Employer Branding

Does Walmart’s Employment Brand Sync Up With Workplace Reputation?


Glassdoor is setting out to examine several Fortune 500 companies to see how their employment branding efforts sync up with workplace reputation. We are looking to answer the question: does the company’s value proposition to job seekers complement what employees appreciate or does it contradict what they feel needs to be worked on?

This month we start by focusing in on the company at the top of the 2013 list:  Walmart. We dug in to see if the rubber meets the road when it comes to how the company promotes its jobs and careers across its careers site and various social channels, compared to what employees have to say about working there. Finally, we identified some useful tips on how best to build and enhance your employer brand.

Employer Brand vs. Employee Perception

Employer Brand

On the Walmart careers site, the company promotes the chance to collaborate with other employees, and to create something new that will enhance customers’ lives. In addition, Walmart’s careers site tell candidates that they’ll have the opportunity help entire communities and work for a company where you can fulfill a mission bigger than yourself.

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On the Walmart Facebook careers page, which has close to 45,000 likes, the company features its internship opportunities prominently promising rewarding work experiences and opportunities to connect with other great professionals. Throughout the page, the company also highlights volunteer efforts by Walmart employees, job search tips and locations where they’re hiring for jobs like store associates. Many of the employer brand messages also permeate across their twitter channel too (@WalmartCareers) which has approximately 17,000 followers.

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So do these messages cross over to what employees see and feel? Do interns rave about their experiences? Plus do Walmart employees also speak about the career opportunities and the chance to give back to their community?

Employee Perception:

Below we highlight pros and cons of working at Walmart according to employees and their interns. This is a great way to test if your brand messaging is really working and find out any areas to work on that can make your company better. Note current Walmart employees give the company an overall company satisfaction rating of 2.9 based on a 1-5 ratings scale – in other words, employees say Walmart is an “OK” place to work.  Also, 47% of Walmart Employees would recommend the company to a friend. (Ratings as of August 22, 2013).

Walmart Employees Say…

“Pros – Opportunity to advance if you are willing to put in the time. Affordable health insurance. Profit sharing, quarterly bonuses.” – Walmart Employee (Temple, PA)

“Pros – Wal-Mart is constantly improving and listening to feedback from employees. They are also working with outside companies to ensure that salary levels are comparable with the industry.” –Walmart Systems Engineer (Benton, AR)

“Cons- Every time something bad happened, additional process was added to compensate. After many years of this, there’s a lot more process now than anything else.” –Walmart Network Engineer (Bentonville, AR)

“Cons-There is so much focus on diversity that many feel there is an environment based more on political correctness than on performance and results.” –Walmart Systems Engineer (Benton, AR)

Walmart Interns say…

“Pros – Getting to learn all sides of the store operations. Paid internship, potential Job offer at the end of the program.” –Walmart Intern (Boyertown, PA)

“Cons– The management was not very supportive, as an intern you have a guide to follow but we had to take it upon ourselves to find something to do.” –Walmart Intern (Alexandria, VA)

Does the rubber meet the road?

In many areas, Walmart’s value proposition to job seekers carries through to what employees are seeing and feeling in the trenches. For example, career opportunities and community involvement definitely rings true. But as with any company there are always opportunities bring greater transparency to your employment opportunities. For example, Walmart can use its careers site, Glassdoor and its other various social channels to promote other areas that employees say are good reasons to work at the company (e.g. discounts, health benefits, pay), and be honest about the areas its working hard to fix which employees may be noting are current downsides of working at the company.

Are you working on improving your employer brand? Below are some tips to consider as you look at Walmart and what it’s doing from a recruiting perspective.

Tip On Improving Your Employer Brand:

  • Know what your employees are saying about your company: the good and the bad. Remember job candidates are hungry for information before they take a job offer and so they’ll be visiting more than your company’s careers site to help them decide where to work next. And don’t forget they’ll want to hear from more than they company – they’ll be turning to friends, family and social media sites like Glassdoor to get the full scoop.  (Have you claimed your profile on Glassdoor? Get started with a free employer account.)
  • Build trust with your job seekers. Make it easy for job seekers to find the information they want and need in order to learn about your company. For example, link to your company reviews on Glassdoor, your Facebook careers page, your Twitter careers page and wherever else you think would be valuable to point your job candidates to.
  • Know your audience: Walmart does a good job promoting its internships on its Facebook careers page – we’re assuming because they’ve done their homework and found that is where their younger target workforce are looking to learn about jobs and careers. While it’s important to have your brand be consistent across a variety of online and social channels, the message should always be catered to the community in that channel.
  • Don’t get discouraged: Remember this it takes a lot of hard work to build a great employer brand. Not seeing your company’s hard work to help employees feel more connected in the community by offering volunteer work opportunities? Or maybe you’re not seeing your company’s efforts to increase work-life balance. Don’t get discouraged—instead find other channels to promote your company’s attributes that don’t resonate in company reviews. For example, develop a short YouTube video that shows your employees volunteering or talking about the great work-life balance.

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