The Telegraph is an award-winning, multimedia news brand that has been synonymous with quality, authority and credibility for more than 160 years. The Telegraph Media Group (TMG) approached Cogito Employer Brand to obtain an insight into the expectations of the candidate market and the reality of working for The Telegraph from their colleagues and employees. Through telephone and desk-based research, 200 individuals were contacted in January and February 2019, all of whom match the job titles provided by TMG within the five job families: Digital, Tech, Editorial, Support and Commercial. All data gathered was from questions agreed with TMG at the outset of this project.


Our programme of work blends research, insights and branding expertise. Through a combination of desk-based research, external telephone interviews and comprehensive competitor analysis, Cogito Employer Brand sought to obtain an external insight into the expectations of the candidate market. This research clearly showed TMG how their competitors position themselves in their recruitment marketing activity and what their audiences are looking for in their careers. This provided TMG with a clear description of the profiles and personalities of their target candidates.

We then looked to TMG employees to investigate the reality of working for them. Our internal research report detailed what is demonstrably good and ideally different about working for TMG and areas for improvement or consideration. Internal research was obtained through:

  • Desk-based research – reviewing any existing insight such as engagement or employee satisfaction surveys, people strategies, values documents, and current recruitment marketing material.
  • Executive interviews – conducting a series of short telephone or face-to-face interviews with select members of the executive team to garner their input into the employer proposition and gain insight into the company’s goals and what they will look like in the future.
  • Internal perception surveys – short, compact surveys designed to encourage maximum participation and collect some insightful data.
  • Internal focus groups exploring the thoughts, experiences, and expectations of critical groups by gender and varying levels of experience provide excellent insight and quotes from individuals that can be used in subsequent employer brand communications.

This breadth of data gathering and analysis ensured that Cogito Employer Brand provided TMG with unrivalled and evidence-based recommendations to form the Employer Brand creative phase pillars.


Our key findings from the project were:

  • Most respondents would work for TMG and positively perceived the brand.
  • Good company culture, training and progression and exciting projects were considered important to employees.
  • Career progression, flexible working and rewarding salary/benefits were desirable factors when considering new roles.

All research findings and recommendations were presented to key stakeholders in the project. After the discovery phase, TMG understood the creative tools required to bring their employer identity to life. Cogito Employer Brand helped develop a toolkit of pre-written employer marketing messages for TMG to call upon when needed.

Bespoke training was also created and delivered to ensure in-house recruitment teams and hiring managers became brand advocates based on the research and insights. From work carried out by Cogito Employer Brand, TMG has since won awards for their Employer Branding.

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