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Culture and Values, Not Salary, Drive Your Employer Brand

By Universum on 15/08/2017

What factors cause an employee to recommend their employer to a job-seeker? More often we’re beginning to find that salary, while still very important to employees, is not one of them. In fact, only 34% of employees quit because they were unsatisfied with the amount of compensation they received.

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Instead, 40% of North Americans revealed that either company culture or growth opportunities were their number one priority when looking for a new company. In the same study, only 18% of North Americans ranked compensation their number one priority. So, if salary isn’t as appealing to job seekers anymore, it’s time to shift focus to what’s really convincing those high-level hires: company culture, values and career development. But in order to do that, you must have a strong sense of your employer brand.

Tweet This: Salary isn’t as appealing to #jobseekers anymore; #EmployerBrand is taking the stage. Read more: @UniversumGlobal

Unfortunately, you can’t just make up your employer brand and your employer value proposition out of thin air. It needs to be based in cold, hard facts. You may think you know what potential candidates are looking for, but because you’re not a part of that demographic, you can never know for sure.
Studies like Universum’s “World’s Most Attractive Employers” (WMAE) give real, in-depth insight into what graduates and job-seekers want from employers. Becoming a World’s Most Attractive Employer doesn’t happen by accident: 68% of them have employer branding strategies in place as of 2017. In order to become a top-ranked employer, they put their focus on the following:

Culture and Values

Did you know 76% of candidates are explicitly looking for what makes a company an attractive place to work? Companies that succeed in pulling in the best candidates know what they have to offer. That is, they have a strong and clearly-defined employer value proposition. An EVP is a unique set of offerings, associations and values to positively influence target candidates and employees. Without it, there’s no clear reason for a candidate to come work for you. Moreover, companies that implement a strong EVP are 2x as likely to outperform the competition.
Tip: A lot goes into developing a great EVP, but to get started, find your company’s core. Your core is the one quality you most want to be associated with as an employer–your brand essence.
However, 64% of employees do not recognize a strong work culture in their companies. These companies may be relying too heavily on salary and benefits to attract candidates and neglecting other important factors. Because culture ties directly into the employer brand, not focusing on creating and maintaining a strong work culture will only hurt a company. Employee recommendations and referrals in particular play a massive role in employer brand development; without a strong and dynamic company culture, employees have no reason to refer their friends and associates.

Tweet This: 64% of employees feel they don’t have a strong work culture. How this affects #EmployerBrand:

Career Development

The WMAE know that one of the best ways to drive employer brand is to invest in their employees. Career development programs are gaining popularity, especially in the United States, where spend on corporate training has grown to over $70 billion. By investing in career development for employees, you’re communicating an interest in keeping them around long-term.
Tip: To showcase your career development programs to potential candidates, include them in job descriptions and utilize social media. Instagram, which is one of the most popular platforms for advertising employer brand, is a great place to engage with potential candidates, by telling them the story of your employees’ continuous training and learning.
Focusing on career development will definitely pay off. A recent survey revealed 87% of millennials consider professional development or career growth opportunities to be very important. When they’re looking through job boards and doing company research, it can make the difference between you and your competitor.
It’s becoming harder to ignore your employer brand. In fact, 62% of companies expect to increase their investment in employer branding in the next year. Where should that investment be placed? Social media? Your career site? Depending on the type of candidates you want to reach, you may need allocate resources differently. For new graduates, social media may be your focus; for older generations, the traditional career site may be more appropriate.
That’s why research is cruicial to developing your employer brand. Any strategic investments must be backed in data, and that’s where Universum comes in. We assess the current situation and help you create an employer brand that acts as a talent magnet and reflects your unique and distinct values.
employer brand strategy