Build employer brand equity


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Article by Brett Minchington on the elements of employer brand equity

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Build employer brand equity

  1. 1. HR FUTURE 01.2011 (13) Build employer brand equity YOUR SUSTAINABILITY RESTS UPON BUILDING YOUR BRAND IN THE EYES OF YOUR PEOPLE. BRETT MINCHINGTON A company has one brand and the art and science of employer branding provides a focus for the role of the ‘employee’ in building brand equity. In addressing the challenge of measuring the ROI of your employer brand strategy, your approach can be informed by previous research in marketing, specifically in the area of brand image and brand equity. BRAND IMAGE Brand associations are the determinants of brand image. Keller defines brand image as an amalgamation of the perceptions related to the product related/non-product related attributes and the functional/symbolic benefits that are encompassed in the brand associations that reside in consumer memory. Marketing literature supports the concept that product brand equity is strengthened when the brand image resonates with the consumer. As brand awareness heightens, consumers begin to develop positive identification with the brand. The more positive the brand is perceived to be, the more highly identified the consumer becomes with the product. As social identity theory suggests, in the end, the consumer purchases the brand because of the positive self-concept that results from feeling membership with the brand. In a similar manner, as potential employees find positive aspects of the employer image, they are more likely to identify with the brand, and will more likely choose to seek membership with the organisation for the sense of heightened self-image that membership promises. BRAND EQUITY The concept of brand equity provides a complementary theoretical perspective for understanding employer branding. In brand guru David Aaker’s book, Managing Brand Equity, he defines brand equity as the brand assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that add to (or subtract from) a product or service. These assets can be grouped into four dimensions: brand awareness, perceived quality, brand associations and brand loyalty. Applying this thinking to employer branding, I have developed a Model of Employer Brand Equity™. EMPLOYER BRANDING INTERNATIONAL WATERS a EMPLOYER BRAND AWARENESS PERCEIVED EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE EMPLOYER BRAND ASSOCIATIONS EMPLOYER BRAND LOYALTY EMPLOYER BRAND EQUITY MODEL OF EMPLOYER BRAND EQUITY™
  2. 2. (14) HR FUTURE 01.2011 Employer brand awareness is the level of recognition people have about an organisation’s positive and negative employment attributes. Global food services group Sodexo’s social media activities have given me a strong awareness of the community work the company is involved in, whereas the negative press about Foxconn’s employment practices has made me aware of just how different working conditions are for some employees in China compared to Australia or the USA. Perceived employment experience is the association current and prospective employees have about working for an organisation and is based upon the online (career website, social networks, YouTube channel and so forth) and offline (word of mouth, career fairs, induction programmes, among others) touchpoints the person interacts with. When I hear the name Google I perceive the employment experience as challenging, inspiring, fun, and one that offers career and personal development. I have been fortunate to visit their Zurich headquarters on two occasions and the physical environment from the cafeteria to the chill-out rooms to the themed meeting rooms is exactly the type of environment that would inspire me to give my best. Employer brand associations are the thoughts and ideas an organisation’s name evokes in the minds of current and future employees. It can include imagery, personality, symbols, and rational (career development, pay, staff benefits, location and so on) and emotional (strong reputation, friendly working environment, inspiring leadership, engaging culture and others) employment attributes. Brand associations can be verbalised, but also might reside at a more sensory level. In other words, employees have a feeling about a brand, an INTERNATIONAL WATERS EMPLOYER BRANDING emotional response or the memory of an experience with the company or via touchpoints such as social media channels. When I think of global NGO, World Vision, I associate the organisation with creating a better society, global community, strong reputation and people feeling good about the work they do. Employer brand loyalty is a person’s commitment to join or remain employed with an organisation as a result of the positive associations with the organisation. Loyalty is demonstrated by positive behaviours such as word of mouth advocacy. When I read Facebook posts of people saying they love their job (and mind you there are very few who do this!) it sends a strong message to me there is something good about working for the company. Employee advocacy is the strongest level of endorsement a company can receive. Remember it’s not what you say your employer brand is, it’s what others say it is when leaders are not in the room! In terms of employer branding, brand equity is a strategic asset that can be leveraged on the basis of competitive advantage in the firm’s ability to attract, engage and retain talent. It is the desired outcome of the collective impact of employer branding initiatives. Prospective employees choose to join an organisation and existing employees choose to stay because of the underlying employer brand equity associated with these firms. As you can see, calculating ROI of employer branding can be a very complex area. However if you focus efforts in these three key areas, you will achieve some meaningful results: 1. A clear understanding of your inputs (strategy development, employee communications collateral, recruitment advertising, ongoing management costs) and outputs (increased employee engagement, decreased turnover, increased time to productivity) and how this is linked to your bottom line; 2. An ability to track change in sales and revenue performance over time versus changes in employee and customer engagement; and 3. Ideally, companies should be able to identify the extent to which a change in one behaviour (increased engagement) leads to a change in another (sales). Companies should develop their own ROI equations depending on their employer branding objectives, performance outcomes and so on, so they will be able to enter in the numbers and determine the likely change in one of the variables (sales) by changing one of the other variables (employee engagement). (HRf) “Employer brand loyalty is a person’s commitment to join or remain employed with an organisation as a result of the positive associations with the organisation.” Brett Minchington is Chairman/CEO of Employer Brand International, a global authority, strategist and corporate advisor on employer branding ( His new book Employer Brand Leadership-A Global Perspective is available at (
  3. 3. Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership About Employer Brand International EBI provides research, advisory and thought leadership in employer branding through strategic consulting, conferences/training, publications, research and global think-tanks. EBI’s expert services are provided through an international network of expert employer brand Senior Associates. EBI’s Global Advisory Board consists of leading corporate professionals and academics from around the world. Why choose to study the Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership? • Study for an in demand leadership skill • Case study approach to support theoretical frameworks • Real world application • Flexible study options • Supportive learning environment • Access to the world’s most extensive employer branding learning resources • Alumni support 1. Since 2007 EBI has trained thousands of managers in employer branding in more than 50 cities in 28 countries. 2. Access to an employer branding global community of 3500+ members. 3. Course is supported by world class learning resources including books, handbooks and global research reports. 4. The first course of its kind offered in partnership with educational institutions, business and the community. 5. Accredited by EBI 5 QUICK FACTS Enrol Today!
  4. 4. WELCOME FROM THE CHAIRMAN/CEO Welcome to the Certificate in Employer Brand Leadership Course – a contemporary leadership program for managers around the world. Since 2007, Employer Brand International has conducted training for thousands of managers in employer branding in more than 50 cities in 28 countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, UAE, UK, and the USA. Employees are fast becoming central to the process of brand building and their behavior can either reinforce a brand’s advertised values or, if inconsistent with these values, undermine the credibility of your messages. Employer branding is a whole of business concept concerned with the attraction, engagement and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company’s employer brand. The contest amongst employers to attract and retain talented workers takes place in a world where changes in the political, economic, social and technological environments and concerns about a company’s environmental footprint is driving widespread change in employment patterns. Today, competition for the best employees is as fierce as competition for customers and market share. The course brings together a talented team of academics, strategists and corporate leaders to create an inspiring learning experience in the growing field of employer branding. Our emphasis is on assisting you to develop leadership, communication, problem solving and team building skills, which will enable you to better understand and deal with the complex issues of management in a changing business environment. In selecting students we look for high quality people with the potential to not only benefit but also contribute to the learning experience. Whilst practical in orientation, your learning experience will include networking with like minded professionals around the world to support a solid theoretical grounding in employer brand leadership. Organizations that can attract and retain the best minds by leveraging a unique, relevant and distinctive employer brand will have a competitive edge in the marketplace. We look forward to welcoming you and wish you the very best with your studies. Brett Minchington Chairman/CEO Employer Brand International PROGRAM STRUCTURE CORE MODULE A THE BUSINESS CASE FOR EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 1: The Fundamentals Of Employer Branding (EBLFU) CORE MODULE B BEST PRACTICE IN EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 2: Employer Brand Leadership Principles & Practices (EBLPP) Study Unit 3: Employer Brand Strategic Management (EBLSM) Study Unit 4: Employer Branding Mapping & Competitor Analysis (EBLCA) Study Unit 5: Employer Brand Analytics & Reporting (EBLAR) Study Unit 6: Contemporary Practices in Employer Branding & Social Media (EBLSM) Study Unit 7: Employee and Customer Experience (EBLCE) CORE MODULE C THE FUTURE FOR EMPLOYER BRANDING Study Unit 8: Employer Branding Social Responsibility (EBLSR) Study Unit 9: Future Trends in Employer Branding (EBLTD) Study Unit 10: Employer Branding Case Study Analysis (EBLCS) HOW TO APPLY Apply online at or to enquire please email Andrea at: Please direct all course enquiries to: Ms Andrea Fielding P +61 8 8443 4115 F +61 8 8443 4149 ALUMNI SUPPORT The EBI Employer Branding Global Community is an important part of the life and community of the School, as it forms an integral part of the School’s business relationships. The network is diverse, including students and graduates who work and live locally, interstate and overseas. With more than 3500 members, the EBGC supports members in various ways: • Fostering global networking opportunities • Informing the business community of latest trends in employer branding