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Prepare for the employer branding shift

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When it comes to the world of work, the impact of the coronavirus epidemic has been unprecedented. Remote working, decreased budgets, furloughs, layoffs, and lockdown after lockdown have all been problems that have prompted companies to shift their thinking, which is set to result in significant changes to their culture.

Following the period of redundancies, furloughs, and candidates heading back into their preferred industries, studies are now showing that there’s a huge shift in focus on recruiters rethinking how they can best compete for talent. So what do you need to prepare for?

Expect to compete for talent

With many companies anticipating an uplift in recruiting activity, they are also expecting the hiring environment to get more competitive. So what makes you stand out? What are you offering that your competition isn’t? Get ready to do some serious research, and be prepared to adapt your EVP accordingly if you’re to attract the right talent.

Revisit your EVP

We’ve touched on this before, but a strong EVP is essential to attracting and retaining team members who will go on to become ambassadors for your brand. Research shows that over 2 in 3 of the world’s most attractive employers are updating – or considering updating – their EVP post-COVID. This shows the realisation businesses are facing — that their old EVPs no longer align with the ‘new normal’ and that they need to also rethink how they are targeting candidates in a more inclusive way.

From a more flexible approach to the working environment to supportive employee assistance programmes, increased learning and development, better benefits packages, and a more diverse and inclusive culture — these are the new workforce priorities, and that’s what’s going to stand you above the competition.

Startups are no longer a threat

Following the disruption caused by the pandemic, many younger people who may have previously been attracted to the liberal-thinking startups with their smart tech and cool ideas are now actually looking for more security and the safety net of a defined career path — something that larger or more established companies are more likely to be able to offer. Tap into this talent pool with a more attractive employer branding proposition and you’re winning.

Diversity is top priority

The hottest topic for businesses in the current climate is diversity and should be the top priority for any HRDs serious about recruiting. When you think that nearly one in 10 LGBTQ employees have left a job because the environment was unwelcoming, or that the employment rate for ethnic minorities is only 62.8% compared with an employment rate for white workers of 75.6% — these are frightening stats. Do you really want your company getting a bad reputation for not promoting inclusivity?

Recognise what needs to change

Your team will have been under a huge amount of pressure over the past year. Their mental health will have taken a knock with the many adjustments that have come from remote working, the isolation from lockdowns, recognising the importance of family time — so what happens now they’re being called back into the office. Understand that not everyone is going to feel comfortable going back to a 9-5. Recognise too that there will be other team members desperate to return. Listen to your workforce.

Make it clear you understand any concerns they have and that you’re going to address the needs of them as well as the business. It may be that you assess who performs at their best when they’re more remote vs being office-based. It could be that you adopt a group-wide flexible schedule to address balance. Whatever you do, make sure it’s gradual. You don’t want to scare everyone off by expecting a sudden shift, much like the shift they encountered during lockdown one. Understanding is key.

The last year has seen even the top employer brands perform under immense pressure, but what are you doing to power through? Let me know. Find me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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