For recruitment and retention, communicating a brand proposition that engages all talent populations is the key to success.
By Marta Chmielowicz
Today’s job seekers care as much about the way a company conducts its business as they do about the business it’s in. With Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report indicating that two in five employees plan to leave their organizations in the next 12 months and 97 percent of C-suite executives predict an increase in competition for talent, it is more important than ever for companies to create and communicate an employer value proposition (EVP) that resonates with top talent.
Employees seek authenticity and organizations need to make sure they deliver by developing a strong brand that reflects company values and is infused into day-to-day operations. Often, companies attempt to build a brand by offering superficial perks—but free lunch or unlimited vacation time is not enough to shape a meaningful company image. An effective branding strategy must combine the company’s EVP, culture, and values while highlighting the unique experiences and opportunities that it provides to its employees.
How can companies build a brand that delivers a competitive advantage?
1. Align EVP with different workforce segments. Today’s employees are increasingly diverse, and each segment of the workforce—whether evaluated by gender, race, generation, or job function—has different needs.
For example, Mercer’s research indicates that women value health benefits and flexible schedules more than men; managers prioritize professional development while gig workers prioritize job security; and compensation is the primary driver for baby boomers while opportunities for advancement are more important to Generation Y.
What appeals to employees can vary greatly, but the study shows that only one in four HR leaders use data and analytics to understand why people choose to join and stay at their companies. Organizations need to use data-driven methods to develop employee profiles and identify what matters most to each segment of the population.
2. Illustrate the brand online. Attracting candidates through a differentiated value proposition is critical, but equally important is delivering a positive hiring experience. This can have a lasting impact: Mercer’s report shows that 78 percent of thriving employees say they had a positive hiring experience, compared to 30 percent of non-thriving employees.
In today’s transparent business environment where people are quick to share their experience with a company on social media, HR must act as a steward of the brand as much as the marketing department.
“Remember—content does not need to attract every candidate, just the right ones for your organization. Therefore, by allocating resources to build your online presence, you can better connect with your target candidate profiles by going beyond simply relaying the nominal perks your organization offers and tapping into the emotional, intangible, and unique benefits your work environment provides and how these help your employees perform and feel better,” says Elizabeth Black, former marketing manager at Personify.
Black recommends that organizations create an online presence that illustrates the daily life at the company in an honest and vulnerable way, acknowledging employee concerns and areas of improvement.
3. Engage potential employees online. Building an employer brand is not a static process—organizations should constantly monitor their employee engagement and online presence to understand what past, current, and potential employees are saying.
“Gaining insights into what employees and potential candidates are saying about you online should be an interactive process—not just listening to what they are saying and where they are saying it but also engaging them in conversation where appropriate,” says Landry Seedig, group president and chief operating officer of nursing and allied solutions at AMN Healthcare.
Companies should develop a comprehensive strategy to identify and address the concerns of candidates and online influencers in real time. “Talent is the lifeblood of any company, and it’s important to make sure they know that what they think and say is very important,” Seedig says.