In the year of COVID-19, 2020 is an unprecedented period witnessed with a lot of change across all functions, with businesses scrambled to get all the pieces together. Companies also need to focus on getting immediate execution over the line to ensure important business processes are in place. Protecting and managing the business bottom line became the top priority – and with time, team management and culture became predominant issues, as productivity wavered and stabilised in turns.
Amidst all the chaos, the overall vision of the company’s employer brand remains crucial because branding reflects an organisation’s strategy to create a specific perception of employment at the company. It is the projection of a certain image as an employer. Employer branding is important for companies that desire a competitive edge in recruitment and employee retention.
According to Universum’s Employer Branding NOW 2021 study, despite the global challenges posed by the pandemic in 2021, a significant proportion of companies around the world are ramping up their recruiting efforts and rethinking how they can best compete for talent. Forty-five percent of surveyed companies expect their recruiting needs to be higher in 2021; and 70 percent of the leading global employers who expressed an opinion claimed they had re-evaluated their employment deal or were in the process of doing so.
The survey was conducted during the first quarter of 2021. There were 1,261 total respondents from all walk-of-industries, including responses from small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and developed companies. The research investigated the practices of talent leaders in areas like employer branding, talent attraction, and employee engagement. The aim of the survey was to gather insights about current employer branding practices as well as to learn from the World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAEs).
Some of the noteworthy findings from Universum research are, as follows:
The Universum report wrote that recruiting and employer branding must be ‘always on’ despite the business and economy globally being affected by unprecedented events. Learning from the WMAEs, employers should be quick to pivot to a virtual recruiting environment, and willing to invest in virtual internships. Companies that focus on recruiting and employer branding despite the challenges will not merely survive but thrive.
Randstad’s Employer Branding Insights disclosed that about 2 in 10 global workers changed their employers during 2020. Meanwhile, about 1 out of 4 employees plan to do so in the coming year. Among the most obvious reasons to switch jobs are a higher salary, the mismatch between employee’s personal values and those of the organisation, and poor relationships with the manager and colleagues.
Echoing the top drivers, the most attractive benefits worldwide have to do with flexibility, additional vacation benefits, health care insurance packages, and the reimbursement of mobility expenses. In addition, with so many disruptive forces affecting businesses around the globe, finding, training, and retaining talent becomes one of the most critical challenges companies face in these uncertain times.
Keeping in mind Randstad’s findings above, employers should ensure they are best positioned to be an employer of choice. While attracting flexibility and mobility might work, acquiring the title ‘employer of choice’ needs more than that. The strategies will require some variation of the following steps:
Employer branding requires learning from the past, developing the present, and predicting the future. While the past has been already shared, much cannot be predicted about the future. Every brand evolves over time. Keeping your messaging fresh and new should be of the employer’s focus; whereas for the HR team, they should plan and carry out the message throughout the entire team in the company in a fun, exciting way.