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It used to be that employers paid the money and held all the cards.  If their workers had something negative to say, who was going to hear them? Surely not potential candidates.  Barring workers whispering “Psssst…” to interviewees in the company’s waiting room and pulling them into the supply closet to tell them to run for their lives, employers with unfavorable working conditions were insulated from criticism that could affect their hiring process.

Likewise, it was possible for employees to keep their satisfaction at a job a secret in an effort to control the flow of job seekers peeking in the windows.   If you and your coworkers had a good deal with an employer, it was nobody’s business.

Today, the cat is out of the bag.  Employers have to polish their reputations just as vigorously as job seekers.  Sites like LinkedIn.com, Indeed.com, and CareerBuilder.com have sections where current employees can rate and review their employers.  The playing field was leveled and a two way street was built.  A good recruiter or staffing agency knows how to navigate it for both the employer and employee.

The term “employer branding” was first quoted in Journal of Brand Management in December 1996 and was described as, “the package of functional, economic and psychological benefits provided by employment and identified with the employing company.”   With the advent of the Internet era, information became exponentially widespread.  Likewise, the dot-com boom provided opportunities for the new generation in the workforce to excel on their terms.  It became an employee’s market and many qualified workers—the “Top Talent”—looked for jobs that were both financially and mentally satisfying.  Thus, they turned toward their peers to provide data on potential employers over the Internet.    By 2001, of 138 leading companies in the US, 40% claimed to be actively engaged in some form of employer branding activity. But 2003, that number was up to 60%.  Today, it is estimated that nearly all major corporations and employers (as well as many small businesses) take measures to appear attractive to potential candidates both externally and internally.

Employer brand management has two major components: presentation and employment experience.  Presentation deals with the recruitment effort.   What does an Internet search of the company yield to job seekers?  What is the company’s reputation for employee satisfaction?  Are the benefits and wages worth the downfalls of the employer?   Recruiters can help manage this process by sharing what they learn from potential candidates and job seeking website reviews.

Internally, the employment experience is what drives the employer’s brand.  No amount of company image polishing by a professional can equal word-of-mouth reviews by current employees.  Likewise, attracting Top Talent is only half of an employer’s battle.  The other half is retaining qualified workers.  Today, passive candidate recruitment has created freedom for workers to move up the ladder by changing employers.  So it is vital that companies provide a unique and unbeatable employment experience for their workers.

Employment agencies often use the term “employer value proposition” or EVP.  The EVP is a unique set of offerings, associations and values to positively influence potential candidates and employees.  These offerings can include the obvious such as competitive wages and benefits as well as components that improve the quality of employment such as flexible hours, team-building activities, and consideration for working families.

Both aspects of the employer brand have to be managed and meticulously maintained to ensure that a company is attracting and keeping the very best.   As the world grows smaller and smaller through the increased speed and availability of data and information, employees will be in the driver’s seat.

About ARC Group© 

American Recruiting & Consulting Group, a national executive recruitment agency was established in 1982 and has been consistently ranked in multiple issues of The Business Journals’ “Top 25 Executive Search and Consulting Firms” for the last 14 years. With over a hundred employees and a score of locations throughout the country, we have asserted ourselves as a leader in the recruitment, staffing, employment and consulting sectors. 

At ARC Group, we focus on helping our clients grow by offering a unique blend of staffing, employment and temp services in the talent acquisition space. Our services include helping clients find the best talent for contract, temp to perm, and permanent placement opportunities. We also offer a unique and trademarked research recruitment solution, Recruitment Intelligence™, as well as retained, contingency and consulting services. 

With our proven 7 stage end-to-end recruitment process we provide unsurpassed quality that most employment and temp staffing agencies are unable to offer.