Developing Employer
Brands that Will Make a Measurable Difference

Balfour Beatty is the UK’s largest infrastructure organisation with over 15,000 employees. But its employer branding journey only kicked off following a business transformation programme that started 4 years ago. The employer brand was built to help the organisation attract a wider and more diverse pool of talent, Martin Stubbs Resourcing Manager Employer Branding explains:


  • Operating on a shoestring budget, Martin’s team was also faced with the challenge of managing key stakeholder expectations and business-wide communication (inviting contribution and feedback) to make sure they achieved the desired outcomes.
  • A decent corporate relationship with the marketing team was necessary to help bring the project forward.
  • Balfour Beatty partnered with SMRS to find a voice that unified all 7 divisions of the organisation.

- They ran staff, candidate and supplier surveys, leadership interviews and competitor benchmarks to understand both internal and external perceptions of the organisation and what differentiates it from competition.

  • They then looked at organisational attributes and allowed enough brand flexibility to deliver appropriate messaging to various audiences across all divisions and recruitment lifecycles.

- They created the employee value proposition based on robust research, and finally came up with the essence of the brand – Shape Everything.

  • SMRS also helped Balfour Beatty shoot videos and photos featuring existing employees to add authenticity to the brand.

- They also turned the organisation’s careers site into a flagship for the brand, serving up relevant content to people, based on their job search

  • The new EVP was used to launch Balfour Beatty’s new apprentice campaign.


An employer brand is a constantly evolving piece. It starts with attraction but it’s important for it to go around the entire employee lifecycle. Candidates are looking for employer brands that reflect an organisation’s culture and values through authentic storytelling. Involve your senior leadership in the process from the beginning, as culture stems from the way your organisation is being led, but use your employees to bring it to life. Strike balance between authenticity and aspiration.

View Mandy Thorndyke and Martin Stubbs' presentation


Mandy Thorndyke, Lead Client Partner, SMRS & Martin Stubbs, Resourcing Manager Employer Brand, Balfour Beatty

"Developing employer brands that will make a measurable difference"