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How To Supercharge Your Employer Brand Like Elon Musk 

By Universum on 25/08/2022

‘Technoking’ Elon Musk Triumphs in Talent Acquisition 

AUSTIN, TX Aug 4th “Just like if it’s a pro sports team… where are the ace players going? There? Ok, probably that team will win.” – Elon Musk.  

If company rankings and talent acquisition were compared to that of sports achievements, SpaceX and Tesla have produced teams capable of winning the Stanley Cup for NHL Hockey, or the Champions League for Football. At the 2022 Tesla Annual Meeting of Stockholders, Elon Musk referenced data produced in Universum’s ‘Most Attractive Employers in the US 2021’ survey, and to no surprise, SpaceX and Tesla closed out the list at the top with rankings of 1 and 2 respectively. 


But what puts these two companies, headed by Musk, at the top of the list? Where does the success lie in their ability to attract, recruit, and retain top tier talent? The ace players of the tech world want to work for SpaceX and Tesla, and with over 3 million applications alone last year1, Musk can guarantee these companies are staffed with the best of the best, ensuring that his team will win.  

It’s not just that SpaceX and Tesla are a great place to work and thus the influx of applications, it’s also the underlying mission, vision, and values of these companies that aligns with talented individuals who want to make a difference. It is the strength of their employer brand, the encouragement of autonomy and collaboration, and the desire to change the world together that makes these companies succeed on a global stage.  

Throughout the presentation, Musk references career advancement, creativity, and high employee engagement, and how those are all things that aid in keeping the best around. By successfully implementing these ideals into the everyday life of workers at both Tesla and SpaceX, Musk has secured SpaceX and Tesla’s place as a top employer. 

“When thinking about the competitiveness of companies… I recommend looking at where the smartest engineers want to work.” Says Musk. “Wherever the smartest engineers want to work, that technology company is going to be the one that is likely to succeed.” Among other titles, Musk is the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla. Musk’s ability to recognize that to be the best you must bring the best, goes far beyond the product offerings and business objectives of the companies.  

Through the use of a highly attractive Employee Value Proposition, and a Strong Employer Brand, Musk has successfully fostered and created a culture that promotes autonomy, collaboration, and creativity. This has made SpaceX and Tesla a top choice for workers around the world, including the United States.  

Universum’s CEO Mats Röjdmark comments on the relevance of Musk’s attitude towards attracting top tier talent and consistently improving and nurturing SpaceX and Tesla’s EVPs. “The lesson to be learned from this is that no matter the size of your company, understanding the preferences of your critical talent enables you to be an attractive employer, where the right people want to work.”  

Mats continued “This goes not only for the world’s most attractive companies, but also for small and medium-sized employers that wish to attract, recruit, and retain talent. Companies that understand why they are attractive and consistently work on communicating that through a strong EVP and messaging have the upper hand.” 

Employer Brand Consulting

Do you need to refresh your EVP or are you interested in Employer Brand Consulting?

Given the ever-increasing pace of change in the talent market, leading employers are now reviewing and refreshing their Employer Value Propositions on a more frequent basis. If this is something you’re considering, find out how we can help you create a more compelling and differentiated EVP.

About Universum 

Universum is a data-driven, insight-led employer branding agency. Founded in Stockholm, we are now active in over 60 countries, with key hubs in Paris, Berlin, London, New York, Singapore and Shanghai. We provide our clients with the research, strategy and creative solutions they need to compete more effectively for talent.