Employer Branding – Attracting and Retaining Talent in a Competitive Market


In this episode of “The Brandwidth Podcast,” Dean Millson and Sam McEwin discuss the importance of employer branding in today’s competitive job market. They explain that employer branding is not a separate brand from the company brand but a different expression of it. The key to successful employer branding is understanding the target audience, creating an employee value proposition, and aligning the company’s values and behaviours with the brand. They emphasise the need for authenticity and creativity in employer branding efforts and stress the importance of involving employees. Dean and Sam also highlight the role of storytelling and the use of various channels and collateral in attracting and retaining top talent.

Key Takeaways:

  • Employer branding is not a separate brand from the company brand but a different expression of it.
  • Successful employer branding requires understanding the target audience and creating an employee value proposition.
  • Authenticity and creativity are crucial in employer branding efforts.
  • Involving employees in the process of employer branding can help build a strong company culture.
  • Storytelling and the use of various channels and collateral are effective in attracting and retaining top talent.


  • “Employer branding is the perception that lives in the talent pool out there.” – Dean Millson
  • “Your employer brand can look a bit different from your customer brand because you have a different audience.” – Dean Millson
  • “Your employer brand is a different expression of your company brand.” – Dean Millson

[0:00:00]Dean introduces the topic of employer branding
02:02The current challenge of attracting and retaining talent
03:25The impact of COVID-19 on the job market
04:33The importance of investing in employer branding long-term
05:42The different terms used for employer branding
06:53The role of aesthetics in attracting talent
08:18Feedback on brand perception during the recruitment process
09:27Defining employer branding as a perception in the talent pool
10:31The long-term commitment required for employer branding
12:03The difference between employer branding and job ads
12:58Longer sales process and research required for this type of sale.
13:23Switched market where employers are pitching to candidates.
14:32Paying employees fairly is more cost-effective than overpaying for talent.
16:47Elements of an employer brand strategy: company brand, audience, value proposition.
17:57Understanding the target audience and where to reach them.
19:09Employee value proposition: translating company promise into benefits for employees.
20:34Examples of employer brand strategies by Domain and Wolf Olins.
23:27Aligning brand values with personal human values for attracting talent.
24:17Purpose as an internal focus for employees, not just external marketing.
25:57Importance of sticky values and behaviors in employer brand strategy.
26:58Importance of telling stories and celebrating employees
29:05Channels and collateral for recruitment marketing
29:32Recruitment marketing is similar to marketing for customers
30:33Being present in industry events and conferences
32:14Considering competitors as potential talent sources
33:47Employee videos as effective recruitment marketing tools
34:25Recruitment marketing also benefits brand marketing
35:25Removing barriers and uncertainties for potential candidates
36:15Attracting talent from other organizations requires something special
37:16Recruitment marketing should be integrated with overall brand strategy
39:42Dean Millson finds Sam’s language condescending and uncomfortable.
40:22Sam shares his experience with a brand’s inauthentic LinkedIn presence.
41:30Dean discusses negative feedback on a construction company’s working hours.
42:22Dean explains how the company addressed the issue honestly and inspired change.
43:27Sam compares marketing not fixing a poor product to inauthentic employer branding.
44:39Dean emphasises the importance of involving people in the branding process.
45:45Sam praises brands for their maturity and informed decision-making during the pandemic.
47:24Dean reflects on the introspective nature of brand evaluation.
48:01Dean finds the combination of HR and marketing fascinating.
48:37Sam encourages listeners to leave five-star reviews and connect on LinkedIn.

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