Several years ago, I plugged in a simple search for “employer brand” on LinkedIn. At that time, I recall there were approximately 300 people listed in the search results. Today, that same search produced over 144,216 people! It’s exciting to watch the surge in interest, the growth of a profession, and the focus on such important work. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a number of calls with individuals new to or interested in employer branding.
With more than 20 years of talent acquisition, employer branding, and employee communications experience, I am happy to talk shop and mentor professionals new to the field. One question often asked is: what other resources should I read or check out? I’ll start by saying, there is noise, confusion, and differences of opinion in the employer brand space. The industry itself is still growing, which means there isn’t a unified set of standards defining employer brand and employer value proposition. That means a great deal of digging to find valuable, meaningful resources.
Let’s try to cut through the clutter.
A great place to start is by reading “Understanding Culture, EVP and Employer Brand.” This online storybook produced by exaqueo, is the clearest of introductions to the basics, and is great for explaining to other stakeholders in your organization too. For proper history, “The Employer Brand,” Journal of Brand Management, 1996, by Tim Ambler and Simon Barrow is an essential read. While the term “employer brand” has been around since the mid-90s (thanks to Barrow), it wasn’t until 2007-2009, in the U.S., that a few organizations stood out as early adopters and recruitment marketing agencies started gaining popularity.
By 2013, employer brand as a profession was on its way to the mainstream. Today, employer brand is a hot job and sought after profession. It’s seen as the strategic foundation for candidate and employee experiences. Whether you’re an employer brand pioneer or rookie, here are articles designed to educate, books to deepen your understanding, podcasts to tune into, and websites to help you stay on top of this growing, evolving field. (<< Click to Tweet!)
First, Here Are Several Resources to Get the Basics Down
“Employer Branding for Dummies,” Richard Mosley and Lars Schmidt, Wiley, 2017
“Brand from the Inside, Eight Essentials to Emotionally Connect Your Employees to Your Business,” Libby Sartain and Mark Schumann, Jossey-Bass, 2006
"The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design," Marty Neumeier, New Riders, 2006
"Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team," Alina Wheeler, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009
“Branding for Influence”, CEB (now Gartner), on SlideShare, 2014
Why Research Will Define Your Employer Brand Success, Podcast, LinkHumans, 2018
Next, Expand Your Sphere of Knowledge
“The Power of Moments, Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact,” Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Simon & Schuster, 2017
“Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World,” Gary Vaynerchuk, HarperBusiness, 2013
“Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It,” Peter Cappelli, Wharton Digital Press, 2012
“Employee Engagement Depends on What Happens Outside of the Office,” Harvard Business Review, 2015
“Kate Zimberg (T-Mobile) and Susan LaMotte (exaqueo) on In the Workplace,” Wharton Business Radio, 2018
Once You’re On the Right Track, Keep Upskilling
“6 Tips for Creating Great Employer Brand Content,” Workology, 2016
“Why Showcasing Employee Stories Is Good for Your Employer Brand,” Forbes, 2018
Stay Up-To-Date on the Latest Insights
exaqueo blog: We eat, sleep, breathe, write, and share employer brand content
EBrandCon blog: It’s a conference that just keeps on giving through their blog
Talent Board: Insights on the candidate experience which is a subset of your employer brand
Say “Yes” to Learning from Non-HR Sources
AdAge: Get outside the recruitment bubble and be inspired by the world’s advertising
Poppulo: An internal communications blog that will educate your EB approach
Still hungry for more? We believe in the open sharing of resources. Visit exaqueo’s Community page to find upcoming industry events and links to several online networking groups. If you have a resource that you’d like us to add, please submit it via our website. Together, we can learn and grow in our chosen profession.
Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is an Engagement Director and Principal Employer Brand Strategist for exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting, and creative and digital execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruitment strategy offerings.