With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades, employers across the nation continue to struggle staffing their companies with high-quality talent. 

This situation isn’t limited to specific industries or regions. It’s rare to drive through any city across the country without seeing “Now Hiring” signs everywhere you look. Companies that aren’t trying to fill open positions are the exception.

While tried-and-true recruiting tactics such as job postings, attending job fairs, and employee referral programs are still effective, competition for talent is fierce and is requiring companies to take measures never taken before. 

Companies are further integrating their recruiting and marketing efforts to reach more qualified candidates while ramping up their messaging about the benefits of their culture and values. As a result, employer branding is critical to recruiting and has become a priority with countless companies and a growing capability and emphasis for marketing and recruiting firms.


In traditional corporate branding, an organization’s brand is the essence of the value it provides customers. When a current or potential customer is asked to describe a specific business, the answer is that company’s brand, good or bad. This is why many businesses have invested in brand management because it has become so important in business, particularly in an age where customers can share their opinions so easily and broadly.

Employer branding is the same concept, but the objective is to convey and influence a company’s reputation as an employer and its value to current and potential employees. Corporate branding is designed to ultimately sell more goods and services to customers. The goal of employer branding is to position a company as a great place to work with existing and prospective employees. An employer brand can help attract the type of candidates a company desires and ideally positions it ahead of the competition.


As mentioned earlier, the competition for talent is intense and fueled by an extremely tight labor market. Companies are not only vying for talent with their direct competition, but with every other business and industry. Firms that are winning the war for talent are using employer branding as a strategic advantage.

Companies that invest in employer branding are more likely to attract the candidates who not only have the right skills and experience, but fit best with a company’s culture and values. 

Employer branding also gives businesses the ability to compete for jobseekers on more than just compensation. It’s often discussed that successful distributors don’t compete on price but on the value of relationships and service. The same holds true with employer branding and finding talent who consider a company’s promise and employee experience with as equal weight as pay.

Employer branding not only helps with recruiting but retention also. By using employer branding to show what it’s like to work for a company and examples of successful employees, it sets an expectation for incoming employees and eliminates potential surprises or the perception of bait and switch. 

Recruiting experts believe employee turnover can be cut by almost two-thirds with effective employer branding.

Aside from these possible benefits, there’s also the potential downside of not investing in employer branding and simply continuing with recruiting practices that may have been effective in previous years or decades. Like the old adage about employee training that asks: “What happens if I train my employees and they leave?” compared to “What happens if I don’t train my employees and they stay?”  The current labor landscape is simply too competitive to not include employer branding as a recruiting strategy.


ASA’s PROJECT TALENT, one of the association’s key strategic initiatives, was born to help brand the PHCP and PVF distribution and manufacturing industries as attractive and viable career options, and assist members with their local recruiting efforts.

The combination of these efforts is much like the analogy of the Goodyear blimp and local tire sales.  The Goodyear blimp has flown over sporting and other events for nearly 100 years and is a highly recognizable corporate icon. When most people think of blimps, Goodyear comes to mind.  However, it’s the combination of that recognition with the sales, promotions and service efforts of local Goodyear tire dealers that result in the purchase of their products.

PROJECT TALENT is very similar in approach. ASA has invested in increasing and enhancing the visibility of the industry while building and providing tools and resources for members regardless of their recruiting capabilities or investment.

Through social media, email marketing and the creation and promotion of the supplyindustrycareers.com website, ASA continues to show examples of the benefits of the industry while drawing interested jobseekers to members. 

Additionally, ASA has created an online Recruiter Toolbox for members that includes tools and resources to augment members’ local recruiting efforts.

The proper attention and focus on a company’s employer brand can help a business rise above the rest in its recruiting efforts. This, combined with ASA’s industry branding work and the tools and resources available to ASA members, gives PHCP and PVF distributors and manufacturers a fighting chance in the ongoing battle for talent.