• http://www.publix.jobs Patti Breckenridge

    Thank you, Mark, for the valuable reminder to refresh branding, especially after changes in the market. And BHG’s survey results are also a valuable contribution to the discussion. My only complaints with this article are some of the assumptions you make.

    1. My assumption is that employers who participated in the survey probably include a good number who are brand-savvy, including an understanding of their company’s employee value proposition (EVP per Corporate Leadership Council research). If even half of the employees who participated in the survey do not work for such a company, it wouldn’t surprise me at all that views of employers and employees who were surveyed didn’t mesh. So the disparities are difficult to interpret.

    2. You express “surprise” that 41% of employers still use print ads. We have 150,000 employees in more than 1,000 locations. Print ads in some small communities have been far more effective than web, broadcast or social media ads for attracting qualified applicants. We customize our advertising/branding to each market area. In a metropolitan area, we use a vastly different strategy, but we have thousands of jobs based in small communities.

    3. You wonder why half of the employers still use email to recruit since 18- to 34-year-olds are dropping emails in favor of instant messaging or apps. Again, we customize our communication channel to the preferences of our candidates. Many of them prefer email, so that is one of the channels we use.

    Please continue to share your valuable insights with this community, but try to be more careful with your conclusions.

    In gratitude,

    Patti Breckenridge
    Recruiting Manager
    Publix Super Markets

  • Mark Hornung

    Thanks for your comments. Let me respond in order.
    1. Respondents to the surveys volunteered, so we did not screen them too finely. And the employees did not necessarily work for the employers that participated. Certainly the disparities would be more telling if the two groups were matched (as in an engagement survey), but I think the figures are still revealing.
    2. Point taken. Yet as someone who lives in a town of 10,000, I know I and my neighbors prefer the online edition of the local newspaper to the print edition. I DO live in northern California, however, so I will admit a techno-bias.
    3. If you give candidates a choice and they select e-mail, then by all means use it. Anecdotally, and in this survey as well as others, however, we see growing e-mail fatigue. Use it as long as it works, but watch out for signs that the channel is losing its appeal.
    Thanks for your comments and keep on branding!

  • http://www.publix.jobs Patti Breckenridge

    Thank you for your response, Mark. The small communities where we use print ads are in the South and digital media usage in those areas is low. I envy your California location!

  • Keith Halperin

    Employer Branding is to Recruiting as marketing is to Sales- related to what we (as recruiters do) but not what we do….

    Happy Friday,


  • http://www.hirebranding.net Leif K

    Very nice post! Employer branding is an important and specialized area that requires a real strategy – which requires the allocation of proper resources (people, programs, vehicles, et al), in order to make sure it’s effective and of value to the business. The blog I author, HireBranding.net is solely dedicated to Employer Branding best practices and reiterates many of the points Mark makes here in his excellent post.

  • http://facebook.thefit.com/ Vinda Rao

    There’s a fundamental disconnect between what employers know/feel about candidates and what candidates know about employers. Unfortunately, “drinking the Kool-Aid” extends beyond the CEO and turns corporate descriptors into jaunty advertisements instead of concerted efforts at explaining culture. A study we conducted in November elucidates the differences in employer brand values that motivate men vs. women, professionals on the East Coast vs. the West Coast, and the preference for pay vs. perks: http://www.bullhorn.com/news-event/workplace-dna-project

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobsmadsen Jacob Madsen

    On the face of it this looks like a very interesting and useful survey, – however:
    It may be that from a survey validity perspective 175 employers/240 employees are enough, too me it reads as a fast and easy survey with little value/validity.

    When one then read ‘and were not necessarily employed by any of the participating employers’ I have to say that I cannot place any credibility in this survey, and would like to know why and how a survey like this can be brought forward to readers of ERE and carry any substance and value!
    To me it is simply not good enough and I am disappointed in seeing claims and conclusions made based on a very thin basis.

  • Mark Hornung

    The type of research you envision — much larger sample, correlation between employees and employers — is something we do for our clients. And, not surprisingly, it can be expensive (but well worth it). The purpose of this research was to obtain perceptions about branding from a cross-section of employers with employer branding expertise and to understand the realities of the employer brand among the general employee population. There has been a dearth of research relating to employer brands since the Recession began in 2007; Hodes wanted to see where the industry stood as of today. We believe it certainly is valid to look at general populations to get their perspectives on a topic. If we had only surveyed employers with their respective employee workforce we would have had to provide a greater depth of segmentation for it to be valuable to the wide variety of employers reading the research, plus there are confidentiality considerations with reporting that type of data. That’s the type of confidential, powerful research we do for our clients! In addition, it should be remembered that the opinions expressed in these surveys only represent the opinions of those responding. Thanks for your thought-provoking comments.