Is employer branding a marketing or HR function?

Mirrored ceiling of an office in wave effect

Employer branding has become a key focus for many organizations, as they increasingly realize that the external values and ethics they advertise on behalf of the company need to be believed and demonstrated by their employees.

What is your employer brand?

An employer brand is the internal culture a company creates, how they relate to the company's brand values and how employees demonstrate these values both internally and externally.

The importance of employer branding in organizations

As competition for top talent increases, organizations need to realize the importance of a strong employer brand and the benefits it creates when recruiting.

Some benefits of building a positive employer brand include:

  • Attracting and retaining top talent
  • Increased financial performance
  • Increased motivation and engagement of employees
  • Becoming an ‘employer of choice’ - job-seekers are increasingly looking for companies that offer more than salary increases

Role of marketing in building the employer brand

It is the role of a company’s marketing department to deliver consistent brand messages to all internal and external stakeholders.

Marketing should have a thorough understanding of a company’s brand, what it means and how it should be communicated. A brand needs to start from the inside out and it is for this reason many marketers believe that the employee brand needs to sit under the marketing umbrella.

Role of HR in building the employer brand

HR is the face of a company’s recruitment process and is often the first impression new employees have with your company. HR also sets company policies that are closely aligned to the organization’s values. This gives some HR professionals reason to believe employer branding should sit under the responsibility of the HR function.

There are various elements to an employer brand and understanding these means that it doesn’t belong to a single function. Employer branding is not a duty of just marketing or HR.

Both functions have the skills and capabilities to deliver certain elements of the employer brand and they should work together to create a unified strategy. Marketing and HR also need to work together to get a third integral element in place - a company’s CEO and leadership team. Having leadership visibility strengthens a company’s employer brand. 

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