How to Evaluate the Strength of Your Organization’s Employer Brand Image

By Richard Mosley

Your employer brand image is the idea that people form in their minds when they think of your organization as an employer. Evaluating this image is important, because it will help you to understand why potential candidates consider or choose to work for your organization or one that’s competing against you for that same talent.

To evaluate the strength of your organization’s employer brand image, you need to measure the degree to which your key target audiences associate you with the kind of attributes people generally consider important when judging the relative attractiveness of employers. As for awareness, consideration, and preference, you can include this question in an applicant survey. Or, for a more robust analysis of the wider potential target population, you can use a specialized research provider.

To provide some indication of the kind of image attributes you may wish to consider, Universum uses the following standard attribute framework for the measurement of employer brand image:

  • Corporate image attributes
    • Attractive/exciting products and services
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Corporate transparency
    • Ethical standards
    • Fast-growing/entrepreneurial
    • Innovation
    • Inspiring leadership
    • Inspiring purpose
    • Market success
    • Prestige
  • People and culture
    • A creative and dynamic work environment
    • A friendly work environment
    • Commitment to diversity and inclusion
    • Enabling me to integrate personal interests in my schedule
    • Interaction with international clients and colleagues
    • Leaders who will support my development
    • Recognizing performance (meritocracy)
    • Recruiting only the best talent
    • Respect for its people
    • Support for gender equality
  • Job characteristics
    • Challenging work
    • Customer focus
    • Flexible working conditions
    • High level of responsibility
    • High performance focus
    • Opportunities for international travel/relocation
    • Professional training and development
    • Secure employment
    • Team-oriented work
    • Variety of assignments
  • Remuneration and advancement opportunities
    • Clear path for advancement
    • Competitive base salary
    • Competitive benefits
    • Good reference for future career
    • High future earnings
    • Leadership opportunities
    • Overtime pay/compensation
    • Performance-related bonus
    • Rapid promotion
    • Sponsorship of future education

Results from this image survey enable you to clarify how you’re perceived as a potential employer and the degree to which you’re associated with attributes that are most attractive to your target audiences. The key findings to focus on are

  • Distinctive strengths: Where do you outperform in relation to the industry norm and key competitors? These image dimensions represent your current external brand differentiators.
  • Comparative strengths: Where do you perform in line with your industry and key competitors?
  • Key weaknesses: On which dimensions of highest appeal to your target audience do you rate poorly compared to your key competitors?
  • Reputation versus reality: Where do external perceptions differ most from your internal survey findings?

Humans have a tendency to discount the reasons for failure, and this applies to employer branding, as well. If a former employee posts a negative review of the company, you may be inclined to blame the employee instead of trying to understand why the employee was so disappointed in the company to post the review. The same can happen with marketing activities that fail to deliver what’s expected of them. Don’t discount them. Don’t bury them. Learn from them, and you’ll soon become a much more effective employer brand manager as a result.