Employer branding

The struggle for skilled workers has made the labour market more and more of an applicant market. As a result, there are not more applicants looking for a job, but companies have to make an effort to attract qualified applicants. How the employer presents itself to the outside world plays an important role in this. The right tool for optimising the external image is called employer branding.

Employer branding - a definition

Employer branding simply means that companies become an "employer brand". The principle of branding is thereby transferred from marketing to the company as an employer. As a result, companies assume that suitable talents no longer automatically apply for a job in the company, but that companies must actively advertise their positive role as an attractive employer or present it to the outside world. This is also the primary goal of employer branding: Brand positioning as an attractive employer. However, this is not simply about a nice coat of paint, but above all about credibility and distinctiveness.

The benefits of employer branding for recruiting

If you want to find out why employer branding is indispensable for companies, you can use a simple comparison. Imagine you go to the supermarket and have to decide between ten different brands of jam. You will include many different aspects that ultimately lead to the purchase. It is not only about the price.

Nor is salary alone the decisive criterion for workers to choose an employer. If companies manage to present themselves successfully as an employer brand, they can benefit from the following advantages when hiring:

  • Application processes are shorter because applicants decide more quickly.
  • There are more applications for a job because applicants find the company more attractive as an employer than others.
  • The sharper profile as an employer increases the chance of suitable matches between applicants and companies.
  • Companies find it easier to recruit new workers and thus ensure productivity, innovation and growth.

Employer branding also has a positive effect internally. If employees can identify better with the company, employee satisfaction increases and employee loyalty is strengthened. Higher satisfaction reduces fluctuation and thus ensures consistently high productivity.

Employer branding: measures for building an employer brand

Successful employer branding is characterised by meeting the needs of the target group and reaching the target group in the first place. The first step is for companies to think more about what kind of professionals the company wants to attract.

The demands of Generation X, for example, are clearly different from the values represented by Generation Y. While some still focus on salary, for others a successful work-life balance or employee benefits play a greater role than pay.

It is important for all employer branding measures that the company remains true to itself. A change process of the entire corporate culture, the corporate identity, can precede employer branding.

The most important steps in building an employer brand are:

  1. Determining the status quo: How is the company perceived from the outside? How do employees perceive the company as an employer?
  2. Identify the company's USPs: What makes the company attractive as an employer? How does the company differ from the competition?
  3. Developing a corporate identity and deriving the core values as an employer: What values does the company want to represent? How does the company want to appear to the outside world?
  4. Definition of target groups: Which potential employees does the company want to reach as an employer? Who should contribute to the promotion of the corporate culture?

Once the brand essence as an employer has been found, it can be played out via all available channels. In addition to the careers page on the company's website, social media can also be used to present the company as an employer. The channels selected depend on the target group. It makes little sense to address younger employees through classic job advertisements in the newspaper. Employer branding should rather consider other formats and use social media such as Instagram or other platforms for external presentation and contacting the target group.

It is important in all measures that companies appear authentic as employers. Therefore, the identified values as an employer must also be lived. If you communicate a corporate culture with flat hierarchies to the outside world, you must not rely on strictly hierarchical structures within the company.

Employee benefits as an important part of employer branding

The values that an employer represents as a brand should not remain mere lip service. If authenticity is lacking, new employees are likely to leave shortly after onboarding.

A simple method to make employer branding tangible is employee benefits. They can be directly related to the corporate identity.


  • Mobility budget: This form of incentivisation lends itself to companies that present themselves as modern and sustainable. They leave it up to their employees to choose which means of transport they ultimately use their employee benefit for.
  • Flexible working time arrangements: Whether home office or trust-based work, with flexible working time arrangements companies create important incentives, especially for younger professionals of Generation Y, to cultivate an individual lifestyle focused on balance.
  • Further training opportunities: Through training, companies offer employees the opportunity to grow professionally and personally. This is another way in which companies can score points with the younger generation.
  • Childcare: If you present yourself as a family-friendly company to the outside world, you should take employer branding seriously and support your employees in the area of childcare with subsidies or even a company crèche.
  • Free choice of workplace: If it is part of building the employer brand to dispense with strict hierarchies, the free choice of workplace is a sensible measure.

Employer branding is a process

Just like brand building, brand management is also part of branding. Employer branding is therefore not a one-off action, but a continuous process that companies go through. They have the opportunity to better and better define their identity and thus become an unmistakable employer brand for future applicants and employees. And to become an employer where everyone likes to work and wants to work.

Circula supports you on your way to becoming an employer brand with the implementation of truly attractive employee benefits.

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