What is an employer seal and what does it mean for employees?

If a company can present an employer seal, it will definitely gain advantages – especially with regard to attracting new top employees. However, applicants are generally unfamiliar with such awards, so they do not trust them blindly.

What lies behind the employer seals

The basic purpose of employer seals is to demonstrate that a company is a high-quality employer. Of course, various factors can be taken into account as a sign of quality, such as general working conditions, remuneration or the company’s family-friendliness.

The responsible certification company regularly checks the criteria applied. This can consist of consumer organizations or a publishing house, for example.

Companies can obtain an employer seal in various ways. For example, they can participate in employee surveys, evaluate ratings on relevant platforms or take part in competitions.

Awareness of employer seals

Past surveys have shown, however, that in most cases the employer seals are unknown to the general public. Only a very small number of participants in the survey were able to name at least one employer seal with which they were familiar. The awareness ratings of the awards evaluated in the study ranged from five to 47 percent.

Even the most established seals were firmly anchored in the minds of the respondents or at least vaguely known to them only in less than 50 percent of cases. These include the Top Employer Germany, Top 10 Employer, Great Place To Work, Top Employer DIQP, Top Employer SME and Top Career Opportunities awards from Focus Money.

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However, the survey also looked at the trustworthiness of the employer seals. Here, too, the respondents were rather reserved. On average, they only attributed between twelve and 34 percent trustworthiness to the employer seals.

The trustworthiness of the awards

Another study from 2020 looked more closely at how the trustworthiness of a company is influenced by existing awards or employer seals. In this regard, the participants in the study indicated that they place their trust primarily in seals of approval that are issued by associations or private test institutes without the intention of making a profit.

This result is also reflected in many other surveys on this topic. For example, in another survey, more than 40 percent of the participants stated that they have more confidence in an employer seal if it is awarded by a neutral organization or an independent association. Nevertheless, the exact circumstances of the certification and the corresponding organizations are completely unknown to most of the respondents. For this reason, it is difficult to assess whether employer seals are actually meaningful.

The advantages of employer seals for companies

If the employer seal has at least a certain degree of recognition and is awarded by an independent organization, employer branding can certainly be strengthened by the employer seal.

For companies, this means that they should carefully check both the recognition of the respective seal in their target group and the publisher of the award in advance. In principle, the degree of recognition is also much higher if an employee survey is conducted as part of the certification process.