The key facts behind a strong employer brand in 2017

Written by the Editorial Team

Employer branding – that flighty accomplishment. Do it well and recruitment, staff retention and employee happiness are a foregone conclusion. Without an effective brand, however, we see the opposite – significant disadvantages to your business’ long-term success. So how has a strong employer brand become so important?

According to LinkedIn’s research into global recruiting trends for 2016, it was discovered that 72%[1] of organisations agreed that an employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. Directly impacting a business’ bottom line, a strong employer brand results in a 28% reduction in turnover, a 50% drop in cost-per hire, and almost doubles the number of qualified applicants to a role. Notably, 59% of business leaders worldwide are now investing further capital into their own employer brand.

86% of recruiters now believe that the industry is driven by candidates – up from 54% in 2011[2]. Predictably, 92% of candidates have admitted they would leave their current role for a position with a company possessing an excellent corporate reputation[3]. Conversely, if unemployed, 86% of females and 67% of males stated they would not join a company with a poor reputation. The importance of a strong employer brand – not just for attracting new employees, but retaining those you already have, is clear.

The benefits of a strong employer brand are also mirrored in the experiences of employees. To beat a dead horse, Millennial workers (shudder) have been observed as less interested in salary compared to other, less tangible benefits. Flexible working, more ownership over tasks, and fast progression are some examples.

How can you strengthen your employer brand?

We see now that 66% of candidates who changed jobs were aware of the company they joined before they even applied[4]. To fully create a strong brand, foundations must first be laid. Culture, values and career development are at the forefront of this requirement. One of the initial considerations to build this is a well-defined Employer Value Proposition – an EVP. This is, in short, the set of benefits an employee receives in return for the value they bring to the company. This is the bible – the handbook which an employer can point to in answer to the inevitable question… “why should I work for you?”

The development of a strong culture is a different beast entirely – it will vary for each employer and will depend largely on the employees within an organisation. As an initial consideration, find out what your employees want, and try to provide an environment where these needs can be met.

One this foundation has been laid, organisations must turn to defining their career development prospects. Within the current employment landscape, many organisations have already filled each of their senior positions – we see this particularly within the legal sector. Any senior partners invariably have a number of years left before retirement, meaning very few progression opportunities for less-senior staff. 87%[5] of Millennials (sorry…) see career growth as hugely important to them. It is essential, therefore, that employers provide clearly defined opportunities for this requirement to be met.

Businesses are currently operating in a candidate-driven market. With the number of roles available, candidates can choose the best business to work for and the best opportunity for their own interests. Businesses must now up their game, standing out from the crowd in order to recruit and retain the best talent available. One of the most effective ways of doing that is to focus on employer branding.