“ A targeted, long-term strategy to manage the awareness and perceptions of employees, potential employees, and related stakeholders with regards to a particular firm”
“ The employer brand establishes the identity of the firm as an employer. It encompasses the firm’s value system, policies and behaviours toward the objectives of attracting, motivating, and retaining the firm’s current and potential employees”
(Conference Board, 2001)
Why should we care?
Changes in Recruitment trends
Web 2.0 social networking
Information and opinions on employers are widely available
New generation of job seekers have different attitudes
Job will find me
New generation have different needs
Cash is no longer king
Social needs need to be considered too
Fun, personal development, recognition, match of values
Generation Y (post’79 birth date) focus on flexibility, professional freedom, high rewards and a work life balance.
It’s a buyers market
Companies find it hard to attract the best candidates
Product or brand perception
Corporate social responsibility
Pay and conditions
Background to survey
Worked with Durham University Business School
Survey of 1000 managers and professionals
Results suggests there are positive benefits to employer branding
Also highlights some concerns over the violation of the psychological contract
Looks into internal and external perception of prestige
EMPLOYER BRANDING – 3 STAGES. Firm develops their ‘value proposition’ Firm markets its ‘value proposition’ externally (prospective candidates, agencies, etc) Firm markets its ‘value proposition’ internally
5 Values that drive employer engagement
Interest value – individual attraction
Social value – fun, happy and supportive working environment
Economic value – salary and overall compensation package
Development value – recognition and self worth
Application value – opportunity to apply what you know
Employer Branding – top line results
Social Value factors are the top factor in job choice decisions
85% rated working relationships as important
Economic factors are the second most important
79% said compensation package was important to them
Application values were the lowest rated
Perceived organisational prestige and fit
Reflecting social values of staff is important
Few people have a powerful sense of affiliation with their employer
Only 30% of respondents agreed that their values matched those of their employer
54% of respondents thought that their organisation was considered best in its sector.
Realistic job previews and met expectations
Realistic job preview refers to how employers manage potential employees expectations of the role.
This involves giving an open and honest view of the positive and negative aspects the job entails.
48% of respondents felt that they didn’t get a balanced view of the positive and negative aspects of the role
34% felt that their job had not turned out how they had expected.
Research showed that companies with proactive employer branding strategies did give realistic job previews
Are expectations met?
Greatest violations are in the area of training, performance based pay and the balance between work and home life.
If employer branding efforts over promise they run the risk of violating the psychological contract
More effective job preview means the psychological contract is not going to be breeched
Employer branding have a positive effect on organisational commitment
Overall few staff personally identify with their employer
More feel trapped 39% say they couldn’t leave because of few alternative
Effective employer branding will act as a retention device
Employer Branding Commitment continuance Life Satisfaction Realistic Job Preview HOW DOES EMPLOYER BRANDING WORK? Perceived Organisational ‘Fit’ Organisation-based Self-Esteem
A development on organisational commitment , this is when employees define themselves and their organisations in the same terms.
72% of respondents stat that they say ‘we’ rather than they when talking about their organisation
47% take criticism of their organisation personally
In general respondents do not feel positive about the amount of support they get from their organisation.
47% feel that their organisation would take advantage of them if it could.
Only 28% think that their organisation cares about their well being
Employer branding has no perceived impact on these factors , a more influential factor is if the organisation is well respected within its community then employers believe that it will give them more support.
Organisational based self esteem (OBSE)
Employees working for firms that have worked hard on their employer brand tend to feel better about themselves and tend to agree with the statement ‘it’s a great place to work’
OBSE has a marked effect on motivation
Employee growth need strength (EGNS)
A high percentage of the survey group 96% prefer stimulating and challenging work.
This is not surprising as the survey group was made up from professional and managerial level employees
Employer branding was positively associated with EGNS
People join an organisation but leave a leader
Leaders are reported as being the strongest factor in seeking new opportunities, with 60% of respondents stating this
Effective leaders complement people on outstanding levels of work on a regular basis.
Respondents reported that their leaders were weakest at being a good role model
Firms with strong employer brands may be inadvertently creating unrealistic expectations that they cannot deliver on, and then are in turn creating their own employee turnover problems.
Employer branding does help with attraction and retention of staff, it’s greatest effect is seen in terms of self esteem – which leads to increased productivity.
Building a reputation locally and the reputation of a companies products also effect employee attitude towards the firm
The results suggest that to be truly successful a company needs both
There is a watch out though – if a company over promises with it’s employer branding it runs the risk of missing staff expectations that will lead to retention problems.
What can companies do to help themselves
Counter shareholder and analyst pressure to take a short term view based on performance
Invest in people development
Be open and honest throughout the recruitment process
Share information widely
Recruiters website – micro site
Candidate information packs
What you can do - continued
Review your stance on corporate social responsibility
Look what competitors in your sector do to sell themselves
Ensure recruitment experience matches working reality
Consider how to address social needs of staff
On board new hires with care
Do not over promise – it can be just as damaging
Ensure leaders understand the importance of the concept of an employer brand