On Brand: An Introduction to Employer Branding for Breweries

This is the first in our On Brand series, a look at how to make employer branding work for your brewery.

Companies have two brands.

One is what think of as a brand: how the public perceives them and their product.

The second is a “hidden” brand, but critically important to building the right team: how members of their industry perceive them as an employer. This is called “employer branding”.

In an industry as tight-knit as brewing, employer branding is even more crucial than it is in other areas. This importance is only going to increase as the internet allows for greater networking, communication, and gossip.

Over the next few months, our On Brand series will walk you through employer branding best practices, how to use the internet and sites like Glassdoor to your advantage, and how to create a brewery culture which attracts the best talent.

To learn more about the basics of employer branding, keep reading.

What goes into an employer’s brand?

If you’ve ever told an industry friend that your brewery is a great place to work — except for that one guy who microwaves fish in the break room — you’ve contributed to your brewery’s employer brand.

If you’ve ever checked Glassdoor before accepting a job offer, or asked a member of your network what it’s like to work somewhere, you’ve used an employer brand to make a decision.

Just as with ordinary branding, there are countless ways (both good and bad) for a brewery to make their mark as an employer. However, these actions create a brand through two primary channels:

  • Official channels such as job listings, official blogs and social media accounts, interviews and press releases, websites, and employee advocacy
  • Unofficial channels such as word-of-mouth from former or current employees, Glassdoor, gossip, uncontrolled press, and chatter on social media

The goal for breweries is to ensure that their official channels are presenting their employer branding in the best light, while also truly making for a good working environment so that the information in unofficial channels is positive.

In some cases, rumors or other types of incorrect negativity can appear in unofficial channels. While these usually work themselves out so long as your brewery is genuinely a good employer, sometimes they take more effort to quash.

What’s an Employer Value Proposition?

An Employer Value Proposition, or EVP, is one of the cornerstones of employer branding. Stripped of jargon, this is simply a term for what an employer can offer its employees: the company’s benefits, culture, values, and opportunities.

An EVP can also refer to a carefully-crafted paragraph outlining these features, both to articulate them within the brewery and to show them off for potential talent. Some employers have taken to including their EVP in job postings in order to highlight what they can offer candidates.

Writing an EVP brings your employer branding into focus.

  • Do you have a long list of items to include, or do you struggle to make your brewery sound like an ideal place to work?
  • What do you feel the need to gloss over, and what are your proud to highlight?
  • Would any of your employees, former or current, argue with the points you’re making?
  • Do your official channels, particularly social media, reflect what you’ve written in your EVP?

While no brewery has to become the industry’s version of the Google campus, there’s no question that breweries with a solid EVP are more likely to attract top-tier talent in a competitive market.

What are the benefits of employer branding?

A poor employer brand can sometimes be overcome through offering excellent wages, but income isn’t everything. Benefits, community, meaning, and solid leadership are all highly sought-after by employees, particularly in a passion-driven industry like brewing.

For example, a survey of 2700 American employees (not in the brewing industry) found that 32% were in their current position because they found it personally meaningful. 48% of workers in another study looked for good benefits when job-hunting, versus 46% who were primarily interested in a high salary. Together, this paints a picture of positive employer branding — a high-quality EVP — as playing a crucial role in attracting the best talent quality.

Breweries are only as good as the people who work there, and those people will only be as good as what they are offered in return. By making your brewery’s employer branding a priority, you’ll ensure that you’ll always be able to find the people you need.