Employer Branding

A Poor Employer Brand Can Hinder Talent Attraction

LinkedIn have released the findings of their Winning Talent report today, which looked into the factors influencing people’s choices about where they want to work and central in their findings was the significance of a good employer brand.

Their research has found that it is crucial that employers invest in their employer brand, as well as employee benefits, in order to attract the best talent and that a poor employer brand can actually cut the candidate pool in half.

The study found that candidates are looking for much more than salary in a new job and therefore organisations need to pay just as much attention to how they are perceived as they do to the salary and benefits they offer potential employees. In fact, LinkedIn found that no amount of money could tempt half of UK workers to consider taking a role at a company with a poor employer brand.

Fifty-three per cent of people surveyed, said they would entirely rule out accepting a job offer from a company with a reputation for having poor job security, dysfunctional teams, or poor leadership. Negative opinions from current or previous employees of the company in question and a poor reputation among industry peers rounding out the top five factors that put people off an employer.

The importance of addressing employer brand issues:

Issues such as professional development opportunities and salary are some of the most significant concerns that need to be addressed.

Employers failing to invest in their reputation among potential candidates – their employer brand – could be paying an additional £2,720 per employee hired, compared to companies with a good reputation. The costs could add up to an additional wage bill of £4,080,000 per year for a company of 10,000 employees. This is in addition to the more restricted choice of staff created by a poor reputation.

Further consequences of a poor employer brand:

Chris Brown, director of LinkedIn Talent Solutions UK said:

“LinkedIn’s Winning Talent research shows that a poor employer brand or reputation does not just make it harder to find the best staff, but also impacts a company’s bottom line. In addition to simply attracting better employees, a strong employer brand helps employee retention and engagement, so the true value is even greater than this data suggests.”

He continued to say that:

“Finding the best people remains the number one driver of success for any business. Better communicating the benefits and attractions of their business to potential recruits has to be top of the agenda for recruitment, resourcing and talent professionals.”

What benefits do employees look for from an employer?

LinkedIn’s research found that offering flexible benefits and perks is the most valued benefit that job seekers look for from an employer. More than a third (36 per cent) of employees said flexible working arrangements would persuade them to take a job with an employer, even if their friends and family might not approve of the company. Evidence of a positive internal culture was the next most important factor (34 per cent would be persuaded), while a good reputation within the relevant industry (28 per cent) would also trump the concerns of friends and family.

Having a strong employer brand clearly benefits companies when recruiting. One in six UK workers (17 per cent) would take a new job with a company offering increased job security, greater professional development opportunities, and a higher calibre of internal team, even without the offer of a pay rise.

3 top tips for communicating your employer brand online from LinkedIn’s Chris Brown:

  1. Involve everyone – Your current employees are your best ambassadors and advocates, in the best position to give those on the outside an authentic idea of what it is like to work for your company. Involve them in developing your ‘story’, and encourage them to share it – and their activity and achievements – through their personal social media channels and your company pages
  2. Seize the social opportunity – It is important not to be just a passive observer on social media. By playing an active part in discussion groups and threads about issues relevant to your business you can build not only brand awareness but also the kind of two-way conversations with potential employees that creates good will and trust
  3. Show, don’t tell – It is all very saying that you have a great company culture, or that you are concerned with reducing your environmental impact, but in a competitive market in which everyone is making the same claims to prospective employees you need to back up what you say. Blogs, photos, graphics, and videos can provide a valuable insight into your company, and spark conversations. They don’t necessarily have to be slick, but they do have to be real.

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