employer brand is more top of mind as organizations grow in size; 78% of TA leaders at large companies consider employer branding a top priority (vs. 67% for the smallest companies and 69% overall).  TA leaders at smaller companies recognize employer brand’s long-term importance; they rank it one of the most essential and long-term trends in the industry, even higher than TA leaders at larger companies.  TA leaders are larger companies are more involved in employer brand, with 67% owning or co-owning it compared to 51% for the smallest companies and 61% overall.  Those from smaller companies report investing more in 2012 due to the an increase in hiring, while those from larger companies are investing more due to a greater awareness of employer branding’s impact.  54% of larger companies consider channels such as LinkedIn effective (vs. 47% smaller) and 47% cite social media as effective (vs. 38% smaller).  Smaller companies still tend to rely more heavily on word-of-mouth (62% small vs. 49% large), likely due to more limited resources.  Larger companies are much likelier to have an employer branding strategy (68% vs. 54% overall and 49% for small companies.)  Larger companies (51%) regularly measure employer brand relative to competitors, significantly more than smaller companies do (34%).  Larger companies (45%) prioritize employer brand spend on audiences where their brand is weaker, significantly more than smaller companies do (29%). Large companies are ahead, but SMALLER ORGANIZATIONS are not far behind 1. AWARENESS 2. INVESTMENT & ORGANIZATION 3. DELIVERY 4. STRATEGY & MEASUREMENT 32
  33. 33. The third annual LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Survey was conducted online between May 2012 and July 2012. Recruiting professionals with a LinkedIn profile who opted in to participate in research studies were sent an email invitation to participate. In order to qualify, respondents had to focus solely or primarily on recruitment in a corporate HR/recruiting setting, and have at least some budget authority. Respondents represented an even mix of small, mid-size and large companies. 3,028 corporate respondents qualified and successfully completed the questionnaire. Global statistics are reported as un-weighted averages of corporate recruiter responses from the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nordics (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland), Spain, UK, & US. For more information about this survey, please email: 1. 2011 research on job-seeking behavior. For more details see Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 175 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. LinkedIn offers a full range of solutions to help organizations of all sizes find, engage and attract the best talent. 85 percent of the Fortune 100 use LinkedIn Talent Solutions. For employer branding best practices from industry leaders, go to: For a new way to measure your talent brand, see To stay up to date on the latest research and insights from LinkedIn, follow @hireonlinkedin on Twitter and subscribe to our blog: About This Survey About LinkedIn Additional Resources 33 Copyright © 2012 LinkedIn Corporation. LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, and InMail are registered trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands and names are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
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