Reputation used to mean something

This post was originally published at my Linkedin blog: I'm talking about your employer rep, your employer brand.

Positive employer brand is as important as it was 250 years ago. Seriously!

There have been long periods of time when employer brand hasn't been that important, but back in the 1760s, employer brand was just as important as it is now.

In the 1760s, before industrial revolution, reputation was the most important thing a man or a company could have. It meant everything. Banks granted loans to only those with a solid rep. And with only your rep as a guarantee that you'll one day pay back with interest. Your word was your bond.

If you had a bad rep, no one wanted to work with you, for you, or hire you. If you were considered a bad apple as a worker, or didn't keep your promise as an entrepreneur, you soon didn't have a job or customers. Word spread around like wildfire, long before Interwebs or social media.

Big companies were rare. People were moving from countryside to big cities to find work. Industrial manufacturing and factories were just about to happen.


"People applied jobs with companies their friends worked for and companies people recommended"


Word of mouth was the main carrier of job opportunities and reputation was what attracted people to apply with a certain company. A company needed a good employer brand to succeed and to grow.

In the 2010s, employer brand is again at the same level of importance. In countries where the war for talent is most acute, the employer brand is everything if you want to succeed and grow.

If you have a bad rep as an employer, you need to pay higher salaries, your time to hire is longer, you loose the competition for best talent, and people leave you for better job opportunities.

Companies with great employer brand have just the opposite situation. Shorter time to hire, salary less important factor when hiring, employees refer you great candidates, employee advocacy works fine, more and better applicants, more open applications, lower employee turnover, higher job offer acceptance rate, and eventually, increase in overall productivity and profitability.


"employer brand is everything if you want to succeed and grow"


There have been times of high unemployment - still are in some regions - but in countries with constant need for more skilled workforce, the reputation is key. Like in Dubai. It's a job seekers' market.

Actually, reputation is key everywhere, all the time. Who wouldn't want to be the employer of choice, the Google or Supercell of our respected industry? Who wouldn't want to be able to choose from the best talent pool, to attract top talent who again attract more customers. Attracting the best of the best should be the target of all companies, if they wish to grow and prosper.