While we may be staring down an imminent recession, attracting the right talent is priority one in today’s jobs climate. Many sectors are still struggling to recruit. And when things go south, you’ll want the very best people in your corner. But will your employer brand make you the destination of choice?
When it comes to finding good employees, companies are up against the wall. Research by ManpowerGroup of 40,000 employers across 40 countries and territories, reveals global talent shortages have reached a 16-year-high in 2022.
Three quarters (75%) of employers are now reporting difficulties making the new hires they need. That’s up from 69% in 2021, and up from 34% a decade ago. Talent shortages were most acute in manufacturing, technology, and education, health and government.
What that means is the most highly-sought-after employees can have their pick of roles and companies. They’re being continuously headhunted, poached and lured with bigger salaries, better benefits and all kinds of work perks.
The Lure of a Better Job, And Ideal Values
Gallup research, of 13,085 US employees, tells us that a significant increase in pay or benefits was “very important” to just under two thirds (64%) of people choosing a new role, but there are all sorts of other factors at play too: personal wellbeing and better work-life balance (very important to 61%), greater stability and job security (very important to 53% and likely set to increase) and diversity and inclusivity (very important to 42%).
This gives companies the flexibility to build an employer brand that attracts the right people for their culture and values, as much as for their skills and merit.
Employer branding tends to involve three things: communicating employee benefits, giving a glimpse into the culture and "core values," and wheeling out employee case studies.
All these things can be effective, but rarely are they done well. For example, it’s all too common for companies to hire consultants to help them assign core values, and it’s certainly an interesting group exercise. But how many companies ever revisit them once they’re committed to paper?
Does your company meet regularly to discuss examples of how people have demonstrated core values? Do you communicate these to the wider world? If you simply pay lip service to values, they’re meaningless.
Instead, values should permeate everything — from the work you do for clients and customers, to the way colleagues interact with each other — and they should be evident in every page on your company website and every email you write. The more consistent a business is with its values, and the more dedicated to their communication, the more tied to its values a company becomes.
Related Article: Top Marketing Skills and Traits for 2022
Is Your Marketing About the Organization Genuine?
Know that candidates are distinctly wary of employee case studies on company websites, because those featured in them aren’t ever going to be brutally honest. And such things have been lampooned in numerous TV series and films — the corporate machine hand-picking the most diverse team of "star employees" for its promotional videos. At the very least, it wreaks of insensitivity.
Instead, look to other, more trusted avenues. If you’re confident you’re a great employer, then why not ask your team to create profiles and post on Glassdoor, where they can leave anonymous reviews and write about what it’s really like to work for your company? You can also enter established best places to work employer rankings.
But your talent acquisition marketing strategy will always be let down if your hiring policies are out of whack with today’s jobs market, where hard and soft skills — over degrees from say Ivy League or Russell Group universities — are currency.
Get those hiring policies straight and then start to build a solid employer brand that'll help your business weather the hiring storm.
3 Top Tips for Excellent Employer Branding
- Job ads can let you down if they’re not in keeping with the company advertising the role. Make sure the tone and content of your job ads reflect what it’s like to work for you.
- When listing benefits you don’t need to include pensions, unless your employer contributions are especially generous. Pensions are a legal requirement of employment and the price of entry. Candidates can see through this. In addition, put the salary (or range) in the ad.
- Don’t ghost people — communicate with unsuccessful candidates who got past round one. Well-crafted "let down" letters from CEOs have gone viral before, while disgruntled candidates may also take to social media to air their grievances.