The Top-Ranked Large Companies by Employment Brand
An annual ranking finds that competition among the nation's largest companies for best employer brand is heating up.
By Andrew R. McIlvaine
Which company has the most popular employment brand? According to the 2018 Fortune 500 Top 100 Employment Brands report, it's Johnson & Johnson, which has earned the top overall ranking for the second year in a row.
"Johnson & Johnson empowers their workforce to tell their employment brand story, their career pages are highly engaging, and they've made concerted effort to invest in corporate social responsibility and philanthropy while enabling their employees to have a voice in such efforts," says John Wilson, CEO of Wilson HCG, which publishes the annual list.
Intel was No. 2 on this year's list, while IBM, Procter & Gamble and Lockheed Martin all tied for No. 3. The rest of the top 10 included General Motors, J.P. Morgan Chase, Dow, Cummins and ADP (each tied for No. 6 overall).
Wilson HCG, a Tampa-based recruitment-process outsourcing, executive search and consulting firm, ranks Fortune 500 companies based on six employment branding categories, including career pages, candidate experience, employee reviews and recruitment marketing.
Competition among the nation's largest firms in the employment brand arena has reached a fever pitch, says Wilson, noting that the top 50 employment brands on the list are separated by just 14 points. He attributes J&J's strong showing for the second year in a row to the healthcare and pharmaceutical company's scoring strongly in all six categories, including ranking in the top 2 percent for employee reviews and candidate engagement.
Another differentiator for top-ranked companies is that they offer "legitimate insight" into their workplace, says Wilson. Job candidates are doing their homework and seeking companies that "align with what matters most to them," he says, which means that authenticity and transparency are key.
"Companies like Nike, Hilton and Salesforce, to name a few examples, are using their brands and empowering their workforces to share insight, whether that's through referral programs, testimonials, review websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, social media, or otherwise," says Wilson. Disney, Facebook and Microsoft are also noteworthy high performers in this area, he says.
Top-performing companies are also paying careful attention to their job descriptions, mindful of the fact that 50 percent of applicants still come from job boards, says Wilson.
"As with career pages, ob descriptions provide a critical entry point for candidates; they're a platform to share direct, honest insight into company culture, role responsibilities, career path and growth opportunities," he says.
Job descriptions can serve as an opportunity for companies to showcase tech savviness, including the way they engage visitors and leverage mobile integration, says Wilson.
Another trend he's witnessing is a move among top-ranked companies to "paint the career path picture" for job candidates at their organizations.
"Among 18 to 35-year-olds, the ability to 'learn and progress' is now a major driver of candidate and employee decisions," says Wilson. "Yet, about 40 percent of this population says they're not learning fast enough and are likely to leave their current role."
In response, companies like Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, Dell and FedEx are "providing transparency into career progression" to candidates, he says, beginning through the first six months, the first year and so on.
"By providing transparency into career progression, companies not only attract better candidates but enhance engagement from the very first touch," says Wilson.