With all of the discussion surrounding an organization’s employer brand and talent brand these days, it’s very easy to get them confused. However, though the employer brand and the talent brand both have the goal of improving or reinforcing how the organization is perceived as an employer in the marketplace, there is a distinct difference between the two.
An employer brand is an organization’s positioning as an employer compared to its competitors, and the messaging it crafts and disseminates about what it’s like to work there. In other words, it’s a top-down approach to defining and portraying what it’s like, or in some cases, what it would ideally be like to work there. A strong employer brand can help a company drastically reduce their cost-per-hire and turn-over rates compared to companies with weaker employer brands.
Your talent brand includes how you, the founders, and leaders define your workplace culture (in other words, your employer brand), plus how your talent and other stakeholders (past, present, and future/potential) actually feels about your company, and what they say about its work environment. Industry leaders attribute the emergence of the talent brand, or “the people’s voice”, as I like to call it, to the social media revolution over the past few years. Thanks to social media, everyone and anyone can share their ideas, opinions, and experiences with a brand, product, organization, or employer. How the public perceives a workplace is no longer dictated by upper management, social media has changed that forever, democratizing the stakeholder voice. It’s now bottom-up.
Therefore, an organization must prioritize their talent brand, or else it might grossly under or over-estimate how it’s impacting their talent strategy, or lose control of it all together.
The benefits of a strong talent brand
A strong talent brand makes it easier for you to attract and retain key talent and will enhance your organization’s reputation, and there are plenty of other benefits too:
- Strong response rates (i.e. to job postings) and more engagement at every level of contact, from social media to in-person interviews
- More applicants
- Better qualified candidates
- Lower new employee turnover
- Improved and reinforced workplace culture
- Alignment between employees and organizational objectives
- Increased employee motivation
It doesn’t matter if your organization is big or small, or whether it’s in a big city or remote location, if you want to attract great talent, you must ensure that your employer brand is allied with your talent brand, address any flags, and continuously monitor and grow it.