The Cost of an Employer Brand|The Cost of an Employer Brand

The Cost of an Employer Brand

As candidates gain more insight into what it's like to work at an organization through reviews and ratings and sites like Glassdoor, employers have started to put a larger emphasis on employer branding strategies. The old days of marketing your brand with internally driven messages and hoping they resonate with your dream candidates are over.

Building a positive employer brand will result in more hires, so focusing your efforts and ensuring your message is consistent across all channels is more important than ever.

But where do you start? Who owns this area when you don't have a designated headcount for employer brand? And what strategies will help you launch your brand? Below, we dig deeper into these questions to help you recognize the cost of an employer brand.

Who's responsible for employer branding?

According to a Glassdoor survey, 26% of recruiters say that improving their employer brand and company reputation will be easier over the next 12 months. When you realize how crucial your employer brand is to hiring and the overall candidate experience, you'll see this is an astoundingly low percentage. The problem here is this: what do you do when you don't have headcount to devote to employer branding?

Our advice? Hire a dedicated person who can assume this role and establish your employer brand. This will ensure that all levels of your organization - from the CEO to senior leadership to HR and Marketing - will be on the same page regarding brand messaging and strategy. Branding isn't "set it and forget it" - your champion must constantly evolve your employer brand and iterate it to fit the current pulse of your organization.

What strategies should you use?

Companies that focus on their employer brand can easily leap ahead of their competition and win the war for talent. The more you invest in your brand, the less you will need to convince job seekers to come and work for you.

The top-rated strategies utilized by recruiters to elevate their employer brand are:

  • Internal surveys, 36%
  • Online reviews, 30%
  • Best Places to Work awards, 29%
  • Social media monitoring, 25%
  • News coverage, 23%

To ensure coverage and success, your employer branding specialist needs to be strategic about hiring initiatives while wearing both a PR and Marketing hat. A true leader will guide and promote the plan throughout your organization.

What do you budget for an employer brand?

When you factor in personnel, training fees and ramp times, the real fun begins. This is where you can hone in on the best platforms to invest in and what the true cost of an employer brand is. In a Harris survey commissioned by Glassdoor, company cost varied by company size, averaging $129,000. Those with 1-499 employees spent $6,300, 500-3499 employees spent $81,400, and those above 3500+ spent $335,900.

Interested to see how this cost breaks down? Here it is by percentage:

  • Print advertising, 56%
  • Online profiles, 38%
  • Online social monitoring, 33%
  • Online banner advertising, 32%
  • Employer branding agency, 31%
  • Radio/TV advertising, 26%
  • Internal design, 25%
  • Outdoor advertising, 24%
  • Headcount, 22%


In this competitive recruitment landscape, brand or be branded. The Employer Branding Global Trends report associated a 22% reduced recruitment fee with a good employer brand. Additionally, 94% of candidates are likely to apply to a job if an employer actively manages their employer brand (e.g., responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment).

Looking for more? Download our Business Case for Employer Branding to help you draft your pitch to senior leaders today!