An authentic, well-defined employer brand is essential to recruiting and retaining quality talent in today’s market. Why? Because employer branding attracts informed candidates. When done well, it provides a competitive advantage that is achieved through employees, who have internalized the desired brand image and are motivated to project that image to current and potential employees, clients and organization partners. While a positive employer brand will attract talent, investors and customers, a negative employer brand could cost you investments and sales.
We’ve written about why employer brand matters as well as how you can start building a successful employer brand initiative. Read on for some examples of companies who showcase their brands well and gain great recognition and success by doing so.
This year marks the 10th consecutive year in a row that Southwest Airlines has ranked as one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work, based off of reviews and satisfaction from company employees themselves.
Today, the airline has become known for its people-first approach and its company culture, which provides employees with a range of perks (from profit-sharing and retirement matching to discount stock purchase, travel perks and workforce development) and a warm environment (full of appreciation, recognition and celebration) to maintain a workplace that continues to attract and retain its employees. Their messaging is all strategically aligned so that candidates fully understand what Southwest wants them to know about their brand.
This clear articulation of the desired brand image packages the company’s mission and values in a way that is easy for employees to internalize and retain.
But of all the benefits that come with working for the company, the best might be the culture people can expect day in and day out—you’re allowed to have fun at your job and bring the fun piece of your personality to what you do at work. That’s what having a Warrior Spirit, a Servant’s Heart and Fun-LUVing Attitude is all about.
Heineken gets a spot on this list for recognizing the need for and implementing an HR initiative that brought collaboration across various functions, including marketing and corporate communications, to position the company in a different space. Heineken's employer branding campaign isn't just designed to cause a stir, it's a manifesto for current and potential new hires. Heineken demonstrates that their brand revolves around the personality and ambitions of their employees.
The ‘Go Places’ campaign has been an unprecedented success. It channeled real company truths and insights, cross-functional collaboration, was localized and had a clear value proposition that worked across all roles and functions. It embraced marketing methodology in a meaningful way and offered a clear framework to deliver against both HR and brand KPIs.
A great example of digital employer branding comes from L’Oreal who needed help raising global awareness of the brand culture and what it’s like to work there. Recognizing that 70% of their LinkedIn page followers were interested in job opportunities, L’Oreal leveraged hitting the 300,000 follower mark moment and created the “Are You IN” campaign, which identified their brand advocates and asked them to share their L'Oreal story.
L’Oreal continue that story on their website dedicated to communicating their brand ethos to prospective employees. Entitled ‘L’Oreal Talent’ the site communicates who they are and what they represent, what their employees can be and what they offer as an employer. It also uses video effectively to introduce members of its global team and show the work they are doing.
With an onboarding app that helps newcomers in decoding, understanding and mastering the company culture, L’Oreal effectively communicates from brand awareness to job acceptance. Through texts, videos, employee testimonials, as well as quizzes, games and real-life missions, “newbies” are rapidly familiarized with L’Oréal’s culture.
Starbucks does a really good job of building its brand through its employees. Starbucks’ @StarbucksJobs Instagram and Twitter accounts are specifically used to promote their employer brand and interact with potential candidates. They use the hashtag: #sbuxjobschat to encourage engagement and feedback. They also regularly post links to their LinkedIn and other social media pages for easy access to resources.
Creating a unique community for employees is not something new to the jobs industry, but what you can learn from Starbucks is that by creating conversations online through various social media platforms with current employees and potential candidates you can learn about what inspires people in their jobs and also what kinds of things people are looking for in potential jobs at your company.
Just because your budget is minimal doesn’t mean you have an excuse not to retool your employer brand. Positioning their employees as their artists, HSBC launched a global photo competition across six categories picked to capture the spirt of the company. And the turnout was inspiring—6,000+ images were snapped and now in use on HSBC’s intranet as well as in presentation, reports and anywhere else you might think of placing a stock photo. Not only did this get employees engaged but it also connected them with the bigger picture of HSBC because they see themselves (literally) reflected in it.
Lululemon hits the nail on the head when it comes to producing engaging and inspiring content—from blog posts to instructional meditation and yoga collaborations on YouTube, Spotify and iTunes. Customers and employees have a passion for sharing these things online. The company also hosts yoga classes in its stores and encourages instructors to spread the word through social media. By hosting real-life experiences and generating content via the company’s ambassadors, Lululemon successfully amplifies its message. Lululemon is becoming more and more of a lifestyle brand and their employer brand is also reflecting a similar shift.
Make Your Employer Brand Works for You
Your employer brand is one of the most useful tools at your disposal—but if you let it go its own way, it can seriously hurt your ability to attract and retain top talent. By following in the footsteps of the examples above, you can begin to help shape your company’s brand into something that works for you, sending a message out to the world that yours is a company to pay attention to. Want to learn more about employer branding and what it can mean for you? Check out some of the things we’ve done for our clients.