Employment Branding Stats & Numbers: Should You Be Concerned?
Despite recent volatility in global markets, the U.S. workforce continues to face better odds. We have shifted to a job seekers’ market, especially among highly-skilled workers. But this change has serious implications for talent acquisition strategies, particularly those that incorporate (or neglect) employment branding.
Job seekers today are much more likely to research individual companies, taking a hard look at whether they live up to the image they present. Up to 73% of job seekers use Google and other search engines not just to find jobs, but to learn about new companies. And an entire business model has sprung up around naming and shaming the best and worst companies to work for.
As the balance of power in the job market shifts towards workers, employers need to pay close attention to the information job seekers now have access to. But a recent survey from BLR suggests this isn’t the case. In this post we’ll examine the concept of employment branding, and why more organizations should make it a more serious priority within their overall recruitment strategy.
Employment Branding Definition
A company’s reputation as an employer is what we mean by the phrase employment brand, separate from, but related to, the corporate image they project to consumers. In use since the 1990s, the concept of a strong employment brand really took off in the mid-2000s. Factors such as competition for top talent, social media and increasing transparency, and greater demands from workers, have turned employment branding into a far-reaching marketing strategy.
From an external standpoint, employment branding is crucial to convincing candidates that a business is worth applying to. This includes everything from advertising a company’s benefits and location to projecting corporate values and engaging with external partners along ideological lines. All of which serve to attract not just skilled applicants, but also those whose personal preferences will fit well with the corporate culture.
But employment branding is equally important from an internal point of view. Existing employees are some of the best brand ambassadors a company can ask for, and so keeping those employees happy is another primary goal of employer branding. Promoting a positive office culture, encouraging certain values and social programs, while offering employees attractive benefits, all help solidify an employee’s loyalty to the brand and encourage them to share their experience with others.
Employment Branding Stats
You’d think employment branding would be a top priority among CxOs and talent acquisition leaders today. Managing their reputation as an employer allows businesses to positively impact the number of, and quality of, job candidates they receive. Yet the BLR study found that only 27% of companies have a formal employment branding program, and of those who don’t, 50% aren’t even considering one.
The survey participants came from a variety of businesses, across different industries and locations around the world, and included executives down to staff level. The fact that nearly three-quarters of the companies involved did not have a formal employment branding program in place is a concern. But the half of that group that isn’t attempting to develop an employment brand strategy at all is even more troubling.
However, 60% of the respondents said their company maintains a talent pipeline for future job openings. To do so, their efforts include building social media relationships with these candidates and interacting with them on a semi-regular basis. What these companies may not realize is that they’re already incorporating some elements of employment branding into their recruitment strategy. Now they need to define their employment brand and make it a stronger, more consistent presence in everything they do.
Employment Branding and the Recruiting Long Game
Let’s look at some other employment branding stats. Recognizing the importance of employment branding strategies, and proactively incorporating it into talent acquisition, is the sign of a more mature organization (or at least one that’s thinking about the future). Building up a presence on social media, improving satisfaction among employees, and demonstrating corporate social responsibility all require some level of investment. But such forward thinking actions will have long-term benefits as more candidates identify with, apply to, and become loyal to your employment brand.
Take Twitter, for example. According to Glassdoor, 90% of employees who have reviewed the company would refer Twitter to a friend. This is especially good news for Twitter when you consider that people are typically more motivated to write negative reviews than positive ones. And on the flip side, look at Amazon. After recent, largely negative coverage of the company’s working conditions, whether those reports were valid or not, their results on Glassdoor don’t come close to Twitter’s.
So how can a company start taking their own employment branding strategy more seriously? Start with an evaluation of the existing awareness and reputation of your company as an employer, and define how you want that brand to change going forward. This could even include the development of an Employee Value Proposition.
Next be proactive about using, and measuring, social media engagement and content marketing. Offer candidates an inside look at your company, rather than just blasting out slick graphics and insubstantial materials across every channel. Last, but certainly not least, include your existing employees in the process, giving them a role to play and promoting a consistent brand during every experience. As Richard Branson says, “…put staff first, your customer second and shareholders third…” But don’t forget to include potential, future staff, too.
Got any good employment branding stats to share? Let us know!
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