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Attractive Employer Brands May Help Companies in Competition for Top IT Job Candidates

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.

As IT continues to evolve as an important strategic tool, the required skills and staff are becoming harder to find and retain, especially in areas such as analytics and next-generation infrastructure, according to a 2014 McKinsey business technology survey.

A recent Technology Councils of North America study confirms this trend. Almost 70% percent of the 1,700 surveyed technology executives reported a “shortage in the quantity and quality” of workers with key technology skills.

With competition for top job candidates fierce and as companies transform themselves to respond to changing markets and business goals, more are using their employer brand to distinguish themselves.

The importance of having an attractive employer brand was underscored in a 2014 survey of HR professionals , entitled “Launching a Successful Employer Brand: Practices that Distinguish Top Employer Brands,” commissioned by Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine, in which respondents were asked to identify themselves as “Top Employer Brands” or “Other Employer Brands.” According to the study, two-thirds (65.5%) of all those who responded to the survey felt that the employer brand would increase in importance in the next 12 to 24 months

More than three-quarters of those at companies with top employer brand considered the employer brand to be important, both in its stated value and in actual company practices.

Value of Employer Brand to Top Brands

  Stated
Value
In Practice
Value
Important (Net) 77.9% 78.1%
Very important 35.1% 27.4%
Important 42.8% 50.7%
Neither important nor unimportant 13.3% 14.8%
Unimportant 5.6% 5.0%
Very Unimportant 3.1% 2.1%
Average 4.01% 3.96%

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

So what exactly is an employer brand? The Hudson RPO/HRO Today study defines it as the perception of the organization as a great place to work by both current and potential employees. In short, it is the organization’s reputation as an employer. An employer branding program includes strategies for enhanced talent attraction, engagement and retention to strengthen an organization's employer brand.

A clearly defined employer brand has benefits beyond the short-term as well – it helps ensure that organizations hire candidates with the right skills and also those who are a solid fit with the company’s culture and work environment. Employees who are a good fit with an organization’s culture and work environment 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 and onboarding talent.

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.

 
 
 

Get Company-Wide Buy-In On Your Employer Brand to Win the War for Financial Talent

Employer Branding

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.

According to PwC’s 2014 global CEO survey, a full 61% of CEOs in the banking and capital markets industry see the limited availability of skills as a threat to their organisation’s growth prospects – which is problematic considering that more than half are planning to increase headcounts over the next 12 months, most by at least 5%.

The quality and availability of key talent are crucial to success in this fast-moving marketplace. As financial services businesses reach into new markets and seek to keep pace with a rapidly evolving competitive environment, the debilitating strategic impact of talent gaps is likely to intensify.

Forward-thinking organisations understand the need to leverage all possible means to attract and retain top talent, and building their reputations as employers is an important place to start. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s “The State of Employer Branding” study, 83% of global recruiting leaders agree it’s a critical driver of their ability to hire top talent.

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.  

With a new “war for talent” on the horizon, it’s not enough anymore to have a good consumer brand. Financial companies need to specify why a candidate would want to join their firms.

Creating a compelling employer brand requires more than an astute HR department. According to a recent Hudson RPO and HRO Today magazine study of HR executives and their employer brand behaviours, “Launching a Successful Employer Brand: Building on the Practices of Top Employer Brands,” nothing will get your employer branding efforts off on the right start like getting CEO buy-in. Not surprisingly, the top employer brand companies in the study were significantly more likely to have the CEO or President as the most senior sponsor of employer branding activity (44.5%) than “other” brand companies (25.1%).

Key Sponsor of Employer Brand

  Top
Employer
Brands
Other
Employer
Brands
CEO/President 44.5% 25.1%
Members of the Executive Team other than the CEO 17.7% 18.8%
Human Resources department 18.9% 23.6%
Talent acquisition function 1.8% 12.6%
Marketing 4.9% 6.8%
Other 12.2% 13.2%

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

But buy-in and support doesn’t end with the CEO. It takes support across the entire organisation to effectively communicate and promote the employer brand. To become a top employer brand, it’s prudent to invest time winning the support and involvement of other key executives and department leaders beyond the HR department:

Departments Involved Promoting Employer Brand

  Top
Employer
Brands
Other
Employer
Brands
Human Resources Department 76.7% 79.9%
Members of the Executive Team other than the CEO 79.9% 61.4%
CEO/President 75.5% 55.4%
Marketing 65.4% 53.8%
Communications 60.4% 45.1%
Talent acquisition function 48.4% 45.1%
Public Relations 45.9% 23.9%
Outside sales partners 25.8% 16.3%
Internal sales 27.0% 13.6%
Employer brand is own department 5.0% 4.9%
Other 5.0% 4.9%

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

Earning the support of senior leadership for the employer branding initiative may be an iterative process. It may even take winning the support of leaders one at a time by explicitly demonstrating the business value of the branding exercise.

If that’s the case, focus on service line leaders who actually drive the business, particularly those individuals entrusted with market expansion, new product launches or engaged in activities requiring highly skilled employees, where such talent is harder to come by.

For example, says the study, if a service line leader needs to grow an area of the business, create a custom employee value proposition (EVP) message for this area. To create this message, conduct a survey or take advantage of existing survey data and parse out a relevant data set applicable to that business area, such as “Sales” or “Accounting.”

Analyse the responses of employees as to what they say about the employer brand. Try to gauge the characteristics of the employee needed by the service leader to grow the business segment. Then, determine what the employer’s reputation is in this market segment to understand what needs to be done to enhance it. Leverage these findings to craft candidate-specific messages to use on your website, in social media, in job advertisements, on online forums and the like.

The sooner that service line leaders can secure superior talent, the more employer brand champions there will be and the sooner your firm will have a competitive advantage in the war for financial talent.

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

 
 
 

Create an Authentic Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Authentic Employee Value Proposition

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 organisation’s employee value proposition (EVP) is the company’s promise to employees about the rewards and benefits they will receive in exchange for their performance. Defining the EVP so that this promise is clearly understood by all is critical to workplace culture, career management and retention.

You Must Define Your EVP

Given the costs associated with candidate retention, it would seem that almost all companies would have a well-defined EVP. However, in Hudson RPO and HRO Today’s recent survey of 324 global HR executives, only 33.2% of companies have a defined EVP.

When comparing the behaviours of Top Employer Brands versus “Other” Employer Brands, we see a more significant difference with nearly half of Top Brand companies having a defined EVP versus only 20.0% of Other Brands.

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

Building Blocks for an Authentic Employer Brand

When developing and communicating an employer brand to potential employees, certain building blocks are foundational to success. Survey respondents believe that an employer brand has to be authentic (55.3%) and consistent with company practices (52.1%). It is also fairly important that the employer brand and customer brand are consistent (36.4%). Other factors to consider when developing a brand include making it clear, believable, compelling and relevant.

A company will fall short of creating an authentic EVP if it leaves it up to a few people to merely hash out some messaging. A truly authentic EVP requires the input of internal and external stakeholders at all levels.

When seeking to define an authentic EVP, it is ideal to lead internal focus groups consisting of employees across departments, geographies and also seniority levels. This methodology involves discussions with current employees to validate survey messages and to ensure that key EVP messages resonate and are true and authentic. Also, get input from candidates who weren’t hired or have declined a job offer to elicit their experience and perceptions. The goal is to acquire a more honest, well-rounded view of the employer brand. Documenting both current and potential employee impressions guides a richer, more authentic employer value proposition.

Terms Most Applicable to an Effective Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

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

Empty Promises: Don’t Fail the Employer Brand

Employer brand initiatives tend to fail when HR policies are not aligned with the employer brand promise. For example, many companies state that they provide workforce flexibility. However, upon reviewing their retention data, they learn that employees are leaving the organisation because this flexibility does not exist.

Obviously, if the employer brand states certain expectations, they must be delivered, otherwise the messaging backfires and creates disengagement and lack of trust. If the organisation touts workforce flexibility, it must then offer flex time programs, compressed work weeks, telecommuting and/or job sharing.

Empty employer brand promises lead to turnover spikes, increased recruitment costs and money wasted on supporting employer brand initiatives.

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.