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Where Does Employer Branding Fit In The Organisation?

For a companion video to this blog post, click here.

Employer Branding is a reasonably new discipline in the world of business, having been first coined and used in the 1990s and coming more to prominence in the early 2000s. When compared to disciplines such as sales, marketing, HR, accounting, communications and technology it can definitely be seen as a total newcomer.

Employer Branding still seems fresh and exciting, but the very newness of the discipline means that it can be hard for an organisation that is setting up an Employer Brand department to figure out where it reports in to organisationally.

We’ve seen Employer Branders report to Comms, Human Resources, Talent Acquisition and Marketing and sometimes standalone and in a somewhat directionless fashion, not reporting to any department in particular.

TA seems to be the most popular home for Employer Branders, but is that really the best hang-out for Employer Brand activities? We’re not so sure it is. 

If we think of TA, their main focus - their purpose, if you will - is to get new talent through the door to fill vacancies. Employer Branding definitely supports that activity, but it also supports and influences so much more inside the organisation if given the opportunity.

As a discipline, Employer Branding is most close to Marketing. In both Marketing and Employer Branding, data-based activities are carried out in order to elevate the reputation of a company, with the former relating to the company’s products and services, and the latter relating to its status as an employer.

So when considering where Employer Branding fits in your organisation, compare how you feel about Marketing reporting into Sales. This alignment would make sense for companies that want to ensure that Marketing focuses entirely on lead generation to support Sales. This makes perfect sense if that is the only focus, but this structure misses out on the alignment of Marketing and company strategy, and of elevating more than just purely the product or services of a company. What about its overall brand? What about its full portfolio of products or services which may or may not be the focus of the Sales team for this current quarter?

So Employer Branding reporting into TA feels like Marketing reporting into Sales. It can work if that’s the only focus.

We think this all becomes a question of alignment, and which alignment is most important to your organisation.

Employer Branding Aligns With:

For the Purpose Of:


Marketing holds the keys to brand. Ensuring that Employer Branding work is consistent approach, tone of voice, and design within the corporate brand guidelines is crucial. It is important to ensure that Employer Branding activities look and feel like other company marketing but of course have their own people-centric flavour. In addition, Employer Branding might want to align with new product launches, external events, or other marketing activities where piggybacking on the (usually larger) marketing spend can be useful to raise the profile of the company as a fantastic employer as well as a purveyor of amazing products.


Aligning closely with Comms ensures that Employer Branding work is clearly aligned with internal and external communications activities and that the two disciplines do not overlap or conflict with one another. This can be especially important if there are significant corporate events happening, such as layoffs, facility openings or changes of management.

Talent Acquisition

This, of course, is the big one. It is extremely important for Employer Branding to be closely aligned with TA. The folks in TA are the front line of your Employer Brand, and they need to be fully up to speed with what it is all about, what materials are available, indeed how to build new materials consistent with your EVP so they have all the tools available to ensure that they can hire people fast. And so that when a candidate becomes an employee and joins the company as a new recruit, they are not surprised by what they find. Having a close alignment with TA is important too from a feedback perspective. TA can tell you which bits of your EVP work, and which bits don’t, so you can use this insight to improve your EVP over time. 

Human Resources

Employer Branding is fundamentally about people and culture, so aligning it with Human Resources makes a lot of sense, especially with the lens of employee experience. This is also critical when activating your EVP internally, especially in a geographically distributed workplace where local HR can be your local culture and Employer Brand avatars.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is very important for a company to thrive over the long term and should ultimately be a strong partner and supporter of EVP and Employer Branding work. The importance of this is clear: if you create your EVP with equity in mind, your Employer Branding messages will resonate with a more diverse population than they may have previously, which in turn can include people in your talent pool who may not have considered your company as a workplace before. It is crucial that your EVP and Employer Brand works in partnership with your DEI leadership and initiatives.


Environmental, Social and Governance is another big topic relevant to both existing and potential employees. We are seeing that companies with a strong ESG story are more attractive places to work, and aligning EVP and Employer Branding with a company’s ESG leadership ensures that ESG messages are integrated in your Employer Branding content and that ESG is informed by your EVP and Employer Branding work. 


Executive leadership can fund or veto EVP and Employer Branding work, so it is very important to be aligned with the C-Suite. Not deeply, but enough to ensure that your work is in line with corporate strategy and that you have buy in for your activities.

Aligning with all of the areas above is important, and the rhythm of that alignment will depend upon the initiatives each area is undergoing at any particular time. Alignment means keeping in touch and ensuring that there is periodic, if not constant, communication between you and each group. We have found in the past that the Employer Brand team can actually function as a conduit between the different groups and by continually aligning and re-aligning with each group can convey knowledge indirectly between the groups which can benefit the organisation as a whole.

In your organisation you will probably have other groups you want to stay aligned with, and perhaps some of the groups noted may not have prominence in your company. but we think that this is a good starting set.

Now back to the question of where Employer Branding fits in an organisation. If alignment between all of the groups above is important, does it make sense for Employer Branding to report into any of them? We think not. Reporting into one of the above groups, with the exception of the C-Suite, will give that group undue prominence for Employer Branding in their realm of influence. And because the prominence of each group changes according to the activities they are undertaking, the value of Employer Branding to the company will also change over time.

Our view is that Employer Branding should have a seat in the C-Suite and report into a CxO role: Chief Employer Branding Officer (CEBO). We haven’t seen that particular job title yet, but nevertheless we believe that it is important for Employer Branding to have CxO prominence. 

What do you think?