The Recruiting Animal show today had some discussion around the importance of employer branding.
And it got me thinking. Exactly how important is this to job seekers?
I get that promoting a certain brand/image is important to consumers, and to build customers and make lots and lots of money. But what about those looking for work? How does it fit into their job search?
I remember a few years ago I was working as a callcentre and customer service recruitment consultant, primarily on the temp side, but I also did some perm business there too. When recruiting for top Australian telecommunications companies, it was very important for the client to get their branding out there, to attract customers and employees alike. One of the companies has a branding strategy similar to TELUS in Canada, while another has a fun-loving and carefree brand, like Sir Richard Branson's Virgin empire.
When recruiting for these roles, employer brand was a key sell to the candidate. The brand promoted a certain culture, and further career opportunities that, to a call centre agent, was very important.
Fast forward to my first few months at Sapphire Australia. I learnt very quickly that in the eyes of IT professionals, that employer branding holds less weight to a position, than, say the kind of infrastructure that keeps a company running. UNIX or Windows? Virtual servers or traditional? Wireless networks? Cool. Oh, and... who is the company again by the way?
Even when I was recruiting at a well known Canadian airline, I found that the technical candidates I spoke to were less concerned with the brand and culture, and more interested in the value they could add on a technical level. On the flip side, the customer service representatives, and ground crew were more interested in being a part of a company that rewarded loyalty, and promoted a positive culture from what they "saw on the ads."
In my humble opinion, I think, from the eyes of job seekers, employer branding is important, but it's importance is dependent on the candidate, and the job itself.
What do you think?