Evolving The Employer Brand In The Digital Era

Teresa Castano

The term “employer brand” has been around for years – and even decades. Despite its age, the employer brand is still very relevant in the marketplace and an unquestionable strategic lever in competing for the best talent.

While I am not an expert in employer brands, I believe its concept must evolve faster to embed the changing reality that digitization is having on business, including our people processes.

Digital is impacting all aspects of our lives. We are all digital consumers; while the extent differs across generations, we’re all consuming digitally. All companies are (or should be) on the road to digital transformation – not only by implementing technology but also by redefining their operating model through processes, organization, workplace, people practices, culture, and so on.

In fact, digitization has become an important decision factor in choosing a company to work for. Research says 70% of employees aged 22 to 60 want to work for digitally mature companies. In this sense, we can say that digital will attract talented millennials, Generation Z, and the generations that come after, and will also help us manage a multi-generational workforce.

So how do we integrate the digital side into our employer brand? It is not about using digital resources to build and promote the employer brand, which many companies are already doing, but in how they are communicating their “digital offer” or the “digital employee value proposition.”

How to do digital employer branding

  1. The first step is to embrace company-wide digital transformation and preferably in a prioritized way. Most companies tend to forget that changes and processes are implemented by people, and they leave the “human side” for the last step in the journey. By embracing the digital transformation of people as one of the first milestones, companies will have the correct tools and processes to support the company-wide digital transformation and enable people departments and managers with the right tools to retain, transform, and engage the workforce to carry out the transformation and embrace the new culture.
  1. Transform the employee experience to embrace digitization and align all processes to deliver it. This must not only be part of your talent-attraction strategy but woven throughout the entire employee lifecycle. In other words, you have to walk the talk all the way through. There is misalignment when a company:
    • Does not have a streamlined recruiting process, rather a deficient and fragmented candidate experience.
    • Has digitized its working processes with real-time, mobile-enabled information, but still distributes payslips on paper and schedules work shifts manually.
    • Does not cultivate nor promote a culture of innovation and collaboration.
  1. Reinforce the employer brand with the digital components of your employee value proposition and transmit them accordingly. Tell candidates things like: How digitized are your processes? What digital tools do you have? What is the working environment and culture like? How digital are your people practices? All of this must be sold to candidates with the right messaging – aligned with the digital image – communicated through digital employer branding tools.
  1. Monitor, reshape, and realign your brand. The employer brand (and branding) is not static; it continually evolves to meet changing expectations. Companies must put in place processes to monitor that the digital employer brand is being delivered internally (delivering the promise), and also ensure that the brand is evolving in the right direction and at the right speed.

How is your company evolving the employer brand to a digital employer brand?

Don’t miss the chance to learn about the integration between SAP SuccessFactors and Qualtrics Solutions firsthand from the product expert on December 12th.


Teresa Castano

About Teresa Castano

Teresa Castano is an HR value advisor at SAP, where she helps organizations build their value story for digital HR transformation. Pulling from over 15 years of experience, she uses her strong HR background as an HR business partner and in HR consulting to align business strategy to people initiatives and put people at the heart of any transformation.