Employer Branding – Key to Building a Workforce for Tomorrow 0

Employer Branding - Key to Building a Workforce for Tomorrow 1
Having a positive employer brand has become more critical than ever. The workforce today want to be associated with a brand that is diverse and inclusive, trusts their employees and offers choices and flexibility. In order to effectively shape their employer brand and improve the overall talent attraction strategy, organisations need to understand each employee’s preferences and dig deeper to know what multigenerational workforce wants.

Today we live in a world where the same pair of jeans is sold 10X the price because of the brand that sells it. Think of any consumer product you think of and the branded variant will be sitting at the top. BRAND is perhaps one of the few terms that have not changed its impact and its role with time. Yes, its meaning has definitely changed multiple times. BRAND elevates one’s position to another level. Have you ever wondered why there is this fixation of BRAND? Does it help show our status? Does it define our positioning? Yes, perhaps it does. But what it really does is give that owner the sense of confidence, which seemed difficult to achieve without the BRAND. Is the employer brand the same as a consumer brand? Does it have the same effect? Is it created similarly?

I would say the Employer Brand does the same to our employees. It acts as the weapon that makes one feel that the battle is half won. The only difference is the way we experience it. Earlier we aspired to be associated with employers that promised us job security, good money and a decent profile. Then we had the TATAs and BIRLAs that built their brands on these values and were most sought after next to government jobs.

But today our workforce is looking for something more and in some cases, something entirely different. In order to stay relevant companies today are hiring not just for the present but also for the future. Hence their culture, their branding is forward-looking.

The workforce today is looking for a sense of purpose and want to contribute to the greater good. They want to ‘Innovate’ and ‘Build’. They want to be associated with a brand that is diverse and inclusive, trusts their employees… Click To Tweet

Employer Branding

Hence, what really is the value of the employer brand? In today’s hyper-competitive global market, this is an important question as your business seeks out quality talent to innovate, to grow revenue and to accelerate digital transformation. As every HR leader knows, having a competitive compensation package gets the conversation started with desirable job candidates, but intangibles such as having a sterling employer brand can help you edge out your competitors.

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According to Randstad Employer Brand Research – a global survey of more than 200,000 working-age adults in 32 countries – money isn’t the only factor that makes an employer attractive. Other considerations such as a good work-life balance, job security and a pleasant work environment all play a part in their choice of a workplace. In a nutshell, the employer brand has started taking a larger piece of the pie.

The branding exercise becomes even more challenging as currently the job market is attracting the millennials, the gen X and is being led by the boomers. By understanding each group’s employee value proposition preferences and by digging deeper into what each age group and region wants, organisation can more effectively shape its employer brand and improve the overall talent attraction strategy. And that’s important because we are witnessing a bigger shift in the relationship between employers and workers. More than ever, it’s imperative your company develops long-term, positive relationships with the talent to enhance engagement and satisfaction. With organisations becoming more transparent in our sharing economy, a strong employer brand and candidate experience will resonate very strongly.

According to Randstad Employer Brand Research – a global survey of more than 200,000 working-age adults in 32 countries – 96% of the global employees who changed jobs checked potential employers’ reputation. Click To Tweet

Here is a quick snapshot of how important Employer Branding is for the current and future workforce.Employer Branding (Stats)

Employer brand is also becoming more and more personal with everyone. It is no longer a one size fits all type of strategy. With varied age brackets, generations and mindsets the strategy is increasingly becoming inclusive. Click To Tweet

It is co-owned by human resources and business leaders who work in alignment to provide a well-rounded, holistic experience to their employees. Businesses must ensure that the career path or goals that the company offers should tie up to an individual’s long term goals and human resources should ensure that the means to achieve those goals should be conducive to him/her. For instance, a working mother today should have the same career path with flexible working arrangements as she would have had, had she not been a mother. Such strategies play a key role in shaping the employer brand for the future. There is a thin line between internal and external employer brand.

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Besides being personal, employer brand is also becoming innovative due to the large eruption of startups and new industries. For large conglomerates, the brand war is half won by their size and success. The real challenge is with small and mid-size companies that attract other abstract intangible brand values that appeal to a different audience. According to a recent research 72% of the recruiting leaders worldwide agreed that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. 59% of the recruiting leaders worldwide are investing more and more in employer branding. They even measure the impact their branding initiatives make.  This results in a 50% reduction in cost per hire, 50% more qualified candidates and 1×2 faster turnaround.

A clear employer branding message clarifies doubts of prospective candidates. The number one obstacle candidates experience when searching for a job is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organisation. Candidates trust the company’s employees three times more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there. And since employees use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Glassdoor to share their experiences, these platforms provide valuable information and share insights about the company to the prospective candidates. While negative feedback can harm your employer brand image, positive employee reviews can help you attract the best talent. According to a survey, 86% of workers would not care to apply for, or continue to work for a company that has a bad reputation with former employees. They also stated that employee reviews had a significant impact on their decision to accept a job offer. Hence, it is important to have an equally strong internal employer branding that creates credible brand ambassadors.

To conclude, a positive employer brand communicates that the organisation is a great place to work and allows you to control and positively change the perspective surrounding your company. It is an excellent opportunity to make your brand personality, to tell the story of real people, the culture rather than the faceless corporate. After all, crafting a strong employer brand is all about good storytelling.

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Nimisha Pathak is a human resource leader with nearly 15 years of diverse experience across HR functions. She is currently serving as the Director-Human Resources at Alvarez & Marsal. Prior to this, she was associated with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where she headed the Human Resource function for India Consulting. She has also held HR positions in various organisations like Accenture and Tech Mahindra. She has a rich blend of line and consulting experience that enables her to develop a pragmatic approach in building HR solutions. She specialises in - Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Compensation and Benefits, and Organisation Development.

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