This is the era of opportunities for job seekers. As remote working has become not only ubiquitous globally, but also the undefined norm in many parts of the world, where you live has far less impact on where you work and for whom you work. work. As such, the opportunities for qualified candidates are plentiful, allowing job seekers to be more selective about what they want to pursue and which team they ultimately join. Time zones notwithstanding, if your profession and skills are in demand, you can probably join a team in almost any city, state, or even country you choose – without leaving home.
Beyond simply choosing employment options, job seekers also have more easily accessible information about potential employers than ever before, with the ability to look behind the curtain and get job prospects. first hand on what it’s really like to work for a specific company.
The criteria that job seekers use to assess, compare and decide on employment opportunities are also changing. As we debate the timeliness and implications of global employment trends like “The Great Resignation”, what is undeniable is that the workforce is more tuned in and aware of the impact of his work experience on his overall quality of life.
Whether triggered by a global pandemic or not, a large percentage of the workforce appears less willing to tolerate a bad work experience as an inevitable trade-off in earning pay. Check.
In this dynamic and ever-changing environment, where attracting and retaining talent is becoming increasingly competitive, supporting and refining your employer brand story is more critical than ever.
How to create what already exists?
Whether created intentionally or not, your employer brand already exists. It is built on the values, behaviors and cultural truths displayed daily in your organization. It’s lived in the relationships between employees and management, felt in both the biggest and the smallest moments. It lives on in your employees’ experience every day and is openly discussed among team members, past, present and future. This collective experience creates a reputation in the marketplace that has massive implications for recruitment and retention – especially in a landscape characterized by more qualified roles than people to fill them.
This reputation creates your brand as an employer and is on display, in detail, through the stories and reviews told on platforms like Glassdoor by current and former employees. Make no mistake, this content is increasingly influential in how candidates decide whether or not to accept a job.
Given this recruiting environment, it is the employer’s responsibility to proactively explore, understand and articulate the value they bring to their own employees – and to tell that story with intent.
Be comfortable being uncomfortable
Exploring and unpacking the employee experience within an organization and the resulting employer brand can be a cathartic and sometimes confrontational exercise. It requires giving voice to people across the organization, highlighting and listening objectively to the highs and lows of their experience as an employee. It requires diving into the recruiting and onboarding experience, the varying day-to-day standards from business unit to business unit, and most importantly, why employees ultimately choose to stay or leave.
It is within these experiences that the employer brand exists, for better or for worse. The better we can dig deeper and understand these experiences and the intrinsic motivations that bind our team to our organization, the better we can understand why our employees come to work every day. With this understanding, we can weave a compelling and, above all, authentic narrative about why we are a great place to work – and proactively bring that narrative to market.
It is important to note that the outcome of an employer branding project is not simply to polish the positive aspects of the employee experience while glossing over or ignoring the negatives. As important as it is to highlight the great aspects of your organization and what makes you an employer of choice, it is equally important to recognize and take action to address them.
As mentioned, the elements that make your organization a difficult place to work are already being discussed and influencing the decisions of current and potential employees. Proactively telling a positive story to job seekers is key to recruiting, but being transparent about how to address the challenges employees face is key to retention.
The talent war
The Australian job market is no stranger to the concept of “brain drain”, as skilled workers leaving the country to pursue overseas opportunities is an accepted and sometimes encouraged social norm. However, as the economy recalibrates after an era of lockdowns and border closures that crippled skilled migration, the shortage of skilled workers is expected to be greater than ever – a challenge with major economic implications. . Moreover, it is unclear how the reopening of national and international borders, if and when it happens, will solve or worsen this problem. But what is undeniable is that talent will be sought throughout the Australian economy. To stand a chance of attracting this talent to your organization, now is the time to focus, refine and improve your employer brand.
Matt Popkes is the Chief Strategy Officer of The Brand Agency.