Editor's note: Simon Chadwick is managing partner and Lock Collins is partner and human resources practice leader at Cambiar Consulting.

We are all familiar with the concept of a corporate brand – that amalgam of attributes and feelings that make up the overall image and personality that a company projects to the outside world. But what about the brand that it projects internally? What about the attributes and feelings that it engenders in the people who actually work there or, indeed, who might think about working there in the future? At Cambiar, we call this a company’s Employer Brand.

Just like an external brand, an Employer Brand is made up of attributes that are both hard and soft. The hard ones are things like salaries, compensation programs, health benefits and those extra benefits and perks that companies sometimes do or don’t offer. The soft ones relate more to things like management culture, the presence of a clearly defined and communicated strategy and the work environment.

Generically, there are many studies that, in one way or another, measure Employer Brand. Just think of the “best place to work” studies and awards that abound in various states and cities. But until now, there has never been a comprehensive study of Employer Brand in the market research industry. What makes for a great MR Employer Brand? And what makes for a truly challenged one? Cambiar set out to find out with its first-ever National Employer Brand Survey – an online survey of 430 employees (of all ranks) in firms involved in providing market research services throughout  the country. (Cambiar is indebted to Quirk’s for their assistance in carrying out this study.)

To arrive at a good, composite understanding of the Employer Brand of any one respondent’s company, Cambiar devised an algorithm to derive an Employer Brand Score (EBS). Based on a hypothetical top attainable score of 100, the reality is that most ...