Ethics trumps remuneration in employer branding

Robert Half research has found being perceived as an ethical company ranks higher than being perceived as a company that pays high salaries.

  • 95% of Australian employers recognise the importance of their company’s reputation when attracting and retaining talent. 
  • The top three elements in Australian organisations’ employer branding strategy are ethics and values (64%),  work-life balance (50%) and competitive/high salary and remuneration packages (34%). 

With the majority of Australian companies understanding the importance of employer branding in a competitive landscape, there are stark differences into what the core elements are of companies’ reputation according to Australia’s HR managers. Being perceived as an ethical company (64%) ranks higher than being perceived as a company that pays high salaries (34%), according to independent research commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half.

The research found the overwhelming majority (95%) of Australian hiring managers believe company branding is crucial in their strategy to not only attract high-calibre workers, but also to retain their existing staff. 

Nicole Gorton, Director at Robert Half Australia said: “Branding goes beyond logos – it promotes a company’s reputation to all stakeholders, including the skilled talent companies are most keen on attracting and hiring. Examples like Google, Apple, Facebook and Coca Cola highlight the successes companies can reap in terms of staff acquisition and retention.” 

“In the same way that a candidate’s resume and interview skills can influence an employer’s decision of whether the jobseeker is suitable for the role and company or not, so too can corporate branding shift a candidate’s perception about whether or not the company is the right fit for them. The importance of developing a clear and well-defined employer branding strategy that appeals to employees should therefore not be underestimated in a competitive employment market.”

When asked what companies consider the top three elements in their organisation's current employer branding strategy,  almost two in three (64%) employers refer to their organisation’s ethics and values. This is ahead of promoting work-life balance (50%), paying a competitive salary (34%), promoting career advancement (34%) and being an innovative company (34%).

“While we often think of organisational values as a lofty concept, companies generally spend a significant amount of time developing their corporate brand, deciding what sets them apart from other organisations, including how their company is perceived by their (potential) employees. People want to feel they are a good fit with their organisation, making them more likely to develop good working relationships with their employer, be more productive and more likely to stay loyal to their company,” concluded Nicole Gorton. 


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in April 2016 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Australian HR managers. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]