​Employer brand, as important as ever

21 February 2021

By Sarah Knight

​Employer brand, as important as ever

Pre-March 2020, the Exeter and surrounding area enjoyed a low level of unemployment – indeed in an article published by Business Leader earlier early that year highlighted that the city ‘boasts the second lowest unemployment out of 320 cities in Europe.’

There’s no denying that the local employment market hasn’t been untouched in the last 12 months and we’ve certainly been in touch with candidates who’ve found themselves, unfortunately, in a redundancy situation, however we haven’t seen the sharp increase in the number of people looking for a new job that we thought we might, a year ago.

Thinking twice about a new job

Here’s some of the most common reasons we’re hearing from candidates who’ve chosen to put their job search on hold for the time being:

  • Increased loyalty: A lot of employees feel they’ve been very well treated by their existing employer and therefore feel more loyal to them

  • Guaranteed income: With the furlough scheme, has come job and income security

  • Childcare: Some are waiting to kickstart their search once schools reopen

  • Better the devil you know’: Moving’s just not worth the risk!

All this potentially means, for the time being, we’re still going to have a ‘tight labour market’ and with the growth in jobs in the South West predicted to continue over the next few months, it could still prove challenging to attract new people.

Therefore, for organisations that are continuing to hire, or are planning to hire, it’s crucial to consider you’re positioning – not only to attract new employees but to retain the top talent in your team too. Investing in a positive online presence, coupled with a positive employer brand is key.

How to make candidates want to work for you

We’ve talked before about ways to create a buzz around your organisation that can make candidates want to work for you, however, there are a few things we’re adding to the list!

Segment your audience

Really understanding the type of person you want to attract to your organisation can help you tailor your messaging and the channels you use effectively. For example, people at certain stages of their career will typically ‘hang out’ in different places online – particularly when it comes to social media.

‘Mix up’ your content

Likewise, people from different disciplines tend to want or need different types of information, presented in different ways too – so having a mix of video, visual and written content is important.

Have a recruitment micro-site

If your organisation is big enough, consider having a careers micro-site, as part of your website, to help candidates easily find all the information they need about roles, your organisation, the hiring process, the team and why they should work for you, versus a competitor.

Let your culture sing!

Whatever the channel and whatever the content, make sure your company culture shines through. Your existing team can help with this – sharing good news stories, what it’s like to work there, what a working day looks like. They should be your biggest advocates!

Commitment to the community

Now more than ever it’s important to be seen be ‘giving back’, so highlight any support you give to charities or other groups.

New ways of working – flexibly

Employees have long had the right to request to flexible working, however the move to enforced home working, where possible, has almost certainly raised potential employees’ expectations that working from home, or having more flexible hours to better support other commitments such as caring for a friend or relative, or looking after children, is almost a ‘given’.

Share your organisation’s approach so candidates can clearly see what their options are, now and in the longer term.

Your approach to safety

Feeling safe at work has always been important but, certainly with many of the organisations we work with, hasn’t been something to shout about – it’s been a ‘given’.

Now’s the time to start talking about and demonstrating your commitment to keeping teams safe, to reassure potential applicants.

Recommendations

Invaluable at the best of times, however having a ‘stamp of approval’ is needed more than ever when there’s a shortage of great candidates. We’ll often ask people we’re working with if there are any organisations that they’d particularly like to work for and it’s interesting that the same ones crop up time and time again, based on recommendations.

What is your organisation doing to make sure you’re an employer of choice in the local area?

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