More than ever, employer branding and engaging top talent is critical to organizational performance. Not convinced? Have a look at the 2014 Global Randstad Award winners, all of which have highly admired product and employer brands. These traits go hand-in-hand, and Randstad research shows strong evidence of a correlation between robust employer brand management and business performance.

Launching the Global Randstad Award study for the first time in 2014 to measure the attractiveness of the world's largest 100 companies, it comes as no surprise that BMW was recognized as this year’s most attractive global employer, followed by Sony and Samsung. The automotive giant was named by 61% of the 200,000 employees surveyed around the world as an employer they would like to work for. BMW led a pack of highly recognized brands such as Sony, Samsung, GE, Coca-Cola, Siemens, HP, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Volkswagen.

A closer look shows that BMW adheres to a rigorous process for measuring and monitoring employer brand and employee satisfaction, effectively communicates its employer value proposition, and emphasizes its training and career growth opportunities available. As a result, the company is a highly sought- after employer in its industry and is able to drive performance throughout the organization – that most importantly, translates into financial performance. Among its peers, it leads in three-year stock returns with an impressive rate of 55%. Volkswagen, also among the top 10 employers in the global Randstad Award, posted a return of 44%, second in the category. In fact, most of the top 10 companies finished ahead of competitors in the same industry.

Critically important to their success is the ability to innovate within their markets. Seven of the top 10 are on Thompson Reuters’ 100 Most Innovative Companies list in 2013. Siemens, for instance, reports an average of 38 inventions a day. Samsung works closely with a network of universities and research centers around the world. Only by investing in their employer brands can these companies hope to attract the talent they need to deliver on continuous innovation.