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Strong Employer Brand Key to Recruitment Process and Attracting Millennial Workers

This is an excerpt from “Launching a Successful employer Brand: Building on the Practices of top employer brands” by Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine. To download the full report, visit http://EmployerBrandGuide.com.

Millennials – also known as “Gen Y” and born roughly between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – are not only different from those who have gone before them, but their differences are many compared to the soon-to-retire Baby Boomer generation. In fact, statistics show that Millennials already form 25 percent of the workforce in the United States. By 2020, Millennials will form 50 percent of the global workforce. As such, recruiting the best of these Millennial workers will be critical to the future of any business. 

The unique characteristics of Millennials demand a different strategic approach to the recruitment process. First, companies need to do a better job of understanding what’s important to potential hires. Candidates today, especially Millennials, want to understand the totality of a role – what their experience will be at an organization and what it has to offer them. That’s why documenting and communicating a strong corporate brand is so important, according to a Hudson RPO/HRO Today magazine survey of 324 HR executives on their corporate branding practices. 

A corporate brand is much more than an explanation of the company’s strategy, markets and products – it’s an expression of an organization’s corporate culture and work environment. It defines the organization’s value to potential hires and informs them about what it is like to work there. It’s not enough anymore to have a good consumer brand. Companies need to specify why a candidate would want to join their organizations, and building their reputations as employers is an important place to start. In fact, according to a recent LinkedIn study, “The State of Employer Branding,” 83 percent of global recruiting leaders agree it’s a critical driver of their ability to hire top talent.

With the growth of technologies such as social media and text messaging, how Millennials communicate is vastly different from previous generations.  Now, candidates give more weight to employee reviews on websites such as Glassdoor in forming an opinion about companies.  As such, there cannot be a disconnect between how you present the company to the outside world, how your employees view the company and what it is actually like to work there.

Clearly, while a strong employer brand can help with recruitment, the brand must reflect the reality experienced by current employees. Bridging the image-reality gap is a key challenge for many organizations that struggle to meet their brand promise. The Hudson RPO/HRO Today magazine study stresses that an employer brand must be closely tied to a company’s Employee Value Proposition or EVP. 

An EVP is defined as the rewards and benefits employees receive in exchange for their performance. It is critical to workplace culture, career management and retention. According to the Hudson RPO/HRO Today survey, nearly half of the top brand companies stated that they have a defined EVP (versus just 20 percent for other brands).

A truly authentic EVP requires the input of employees across departments, geographies and seniority levels. The goal is to acquire a more honest, well-rounded view of the employer brand. Documenting employee impressions guides a richer, more authentic Employer Value Proposition. Plus, demonstrating to employees that their voices are valued and heard is a key part of the employer branding process. Employees, especially Millennials, will feel a strong sense of employer brand ownership and will be more likely to promote the brand to their wider community via social media. 

As noted, positive word-of-mouth from employees in an organization means a lot to Millennial candidates. In fact, organizations with top employer brands actively engage their employees in promoting the brand – 75.7 percent for top employer brand companies versus 51 percent among other brands, according to the Hudson RPO/HPO Today study.

To discuss your employer branding strategy today, contact a Hudson RPO representative and download the complete report by visiting http://hudsonrpo.com/employer-branding-strategy.

 
 
 

Don’t Fail the Employer Brand: Ensure That It Reflects Reality

This is an excerpt from “Launching a Successful Employer Brand: Practices that Distinguish Top Employer Brands” by Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine. To download the full report, visit http://EmployerBrandGuide.com

According to a survey by LinkedIn, “The State of Employer Branding,” 83% of global recruiting leaders agree employer branding is a critical driver of their ability to hire top talent.

So what exactly is an employer brand? Simply put, an employer brand is an organisation’s reputation as an employer. A desirable employer brand attracts the right talent to a company – not only in terms of skill set, but in cultural fit as well. Employees who are a good fit are typically more productive, more engaged and more likely to stay with a company for the long-term, which should be a boon to any employer considering the high cost of recruiting, onboarding and turnover.

While a strong employer brand will help you attract top talent, the reality of how your employer brand is reflected across the organisation will ultimately determine the organisation’s ability to retain this talent. Bridging the image-reality gap is a key challenge for many companies that struggle to meet their brand promise.

In a recent Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine study of 234 global HR executives and their employer brand behaviours,” a little more than half (55.3%) of survey respondents said they believe that an employer should be authentic, while 52.1% responded that the employer brand should be consistent with company practices. Other important characteristics and their response rates are detailed below:

Important Characteristics of an Employer Brand

  Top Employer Brands Other Employer Brands
Authentic 56.0% 54.6%
Consistent with company practices 53.6% 51.0%
Consistent with customer brand 36.7% 36.1%
Clear 32.5% 34.5%
Believable 30.7% 28.9%
Compelling 29.5% 33.0%
Relevant 27.7% 29.4%
Promise 12.7% 7.2%
Affirming 7.8% 8.2%
Timely 6.0% 7.7%
Concise 6.0% 7.7%
Other 1.2% 1.5%

Source: Hudson RPO & HRO Today’s study:
“How to Launch a Successful Employer Brand: Building on the Practices of Top Employer Brands”

If there is a disconnect between how you present the company to the outside world,  how your employees view the company and what it is actually like to work there, your brand will confuse and fail to engage both external and internal stakeholders. Remember your employees can either be your organisation’s strongest brand ambassadors, or your biggest critics.

Employer branding affects every touch point the organisation has with the employee, starting with the recruitment and onboarding process. It then extends to every aspect of their employment – including training and development, support networks, the development of career paths and benefits and incentives – right through to their exit from the organisation and beyond.

Obviously, if the employer brand states certain expectations, they must be delivered, otherwise the messaging backfires. Empty employer brand promises lead to turnover spikes, which in turn leads to increased recruitment costs and money wasted on supporting employer brand initiatives.

For example, if an organisation touts workforce flexibility, it then must offer work arrangements such as flex time programs, compressed work weeks, telecommuting and/or job sharing.

When developing your employer brand it is fundamental that you consider a number of questions from the outset:

  • What attributes of the organisation make it attractive and compelling to both current and potential employees?
  • What are the typical characteristics of your high-potential employees that you would like the rest of the population – as well as candidates you’ll be hiring in the future – to have?
  • What perceptions do the rank-and-file employees have of working in your organisation? How would you like these perceptions to change?

Even if you think you know the answers to these questions, ask for your employees’ input through an online survey or via focus groups. The goal here is to acquire a more honest, well-rounded view of the employer brand. Strong employer brands are built from the inside out.

Plus, demonstrating to employees that their voices are valued and heard is a key part of the employer branding process. Employees will feel a strong sense of employer brand ownership and will be more likely to promote the brand with their wider community.

The Hudson RPO/HPO Today study affirms that organisations with top employer brands actively engage their employees in promoting the brand – 75.7% for top employer brand companies versus 51.0% among other brands.

To discuss your employer branding strategy today, contact a Hudson RPO representative and download the complete report by visiting http://hudsonrpo.com/employer-branding-strategy.

 
 
 

Common Employer Branding Mistakes

This is an excerpt from “Launching a Successful Employer Brand: Practices that Distinguish Top Employer Brands” by Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine. To download the full report, visit http://EmployerBrandGuide.com.

An employer brand is an organization’s reputation as an employer. In short, it attracts the talent who will lead your organization into the future.

From the outside looking in, employer branding, like consumer branding, seems easy. Yet, while many observers can pinpoint the companies with effective brands, few can explain what it took to build these compelling brands.

These are reasons why otherwise well-intentioned employer brands fail to realize their full value:

  • Employer branding responsibilities are often given to an HR generalist or individual who has little to no experience delivering a complex employer branding project.
  • This person doesn’t understand how to create an employer brand strategy, much less align programs to support the messaging or get sponsorship to drive initiatives effectively through the organization.
  • This then creates the enterprise-wide perception that employer branding is not effective, which curtails continuing investments in employer brand initiatives.

Certainly, the root of the problem is the first bullet point. Companies must be serious about developing and conveying an employer brand that captures the organization’s value to potential hires. This is more than just an explanation of the company’s strategy, markets and products, although these are important. It is a valid, thoughtful expression of the corporate culture and work environment – why the candidate will want to engage with like-minded individuals in shared pursuits toward specific outcomes.

If the organization lacks an experienced strategist or influencer who can bring teams together to craft an effective employer brand, then it is advisable to engage someone.

To discuss your employer branding strategy today, contact a Hudson RPO representative and download the complete report by visiting http://hudsonrpo.com/employer-branding-strategy.

 
 
 

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Hudson (NASDAQ: HSON) offers highly specialized professional recruitment, recruitment outsourcing, talent management and related staffing services and solutions. Hudson RPO manages the people, processes and technology associated with recruitment on a fully outsourced or project basis. A global force in talent solutions, Hudson RPO designs, implements and manages custom recruitment process outsourcing programs for mid- to large-cap multi-national companies. Hudson RPO was named in HRO Today’s 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Baker’s Dozen list, recognizing the top recruitment process outsourcing providers worldwide.