In an ideal world, the best employer would also be the most attractive one. And subsequently, it shouldn’t have a hard time finding the right talent and keeping them at the company. Unfortunately, the self-image of the employer often is not the same as how the outside world sees their company. The good news that any organisation can work on its employer brand (identity, image, reputation, and power of attraction).
One thing’s for certain: if a company does not pay any attention to employer branding, its own employees and the outside world will form an idea of that company as an employer, about what it stands for, and the added value it gives its employees. Employer branding is about being an attractive employer. It’s about managing your identity (‘How do we see ourselves in this company?’), your image (‘How does the outside world see us as an employer?’), and the manner in which you harmonise these – to the extent possible. You’ll never be able to control what people inside and outside the company think and say about you. But you can steer this in the right direction.
After all, employer branding is timeless. Only now it’s more prominently on the economic agenda than ever before. The combination of an ageing population, the growing scarcity of qualified talent, and the changing labour market have all worked to permanently convince many companies of the value of employer branding. Indeed, day in day out, they are experiencing how important it is to be on the right candidate-employee radar. Attracting talent is the most important reason for many companies to invest in employer branding right now. But it should be understood that companies that work on their employer brand are a step ahead of the rest in keeping that talent on board. Lastly, the employee’s stronger identification with the company leads to more involvement and a deeper commitment.
A true anecdote from the book "Werken aan merken" by Jan Denys says it all: President John F. Kennedy visited NASA’s headquarters for the first time in 1961. Shortly before this, he had tasked the organisation with putting a man on the moon and safely returning him to the Earth by the end of the decade. While touring the facilities, President Kennedy spoke to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what his job was at NASA. The janitor replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon”.
Luckily, your company doesn’t have to be named NASA, Coca-Cola, or De Nul to work on your employer brand. Any organisation, regardless of its size, can develop into a strong brand. However, understand that you cannot buy or impose an employer brand. You can only earn your ‘brand’ by working on it together with the entire company. Building your brand is a continuous process; it never stops.
the effect of employer branding in figures (source: LinkedIn)
- A strong employer brand saves a company 10% in labour costs.
- Recruitment costs are 46% lower in companies with a strong employer brand.
- Employee turnover decreases by 28% in companies with a strong employer brand.
To appear on the right employee radars as a potential employer, and to stay there for the long term, companies must first understand what these people expect from an employer. What is important to them? Then, they must emphasise their own qualities that meet these expectations. It’ll be difficult, but the investment is definitely worth the effort because employer branding is here to stay. This discipline is getting increasingly more attention nowadays because the scarcity on the labour market is also a hot topic. But Randstad Belgium has been researching the attractiveness of Belgian employers for over 18 years now. And its research has been reproduced in 30 Randstad countries around the world.
The results and analyses of 18 years of Randstad employer brand research is also an incredibly efficient compass. It guides companies wanting to work on their employer attractiveness quotient through the complex world of employer branding. We will be publishing the results of our most recent survey of over 10,000 Belgians on 26 April and will be presenting 2018’s most attractive employer with the Randstad Award.
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