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The Anatomy of an Employer Brander

Are you an Employer Brander? What is an Employer Brander?

Someone who works in Employer Brand, of course!

Never heard that term before? That’s because we made it up.

There are a lot of different job titles for people who work in the employer brand space. A quick search on Indeed for “Employer Brand”  yields a few:

  • Employer Brand and Attraction Manager
  • Global Employer Brand and Attraction Coordinator
  • Internal Communications and Employer Brand Manager
  • Employer Brand Specialist
  • Employer Brand and Attraction Manager
  • Global Employer Brand Lead
  • Employer Brand Lead, Early Careers
  • Employer Brand Manager
  • Employer Brand Experience Leader

Along with an assortment of general branding and brand ambassador jobs, including Chocolate Demonstrator-3.

This doesn’t include Talent Brand jobs, which would require a different boolean search.

Possibly a more sensible search on LinkedIn reveals more of the same:

  • Global Head of Employer Brand
  • Employer Brand Manager
  • Head of Employer Brand
  • Employer Brand
  • Global Employer Brand Manager
  • Employer Brand Consultant
  • Global Employer Brand Lead
  • Senior Employer Brand Manager
  • Director of Employer Brand Marketing
  • Employer Brand & Attraction Lead
  • Employer Brand Social Media Manager
  • Employer Brand Director
  • Talent Marketing & Employer Brand Manager

So to accommodate all of these we coined the phrase “Employer Brander” as all of these roles at varying levels of seniority and specificity all require the same set of core skills - the Anatomy of an Employer Brander, if you will.

What attributes does an Employer Brander need? Like any other role there is a continuum of skills an Employer Brander will need to deploy depending on the specifics of the role and its seniority, but these are all a matter of emphasis. 

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the skills and attributes that we think that every employer brander should have, at least, a sprinkling of (in no particular order):

  • The ability to frame a conversation and to listen really well without interrupting, and to ask the right questions based on what you hear in order to deepen your understanding of what has been said
  • The ability to communicate well verbally, in written form, and visually so that you can present and portray what you have found in a convincing way
  • Have a deeply enquiring mind and an innate curiosity about other people and what they know, understand, and feel
  • The ability to adeptly manage a diverse group of stakeholders, ensuring that anyone who needs to take part in your work and who needs to contribute to a decision, is given the opportunity to do so
  • To not be afraid of data, and to understand that data is a means to an end and not the end itself, to be able to take data and from that derive insights and understanding of what the data represents without filling in gaps with your own opinions and innate perspectives
  • Have empathy and the ability to visualise living and working as someone else, based on what they tell you
  • Have imagination so that you can extrapolate from what understanding you have to create a desirable, evidence based, future state
  • Have the creativity to take what is said to you and be able to articulate it in a compelling way and create visual representations of what you see and hear that resonate with people
  • To be able to look up from the details and see the grand scale of what you are dealing with, to see the big picture, to discover the grand themes that underpin the concepts you discover in your journey and tie it all together
  • To be able to take an evidence based approach which gives you an unbiased viewpoint in all of your work, with the understanding that we all come to work with our inherent perspectives and prejudices, however small, and these should not affect what we do
  • To have a good understanding of technology and what it can do for you, including how to use the Applicant Tracking System your company has deployed, how to use the advertising interfaces for the major social media and search platforms, and how to use common office tools such as spreadsheets to allow you to manipulate and transform data
  • An understanding of marketing and what it can achieve, because after all a lot of activities you will undertake in your Employer Branding work are actually marketing
  • The skills to be able to manage a complex project will be a massive benefit to you, especially if you are undertaking an Employer Value Proposition project
  • The ability to manage your work to a budget as whatever level of seniority work needs to be achieved, and that work needs to be managed from a financial perspective
  • And finally the determination to get to the bottom of things so that you can truly understand what underlies the culture of your company and what the meaning is of what people tell you

Quite the list! However if we think about that an Employer Brander actually does, we might have a shorter one, and maybe a more succinct approach.

Considering all of the job titles that we listed from Indeed and LinkedIn, we can see two dimensions of work that would be done by anyone in any of these roles (or in fact, any role anywhere - not just Employer Branding work).

Those two dimensions are expertise and seniority:

  • Expertise comprises the skills and experience required to do the work.
  • Seniority implies greater responsibility the more senior the position, and in theory a deeper understanding and experience of the essential core of the work - the expertise.

So what does an Employer Brander actually do? And what expertise is required?

Every Employer Brander, regardless of seniority, must be able to:

Understand the culture of their company based on the evidence they discover


Be able to convey the culture of their company to different audiences in an authentic and compelling way

Let’s let that sink in for a moment and think about what that means in reality, what tasks underly those activities and what skills are required to achieve those tasks. We’ll cover the specifics of process and Employer Brander activities later in the book but even from the articulation of what an Employer Brander does we can already see that the breadth of the work is quite wide, even though the essence of the work can be distilled down to just one sentence:

An Employer Brander must be able understand the culture of their company based on the evidence they discover and convey the culture of their company to different audiences in an authentic and compelling way.

If we revisit the long list of desirable skills above and apply to the list the absolute minimum number of skills to support the definition of what an Employer Brander does, we can see that the absolute core of the core skills of an Employer Brander are:

  • Curiosity
  • Listening
  • Understanding of Data
  • Communication
  • Creativity

An Employer Brander must be endlessly curious, a thoughtful listener, be thrilled by data, be an excellent communicator and a creative thinker.