Cultivating the best talent used to be a straightforward process. Human Resources would post a notice for an open position that would include a detailed job description, a comprehensive list of requirements, and a broad reference to “full benefits.” Then, from that one ad, the applications would fly in. But those days are long gone. Today’s workforce is educated, empowered, and in extremely high demand. And judging by the job hopping numbers, they seem to have recognized the shift in power. A recent LinkedIn study found that Gen Z workers in the United States are transitioning jobs nearly 40% more than in 2021.
Over the past two years, people have been leaving their positions in search of something better; better hours, better managers, better benefits, better pay. Originally thought to be a short-term side effect of COVID-19, resignation rates are now at an all-time high. It’s a jobseeker’s market and companies that want to succeed need to double down on their efforts to build a strong employer brand.
Companies today are in a unique position. They may have lost leverage with employees, but their role in society is becoming more pivotal. Corporations are stepping in where governments will not, and people are looking toward businesses to impart meaningful social change. Executive leadership has more visibility than ever before. But what does this corporate spotlight mean for initiatives around employer brand?
What is An Employer Brand?
Employer brand is more than just your reputation as a place of work, it’s how your company shows up in the world. This impact is measured by how your employees talk about your business with their peers, how your brand is discussed online, and what the media has to say about your culture.
Why Employer Branding Matters
Your company’s ROI is closely linked to your reputation. Based on MWW’s new research on communications and PR buyer trends, three quarters of businesses (75%) now place a monetary value on trust. One negative product review can work to diminish brand trust, and the same goes for public perception of your employer brand. That’s why investing in employer branding is essential for building a solid reputation with your current and potential employees—and for improving your bottom line.
Like traditional branding, employer branding is about emphasizing your culture. That said, the true challenge of building your employer brand is being able to deliver on your value propositions. Prospective employees expect your company to meet and exceed their expectations of what it’s like to work for an employee-centric, progressive organization.
Social issues are no longer a workplace taboo—quite the opposite, in fact. MWW research shows that principles like sustainable business practices (36%); reduction of carbon footprint (33%); diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) (33%); and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) (30%) are some of the most common considerations being built into company communication narratives. These same initiatives that are being promoted in your marketing materials need to be promoted in your employer branding, too. Studies reveal that 80% of Gen Z job seekers are looking to work for companies that align with their own values. While you won’t be able to match every prospective employee’s values, you should be doing everything in your power to prove that working for your company offers opportunities for personal and social enrichment.
Amplify Your Story by Designating Chief Storytellers
The best way for the world to become familiar with your company’s goals, values, and workplace culture is to share stories through multiple narrators and platforms. Your brand story sets you apart from your competition and encourages employees to publicly take pride in the work they do. However, the perception of your brand narrative and the reality of it can be two separate things. Having effective chief storytellers can help steer the conversation.
From the C-Suite to the front lines, chief storytellers can take on the responsibility of sharing compelling and effective stories about the origins of your company, its objectives, and its purpose for the future. And while all employees have something to contribute, the title of CEO still tends to garner more attention. Our research indicates that 67% of PR buyers view insightful thought leadership as critical to brand recognition. Plus, 64% of consumers say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for the government to impose it, and 69% say that a CEO’s top priority should be building trust.