winning the war for talent: improve your company's reputation.

Attracting great talent is challenging enough in the current competitive labor market, but how much harder would it be if your employer brand lags that of competitors. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure you are perceived as an employer of choice. But does your organization have the right strategy to stand head and shoulders above the rest?

Sure, it starts with a competitive compensation package, but as we see from the 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research – a global survey of more than 200,000 working-age adults in 32 countries – winning great talent is more than just about money. For companies to win and retain the workers needed to drive their business forward, offering the right employee value propositions (EVP) and making sure their target audience knows about it are paramount.   

For instance, considerations such as a good work-life balance, job security and a pleasant work environment all help sway job applicants your way. In this year’s research, we also found that workers attach a value to having greater job security, which indicates that despite being a candidate’s market, they still want assurances. In fact, nearly 7 out of 10 workers would give up a part of their salary in exchange for job certainty. One out five would give 10% of their salary for greater security, and 22% would trade 6% to 10% to do so.

With the global economy having undergone an extended period of prosperity, workers may be concerned that a downturn is inevitable. Furthermore, a trade war between China and the U.S., the two largest economies in the world, is not reassuring. Add in uncertainties around Brexit and it’s not hard to see where some of this anxiety stems from.

disconnect in desire, delivery

Year after year our research reveals that large employers still miss the mark when it comes to delivering an EVP that really matters to workers. While salary & benefits, a good work-life balance and job security are the three most important factors to survey respondents, they are not among the top three or even top five attributes they associate with the biggest companies.

What this tells us is that despite increasing investments in their employer brand, top organizations are not delivering or perceived to deliver the things that delight workers. Is it a matter of how they communicate their EVP? Do they need to change their investments to align with workers’ desires? Should they change messaging? Most likely, it’s a bit of all of the above.

Nevertheless, we found the largest companies are still the most preferred employers. More than a quarter (28%) of workers say multinational companies are ideal, followed by 15% who say their preference is for small to midsize businesses and 13% who prefer to work for themselves. Surprisingly, just 7% chose start-ups.

When it comes to the type of industry they would rather work in, IT & communications is once again the most desirable. This is the case in North America, Europe and APAC, but not so in Latin America, where the most attractive is automotive, followed by IT&C. Life sciences, engineering, automotive sectors are also highly desirable around the world.

While you might not be able to control the lines of business you operate, you can influence other factors that affect your attractiveness as an employer. A strategy built on research, clear goals and continuous improvement can help elevate your brand above those of competitors. It starts with a clear understanding of your organization’s mission and value and building on that. Externally, you should have a clear understanding of what attracts great talent to your business and how these factors can differ depending on sector, region and age.

Understanding what employee value propositions are most important will help you develop a more effective employer brand and raise your overall talent attraction strategy. To do so, you can access this year’s Randstad Employer Brand Research report here, which offers a comprehensive view of the motivators that will bring more and better candidates to your career portals. You can learn about the EVPs that are most important to your sector, what motivates talent to change jobs and other attraction considerations.  

As the relationship between employers and workers evolve during a time of talent scarcity, flexible work schedules and freelance proliferation, getting your employer brand is critical. You need to ensure long-term, positive relationships with talent to build a sustainable talent pool and community. Doing so will help you secure the human capital you must have when the need arises.

Download the 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research

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