If you work in recruiting, talent acquisition, HR, or a related field, you have probably heard the buzz around “employer branding.” It’s a bit of a nebulous concept, and can understandably cause some confusion. We thought we’d put together this quick explanation of employer branding as well as why it matters to companies.

Employer Branding, Explained

Employer branding is basically just a branch of the larger concept of branding. In short, your brand is the thoughts, associations, emotions, and conversations people have about your company and its products or service. Branding is a company’s attempt to influence these factors.

Whereas traditional branding is focused on appealing to customers, employer branding focuses on candidates or potential candidates. It’s about bolstering and managing the public perception of what it’s like to work at your company.

Why Employer Branding Matters to Your Business

So why should businesses care about employer branding? Well, because branding matters. It’s the reason why some have even gone so far as to suggest Apple is a cult – and why people fork out up to $1,500 for an iPhone when a Google Pixel will do the trick for about $350.

Recruiters and HR professionals are realizing that brands affect our career choices in much the same way they affect our buying decisions. Employer branding is part of why everyone wants to work at Google and Salesforce, for example. They’ve built brands as awesome places to work and advance your career.

Our brand as an employer can either facilitate our talent acquisition efforts or serve as a huge obstacle.

If public perception of our company is negative, we’ll need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on longer searches and have a harder time landing top talent. In comparison, a strong employer brand can enable us to reduce our recruiting budgets as talent seeks out our company.

A Proactive Recruitment Strategy

With unemployment at record lows, it’s tough for companies to meet their talent needs. It’s even tougher when we have brand image issues. Employer branding allows us to change the equation, prompting professionals to seek out opportunities at our organization.

It’s all part of a proactive recruitment strategy, which we swear by here at Qualigence. The days of post and pray are over. If we want to get the high-performing professionals who will drive business success, we need to track them down and give them reasons to come to us. In addition to branding, we need to be leveraging innovative tools to find great talent, not just poke around on LinkedIn.

Is your recruiting strategy about playing defense or going on offense? It’ll make a world of difference at your organization.