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How to improve your employment branding

Company branding is a familiar concept but what about employment branding? If you haven’t heard of it, it’s something like a shop window for potential recruits. When candidates ponder a career at your organisation, this is what they see.

It was supposed to be historic, an Australian brand’s television ad shown during the world’s biggest, most expensive time slot – a Superbowl commercial break. But while seeking to make a splash in the US market, Yellow Tail, a wine company hailing from NSW, managed to alienate their Australian one. The ad was filled with “Down Under” cliches so overripe they caused the internet to vomit.

Negative company perception is not only a problem for attracting and maintaining customers but, as HR departments are becoming increasingly aware, it also affects your ability to attract high quality recruits.

Upon seeing a posting or hearing about an open position at your organisation the first port of call for job seekers is a search for your website. So if someone googles Yellow Tail, next to the main website they’re going to see news articles claiming that the brand ‘humiliated’ Australia.

Avoiding this fate is why you need to spend more time thinking about your employment branding.

What does the best employment branding look like?

Every year for three years now WilsonHCG has been ranking Fortune 500 companies based on how well they manage this crucial side of recruitment. This year’s winners include GE and Johnson & Johnson.

How WilsonHCG determine their rankings can help give you an idea of what employment branding looks like – and how to improve it. Here are 5 categories and examples of who did them best.

Career page

As stated, upon seeing a posting or hearing about an open position at your organisation the first port of call for job seekers is your website. This is why having a career page with the following features is best practice.

  • It’s mobile enabled, easily accessible from your main website and easy to search.
  • It includes links and information on perks, benefits, and the culture a potential employee could expect.
  • Each job description is well written and engaging.
  • The page provides an idea of the interview process a candidate will go through.

See Oneok’s career page for a high scoring example.

Job board

Crafting compelling posts on all the top job boards (LinkedIn, Seek, etc) is a must. Twenty years ago you couldn’t get away with putting a job notice in just one newspaper and there’s even less of an excuse in the digital age to not have your vacant position advertised widely. Remember, you’re not just offering a job, you’re trying to convince candidates that your company is a great place to have a career.

Employee reviews and candidate engagement

Transparency is the norm in the digital age – your shop window has no curtains. One of the most important and most heavily weighted categories in the rankings; good employee reviews, arise from the everyday systems you have in place for dealing with candidates and maintaining employee relations. WilsonHCG weights this using the metrics from company rating website Glassdoor.

You’ll notice their ranking categories are similar to what millennials look for in organisations, as HRM has reported on before.

  • The percentage of reviewers who recommend the company to a friend
  • A culture and values rating
  • A work-life balance rating
  • A career opportunities rating

Perhaps not surprisingly given their social media savvy, Facebook ranked highly.

Recruitment marketing

Like it sounds, it’s consumer marketing but for recruits. The organisations that do it best have these things.

  • An active company blog written by employees of the company
  • Career-specific social media accounts
  • Corporate social media pages on the company website
  • Marketed images and videos on social media
  • A talent community

See GE for what a top rank looks like.

Social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility might be something millennials look for in particular but it means a lot to all job seekers. Things candidates are looking for include:

  • A visible company code of ethics
  • A volunteer program
  • Gender equality recruitment initiatives
  • Sustainability and green programs
  • Employee well-being programs (see our article on why they work)

IBM has a top score and if you look at their ‘responsibility’ webpage, you can see why.

That’s great, but we’re not a Fortune 500 company

Just because your organisation doesn’t make the Fortune 500 list, that doesn’t mean you can’t think about implementing some of these ideas and practises into your organisation’s recruitment plans.

And remember this: the best employees, the ones you want, shop around for organisations that stand out.


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