Employer Branding 101: Why, How and Proven ROI - Glassdoor for Employers

Employer Guide

Employer Branding 101: Why, How and Proven ROI

Glassdoor Employer Center Guide

What You'll Learn

  • Why a powerful employer brand gives your organization measurable advantages
  • How to build a great employer brand in 7 straightforward steps
  • What benchmarks to set for tracking the growth of your employer brand
  • First steps for getting started with employer branding
  • How Glassdoor is a powerful tool for shaping your employer brand

Employer branding is the foundation of an effective recruiting strategy that can make a significant difference in winning the war for talent. Smart companies think about their employer brands all the time, not just when the labor market is tough.

An authentic, well-defined employer brand is essential to recruiting and retaining quality talent in any market whether booming or receding. In a booming market, the competition for top talent is fierce and therefore companies must set themselves apart from the competition so they win out when making offers to candidates and hold on to the great talent they already have. In a recession, the talent pool is bigger so it’s crucial for your business to be proactive about nurturing and maintaining a great reputation as a place to work so you draw the savviest of job seekers.

Did you know 86% of applicants are likely to research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job?1

Organizations that invest in employer branding are not only a step ahead of their competition in attracting talent, they tend to be ahead in other key business areas as well.


What Is Employer Branding?

Your business probably already has a well-developed corporate brand to promote its products and services to customers. It needs an equally well-developed employer brand to promote itself to current and future employees.


A company’s culture – the glue that binds the organization – includes its values, vision, mission statement, working language, systems, beliefs, and habits. The pattern of collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new hires as a way of perceiving, thinking, and feeling about the company is also part of the culture. Company culture affects the way that people and groups interact with one another, with clients, and with stakeholders.

Employee opinions

Employees’ opinions about your company reach far beyond its doors, especially when they share their views and work photos on public forums such as Glassdoor, Facebook and
Twitter. Your employees’ opinions matter because they can help you attract the candidates you’re trying to reach and also make improvements inside your organization.

Candidate opinions

First impressions are everything. In fact, your employer brand starts taking shape during an initial job interview. If a candidate’s experience is negative, or if your onboarding process has holes in it, then your reputation can suffer. If your human resources team comes across as disorganized, arrogant, or unresponsive, interviewees will form negative impressions of your company. They may share those negative opinions, which may discourage other candidates from wanting to work for you.

Corporate brand

A company’s employer brand aligns directly with its corporate strategy. Consumers want to know that they’re buying goods and services from companies that treat their employees well. Recently, several companies have hurt their reputations by not paying their employees fair wages or by denying them health care coverage.


The Benefits of a Strong Employer Brand

Research shows that organizations that prioritize employer brand benefit in many ways, including seven key ways:

Strong employer brands stand out from competitors.

Defining your employer brand gives you a chance to define what makes your company special compared with others that job seekers may be considering. Strengthening your employer brand is a priority for the most effective hiring organizations – and for good reason. Stand out from the competition by signing up for a Glassdoor Enhanced Profile and branding your company page. Add dynamic videos and photos that demonstrate why talent should choose you over your competitors.

By the Numbers

Glassdoor job seekers who saw one company’s brand 10+ times were 5x more likely to apply than those who saw it once.2
of Glassdoor users are more likely to respond to a recruiter from a company that they recognize than from a company they don’t recognize.3
of Glassdoor users agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review.4

Want to take it a step further? With an Enhanced Profile you can remove competitor ads from your own profile and target competitors’ profiles with your open positions. You can also benchmark your profile traffic, candidate demographics, employee and interview rating trends and more to see how you stack up against the competition.

Employer branding attracts high-quality, informed candidates.

If candidate quality is high on your list of concerns, you’re not alone. Three in four hiring decision makers say attracting high-quality, informed candidates is their number one challenge.5 The good news is that boosting your employer branding efforts can have an immediate positive impact on attracting informed candidates.

By the Numbers

Candidates are almost twice as likely to apply when a job highlights an employer’s branded content.6
4 in 5 Glassdoor users are more likely to apply to an open job if the employer is active on Glassdoor (e.g. responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment).7

Leverage your Enhanced Profile to showcase branded photos and videos, and integrate your social channels so that candidates get a 360 degree view of your work culture and environment. Broaden your recruiting reach with Jobs Spotlight display campaigns* and target the exact candidates you want with the jobs that are most relevant to them.

  • Branded content moves candidates down the funnel, saving recruiters time and money.
    When candidates view jobs alongside branded content that helps them qualify themselves, your company reaps the benefits in the form of higher quality applicants and lower recruiting costs.

By the Numbers

A majority of Glassdoor users read at least 5 reviews before forming an opinion of a company.9

Customize your Enhanced Profile with a “Why Work With Us” tab. Include dynamic videos and messaging that speaks to why your company is a great place to work. Brand your sponsored jobs so candidates get all the information they need to choose your company in one place.

  • Employer branding builds credibility with candidates, potential investors and customers.
    High-quality, informed candidates consult Glassdoor reviews to get an inside look at what it’s like to work at your company and find a job that fits their life. The reviews they see influence their perception of your company. If consumers trust a brand they also exhibit behaviors that demonstrate loyalty. Your employer brand also impacts whether potential investors, customers and job seekers want to invest with you, do business with you or work for you. Companies with high employee satisfaction on Glassdoor outperform their peers financially.

By the Numbers

Brand trust impacts buying decisions and loyalty: 8 in 10 respondents (81% globally, 80% U.S.) said that trusting a brand to do what is right is a deciding factor in a purchase decision.10
of Glassdoor users find the employer perspective important on what it’s like to work at the company.11
of consumers have stopped purchasing a brand after hearing news of that company’s poor employee treatment.12

Make sure the first review candidates see is from someone they can identify with. With an Enhanced Profile you can feature a review of your choice to ensure that it always appears at the top of the list. Respond to Glassdoor reviews to improve how candidates, potential investors and customers perceive your company.

  • A strong employer brand has been shown to reduce recruitment costs. The better your brand identifies your company as a place where people want to work, the less you spend to recruit new employees.

By the Numbers

According to a 2011 LinkedIn survey, a 50 percent cost-per-hire savings is associated with a strong employer brand.14

Use your Company Updates on Glassdoor to showcase recruitment efforts and events alongside powerful employer brand stories and visuals.

  • A strong employer brand improves employee retention. An important part of building your employer brand is listening to your employees and responding to their concerns. Treat your employees well, and they’re likely to stick around and help you attract other “A” players. Creating a positive employer brand has no downside. A well thought-out employer brand attracts top talent, creates a sense of pride among existing employees, and enhances your company’s image in the community. Your employer brand can help you attract candidates that will have long-term success at your company. The more personalized and transparent your employer branding efforts are, the more equipped candidates are to choose the right job for them.

By the Numbers

of employers believe retention rates would be higher if candidates had a picture of what to expect about working at the company before taking the job15, which likely explains why Glassdoor users have a greater retention rate.16

One size does not fit all when it comes to employer branding. Glassdoor’s Audience Targeting allows you to deliver a personalized view of your Enhanced Profile and Sponsored Jobs to different audiences based on their occupation. Your photos, videos and branded content will change dynamically based on the job seeker researching your company.

A strong employer brand is worth its weight in gold. By taking these simple steps to make your employer brand irresistible, your company can more easily attract the informed candidates that will move your business forward.


How To Build a Great Employer Brand

1. Offer High Employer Value

To build a strong employer brand, you have to make your company attractive to potential employees. What you offer is your employer value proposition (EVP) – the complete package of reasons for job seekers to choose to work for your company. To attract the best candidates, you must be able to clearly define how your company differs from its competing employers. Several factors influence job seekers to go to work for a given company and encourage current employees to stay on the job. The most important is compensation, cited by 74 percent of workers on Glassdoor.17 But although the pay-and-benefits package is the top enticement, it’s only part of the EVP – and not always the most important part. A Glassdoor survey of real-world job transitions from resumes on Glassdoor showed that job title stagnation hurts employee retention. Every additional 10 months an employee stagnates in a role makes them 1 percent more likely to leave the company when they finally move on to their next position.18 To keep employees engaged at your company, you must provide clear career paths. The following pointers can help you develop your company’s EVP:

  • Define a compelling answer to the question “Why should I work for you?”
  • Solicit feedback from employees. Ask them why they stay.
  • Know your employer brand’s key elements
  • Connect your EVP with company mission and goals to attract the right audience.
  • Ensure that your EVP resonates with the needs, wants and desires of your target candidates and valued employees
  • Get buy-in from senior leadership
  • Reinforce your EVP throughout your recruiting and internal communication channels

2. Shape the conversation.

Your employer brand is out there, whether you like it or not, and if you don’t define it as a company, someone else will define it for you. First impressions are everything, and employer responses to a review may be the first thing a candidate sees before the recruitment process even starts. 86% of employees/job seekers are likely to research company reviews and ratings if deciding on where to apply for a job.19 To ensure that this vast majority of employees and job seekers see that you are actively engaged in feedback on Glassdoor, empower anyone at your company with authority to speak on your behalf – including your CEO, PR and Marketing leaders, or other employees responsible for managing your brand – to respond to Glassdoor reviews.

3. Don’t fear the feedback.

Even bad reviews are good for business because they help you improve company culture, help you focus on best-fit candidates, and help you engage with employees. Remember: 80% of job seekers that read reviews on Glassdoor say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review,20 and 75% of Glassdoor users agree they are more likely to apply to an open job if the employer is active on Glassdoor by responding to reviews, updating their profile, and sharing updates on culture.21

4. Elevate your visual identity.

It’s important to show (not just tell) your brand personality. You can’t outright say “we’re a hip and cool brand” any more than you can tell a stranger “I’m hip and cool” and have them believe you. If you’re truly hip and cool, you won’t need to say it; people will see it. Your brand personality should be baked into all the visual elements of your brand, including your logo design, brand color palette, brand typekit and more – and you’ll want all of that to shine through on your Glassdoor profile, right where people are researching what it’s like to work for your company.

5. Optimize your mobile presence.

You need to be where your audience is and where job seekers are looking for you, which is why it’s critical to go mobile with your employer brand. There is currently a big disconnect between how many candidates plan to look for a job via mobile and how many career sites support a mobile apply solution. Over 50 million unique users visit Glassdoor’s mobile applications and website monthly.22 More than half of Glassdoor’s visits each month come from a mobile device.23

6. Showcase transparency.

Powerful branding is all about messaging to your audience in an authentic way. People don’t want acting, staged models or false advertising. They want the real story and the real information. Same goes for employer branding! People want to know what it’s like inside the organization before they apply to, invest in, or do business with your company.

7. Make use of data analysis.

Marketers know that unless you can measure it, there might not be a strong case to do it. You need to set goals at the beginning of any branding strategy, i.e., put a stake in the ground, and say, “These are the areas I’m going to be measuring and monitoring to see there is improvement over time.” This is the only way to ensure your strategy is working. Glassdoor offers powerful employer brand analytics free of charge to any company. You can surface common sentiments from employees within your organization, monitor scores and ratings in key areas through comprehensive heat maps, analyze the competition and see candidate demographics they might be attracting.


How to Measure the Strength and ROI of Your Employer Brand

96% of companies believe employer brand and reputation can positively or negatively impact revenue, less than half (44%) monitor that impact.24

Two of the top channels for employer brand promotion are websites and social media, which is why you must ensure that your reputation on social media matches your defined employer brand and reaches your target audience. To do that and prove that it’s working, follow these steps:

1. Answer key questions. Start with the “Big Picture” basics. For example, is your current employer brand helping or hurting your recruiting and retention? Here are other areas to consider:

  • What is my brand awareness with job seekers?
  • Who does my brand attract and are they who I want?
  • What’s my brand reputation?
  • How does my awareness and reputation stack up versus the competition?

2. Set benchmarks. To measure and track how your employer brand is resonating with job seekers and how you stack up against competitors over time, it’s essential to first establish benchmarks. Key metrics to consider include the following:

  • Online ratings averages
  • Awareness and ratings versus your competition
  • Feedback directly from candidates

3. Collect Employer Branding Data. Collecting just five types of data – reputation scorecard, interview reviews, job-click activity, reputation analysis, and employee retention – gives you most of the information you need to keep your employer brand on track.

4. Monitor your reputation. It’s important to analyze several key areas and monitor changes over various periods (such as one year). This allows you to prioritize areas that need to be worked on and show upper management improvement over time. Overall company ratings on Glassdoor, for example, are drawn from employee ratings in five areas:

  • Culture and values
  • Work/life balance
  • Senior management (what employees think of the leadership in place)
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Career opportunities

According to Glassdoor surveys, the two top employee motivators are compensation and career opportunities.25 Tracking progress over time in these areas can be enlightening.

5. Gather interview feedback. Job applicants’ comments on the interviewing process give you first impressions of your employer brand, such as whether a candidate thought the interview was a positive, neutral, or negative experience. Some sites also provide difficulty ratings for interviews. Interviewees on Glassdoor are asked to note where they found your job listings and what methods they used to apply. This information can help you determine which recruitment channel is most effective. Typical channels include campus recruiting, online job sites, employee referrals, recruiters, and staffing agencies. Checking interview reviews on competitor profiles gives you information that may help you refine or add new channels to your own recruiting efforts.

6. Boost employee retention. To improve employee retention, make sure that you have organizational transparency top to bottom, with the right checks and balances in place. Employee retention also takes time to measure, but the data is worth the wait. Keep track of what happens to employees after they enter your organization.

7. Track competitors’ brand performance. The best way to start analyzing your competition is to compare the traffic on your competitors’ career pages with traffic on yours. Sites such as Glassdoor offer tools that help you do just that. In general, analytics are a four-step process:

  1. Compare candidate visits each month. Find out how many job seekers are visiting competitors’ pages compared with yours.
  2. Identify candidate demographics. Find out their genders, current job titles, and locations.
  3. Compare company ratings. See how other companies rate in key areas, such as work/life balance and leadership.
  4. Identify the channels your competitors use to reach talent.

This information can help you ensure that your employer brand is featured wherever candidates are making career decisions. It’s also helpful to monitor and measure traffic to your company’s profile pages on social media sites. Seeing what candidates view most before making career decisions can help ensure that you’re investing your recruitment and branding dollars in the places that matter most to job seekers.

8. Monitor your own brand’s performance. Monitoring your brand’s performance can help you understand your employees’ likes and dislikes, keep an eye on the competition, and track the demographics of the candidates who visit your page. Demographics reports such as these show exactly who’s visiting your career site.

9. Set a tracking schedule. Glassdoor recommends that you track certain types of data on a set schedule:

  • Check weekly: Candidate quality, reviews, ratings against competitors, and candidate demographics.
  • Check monthly: Cost-per-hire, time-to-hire, and percentage of employees who recommend your company.
  • Check annually: Overall themes and sentiments, ratings trends, and CEO rating.

10. Be Adaptable. Hiring and company initiatives can change at any time. It’s important to note that you’re never done measuring and defining your employer brand. Being flexible and able to adapt your message based on hiring needs is crucial for today’s modern recruiter.

10 Ways to Get Started with Employer Branding

Every employer has room for improvement, especially when it comes to employee growth and satisfaction. Here are ten easy ways to start creating and improving your employer brand today.

  1. Define an Authentic Employer Brand. Make sure that your company job description is authentic and current on the web, your career site, and social media channels. Update your information frequently so that its message aligns with your evolving culture and work environment.
  2. Validate Your EVP with Employees and Candidates. When it comes to your employer value proposition (EVP), take the time to listen to what employees are saying, address the issues they raise, and then ask employees to join the conversation on sites such as Glassdoor. Also, monitor that your employer brand is resonating with the right candidates.
  3. Make Your Employer Brand Visual and Compelling. Show job seekers a realistic preview of what it’s like to work at your organization by posting photos and videos. Skip stock photos in favor of images of your own employees.
  4. Be Consistent. Train your recruiters, hiring managers, and executives so they can tell a consistent story about your organization and why it’s a great place to work.
  5. Benchmark Your Brand Awareness and Reputation. Analytics can help you refine and optimize your branding process. Use data to make better decisions that can help you win the war for talent and improve your strategy.
  6. Fix What’s Broken. Bad reviews aren’t necessarily bad for business. In fact, most people are suspicious when they don’t see any areas for improvement highlighted. Be sure to respond to reviews promptly, say “thank you,” address any problems, be considerate, and recognize positives.
  7. Make Employees Your Brand Ambassadors. No matter what positions they hold in your company, your employees can be your best brand advocates. Employee reviews have a powerful influence on job seekers, so your top talent can help you attract other top talent.
  8. Maintain and Engage Social Channels. By linking to Glassdoor and other social media sites or highlighting employee testimonials on your career site, you build trust with candidates.
  9. Ask Candidates for Feedback. First impressions are everything, so ask your candidates to post reviews about the interview process. What they say can help you address problems and make improvements.
  10. Rinse and Repeat. Never Stop. Employer branding isn’t a “set it and forget it” process. Never stop monitoring your reputation and working to improve your employer brand. That way, your company message will continue to resonate with your target talent.

How Glassdoor Shapes Employer Brand

Glassdoor is very important for talent acquisition and employee engagement. After all, 83 percent of job seekers are likely to research company reviews and ratings when deciding where to apply for a job,26 and more than 67 million unique users visit Glassdoor’s mobile applications and website monthly.27 If you don’t have a Glassdoor profile, you’re missing out.

Here are just a few ways that Glassdoor helps you to shape your employer brand:

1. Post an up-to-date company logo. Your company’s most recent logo version is prominently featured to lend an air of authenticity and ensure visitors know they’ve come to the right place.

2. Personalize your profile to the audience. Employer branding isn’t one size fits all—and that’s why Glassdoor allows you to create a personalized view of your profile for up to four different audiences based on their occupation, such as engineering, or sales

3. Display our OpenCompany status. Quickly and easily show potential job candidates that you stand for transparency by completing Glassdoor’s OpenCompany program and adding the badge to your profile.

4. Update your profile often. You will get candidates excited to work for your company by sharing the latest on company milestones, product releases, community service, and more.

5. Share your employer value proposition. Glassdoor gives you a platform to tell potential job candidates why your company is a great place to work.

6. Track (and respond to) reviews. Glassdoor alerts you when reviews have posted and give you the opportunity to respond. Plus, you can feature positive reviews on your profile, so that they are the first ones job seekers see when researching your company.

You can read even more ways Glassdoor helps you shape your employer brand here.


  1. Glassdoor/Harris Poll, Sept 2019, US
  2.  Source: Glassdoor Internal Data, July-August 2017 *Based on analysis of 171,000 users viewing a Glassdoor enterprise customer’s brand.
  3.  Source: U.S. Site Survey, August 2018
  4.  Source: Glassdoor.co.uk U.K. Site Survey, December 2019
  5.  Source: Aptitude Research Partners, Informed Candidate, 2017, US/UK
  6.  Source: Glassdoor Internal Data, Oct 2018 - Apr 2019 
  7.  Source: Glassdoor.com U.S. Site Survey, September 2018
  8.  Source: Glassdoor Internal Data, Oct 2018 - Apr 2019
  9.  Source: Glassdoor.com U.S. Site Survey, November 2019
  10.  Source: Edelman 2019 Trust Barometer
  11.  Source: U.S. Site Survey, August 2018
  12. Source: CareerArc 2017 Employer Branding Study
  13. Source: Glassdoor Economic Research, “What’s Culture Worth? Stock Performance of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2009 to 2019
  14. Source: 2011 LinkedIn Survey, “What’s the Value of Your Employment Brand
  15. Source: Harris Interactive Survey conducted for Glassdoor, 2014
  16. Source: Glassdoor Research, December 2019, US, 15% higher retention rate compared to non-Glassdoor users, 4-year average
  17. Source: Glassdoor/Harris Poll, Sept 2019, US
  18. Source: Glassdoor Economic Research, “Why Do Workers Quit,” February 2017
  19. Source: Glassdoor/Harris Poll, September 2019, US
  20. Source: Glassdoor.com U.S. Site Survey, November 2019
  21. Source: Glassdoor.com U.S. Site Survey, November 2019
  22. Source: Google Analytics, trailing two-month peak, Mar - Apr 2020
  23. Source: Google Analytics, CQ1'20 Average
  24. Source: CareerArc 2017 Employer Branding Study
  25. Source: Glassdoor/Harris Poll, Sept 2019, US
  26. Source: Glassdoor/Harris Poll, April 2017
  27. Source: Google Analytics, Unique users represents peak monthly unique users in each respective calendar quarter (or CQ1'19 if there's no date range specified)