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From Small Business to Global Enterprise, This Year Organizations of Every Size are Making Employer Branding a Top Priority

By Universum on 10/07/2018

Universum Global releases its annual Employer Branding Now report, a definitive guide to the state of Employer Branding in 2018.

  • There has been a notable increase in the number of leading employers including ‘Inspiring Purpose’ and ‘Innovation’ in their Employer Value Proposition.
  • Employer brand differentiation is the most commonly stated objective among the World’s Most Attractive Employers.
  • Social media and digital advertising are still the two leading areas receiving increased investment.
  • There is a strong indication of increased investment in Artificial Intelligence over the coming 12 months by companies of all sizes.

STOCKHOLM, July 10th, 2018 – Today, Universum, released its annual Employer Branding Now report. The findings from this year’s survey were based on the opinions of over 1000 HR managers, marketing managers, talent acquisition, recruiting and resourcing managers from 41 different countries.
This comprehensive report showcases how talent acquisition professionals view employer branding, highlights how employer branding has changed over the past year and benchmarks small companies to large enterprises.

“Our research indicates some significant shifts in emphasis over the last 12 months with significantly more leading employers incorporating their core purpose into their EVP, greater focus on innovation and differentiation, and a continued shift towards EVP localization. Investment in AI driven recruitment and selection appears relatively low at present, but there is widespread expectation that this will change significantly over the course of the next 12 months”, said Universum’s Global Head of Strategy, Richard Mosley.

The study also compares the companies against the World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAE), the global companies most consistently chosen by emerging talent as ideal potential employers across the 12 leading world economies.
Effective employer branding is an important focus for businesses of all sizes, but the importance placed on the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and Employer Brand Guidelines is what’s setting WMAEs apart from the rest.

  • Although all sizes of employers are prioritizing employer branding, larger companies are more likely to consider it as a priority or at least one of the top priorities within HR/talent management for the coming year.
  • Companies that are prioritizing employer branding are the most likely to have developed EVPs and employer branding guidelines or plan to do so in the near future.
  • Most companies now agree their EVP needs to be clearly aligned with their corporate mission and vision, core values and HR/talent strategy.

Purposeful Employer Branding

The EVP ingredients chosen by companies in different geographies generally reflect what Universum’s Global Talent Surveys found young talent to be most attracted to in different markets, for example we know that ‘Professional Training and Development’ remains a top attraction driver in India, while  ‘Inspiring Purpose’ is one of the top attraction drivers among young talent in the USA and China.

Explaining this trend in China, Universum’s VP for Asia Pacific, William Wu said: “Over the last 3 – 4 decades the Chinese economy has grown enormously. Such development has provided Chinese talent with fantastic career opportunities across almost every sector of the economy. While offering competitive salaries and benefits, training and advancement opportunities have always been the important factors in attracting and retaining talent in China, they no longer serve as the only key attraction factors for Chinese employers. Right now younger generations in China, much like their peers from the UK and North America, pay equally as much attention to the ‘softer’  elements like purpose, culture, CSR, innovation and work environment.”
William continued “According to our analyses,  more and more Chinese employers are sharing stories and talking about their “company purpose,” as a way of differentiating themselves from their competition and tuning in to the new generation of talent.”

Social Media

Top 5 Channels Attracting Increased Investment in 2018

  • Social Networks
  • Digital Advertising
  • Video Channels
  • Employer/ Career Site
  • Search Engine Marketing

Social media has topped the list of channels employers are investing more money in to access talent, followed closely by digital advertising. Universum expects to see a rise in digital advertising as it allows companies to scale and target their recruitment marketing investment more effectively.

“For many years Universum has advised its clients and made them aware that social media would become the key platform to reach and influence talent perceptions. With a strong year on year increase in usage and spending on social, our annual talent and employer branding research have proven we were right.”, said Universum CEO, Petter Nylander.

Petter continued “One trend that is worth noting within social media is the increased expenditure on video. WMAEs are making big bets on video as the critical channel in the coming years, matching the media habits of the youngest generation coming of working age. Gen Z not only consumes video at a much higher rate than their older counterparts, 50% of Gen Z say they can’t live without YouTube, and 95% say they use the platform.

Get Ready For Artificial Intelligence

In recruiting and employer branding, AI has massive potential to make candidate searches more efficient, crawling massive datasets to identify candidates that match a particular target profile and role.

“We have seen a number of companies like Unilever making bold moves in the application of AI to their recruitment marketing, and expect many others to follow given the reported success of many of these innovative new practices in driving both cost efficiency, candidate engagement and diversity” said Global Head of Strategy, Richard Mosley.

Click to download 2018’s Employer Branding Now Report for free

About Universum Global: 

ACCESS THE NEW WORLD OF TALENT. Universum is a global leader in employer branding. Over the past 30 years, we have established ourselves in 50 markets globally and our diverse workforce is physically present in 20 countries. Our services include actionable research, strategic consulting, and data-driven communications and social media solutions for talent branding, sourcing, and analytics. We are a trusted partner to over 1,700 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, as well as to global media partners that publish our annual rankings and trend reports. We work with over 2,000 universities, alumni groups, and professional organizations to gather insights from students and professionals in order to advise employers on how to attract and retain talent that fits their culture and purpose. On an annual basis, Universum surveys over 1,500,000 students and professionals worldwide. Find out more at www.universumglobal.com