Employer branding is long-term. According to Recruitment Buzz, recruitment competition in the UK is increasing. Although unemployment levels were at an all-time high in 2011, the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show some promising signs of recovery. Unemployment has gone from 2.7 million to now 2.49 million. Moreover, the Confederation of British Industry reports that the new found optimism in the UK finance industry is record breaking, as employers in the sector are hiring at the fastest rate since 2007. With the UK showing signs of recovery, the author of “Getting your Employer Branding Right” intends to remind companies of what they should now focus on – Employer Branding.
Interestingly, the CIPD discovered two years ago that three-quarters of UK employers were in the process of revising their employer brands. Moreover, finding out how their organisation’s employer brand was being perceived both internally and externally was one of the top three objectives of HR departments. Although companies may have revamped their career websites and advertising messages, and conducted engagement surveys, the author rightly emphasizes that employer branding is a long-term effort, one where no quick-fix or win-it-all solutions exist.
To begin, there are so-called hygiene factors, such as job role, salary and location – all the basic requirements a candidate considers when reviewing a number of different offers. Yet these hygiene factors, although important, do not make an employer standout. On the contrary, it’s very difficult to compete with other organisations in this space, as it’s highly likely that other companies are offering similar salaries, job responsibilities and geographical location. Hence, the most important factor is the strength of your employer reputation. The ultimate question every organisation needs to address is the following: “Does our brand emotionally resonate with current and prospective employees?”
Some best practice examples are referred to in the article, one being Innocent (the natural fruit drinks company) and the others being Goldman Sachs (the investment bank) and EY (Ernst & Young – the professional services firm). The former is a good example of a company having a distinctive communication style and culture – look at their video below to get a good taste. Goldman Sachs, however, is a company that has had to work hard to recover from the financial crisis and standout as an exemplary employer in its sector, working on delivering an outstanding HR service and by retaining, as well as enhancing, its employer reputation. Another great example of a branding effort is EY. The professional service firm has been successful in communicating its key message to its target group — it’s a journey together, as employees develop and grow so does the company: “Go from strength to strength” to go “further, faster”.
Indeed, these employers may be viewed as renowned. The most outstanding achievements come from EY and Goldman Sachs, which were respectively nominated as the World’s second and third most attractive employers for business students globally. Being recognized internationally as an ideal employer is proof of their success in developing and maintaining prominent reputations.
Getting your Employer Branding Right (2013). RecruitmentBuzz. [Online] Available from:
http://recruitmentbuzz.co.uk/getting-your-employer-branding-right-2/ [Accessed on: 31 October 2013]