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Four Stages of Employer Brand Maturity

25 Apr 2023 by Maria Kotaniemi

Do you know which employer brand maturity stage your organization is currently at? If not, this article will help you pinpoint where you are and what actions to take to level up.

Employer branding is to affect how current and potential employees perceive your company as an employer and how the company is promoted to prospective employees. Organizations who prioritize employer branding in their strategy enjoy better retention rates and lower hiring costs, and gain more brand visibility and inbound candidates. According to a study by Glassdoor, investing in employer branding reduces employee turnover by as much as 28% and cost per hire by 50%. When attracting new employees, 82% of job seekers consider the employer’s brand and reputation before applying to a job.

Let’s next go through the four stages of employer brand maturity.

1 Beginner

Companies at the lowest employer brand maturity stage have never thought about or not yet activated or tried an employer branding strategy. This is typical for new and young organizations who have no resources for employer branding and recruitment marketing. It’s difficult to recruit new employees as the company is new and unknown, hence headcount growth is driven by outbound recruitment.

At this stage companies might need external help to get started and build their employer brand systematically. Once the foundation (employer value proposition, early-stage employer brand strategy, career pages) is built, the focus can be set on topics the company sees as priorities. Starting small is ok. Focusing on low-cost plan, setting KPIs, committing and implementing to see the impact will get the wheels turning and the excitement levels up.

2 Basic

At the basic employer brand maturity stage, companies – quite obviously – have the basics in line: recruitment process, a career site, occasional social media presence. However, employer branding related activities are only someone’s side job. These organizations’ employer branding has started to take shape and the management understands that they’ll face recruitment or attraction difficulties without an employer brand.

Organizations at this stage often focus on pushing job postings out as widely as possible to get attraction and inbound. However, they only get very little inbound. Furthermore, being able to attract potential candidates from the industry the business operates in but not from other industries is characteristic for the companies at the basic employer brand maturity stage.

To level up their employer brand maturity, companies need to set higher goals, plan how to achieve them, and preferably have a dedicated full-time employee to carry out the plan. Measuring is important to be able to show the management how ROI is moving either up or down.

3 Advanced

Organizations with advanced employer brand maturity know how to drive their employer branding, and typically have all the following in line: job boards, career site, occasional employer branding content (e.g. communicating EVP and benefits, career stories, culture). Furthermore, there’s usually one employee who’s dedicated to driving employer branding forward, and recruiting is on board and aligned with employer branding. Companies at this employer brand maturity stage are able to attract candidates from and outside their own industry. The challenge for companies at this stage is the lack of resources – more hands are needed on deck.

To level up, the next step would be to build an employer branding team or utilize employer branding consultants. This will help enhance brand consistency and systematic workflows, and carry out more strategic and or tactical activities to drive continuous inbound. It’s also time to get marketing involved and aligned with employer branding.

4 Expert

At the highest employer brand maturity stage, employer branding is fully aligned within the company: Employer branding is part of the future vision for the business and it is used as a competitive advantage. There are named resources for employer branding, employer value proposition (EVP) is communicated to internal and external audiences, and employer branding is embedded in every aspect of hiring.

Next, the focus needs to be set on employee experience and employer brand ambassadorship to succeed in the talent competition. Also growing and or up-skilling the employer branding team and gaining more synergies between employer branding, HR, recruiting and marketing will help develop employer branding work and keep up the good work.


Level up your employer brand maturity

Talented helps organizations to level up their employer branding maturity and to attract and retain the hard-to-get IT talents. We work with organizations from all maturity stages and are equipped to utilize our expertise in any industry, from local to global organizations. Get to know our services and let’s get you to the next level!

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In the future, every company will be a software company. To prosper in the digital future, winning the talent war is a paramount. That means succeeding across the entire employee lifecycle – attracting, recruiting and retaining the best IT professionals. Talented helps organizations to do just that through Talent Acquisition, Employer Branding and building winning Employee Experiences.

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