WilsonHCG released the third annual Fortune 500 Top 100 Employment Brands report at the beginning of February. The report assesses the employer branding strategies of Fortune 500 companies against thirty benchmarks, which are categorized into six categories: career pages, job boards, employee reviews and candidate engagement, accolades, recruitment marketing, and corporate social responsibility. Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and AT&T were among the top companies recognized because they care about prioritizing these six aspects of employment branding.
As job seekers, it’s beneficial to evaluate the employment brands of the organizations you are applying for because it paints a picture of what you can expect from them as a future employer. The top-ranked companies are leading the charge with CSR, have a reputation for providing a great candidate experience, and have made an effort to offer a consistent, transparent, and engaging employer brand. Continue reading as we dissect each category of the report, specify why each is crucial for a successful employer brand, and how these impact your candidate experience and employment.
While seeking a new role, one of your first strategies should be reviewing popular job boards. The top 100 companies know the importance of job boards for leveraging their employer brand because this is typically a candidate's first exposure point to a company’s employer brand. If the organization has an effective strategy in place, they will likely use job boards for building a positive employer brand reputation. LinkedIn's 2017 Top Recruiting Trends report found that the top three sources for quality hires are employee referrals (48 percent), third-party websites and online job boards (46 percent) followed by social, professional networks (40 percent). As a job seeker, you want to ensure you are checking job boards as leading companies are expecting to meet quality talent there and it's a perfect way to get a quick glimpse into an oganization's culture!
After investigating opportunities on job boards, your next step should be to further research specific companies via their company website and career page. LinkedIn's 2016 Employer Brand Statistics found that the main obstacle candidates experience while on the job search is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization. Thankfully, the companies ranked in the 2017 Employment Branding report aim to reduce this issue. Company websites should be transparent and engaging, offering information about their corporate culture, mission and vision, perks and benefits, and insight into their recruitment process. An effective employer brand will convey this information through their website to give you a realistic idea of what working for their organization will be like.
If you’re still struggling to get a grasp on what it's like to work for a certain company or if you’re simply seeking consistency across different channels, then research relevant ratings and reviews through sites like Glassdoor. Human Resources Today found that 76 percent of applicants researched companies on LinkedIn by looking at employee profiles. The previously mentioned LinkedIn report supports that statistic, finding that candidates trust employees three times more than the company itself to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there. Online reviews are a great resource to see what previous candidates or current employees experience first hand, but you have to keep the nature of online reviews in mind. In using employee profiles and online review sites, you should be able to gain insight into the company culture, employer brand, and overall candidate experience.
Corporate awards give you a sense of who the industry leaders are and which companies are reliable. They prove that the company received recognition for their kept promises and successful achievements, which builds credibility for their brand. It means you can trust claims, such as having a “stellar company culture,” because they’ve been consistent and effective in building that reputation enough to be noticed by credible third parties. Keep this in mind when narrowing down your opportunities, because pursuing organizations who have had their achievements validated is strategic for a sustainable career move.
Organizations leverage recruitment marketing as a tactic to find and engage prospective talent, and as a candidate, you can benefit from this strategy too! According to the LinkedIn Employment Brand report, 68 percent of talent acquisition leaders agree that social, professional networks are one of the most effective tools for spreading employer brand awareness. The top three companies ranked in the report effectively nurture their talent pool by offering corporate and career-specific social media accounts, blogs, and talent communities. Explore these platforms to see the extent of their social engagement, what content is being shared, and watch video testimonies from real employees – you’ll have a better idea of what it is like to work for the company.
As prospective candidates, you want to make sure to join a company that cares about your values. Millennials are highly motivated when they feel their work is making a real, positive impact. But whether or not you are grouped into the millennial generation, you have probably developed an appreciation for CSR initiatives or have at least noticed the trends toward company’s engaging in improving their social and environmental impact. The stance that companies take regarding diversity and their contribution to its community and environment are critical to the company’s reputation. When browsing companies with high-quality employment brands, expect CSR initiatives to be a part of the mix. The Edelman 2016 Trust Barometer found that 80 percent of businesses agree that they must play a role in addressing societal issues.
The overriding takeaway from the 2017 Employment Branding report is to find a clear and consistent employer brand across all of these channels while conducting your job search. Each category provides a different lens into an employment brand, and overall, they should come together to provide a positive and comprehensive brand perception. If you’re looking for employment and desire an organization that aligns with your values, click below to download the WilsonHCG report and discover which companies are highly ranked in employment branding.
Lexie Murdough is the marketing intern with WilsonHCG. She received her Bachelors in Marketing from the University of Tampa, and recently joined the marketing team after spending seven months interning on the recruitment side of WilsonHCG. She is a graduate student at UT pursuing her MBA, and her passions include traveling, skydiving, spending a day at the beach, and unconditionally loving her cat, Luna.