Branding Magazine’s Employer Branding Roundtable (Part 1)


[excerpt from full roundtable ebook]

In this Branding Roundtable we hear from leaders of three agencies as to the nature, benefits, challenges and future of Employer Branding:

Ed Barzilaij, CEO of Maximum Employment Marketing Group, based in Rotterdam, with offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Carolyn Ray, Managing Director, Interbrand Canada and former leader of that worldwide brand consultancy’s Global Brand Engagement Practice.

Michael Savage, Director of Employer Brand at JWT INSIDE, part of JWT Worldwide.

Read the full roundtable ebook to see how they each have strong, distinct perspectives – and we invite you to add yours, or respond to theirs, in the comments section. Here are some of the roundtable responses from our very own Director of Employer Branding, Michael Savage.


Employee branding can be difficult to categorize – is it a human resources/operational discipline, a marketing endeavor, or both? Please give your definition.

Employer branding is neither a Human Resources nor a Marketing initiative. It’s more than just marketing and recruiting. Employer brand is a tool that brings immeasurable value and substantially contributes to business performance. The last thing you want is for employer branding to be viewed as just another marketing or recruiting campaign.

Starting with the Executive Suite with the CEO, an employer brand is a clear articulation of how every employee will contribute to delivering on the business vision, strategy and objectives. You’ve also got to rally your workforce – especially in these times of constant transformation across industries.

The employer brand evolution has been a long, strange trip for sure, and it’s finally finding its place on corporate agendas and on the annual budget forecast. It’s gone from a recruitment initiative, to a business imperative with employee productivity

Michael Savage Employer Branding 1Who should own and drive Employer Branding within an organization?

The greatest employer branding successes are the result of strong CEO leadership and the participation and collaboration of HR and Marketing. Beyond the C-Suite, every employee should own and drive the employer brand within the organization, and employer branding initiatives should be designed with employee participation in mind.

The individuals who should lead this initiative should straddle the Human Resources and Marketing discipline. They are indeed a hybrid. That’s why you’ll notice the emergence of new job titles including: Chief Brand & Culture Officer, Employer Brand Managers, and Chief People Experience Officers.

Think about all the ways in which your employer brand lives and breathes and requires maintenance daily across peer-to-peer interaction/behavior, recruitment and selection, internal and leadership communications, rewards and recognition/reinforcement, work environment, meeting rituals, learning and development, and customer service. In this context, every manager and employee has a role to play in owning, maintaining and evolving the brand.

Emily Fearnley is currently the Search Engine Marketing Analyst at JWT INSIDE managing search engine marketing (SEM), pay-per-performance, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media strategy campaigns for all JWT INSIDE US offices and clients. Among many things, Emily is most passionate about music, writing and advertising.

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