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State of Employer Brand

  1. 1. The State of Employer Branding A global report on the hottest topic in talent acquisition
  2. 2. Contents Introduction & Big Picture Findings 03 Executive Summary 05 Global Results 10 Conclusion 21 Appendix I: Results by Country 23 Appendix II: Results by Industry 30 Appendix III: Results by Company Size 31
  3. 3. Introduction Employer branding is the new black. Articles, white papers, and conference panels are popping up everywhere while discussions and debates take place daily in the hallways, conference rooms, and executive suites of companies around the world. Strong competition for knowledge workers in particular and the proliferation of social media have augmented the importance of employer reputations in acquiring talent, particularly for the 80 percent of the labor market who are passive candidates1. Whether or not a company is considered a great place to work can make all the difference in attracting and retaining this top talent. The hype isn’t just fueled by large corporations or household name brands: employer branding is a hot topic among companies with 100 employees or 100,000, from Canada to India and everywhere in between, and regardless of industry. So what’s really going on, and what are companies doing about it? We took a closer look at employer branding as part of our third annual Global Recruiting Trends Survey. Our large and diverse sample of over 3,000 talent acquisition leaders means our results are packed with powerful data points and interesting insights for just about everyone.
  4. 4. The Big Picture Employer branding is seen as important everywhere; 83 percent of global recruiting leaders agree it’s a critical driver of their ability to hire top talent. Over half (51 percent) of companies have increased their employer brand investment in 2012 and a further 40 percent have maintained their spend. Talent Acquisition is often at the helm, leading or co- leading employer branding 61 percent of the time. While career sites are viewed as a most effective employer branding vehicle, viral channels – including word of mouth and online professional networks – play a significant role in building a company’s talent brand. Despite the importance of employer brand, almost half do not have a proactive strategy, and only one-third say they regularly measure employer brand in a quantifiable way. 4
  5. 5. Executive Summary TA leaders know employer branding is important and are investing more – but strategy, listening and metrics are often missing 1. AWARENESS 2. INVESTMENT & 3. DELIVERY 4. STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION MEASUREMENT TA leaders say employer Companies are starting to Effective employer brand Many companies are not branding is key to hiring invest more in employer delivery occurs as much adopting a strategic success and an important branding, with TA leaders through viral channels as via approach and even fewer long-term trend. often directly responsible. company-controlled ones.. are measuring for success.  83% agree that an  A whopping 91% of  78% of TA leaders view  Only 54% of respondents employer brand companies are investing their company website as have a proactive employer significantly impacts their more or the same in 2012 their most effective channel brand strategy. ability to hire top talent, compared to 2011, for employer brand.  53% claim to have a good and 69% consider it a top primarily due to a greater  Of the remaining highly understanding of how their priority for their awareness about employer effective channels, only employer brand varies by organization. branding’s impact. one – traditional job boards different talent populations.  The #1 action that TA  While the increase is a – is fully controlled by the  Most companies are not leaders are afraid step in the right direction, it company. listening to the appropriate competitors will do is invest hasn’t been enough to  Instead, employer brand is stakeholder mix: only 37% in employer brand, and date: only 39% of TA coming to life in channels regularly survey new hires lack of employer brand leaders report that they that companies influence and even fewer (32%) awareness is considered have the resources needed without controlling: word of regularly survey one of the top three for success. mouth, social professional candidates. obstacles in recruiting.  61% of TA leaders have a networks and general  Measurement is the key  Globally, upgrading primary or shared social media. area of weakness. Only employer branding is employer brand  These channels have the 38% measure their brand considered the second responsibility with benefit of touching passive relative to the competition, most essential and long- Marketing or Corporate candidates in ways that and just 35% prioritize term trend in the industry. Communications, with co- company-controlled their spend to shore up ownership (39%) the most channels usually do not. key weaknesses. common structure.
  6. 6. Methodology Surveyed 3,028 recruiting professionals globally with a LinkedIn profile All respondents:  work in a corporate HR/recruiting setting  represent an even mix of small, midsize and large enterprises  have at least some budget authority  focus solely or primarily on recruitment Respondents by country: UNITED STATES 755 CANADA 299 BRAZIL 226 SPAIN 100 UK 334 ITALY 99 GERMANY 97 NETHERLANDS 226 NORDICS 113 INDIA 255 AUSTRALIA 280 6
  7. 7. High awareness of employer brand’s impact
  8. 8. Talent acquisition (TA) leaders are highly aware that employer branding is critical to hiring success 83% Agree that employer brand has significant impact on ability to hire great talent 8
  9. 9. Large organizations lead the way in prioritizing employer brand, but smaller companies are catching on Prioritization of employer brand Top 3 long-term trends in recruiting (by company size) professionals (by company size) < 500 Employees 67% < 1,000 Employees 501-1,000 Employees 70% 1. Utilizing social and professional networks 2. Upgrading employer branding 3. Finding better ways to source passive candidates 1,000-10,000 Employees 67% > 10,000 Employees 78% > 1,000 Employees 1. Utilizing social and professional networks 69% Agree that employer 2. Finding better ways to source passive candidates brand is a top priority 3. Upgrading employer branding for their organization 9
  10. 10. Employer branding is a top priority for companies worldwide TA leaders who agree employer brand is a top priority (by country) 69% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL SPAIN INDIA ITALY 77% 75% 75% 74% 73% 71% 70% 69% 68% 64% 61% 47% Significantly more INDIAN Significantly fewer GERMAN organizations prioritize employer brand organizations prioritize employer brand 10
  11. 11. In fact, employer branding rises to the top, regardless of the question Top choices to attracting Biggest concern is that the best talent competitors will… Top long-lasting trends Utilizing social and professional 1 Competition 1 Invest in their employer brand 1 networks Build and nurture strong talent 2 Compensation 2 2 Upgrading employer branding pools or pipelines Lack of awareness or interest Learn to use social networking and Finding better ways to source 3 3 3 in our employer brand social media more effectively passive candidates 4 Location 4 Improve their candidate experience 4 Boosting referral programs Training recruiters and hiring 5 Recruiting team too small 5 Improve their referral program 5 managers Recruiting team doesn't have the Further invest in their existing 6 6 6 Recruiting globally right tools/systems recruiting tools Lack of awareness that we're 7 7 Invest in new recruiting tools 7 Optimizing your career site hiring Inability to effectively use data to Hire recruiters to strengthen their Measuring quality of hire more 8 8 8 improve our approach team consistently Quality of talent currently at our Negotiate better pricing with 9 9 9 Reducing spend on staffing firms company vendors Improve ways to track quality of Using CRM technology to manage 10 Company performance 10 10 hire talent leads 11
  12. 12. Investing more, with Talent Acquisition often leading
  13. 13. Employer brand investment is rising in 2012, primarily due to a greater awareness of its impact 91% Companies that are spending more or the same on employer brand in 2012 compared to 2011 51% 40% 9% Spending More Spending Same Spending Less Why spend more on employer brand? 1. Increased belief in the impact of employer brand 49% 2. Need to raise general awareness 48% 3. Difficulty recruiting quality candidates 47% 4. Increased competition 37% 5. Difficulty recruiting candidates in specific sectors 32% 13
  14. 14. TA leaders are organizing for success by partnering with Marketing and Communications Who owns employer brand? 39% 22% 15% 14% 10% TA shares ownership TA has primary TA has no TA is a Company doesn’t ownership ownership contributor think about EB Most common departments that own employer brand outside of Talent Acquisition 1. Marketing 2. Corporate Communications 14
  15. 15. Viral channels thought to be highly effective for employer brand delivery
  16. 16. While websites are seen as most effective, viral channels play important role in promoting employer brand Five channels seen as most effective to promote employer brand 78% 56% 46% Company website Word of mouth Social professional networks 38% 34% Social media Traditional job boards 16
  17. 17. Almost half already find social professional networks highly effective for employer branding Organizations that find social professional networks highly effective for promoting employer brand (by country) 46% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY* NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL ITALY* SPAIN INDIA 58% 57% 53% 48% 47% 47% 45% 44% 43% 40% 37% 35% More organizations in FRANCE and Fewer organizations in GERMANY and the CANADA consider social professional NORDICS consider social professional networks to be highly effective networks to be highly effective 17 * Low base size (< 80 respondents)
  18. 18. Disconnect between awareness and action
  19. 19. Despite recognizing its power, many companies don’t take a strategic approach to employer brand 83% Recognize employer brand impact 54% Have a proactive employer brand strategy 53% Understand employer brand strength across different populations 39% Feel they have the resources to succeed 38% Measure employer brand strength relative to competitors for talent 37% Regularly survey new hires to understand employer brand perceptions 35% Prioritize spend on audiences where employer brand relatively weak 32% Regularly survey candidates to understand perceptions 19
  20. 20. Not many say they regularly measure their employer brand in a quantifiable way only one out of three 20
  21. 21. Conclusion We know that talent acquisition leaders around the world understand the importance of employer branding. They're increasing investment—even at a time when doing more with less is the norm—because they see it as a critical foundation for attracting the best hires. However, two-thirds of talent acquisition leaders today admit that they don't consistently and quantifiably measure the health of their employer brands, and almost half say they lack a proactive strategy. Management can't succeed without measurement and focus. In the end, the key opportunity isn't simply to improve awareness of your company as a great place to work, it's to upgrade your strategy: by listening to key audiences and observing how they interact with your employer brand; by assessing how you fare versus your competitors for talent; and by investing differentially in engaging candidate populations where you have the most to gain. This is particularly true in an era in which social platforms have changed the game for where and how identities – both corporate and personal – form and evolve. There was a time when your employer brand consisted of the messaging that your company delivered out into the marketplace and periodically refreshed. Today your messaging is being consumed, supplemented and amplified – or questioned aloud – in real time based on talent’s actual experience with your brand across multiple touch points, including social platforms where prospective talent engages with you on a daily basis. And what often rises to the top now, louder and clearer than your own messaging, is your talent brand – your employer brand as seen through the social lens, incorporating what prospective talent thinks, feels and says about your company as a place to work. The good news is that, thanks to the reams of Big Data that are generated through billions of interactions on social platforms like LinkedIn, it’s easier than previously to assess how you’re really doing . And the companies that effectively assess their talent brands will be able to prioritize spend, shore up areas of weakness, build out competitive advantage, and ultimately engage target talent to greatest effect. 21
  22. 22. “ Today your messaging is being consumed, supplemented and amplified – or “ questioned aloud – in real time based on talent’s actual experience with your brand across multiple touch points.
  23. 23. Appendix
  24. 24. Appendix I: Findings by Country AMERICAS EMEA ASIA PACIFIC  45% of Brazilian TA leaders  France leads the way in gauging stakeholders:  India is the sole country that measure their brands (vs. surveying new hires (46%) and candidates (45%) ranks consistently well above 33% globally,), which is likely are well above the global averages (37% and average on employer brand why they claim to understand 32%, respectively). prioritization, strategic action, employer brand strength and measurement. across populations more often  UK Employer brand prioritization is well above (67% vs. 53% globally). average, as is investment, yet UK TA leaders are average or worse in measuring for success.  Australia is investing in employer branding more  Canada ranks second in citing  Germany has the fewest percentage of TA leaders aggressively than any other effectiveness of professional who consider employer branding a top priority region (61% citing spend social networks for employer (47% vs. 69% globally); TA leads most often (66% increase versus 51% globally), branding (57% vs. 46% co-own or own employer brand vs. 61% globally). yet on all measurement overall), otherwise they are in metrics, Australia is either the middle of the pack in  Spanish TA leaders set a high bar for other average or below average investment and organization. countries in calling the employer brand shots, with compared to other countries. 72% of TA leaders owning or co-owning employer brand, far above the 61% global average.  US TA leaders report above average employer brand  In Italy, acknowledgment of employer brand investment, yet they are significance is on par with other countries, yet its Employer branding winner significantly below average on investment and measurement tend to be well across the board: INDIA measurement (21% survey behind most other countries. candidates vs. 32% overall; 31% survey new hires vs.  Netherlands TA leaders are well below average in 37% overall). terms of investing in employer brand and TA owning it, yet they are more likely to measure employer brand and use viral channels such as online professional networks effectively.  TA leaders in the Nordics lag on most dimensions, except in measuring the health of employer brand (42% vs. 33% globally). 24
  25. 25. Australia and the emerging markets lead the way in doubling down on employer brand Organizations spending more on employer brand in 2012 vs. 2011 (by country) 51% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY* NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL SPAIN* ITALY* INDIA 61% 58% 57% 57% 56% 53% 53% 48% 45% 45% 43% 38% Organizations in AUSTRALIA and Organizations in ITALY and the INDIA increasing spend more NETHERLANDS increasing spend often than the global average less often than the global average 25 * Low base size (< 80 respondents)
  26. 26. There is significant geographic variation in Talent Acquisition’s role in employer branding Organizations where TA has total or shared control of employer brand (by country) 61% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL SPAIN INDIA ITALY 72% 70% 66% 65% 61% 59% 58% 57% 56% 56% 56% 51% TA leaders most empowered to TA leaders significantly less likely to drive employer brand in SPAIN own or co-own employer brand in the and INDIA UK and the NETHERLANDS 26
  27. 27. Emerging markets lead the pack with the most understanding of employer brand strength by population Percentage understanding employer brand strength across different talent populations (by country) 53% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL SPAIN INDIA ITALY 67% 62% 57% 54% 54% 52% 52% 51% 50% 46% 44% 41% INDIA and BRAZIL significantly more likely to understand their employer brand strength across different talent populations 27
  28. 28. There is wide geographic variation in measuring the health of employer brands Quantifiable measurement of employer brand (by country) 33% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL SPAIN INDIA ITALY 50% 45% 42% 35% 33% 32% 32% 30% 29% 23% 22% 20% INDIA and BRAZIL more likely to GERMANY, ITALY, and SPAIN less likely consistently measure employer brand to consistently measure employer brand 28
  29. 29. Most don’t survey new hires to understand employer brand perceptions; wide geographic differences Organizations that regularly survey new hires to understand brand position (by country) 37% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL SPAIN INDIA ITALY 52% 46% 45% 39% 36% 35% 34% 34% 33% 31% 30% 23% More organizations survey new Fewer organizations survey new hires hires in INDIA and FRANCE in the NORDICS and ITALY 29
  30. 30. Even fewer organizations survey candidates; again, wide geographic variance Organizations that regularly survey candidates to understand brand position (by country) 32% GLOBAL AVERAGE UNITED KINGDOM UNITED STATES NETHERLANDS AUSTRALIA GERMANY NORDICS CANADA FRANCE BRAZIL SPAIN INDIA ITALY 45% 45% 39% 36% 34% 32% 31% 28% 26% 25% 25% 21% More organizations survey new Fewer organizations survey candidates in hires in FRANCE and INDIA AUSTRALIA and the UNITED STATES 30
  31. 31. Appendix II: Findings by Industry CONSUMER MARKETING/PR/ HIGH TECH MANUFACTURING GOODS CONSULTING  Consumer Goods TA  Marketing/PR/Consulting  High-tech TA leaders  Manufacturing TA leaders leaders are ahead of the are much more likely to (59% vs. 46% overall) are are just as aware of employer curve, with 72% having have a proactive employer also more likely to use branding’s importance as primary or shared brand strategy (64% vs. newer communication other industries, yet they are ownership of employer 54% overall), and more channels such as online much less likely to make it a brand compared to 61% likely to leverage online professional networks and top organization priority (59% overall. They are also more professional channels such social media, and they are vs. 69% overall). likely to feel they have the as LinkedIn (64% of this above average when it resources needed for group cite effectiveness, vs. comes to regularly success (48% vs. 39% 46% overall). surveying new hires (41% overall). vs. 37% overall). EDUCATION MEDICAL/ FINANCE  Education TA leaders NON-PROFIT HEALTHCARE consider investing in employer branding to be the #1  Non-profit TA leaders cite  More than all other  Finance appears to be competitive threat, more than the effectiveness of social industries, Medical and one of the more strategic any other industry. At the same media more than other Healthcare TA leaders have industries as more time, they tend to over-rely on industries (47% vs. 38% increased investment in respondents (61% vs. 53% company websites (84%) to overall), but they are not yet employer brand due to overall) report a good communicate their brands, capitalizing on other low- higher awareness of its understanding of their resulting in missed cost ‘passive candidate’ impact. Yet, the industry is employer brand across opportunities to engage with channels such as online below average in surveying talent populations, likely due passive talent. Education TA professional networks (34% new hires (29% vs. 37% to better measurement: 46% leaders in particular have not vs. 46% overall). overall) and surveying of Finance TA leaders yet fully realized the potential of candidates (24% vs. 32% quantifiably measure their professional and social overall). employer brands versus networks. 33% overall. 31
  32. 32. Appendix III: Findings by Company Size 1. AWARENESS 2. INVESTMENT & 3. DELIVERY 4. STRATEGY & ORGANIZATION MEASUREMENT  Employer brand is more  TA leaders are larger  54% of larger companies  Larger companies are top of mind as companies are more consider channels such as much likelier to have an organizations grow in size; involved in employer LinkedIn effective (vs. 47% employer branding 78% of TA leaders at large brand, with 67% owning or smaller) and 47% cite strategy (68% vs. 54% companies consider co-owning it compared to social media as effective overall and 49% for small employer branding a top 51% for the smallest (vs. 38% smaller). companies.) priority (vs. 67% for the companies and 61% smallest companies and overall.  Smaller companies still  Larger companies (51%) 69% overall). tend to rely more heavily regularly measure  Those from smaller on word-of-mouth (62% employer brand relative to  TA leaders at smaller companies report investing small vs. 49% large), likely competitors, significantly companies recognize more in 2012 due to the an due to more limited more than smaller employer brand’s long-term increase in hiring, while resources. companies do (34%). importance; they rank it those from larger one of the most essential companies are investing  Larger companies (45%) and long-term trends in the more due to a greater prioritize employer brand industry, even higher than awareness of employer spend on audiences where TA leaders at larger branding’s impact. their brand is weaker, companies. significantly more than smaller companies do (29%). Large companies are ahead, but SMALLER ORGANIZATIONS are not far behind 32
  33. 33. About This Survey About LinkedIn The third annual LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Survey Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world’s was conducted online between May 2012 and July 2012. professionals to make them more productive and successful. Recruiting professionals with a LinkedIn profile who opted in With more than 175 million members worldwide, including to participate in research studies were sent an email executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the invitation to participate. In order to qualify, respondents had world’s largest professional network on the Internet. LinkedIn to focus solely or primarily on recruitment in a corporate offers a full range of solutions to help organizations of all HR/recruiting setting, and have at least some budget sizes find, engage and attract the best talent. 85 percent of authority. Respondents represented an even mix of small, the Fortune 100 use LinkedIn Talent Solutions. mid-size and large companies. 3,028 corporate respondents qualified and successfully completed the questionnaire. Global statistics are reported as un-weighted averages of corporate recruiter responses from the following countries: Additional Resources Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nordics (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland), For employer branding best practices from industry leaders, Spain, UK, & US. go to: For more information about this survey, please email: For a new way to measure your talent brand, see To stay up to date on the latest research and insights from 1. 2011 research on job-seeking behavior. For more LinkedIn, follow @hireonlinkedin on Twitter and subscribe details see to our blog: Copyright © 2012 LinkedIn Corporation. LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, and InMail are registered trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands and names are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. 33