Leading companies are increasingly using the techniques of corporate brand building to attract and retain the best employees, according to a study from The Conference Board. “Employer branding” is being used by approximately 40 percent of survey respondents, with many companies developing separate, dedicated employer branding programs to connect employees with the organization’s vision and values.

“The challenge to employers is not only to make potential employees aware of the company as a good place to work and bring the best applicants successfully through the recruitment and hiring process, but to retain them and ensure their understanding of the company’s goals and commitment to them,” says David Dell, research director of The Conference Board’s capabilities management and human resources strategies area.

Although the “employer of choice” concept emphasizes improvement of recruitment and retention, true employer branding goes farther, the Board says, to motivation and securing employees’ alignment with the vision and the values of the company. Ultimately, employer branding can be a stimulus to improvement of all the people-related processes.

Other findings:

  • Employer branding may be especially important for companies that face difficulties in establishing strong brand images—perhaps, because their products or services are sold to other companies and lose much of their brand identity before reaching end users. 
  • New communication media such as the Internet and intranets are an emerging force in branding efforts, but more traditional channels-print and face-to-face meetings-are still in the lead and are highly rated for effectiveness. 
  • Measurement of branding effectiveness is lagging. Only about one-fifth of surveyed executives said their organizations had metrics for the impact of branding efforts.