HR Management & Compliance

Purpose is Crucial to Employment Branding

In yesterday’s Advisor, Bob Kelleher, author/speaker at the SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition discussed engagement and hiring. Today we’ll hear what he has to say about employment branding and developing brand ambassadors.


According to Kelleher, forming good employment branding requires that your company have a clear purpose. He says that the more that you can crystalize the purpose of your company, “the more you are going to have a culture of engagement.”

Kelleher uses Whole Foods as an example of using purpose to build a culture of engagement. Their catchphrase is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet.” Kelleher notes that this message resonated throughout the whole chain, from the products, to the workers, to the customer. He says “We are willing to pay more money to shop there” because of that message.

Another example involves Whirlpool. Kelleher says they donate a refrigerator and a range to every home built by Habitat for Humanity. Furthermore, thousands of Whirlpool employees donate their time to Habitat for Humanity.

When a company resonates its purpose, people who are aligned with that purpose want to work there. Those employees then become part of the message.

Brand Ambassadors

When a company like Whole Foods or Whirlpool uses its identity to develop a great team of employees, something else can happen as well. Those employees talk to their friends and family about how great their workplace is. News of the company’s success and message get out to the general public. As a result, according to Kelleher, a number of people start spreading the brand for free. They become an employment brand’s best ally: brand ambassadors.

Brand ambassadors are not just limited to employees. “When there is a great synergy between employer brand and your product brand, you can leverage your customers, vendors, and suppliers to become your brand ambassadors” says Kelleher. These ambassadors will stand up for your company, suggest it to their friends and family, and ultimately strengthen both your bottom line and your ability to hire quality, engaged applicants.

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