Article | Employer Branding - the art of attracting the very best

Article | Employer Branding - the art of attracting the very best

My job title - Head of Brand & Attraction - often piques people’s interest and usually prompts the question: So, are you responsible for finding Sky attractive people? Which then leads me to explain what I do to attract the very best people to come work at Sky through 'employer branding'. Then I’m usually asked: What is 'employer branding?' In short, it represents an employer’s reputation as a place to work and the promises they make to their employees in exchange for their talents. 

The value of an employer brand and reputation is recognised and practised by companies around the world to varying degrees and has been around for years. In the past, it was often viewed as an extension of general marketing, with the same principles and practices of promoting products, applied across the board, to attract talent. 

In the old days, little budget was allotted to making a distinction between the company’s image as a product/service provider and that of an employer that prides itself on successfully delivering promises to their employees.

Despite the similarities in marketing, what compels people to buy a product or service differs greatly from what drives a person to apply for a job and eventually take up an offer. The very best of the best know the importance of investing in their employer brand, and to treat it as a completely separate entity to general marketing. 

This niche area of talent attraction has come a long way, with companies creating whole new teams devoted to employer branding and investing large amounts to attract top talent. For example, this is my team at Sky dedicated to doing so:

Why invest in Employer Branding?

96% of companies believe that a strong employer brand and an employer’s reputation can have a positive or negative impact on revenue.

According to a study carried out by Harvard Business Review, companies with a poor employer brand can cost a company 10% more per hire. Nowadays, job seekers can research a company with great ease on trusted websites such as Glassdoor to view a prospect employers reputation and as a result may not pursue a role there. In fact, according to a recent Glassdoor survey conducted by Harris Poll, 85% of job seekers view a company’s reputation as a crucial factor when deciding to apply for a position.

On the plus side, having a solid employer brand in place can reduce turnover rates by 28%, cut your cost-per-hire by half, and increase the quality of candidates who apply for roles by 50% (LinkedIn).

The numbers speak volumes: if you want your company to succeed, you need to invest in a robust employer brand that will attract the very best talent. In today’s competitive landscape, employers need to be proactive in their efforts to draw in the crème de la crème. Gone are the days where employees spend the entirety of their career invested in one organisation.

With millennials making up the largest workforce segment, those days are well and truly over. Now, when deciding which companies to apply for, 84% of job seekers feel that a company’s reputation as an employer is crucial (TalentNow). 

refresh to stay relevant today, and tomorrow.

Keeping our employer branding fresh and relevant is a priority for us, which is why we decided to refresh our Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that forms part of our employer brand. After hundreds of hours of research uncovering real Sky stories and perceptions of us from employees and non-employees, speaking to internal and external focus groups, as well as examining thousands of survey responses, we used this data to shape our new EVP - that can be summed up by our tagline: A job you love to talk about

Here is a video we created in-house that illustrates why Sky is, an awesome place to work from the people that know it best, (you may even see some of your favourite Sky Original shows featured!)

That’s why we at Sky take our reputation seriously. We invest in our employer brand to ensure we are on point with our promises to our current employees, and for those to come. We have put forth great efforts to build our Brand and Attraction team to help in this pursuit. 

Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing 

So, what is the difference between Employer Branding and Recruitment Marketing? Most people often interchange the terms, thinking they’re the same. They are not. There is a broad distinction between the two.

An 'employer brand' is the image a company wants to convey, the values the business holds and the emotions that people connect with it, but also includes their promise (or Employee Value Proposition) to employees in exchange for their talents. 

In contrast, 'recruitment marketing' is about the marketing methods and strategies used to showcase the employer brand. It’s how the employer brand is pushed through various channels such as the company’s career site, job sites, social media channels and other external platforms that drive interest to a company and build a talent pool of high-quality job applicants. 

Here at Sky, we see the importance of both employer branding and recruitment marketing, which is why we have a team that focuses on managing our employer brand, and one that focuses purely on attraction which is recruitment marketing, both of which are led by me. Each teams’ unique set of strategies and capabilities feed off each other, creating a synergy that allows us to attract brilliant people to work with us.

As our EVP is the balance of rewards and benefits to our people in return for their performance, it’s crucial that our proposition is one that reflects the people currently in the organisation. It’s best practice to refresh your EVP every three to four years, to communicate a message that’s always current and true of your organisation, especially as people come and go from companies, resulting in a shift of employee needs and expectations. 

Keeping your finger on the pulse to engage and retain current employees, whilst creating innovative campaigns to attract top talent, calls for curious and creative thinking balanced with a sharp mind that can connect the dots to see the broader picture. As a guardian of our employer brand, I can hand on heart say: there’s always an exciting challenge I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.

by Keeran Gunnoo, Attraction Optimiser & Digital Disruptor