ERE Digital Insights: Employer Branding Is Branding During Today’s Crisis

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series highlighting speakers at the upcoming ERE Digital 2.0 event. Click here to view other articles in the series.


In these unprecedented times. Now more than ever. We’re all in this together. Companies are continuing to trot out the same clichés during the pandemic, but platitudes are not the stuff of great branding or great employer branding right now. So what is?

For starters, it’s recognizing that branding is employer branding is branding is employer branding these days. 

No, that wasn’t a typo. It’s an essential point that Alex Her makes in his upcoming presentation at ERE Digital 2.0, Oct 20 – 21. Global employer brand program manager at Informatica, Alex oversees the multinational’s branding across 26 countries. During his session, “A No Cliché, No BS Guide to Employer Branding During a Pandemic,” he’ll be talking about concrete, practical actions you can take to advance your organization’s employer branding differently during today’s crisis. 

I recently spoke to Alex about his upcoming session.

Why do you think employer branding is especially important these days?

It’s more important than ever before because — 

Uh, oh! There’s the cliché!

Ha! But it’s actually true. Right now, brands can’t sell stuff and market their products like they used to. So instead of putting products and services at the center of their branding, they are turning to their employees. They are showcasing not products but people in their general marketing. In that way, employer branding is now a major part of mainstream marketing. 

Still, do you think that many people feel like employer branding is less important now because there are bigger business challenges to address?

Employer branding has always been marginalized. I think this is based on a misconception that employer branding is just the fluffy stuff you put on socials. But there’s much more to it than that.

The problem is that some companies don’t recognize this because, to be perfectly blunt, some of us in the industry haven’t done the best job of making ourselves relevant, which results in us being seen as redundant. However, if you’re connected with your internal stakeholders and have done a great job of making your work be seen as impactful, your employer brand was always on center stage.  If that’s the case, you’re in a prime position to take it even a step further during the pandemic

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What are some ways for employer branding professionals to ensure their relevance?

You need to be having conversations with internal stakeholders that focus on impact on various areas of your recruitment process. You can also show examples of what competitors are doing to drive home the importance of employer branding to other leaders in your company,

All of which is another way of saying that employer branding is far from dead during this pandemic.

Right. There’s a lot you can do. You still have stories to tell. You can still share culture videos and show what you are doing to help your people. But again, it’s not just about having cool images and videos that show how you treat your employees. Employer branding is also about providing a good candidate experience. 

That’s an interesting point because I feel like most people look at employer branding as a means to attract candidates. They don’t view creating a positive candidate experience necessarily as an employer branding tactic.

Except it is. There are many touch points to good employer branding. How a candidate experiences your recruiting process is included in that. How you treat your candidates is as much a part of your brand as how you treat your employees. Employer branding is always going to be experienced on an individual basis. And especially now, it’s important to treat people well because they will remember what your company does even after the pandemic goes away. 


Interested in learning more from Alex about how you can elevate employer branding at your organization? Experience his session at ERE Digital 2.0, Oct. 20 – 21. Use code EREDIGI20EXTRA10 to receive 10% off your ticket price. 

Vadim Liberman is editor of ERE.net and TLNT (the devil wears TJ Maxx) — a workplace renegade advancing how we think, work, and live. He has previously worked as a strategy consultant to HR and recruiting tech companies at The Starr Conspiracy, as a talent management professional at Prudential, and as senior editor of The Conference Board Review, a magazine for business leaders. Vadim loves to talk about all things HR, talent acquisition, and Bravo TV shows. Bring it!

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