Employers seeking the talent they need to drive business growth often miss the mark when it comes to talent acquisition. That’s because many fail to create a highly compelling and resonant employee value proposition (EVP) capable of drawing in and retaining today’s workers, who during these talent-scarce times have more employment choices. 

To create a highly effective talent acquisition strategy, it’s imperative to identify the requirements candidates and employees have for joining and staying with your business. While this sounds straightforward, it can be more complex than it seems. When developing a EVP, your organization should develop brand pillars as inclusive as possible, but to reach specific skill sets, targeted messaging is required to be relevant.

While your employer brand pillar may stress the values and promises you offer to every worker, it’s important to specify what the employee value proposition entails for a specific demographic. For example, while a good work-life balance may be a brand pillar your organization boasts, but can you stipulate what this means for workers who are parent? Similarly, you may seek Millennials interested in pursuing an executive career track, but how does your company support this through learning and development opportunities?

Similarly, the EVP messaging that is effective for workers in one region might have less impact on those in others. As an example, companies offering generous healthcare benefits may have less draw in European markets, where socialized medicine is offered, than in the U.S. or other markets with private healthcare. The same differentiation could be made for a number of worker segments, including age, gender and education. 

With this in mind, how can you develop an attractive employer brand supported by a strong employee value proposition and is relevant? Do you have a clear understanding of what your targeted talent seeks out in an ideal employer? What’s need is definitive data that clarifies what workers around the world from a variety of demographics desire in their workplace.

a global workforce perspective 

For 17 years, the Randstad Employer Brand Research (formerly the Randstad Award) has tracked the employment preferences of working-age adults around the world. This year’s research, which was conducted with the input of 175,000 workers in 30 countries, expands on previous research into additional countries and provides insights on workers’ outlook by geography, age, industry affiliation, gender and education levels. The survey also examines the preferences of workers for staying with an employer, specifically what motivates them to leave their employers for better opportunities.

One of the most important factors for determining the attractiveness of an employer or a sector is, of course, the compensation offered to prospective employee. According to our research, across every demographic, an attractive salary and benefits are the most important attribute that motivates workers to choose an employer, and it is also the second most important trait that keeps them in place (job security is ranked first, but it is ahead by only a miniscule amount).

As you look to develop an effective EVP, consider competitive compensation as the minimal investment you must make to even have a chance of acquiring quality talent. While this is a perpetual requirement, more than ever market rates must be adhered to. If your salary guidelines are even slightly below going rates during these highly competitive times, you may find it difficult to win the workers you need.

Even when you are at parity with the market, it’s no guarantee your talent acquisition strategy will be a success. With job seekers having an unprecedented view into the inner workings of employers — provided by review sites such as Kununu and others — they now can envision what their professional life would be like in your workplace. They can check whether the environment, the culture and the people align with their needs. Most importantly, the can acquire a better understanding of the intangible benefits your company offers.

What are the ones they value most? Globally, our research revealed that despite a competitive talent market, job security is regarded as the second most important attribute they seek in an employer, cited by 48%. This is followed by work-life balance (45%), the work atmosphere (44%) and career progression opportunities (38%). Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that after job security and salary and benefits, the factors that motivate workers to stay with an organization include a good work-life balance, the employer’s location and the work atmosphere.

This information provides only a small view of how to attract and retain talent for your organization. Keep in mind that for each demographic of your workforce, the attributes that matter most may differ. So as you look to activate your employer brand, make sure to create campaigns with relevancy.

Here are three tips on how you can do so using the research, which can help identify gaps in your employer brand efforts.

know the strength of your sector 

The research provides a look at the attitudes of workers globally, but individual sector reports also show the attractiveness of four major industries including IT & communications, financial services, life sciences and engineering. Each report offers a deeper examination of the attitudes of workers in each sector — how loyal they are to their industry, what they seek in an employer, how well the biggest companies in their market meet their desires and additional insights. This information can be a valuable resource for strengthening your employee value proposition and brand strategies.

understand regional nuances 

Because the research is also available for each of the 30 countries surveyed, you can learn how worker preference varies from region to region. This gives you sufficient knowledge to develop local messaging that is most resonant with your target markets and audience. We’ve also surveyed the opinions of workers about the employer brand of top companies in their country.

bridge the gender gap

We made sure to point out the differences in the attitudes of women vs. men. This is important as more companies look to encourage women participation in businesses such IT and financial services. By learning what attract female workers to your organization, you can help increase their ranks in your workforce as well as in your leadership.

Want to learn more about how the 2018 Randstad Employer Brand Research can help you build a stronger employer brand and increase the attractiveness of your company? Visit our employer branding hub here.