Employee branding projects are becoming increasingly important business tool to help companies stay ahead of other competitors. For this reason HR heads are increasing the number of specialist support managers leading employer brand projects within their departments.

According to a new survey from People in Business the number of talent management and employer brand managers leading employer brand projects has in nearly tripled (from 10% to 28%) in the past four years.

The survey was conducted among 104 national and international companies to evaluate current standards of employer brand practice.

In addition corporate and brand marketing teams are experiencing less ownership in this area as the number of CEO’s driving employer branding has almost tripled over the past four years.

HR departments have maintained their leading role with the increasing support of specialists within their team, as around half (49%) of HR teams lead on employer brand projects.

The survey also highlighted an increasing trend to use employer brand thinking to shape overall HR strategy.

Forty three per cent of the companies surveyed, which had employer brand strategies, said they had used it to shape their overall people management strategy. And of those that are currently developing their employer brand, 72% said they will use it to review their people management processes and strategy, including performance management, learning and development and leadership and behaviors.

Despite the current economic climate, organisation’s continue to make a significant investment in employer branding. The survey showed that on average £5-£6 was spent per employee on research and development and first-year creative development and communication.
When asked about benefits, respondents stated significant internal and external benefits of a successful employer brand strategy including an improved ability to attract the right kind of talent (60%), more consistent employee communication across the company (54%), improved external employer brand reputation (54%) and higher levels of employee engagement (43%).

Sophy Pern, director of People in Business, said: “Developing and harnessing the power of the employer brand helps bring focus to people management, providing a lens through which to test HR plans. This is enabling companies get more with less, adding to both growth and profitability. As the importance of having and managing an employer brand is increasingly recognised and its contribution is moving up the company agenda, we’re seeing an increase in senior management and specialist involvement.

“This is good news as a cross-functional approach is absolutely key to success. But employer brand management is a long-term investment; it’s not a short-term project and HR managers need to continue to build capability to maintain it and move from an ‘employee and process’ mindset to one that is driven by ‘customer and experience’ outcomes.