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  • SMRS

Employer branding-Measuring what matters

The article below is from SMRS, a UK Country Partner who you will meet at World Employer Branding Day 13-15 May 2020 | Lisbon. The original article can be found by clicking here>

Employer brands can be many things. A gatekeeper of values. A beacon for employees. A guardian of market position, and a showcase for organisational culture. Done properly, they can be a real force when it comes to finding and keeping the kind of people who can really change a business for the better. So much potential – so often overlooked or misunderstood.

We know employer branding matters, because we’ve seen the difference it’s made to so many of our clients. But we also know that it can be a tricky thing to put a finger on. People can feel the difference an employer brand makes, but that can be a difficult thing to measure. Or, at least, it has been. There’s now plenty evidence out there to suggest that employer brands are really coming to the fore. Let’s take a look:

According to the 2019 Employer Branding Insights Report (Haymarket, Wonderful Workplaces) 94% of respondents said they would consider an employer’s brand when applying for a job.

That’s a huge deal. It shows that candidates are looking for more than a good salary or convenient location. It means they’re considering their career choices from every angle. So if you want to pull in the best, you should be fully invested in telling your full story.

70% of respondents said the company’s reputation, if poor, would stop them from applying for a job they’d seen advertised.

Great salary? Amazing pension? That might not be enough. If the word on the street is that your company has little regard for its employees’ development, or considers an inflexible 60-hour week a fair slog, then you might need to rethink things.

Employees value culture and career growth almost twice as much as they value compensation and benefits.

While job-hopping remains the norm for many candidates, there are plenty who are looking to be in it for the long-haul. This means they want to put down roots somewhere they know they will be nurtured and free to grow.

Employees who say their organisational values are ‘known and understood’ are 51 times more likely to be fully engaged than an employee who are in the dark. (Modern Survey, AON)

And engagement is massive. Even if your turnover is low, you could still be missing a huge opportunity to maximise your people’s potential, and your business’s too. Values have the power to unite and motivate – which translates to increased productivity, a more positive workforce and ultimately a higher ROI.

60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those have shared that experience online or directly with another person.

We all know what a bad review can do for a customer-facing business. The same goes for a candidate-facing one. And word spreads like wildfire. Take when Virgin Media famously looked into the impact of poor candidate experience on their own sales, they estimated £4.4m per year of lost custom. That’s scary. It doesn’t matter how carefully curated and polished your careers page is – words written on sites like Glassdoor are treated as gospel.

On the bright side, according to LinkedIn research, companies with strong employer brands have 28% lower turnover rates.

Those companies who have taken the time to invest in their employer brand are now having to spend less money and effort continually recruiting new candidates. They’re also the ones who are most likely to be reaping the benefits of a loyal and engaged workforce.

All of which shows us that ultimately, a well-articulated and executed employer brand drives employee engagement – it inspires, attracts talent and drives profitability. And that’s a win.

Yet in spite of all this, too many businesses are missing the employer brand trick. A recent report from iHire shows that more than 40% don’t know enough about employer branding to come up with a cohesive strategy. Another 60% say they don’t have an employer branding strategy at all, or are unsure about their branding efforts.

The issue is twofold: many employers are simply unaware what an employer brand is. And when they begin to scratch the surface, conflict with the commercial brand can lead to unhelpful lines being drawn between HR and marketing. Couple this with the difficulty in measuring an employer brand’s impact, and you’ve got the perfect storm of missed opportunity.

It’s a puzzle. But not an impossible one. A robust EVP, created with ongoing collaboration between HR and marketing, can strengthen a brand on all fronts. And as more rigorous methods of employer brand impact measurement and insight come into play, it will become clear just how effective it all really is. For now though, word of mouth literally speaks volumes.

If you’re as interested in measurement as we are, we should talk. Just come along to one of our free masterclasses, or get in touch for some employer brand consultancy from one of our experts. Or if you really want to see the future, sign up for a demonstration of our soon-to-be-released measurement and insights tool.

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