How to Map Your Competitors’ Brand Positioning for Your Employer Brand Strategy

By Richard Mosley

In addition to assessing where and how your competitors are communicating their employer brand, you should also assess what their key messages are. In brand speak, this is described as positioning — how companies position themselves in the minds of potential recruits. Here’s an excellent approach to mapping your competitors’ brand positioning:

  1. List the taglines and headlines featured across each competitor’s main career site pages (home page, “Why join?” page, or equivalent, and so forth), social home pages, and any recruitment campaign materials you can get your hands on through a Google search.
  2. Mark which of the following positioning categories these messages fall into (some messages may fall into more than one category):
    • Purpose: Company mission, customer value, social responsibility
    • Teamwork: Team spirit, friendliness, diversity, inclusion
    • Empowerment: Autonomy, making a difference, flexible working arrangements
    • Innovation: Scope for fresh ideas, entrepreneurialism, creativity
    • Learning: Training and development, supportive managers, expertise
    • Career: Advancement opportunities, leadership opportunities, job mobility
    • Performance: Results orientation, quality focus, commitment to excellence
    • Status: Global scale, market success, attractive products and services
  3. Complete the position grid below by writing the number of messages that fall into each category for each of your competitors.
    Employer Brand Position Grid
    Positioning category Company A Company B Company C
    Purpose
    Teamwork
    Empowerment
    Innovation
    Learning
    Career
    Performance
    Status
  4. Highlight the primary positioning category for each employer — the key message each employer highlights above all others.

    This may be the employer’s core tagline (if it has one), the main headline on its career home page, or simply the predominant impression you get from reading its career-related copy.