9 Companies Getting Branding Right and What Talent Teams Can Learn From Them

August 15, 2016 at 1:32 PM by William Clarke

EmployerBrand.jpgOne thing matters more than anything else when it comes to recruiting talent: A company’s reputation. In fact more than 62% of people say that’s the most important criteria when they consider whether or not to take a job.

Your brand identity is priceless. A good one helps you attract and hire the best talent. A great one will keep your pipeline packed with candidates for months to come.

Here's what you can learn from nine organizations with stellar branding – vividly illustrating their employees’ story, instilling interest in potential candidates, spotlighting company culture and the importance of their values.



Brands don’t get much more ubiquitous than UPS. You probably see their big brown trucks at least once a day. If your brand is based on the speed and reliability of their service, you’ll need to maintain headcount. That means a lot of hiring all the time.

UPS consistently frames their employer value proposition both in terms of how they are helping people and organizations across the world achieve their goals, and in how doing so allows them to offer an unrivaled opportunities to their employees, too. It’s not only about making a living, it’s also about doing work that you can be proud of. Also, if you’re constantly looking for new talent across the many facets of your organization, it’s a good idea to cast your net as widely as possible. Remember: You can’t hire the people who don’t apply.

The New York Times

Careers___The_New_York_Times_Company.pngThe New York Times is one of the most renowned, respected newspapers in the world, but if you’re not a journalist, would you rather work there than the other organizations on this list? Maybe, but maybe not. So how does the NYT attract the talent it needs to compete in our digital ecosystem? By focusing on the future and their role crafting it.

People want to work at companies like Facebook and Google because they want to be part of organizations changing the world. And while they may not be quite as large, The New York Times is the world’s biggest news property and drives the way people think about events. Some may argue print is dead, but the NYT is keeping with the curve, drawing on how they’re “shaping the direction of online news” and making it their “goal to set the bar for the information age.” That’s pretty cool, and it’s one heck of a pitch.

General Electric

Kumiko_s_First_Ultrasound___GE___YouTube.pngGeneral Electric has been around for a very long time – almost 130 years to be exact. Many of their products are huge industrial devices that most consumers will never buy. So how do you get people interested in your company when they rarely ever see your logo and you’re most famous for being Thomas Edison’s company? Humanize your brand by talking about your organization from the perspective of both the people who power your innovative work and the people who benefit from it. A sense of purpose is a powerful thing.  



IBM_Voices.pngSocial media has permanently changed the way people communicate, yet many organizations still haven’t effectively harnessed branding on social media. Tweeting out company announcements and sharing interesting stories is all well and good, but authenticity on social media comes from individuals. That’s where your employees come into the frame. IBM figured this out, and that’s why their career page links to the Twitter feeds of 25 of their employees from across the world. It’s an open invitation to connect with the company and see their work from a different vantage point that emphasizes a compelling employee value proposition. 

Greenhouse Software

Not sure where to how to start defining your employer value proposition? Look no further than Greenhouse Software. Smack dab in the middle of their careers page, they break  down their most important business ethics and principles in clear terms. Collaboration. Growth. Inclusion. Engagement. Those four  words unambiguously describe Greenhouse’s work environment as positive, nurturing and supportive place – key phrases if you’re trying to attract a diverse team.

charity: water


charity: water might be one of the most famous charities in the world, but they still need to hire people. How do you convince people to turn high paying jobs to solve the water crisis? Appeal to their conscience. Studies show that, more than anything, people want their work to matter. While every company can’t claim to be saving lives like charity: water, you are doing work that matters. No matter your industry, hone in on your impact to attract candidates who share your desire to drive change. 

The City of Toronto


“Government bureaucrat” is not a job title that traditionally excites people, yet it’s a career path that allows you to influence your community in profound ways. That’s why the City of Toronto’s employee testimonial page is such a powerful tool to humanize what would otherwise seem like a faceless entity. Whether working in the Children’s Services Division or the City Planning office, your work really matters to hundreds and possibly thousands of people. It humanizes your organization. That’s pretty cool.



It may go without saying, but when it comes to your brand,always play to your strengths. If your brand is imagination, creativity, and fun, that’s what you should focus on. Disney has it down pat.  

Whether it’s Twitter, their career page or even job boards, Disney never hesitates to articulate a strong sense of purpose with the whimsy and joy of helping bring happiness to people across the world. No matter your industry, it’s a worthwhile strategy. Few people, if any, want to work at a boring place doing boring jobs. If you’re not sure where to start, try out ways to jazz up the workweek with better social activities. Anything from office yoga to lunch outings or friendly in-office trivia competitions are perfect for developing fun in the office.

Even better, ask your employees for recommendations and then have them vote on what they’d like to do. From there, encourage employees to share photos and updates on their social networks. Then maximize their impact by creating a custom hashtag to drive more attention and visibility. Good employer branding isn’t just about making your people happy, it’s about about publicly celebrating them and their work.


An important part of your employer brand is differentiation, or how your organization is different from everyone else. Another important aspect is how you empower your employees to do great work and succeed. That’s what persuades people to come work with you, and it’s something Atlassian has really been able to hang their hat on recently as one of the technology industry’s best workplaces. 

The video sends a powerful statement about the kind of workplace Atlassian is nurturing: Women thrive and Atlassian is committed to helping them continue to do so. Knowing your company genuinely cares about your growth and will go to bat for you is a powerful incentive.

When it comes to branding, genuine authenticity and humanity go a long way. People want to work for places that treat them well, compensate them fairly and enable them to do meaningful work. If your employer brand isn’t selling them on those qualities, it might be time for a rethink and these nine organizations are a good place to start.

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