We’re now in an era marked by unprecedented change and innovation, and the concept of ‘work’ itself has transformed. The rapid shift in priorities was driven by a mindset switch among professionals, who demand more than just salary figures or fancy benefits packages. They seek a sense of purpose, alignment with core values, an authentic connection with their employer, and most importantly, a promise of a fulfilling journey.
Today, organizations recognize the importance of a factor that goes beyond the conventional checklist - an employer brand.
Employer branding was certainly a key buzzword in 2023, and it very soon became recognized as the heartbeat of any good organization’s culture and mission. Now, it is one of the most potent assets in attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent.
To gain a deeper understanding, we brought together 9 industry visionaries as part of our Leaders Exchange Series, all of whom are part of organizations that manage to hit the nail right on the head when it comes to building a winning employer brand.
Read on to discover their insights…
The Evolution of Employer Branding: What Catches the Eye Today?
According to our panelists, HR and talent management have transitioned from a primarily transactional focus on recruitment to making it a strategic priority that revolves around the entire employee experience. Today, authenticity and transparency are key; top talent wants to know what the company and the work have to offer them beyond the regular benefits. Additionally, most potential employees are looking beyond the regulars and asking about the purpose of the organisation and how it is impacting the mankind and the world at large.
The leaders pointed out how social media is now a boon, both for employees and employers. It allows employers to reach diverse groups of people and target their approach and messaging accordingly to attract the skills they seek. Also, professionals have all the tools they need to read up about a company’s culture, reviews, Glassdoor ratings, and more before they make a decision. Everyone has a voice today, and no one is afraid to use it. This is exactly why employer branding has become so important.
While a few panelists saw Employer Branding as a key focus of marketing, others saw it more as an organizational development (OD) challenge, and it should be viewed as a process that guarantees an ROI for the company when done well.
Engaged and satisfied employees can serve as influential brand advocates - Pratyasha Pal, MBRDI
All our leaders very strongly believed that having an awesome EVP in place is only part of the battle won. Promises outlined in the Employee Value Proposition must be executed flawlessly, and only then can a true bond of trust form between employees and employers.
With professionals dedicating a substantial portion of their lives to their work, they seek an enjoyable atmosphere that offers more than just a job. Celebrations, DEI days, open conversations, etc. might seem like small initiatives but go a long way in building employee satisfaction. Only then will they talk about the company in high regard with complete authenticity.
The ultimate goal is to build an employer brand that stands the test of time and remains flexible for adaptation; what is relevant today might not remain so tomorrow. In such a highly competitive environment, the employer brand is one factor that can truly make an organization stand out and differentiate itself. And that’s exactly why it must be done right.
Employer Branding in a ‘Remote’ Reality
The leaders reflected on what it was like to frame and execute employer branding policies during the pandemic when everyone was remote. Moreover, for many organizations, it continues to be the popular model of work. Is touch and feel crucial?
The panelists talked about the importance of connecting leaders with their teams, acknowledging that everyone is in the same boat. It became necessary to foster and protect mental well-being and provide reassurance to the people who need it the most.
There were several strategies that were talked about such as open forums where people could discuss and bust the latest office rumor, one-on-one podcasts with employees, virtual zoo visits and picnics, Townhall Q&As, and much more.
It’s not about overcommunicating and overwhelming your people; it’s key to strike the balance.
One key lesson that emerged was the importance of listening to what employees genuinely want, rather than pursuing initiatives that make you “look good”. It’s about understanding and addressing the needs, concerns, and aspirations of the workforce.
In essence, it’s a two-way street, when employers and employees collaborate to create a workplace that thrives on genuine connection and support. What could be better, right?
Winning the Game: Branding Trends and Techniques That Work
Our leaders shared some strategies that have proven to be effective in engaging and connecting with employees. One aspect is conducting regular brand audits, which helps in refining the employer brand according to the feedback and response. Another important tip was to continue doing pulse checks to ensure that the organization’s branding aligns with its business objectives and larger vision.
In terms of communication, transparency and timely information-sharing is always appreciated. Using creative, fun, and quirky methods of communication can make this process more engaging and enjoyable.
The war for talent is real. Today, organizations are competing for talent not only in their own industries, but across several industries - Akassh Jain, PepsiCo
One key point was involving employees in the decision-making processes and organizational strategies. Moments of crisis, upheaval, and uncertainty offer a chance for employer branding to shine and demonstrate support and stability.
Showcase aspects such as benefits, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as well as opportunities in learning and development (L&D).
Most importantly, it’s okay to tell your employees that you don’t have all the answers and you’re figuring things out as you go too! Employees who trust you can become the most powerful brand ambassadors for your company.
Digital Transformation for Innovative Branding
It’s hard to overlook how crucial digital transformation, driven by cutting-edge tools and technologies, is to every process in a business today. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming a cornerstone, streamlining work and improving efficiency.
Out of the several use cases, one leader talked about how technology can ensure consistency across different regions and countries so a unified employer brand is maintained.
It also makes data collection and analysis easier, allowing leaders to gauge employee sentiment and improve internal and external messaging. They also talked about the increasing use of video job descriptions to engage candidates visually. The Metaverse is another boon; helping to transform the onboarding experience!
Moreover, change management strategies can be ironed out to facilitate a smooth transition in the digital era. After all, staying updated with industry trends ensures that an organization remains relevant and competitive.
From Millenials to GenZ: Branding for All Ages
The workforce consists of different generations, each with its own value systems, personality, needs, expectations, and mode of expression. It’s up to the employer branding team to ensure the gap is bridged effectively.
A key strategy is to understand the unique needs of each generation. By recognizing their distinct characteristics and preferences, you can tailor your approach to be more relevant.
Empower your employees to pick and choose benefits that align with their individual needs and priorities. A personalized approach to benefit selection allows your team members to maximize the value they gain from the company, ultimately making them feel heard. Moreover, Let people, irrespective of their generational background, find their unique ways of embodying and promoting your company's core principles.
Furthermore, to ensure a smooth collaboration between different age groups, invest in training programs. Train older professionals to manage and mentor younger talents effectively, while also encouraging the flow of knowledge and insights from the younger generation to their more experienced colleagues. Win-Win for all!
Shaping the Future of Work
The future of work stands at the intersection of innovation, technology, and above all, human connection.
The hybrid work model is now indispensable. Employers and organizations alike recognize that it's here to stay and are leveraging this mindset to redefine the way work is done.
The war for talent is more pronounced than ever. As companies compete to attract and retain the best and brightest, authenticity is the golden key. Moreover, the workplace of the future demands new technologies, tools, and approaches that allow for agility and adaptability.
Purpose, Culture, and Growth. This is what talent wants today. - Molly Kapoor
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives will be a significant component of employer branding. Employees want to connect their values with the values of the organizations they work for. Businesses will need to show their commitment to the greater good and sustainability.
Most importantly, employer branding is here to stay and will serve as the beacon for organizations to attract, engage, and retain top talent.
Do It the GTX Way
At Global Talent Exchange, we are on a mission to revolutionize talent acquisition through innovation and data-driven solutions. Our commitment to fostering a rich pipeline through robust employer branding initiatives has set us apart and it’s why we’re the best at what we do.
With our unique approach, we not only bring you the crème de la crème of global talent, but we guarantee you a measurable ROI for it.
It’s time to make your employer branding initiatives work for YOU - harder and smarter than ever before.