How to develop and deliver an effective employer brand strategy
The powerful story you tell about why people should want to work for your brand is like any other captivating narrative – it will be strong in its beginning, middle and end. Hopefully, if you tell it right from the very beginning, the best talent will start to believe your company is the best place for them, want to be right in the middle of your exciting growth plans, and end only after a long and exciting career with you. Making the right choices today could see you soon retelling the story of how you mastered your employer brand strategy – to attract, recruit, and retain top talent.
In this article, we’re going to look at why employer branding is so important, how to achieve success with your strategy, and why not having these elements in place is a mistake. Previously we have explored the 13 steps to developing your employer branding strategy but here we are going to distil them into just three steps – Persona, Positioning, and Proof.
What would happen without an employer branding strategy?
With sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, potential employees now have a range of tools at their disposal to assess companies when job hunting, to see if the business and culture, among other things, are a good fit for them. 84% of jobseekers consider the reputation of a company important and 52% will look at social media channels to get a feel for the company culture.
Consider that without an employer branding strategy you will experience low talent retention and good staff are expensive and timely to replace if the competition looks more attractive to them. And following the pandemic, talent are considering hybrid roles and flexibility far more keenly – so companies who want to tap into this finite resource will need to be transparent, flexible and competitive with their offer.
First and foremost, you need to audit how your audience perceives your brand. The best way to do this is by assessing social media, company review sites, Google alerts and internal employee feedback. Listening is a vital skill in any communications strategy, and you need to be aware of your reputation if you want to build brand equity.
From here, you want to assess the persona of your target audience and build a profile of your ideal candidate. What sort of personality do they have? What motivates them? Where do they look for their next role and who influences them? These are important considerations if you want to build up that persona to truly get inside the skin of your audience.
What you’re really aiming for is to clearly establish what makes your brand unique. When you truly understand who your audience is, you can then establish what it is about your brand that will tick their job-hunting boxes. It feeds into your employer brand strategy as it tells you why they would choose you above the competition. Is it that your values align with theirs, your company culture, or your social responsibilities? The more your goals resonate with your employees, the more engaged and motivated your workforce will be – which will always have a positive impact on the bottom line.
So, what about positioning? Once you know exactly who you are talking to and what message you need to share, it’s time to consider how you will reach them – what marketing channels will work best for your strategy?You will know the type of social media channels which fit the demographic, which career sites they use and where to advertise. Video is worth considering as it is a powerful medium which can enable you to show familiar faces of the company. You need to post regularly and authentically, considering localised nuances if you are a global company.
Central to your positioning is your Employee Value Proposition or EVP. This tells you exactly how you align your values against those of your employee, with them at the heart. Include here what motivates them. Is it healthcare benefits, flexibility, or bonuses for example? It will be a mixture, and you need to ensure you communicate these messages throughout the recruitment and onboarding processes, and are always available to current staff. Your business will benefit when brand guidelines are all housed within one , – helping you to ensure you’re communicating a strong, consistent brand, which is as much about values as it is about logos.
What happens if you don’t take these steps? Research shows that staff are 20% more likely to leave a workplace within a year if there is no investment in their future, which is why training and development is absolutely essential, and you have to mean what you say and demonstrate this clearly. It’s one thing to show that your values align, but to truly demonstrate this you need to offer opportunities for growth and in this way you will nurture brand advocates – they will tell their friends and promote your vacancies.
Throughout this process of developing your employer branding strategy, you need to evaluate success. Any successful communications strategy has an internal review at the heart. If you set a benchmark and continue to assess how well your strategy is performing, this can inform your future communications. This includes seeking buy-in across the board. HR professionals, board members, staff, and candidates, all need to be included. Then you can fine-tune against your KPIs and conduct focus groups, so the strategy is continually evolving.
Implementing your employer branding strategy means putting people at the heart of everything you do, as they can be your biggest asset and opportunity for growth, with the right approach. They will become your champions. With Papirfly’s brand management platform, empower your employer branding team to attract, recruit and retain the best people – and celebrate building and being part of a team of champions for your successful global brand. In fact, you can read all about how we helped Unilever deliver employer brand perfection with our platform.
13 steps to developing your employer branding strategy
As a company, you’re always looking to uncover, recruit and retain the best talent out there. People who will work to achieve your goals. Fit into your culture. Have that drive for success.
But there’s a problem – your competitors have the exact same aspiration. And with the reputation of a company more visible than ever before, be it through a jobseeker’s Google search or reviews on comparator sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, presenting a powerful, compelling employer proposition is more crucial and more challenging than ever before.
With a finite pool of truly exceptional individuals that can make a difference to your organisation, it is essential that you can stand out from the crowd in attracting the talent that’s out there, as well as keeping hold of the people you already have.
That is where your employer branding strategy comes in. It sets you on the journey to locating prospects that fit with your organisation’s ambitions and clearly demonstrating why they would feel right at home in your teams.
Here, we’re going to delve into greater detail on what your employer branding strategy is and outline thirteen critical steps to developing one that connects you with the best talent available.
What is an employer branding strategy?
At its core, the definition of an employer brand strategy is a documented, universal approach to translating your organisation’s values, approaches and personality to your audience. It’s a comprehensive offering of everything you have to offer as a workplace to benefit your most important asset – your employees.
It’s how you project your employer brand – how you are viewed by your current workforce and people you hope to one day recruit. Your employer branding strategy needs to transparently and consistently promote these aspects to both your existing team and those you intend to recruit in order to achieve three salient goals:
Positively distinguish your offering from your competitors’
Demonstrate why someone would want to work in your organisation
Illustrate how your brand is developing and strengthening over time
Not all employer branding strategies are created equal, and creating one that ticks all the right boxes requires clear thinking, total buy-in from your team members and refinements over time. By utilising the following best practices, you’ll find yourself in an ideal position to attract the talent that can drive your brand forward.
How important is an employer branding strategy?
As mentioned earlier, Glassdoor and Indeed are just two examples of platforms that highlight your company’s culture and processes. There’s your website and other marketing channels to consider, and word of mouth from employees spreading on forums.
If your negatives outweigh your positives, or you are not dedicating the same attention to your employer branding strategy as your competitors, you stand to miss out on top talent, and even losing current team members in the process.
Developing a brand that appeals and connects with today’s increasingly web-savvy job candidate is vital, and can result in numerous benefits, including:
Improved employer attractiveness to talented individuals interested in working in your industry
Greater motivation among your existing employees by feeling more connected and in-sync with your brand values
Tangible drops in the costs associated with hiring new talent and retaining them long-term
A workforce that actively advocates and promotes your brand, extending your reach to other candidates and customers
A clear, unified vision for your organisation to move towards, with all people associated with your company pushing it in that direction
13 steps to best practice with your employer branding strategy
Effective employer branding strategies can be the difference-maker in an ideal candidate’s decision to join your organisation over the other options available. Following these best practices gives you greater control over the messages you project, and the ability to influence how these individuals see your brand.
1. Audit the perception of your brand
Before developing your employer branding strategy, it is important you have a clear understanding of how people view your company initially. Otherwise, how will you know what adjustments are required?
A thorough audit of your current brand perception, both through the eyes of your employees and your external audiences, lets you understand if your current messaging and reputation is projecting the values and attractiveness you are aiming for. Especially in organisations with teams spread across the globe, it is easy for your values to be mistranslated, or be in needing refinement to connect with local audiences.
There are a host of places you should be examining, including:
Employment review sites – most candidates will be researching these in detail before making a decision on their next employer. What are people saying about your company’s processes and culture? Do you get rated five stars? Do you come across as an attractive brand? Are there negative reviews? If so, have you addressed them effectively?
Social media – investing in social listening tools can help you track mentions of your organisation over social media, so you gain a deeper insight into how people view your brand.
Employee feedback – conducting internal surveys or having open meetings with your teams helps you identify problems that might be affecting your ability to attract and retain talent, so they can be rectified as part of your unified employer brand strategy.
Google alerts – like on social media, it is important to closely monitor the reputation your brand is presenting on Google and other search engines, and determine if this is in line with your objectives.
2. Build your employee persona
Who is your ideal candidate? Without a clear answer to this question, you are in no position to effectively develop an employer branding strategy that targets a person with the personality, aspirations and skills to seamlessly join your teams.
Dedicate time to breaking down the qualities your target audience possesses:
What are their main personality traits?
What causes do they care about?
What motivates them day-to-day?
Where do they research for information?
What roles and responsibilities do they want?
Who influences their decisions?
This is just a sample of the line of questioning you should be asking about what constitutes the right employee for your brand. Of course, these qualities will differ according to the specific staff role and location you are marketing to, but at a fundamental level there must be a template that helps you craft branding that appeals to the right candidate.
Furthermore, by clarifying your ideal candidate, it is more likely that their transition into joining your team and growing within your organisation will be more satisfying and fulfilling.
3. Establish your company’s differentiators
Knowing what makes your company unique goes a long way to crafting your brand story.
It’s your organisation’s mission statement. Its values. Its social responsibilities. Its culture.
This feeds into your employer branding strategy by determining why someone would choose to join or stay with your company over X competitor. To effectively establish your differentiators or USPs therefore, it is important to reassess your own values and compare these with potential alternatives for recruits.
What issues do you stand for that others don’t? What aspects of your work culture can you promote that others aren’t? Where does your brand excel and stand out against what your competitors can produce? The answers to these questions will define the unique characteristics your company has to boost your attractiveness to recruits.
86% of HR professionals believe recruitment is now on an equal footing with ‘marketing’. In the same way your marketing efforts are geared to set your products and services apart from the crowd, your employer brand strategy needs to working just as hard to keep you in the minds of candidates and improve your current teams’ sense of belonging.
4. Determine and utilise your primary marketing channels
How are you going to reach your prospective recruits, or best engage with your existing employees worldwide?
As part of establishing your audience persona, you should have a clearer understanding of what channels are going to connect with the candidates you’re seeking. But it is vital to have these defined as part of your employer branding initiatives, and that consistency is maintained across all platforms you choose to utilise.
By choosing the most effective channels, be it through a careers page on your website, paid media campaigns, or taking your employer branding to social media, you are in a position to tailor and target your audiences far more successfully. Ask employees how they first encountered your brand. Research the most popular platforms and forums for people working in your industry.
Once you’ve identified where you will engage with, use these platforms to frequently translate the inclusivity, vision and development of your brand and your employees. These images, blogs, testimonials and more across the most popular channels for your audience will drive a clear connection with what your brand stands for.
However, it is essential that your collateral feels in no way forced or fabricated. Authenticity is essential in truly appealing to your target audience. Without this genuine aspect, people will see through your attempts and will likely distrust you going forward.
5. Create your Employer Value Proposition
Your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) is your promise to current and future employees. It’s what you offer that will make them passionate about being part of your team, and as such is a lynchpin of your employer branding strategy.
At the centre of your EVP should be your employee – their motivations, their interests, their goals. Ideally your proposition will cover everything they are looking for to connect them to your company in a positive, fulfilling way. To this end, you should consider what matters to staff:
A thriving workplace culture?
Flexible working opportunities?
A strong work-life balance?
A comfortable environment?
Unique perks like gym memberships and social outings?
Charity work and corporate responsibility initiatives?
Most employer branding strategies should contain an assortment of these. But on top of these perks, you also need to consider the core values of your business. How highly your employees are valued. How committed you are to being the best in your industry. How much you care about supporting your customers.
Your Employee Value Proposition is central to how attractive your brand is to recruits, and how effectively you can retain the staff you already have on board. It should be kept transparent and in easy reach of any member of your organisation at all times to reinforce these messages, which is why our BAM by Papirfly™ solution’s capacity to ‘educate’ employees allows our clients to house core brand documents that can be accessed at any opportunity.
Develop your brand guidelines and assets or review your existing ones
Your company already likely has overarching brand guidelines, assets and logos – but what about your employer brand? Has this been properly defined?
In order to effectively implement your employer brand strategy, you need to have assets in place that sets your employer brand apart and the resources available to create and complement your campaigns.
This includes anything from country-specific guidelines, culturally appropriate imagery, colour palettes, logo variations, audience breakdowns by country, dos and don’ts for different territories and anything in between.
7. Invest in your current team’s development
One of the core reasons behind bad employee retention is a lack of career development and learning opportunities. Without a feeling of progression or investment in their growth, it is likely a member of your team will seek greener pastures to achieve their aims.
Remember, employees who feel they’re progressing are 20% more likely to still be at their companies in a year’s time. By presenting these training and development opportunities to your team, you’re demonstrating you’re committed to helping them realise their ambitions as part of your brand. This not only provides you with a more highly-skilled and motivated workforce, but a workforce that is engaged and appreciative to your organisation.
On top of this reduction in workplace boredom and increase in motivation, staff that feel more in-tune and connected to a brand are much more likely to become brand advocates. They will share your marketing materials on social media. Tell friends and family about how positive your environment is. Actively encourage people to join when vacancies become available.
With that, you are in a position to harness powerful employee branding that increases your trustworthiness and attractiveness to both potential recruits and customers.
8. Internal review and alignment
Anything you plan to implement in terms of strategy, particularly initially, should have buy-in from all appropriate stakeholders. This may include HR professionals in the business, internal recruiters, management and more. You may also want to get opinions from existing or new employees to make sure what you have developed fits in with internal perceptions.
Likewise, you may pick up on an insight internally that you may not have had access to without holding these conversations. Once everyone is happy on the direction you are taking for the employer brand strategy, you can begin developing the tools and resources to educate the wider teams and make sure everyone is on the same page moving forward.
9. Assess your strategy’s success
Finally, once you have your employer branding strategy in place, it is important that you are regularly assessing, fine-tuning and adapting it as your business and your industry landscape evolves. It is rare anything this important is nailed first time around, so it is critical that you over time analyse the results of your efforts and see where improvements can be made.
Examine the success of your employer branding initiatives against your pre-defined KPIs, which may include:
Number of applicants to each vacancy
Improved brand reputation
Frequency of employer brand marketing
If any of these are falling short of your aspirations, it is time to reassess, correct the course and tweak your approach until you see the results you’re looking for. Your employer branding strategy should never feel set in stone – as your overall business strategy changes to reflect new trends, patterns or requirements, your employer brand strategy should follow suit.
10. Talk to employees regularly
An employer brand strategy is never completely finished. This is because not only does the internal workforce demands evolve so rapidly, but as a brand grows so does what it’s trying to portray.
By having regular meetings or focus groups with a select few people you can ensure you don’t become subjective and stay rooted in what really matters to employees. Particularly if you are responsible for campaigns overseas, don’t rely on conversations with employees in your own location.
Ideally, teams would be looking after their own materials in their own country, but this isn’t always possible, so ensuring you get relevant, on-the-ground insight will be critical to your success.
11. Invest in video
Whether it’s for organic or paid for advertising, video is a powerful medium to get across your company’s true values. Potential candidates can read handbooks and website pages until their hearts are content but the truth is only video or a face-to-face visit can truly convey the experience of working somewhere.
This is particularly important for larger businesses, whose success has seen them become so vast that potential candidates may perceive them as a faceless corporation. Hearing from real people with real stories helps to humanise your brand in ways that written content can’t always achieve.
12. Create advocacy internally
If your existing employees don’t believe in your employer brand strategy, how can you expect prospective candidates to feel anything? Having members of the workforce on board is one thing, but having them actively promote your brand and company as a positive place to work can be more powerful than many other methods.
There’s an element of authenticity that candidates connect with. As long as your content isn’t forced or dishonest, the genuine passion should shine through. And if it does, you could be on to a winner.
13. Work out the logistics of your localisation
Working across multiple territories can be a nightmare to navigate. Having processes in place to ensure that any culturally sensitive content or translations are up to scratch is important for maintaining consistency and retaining a decent reputation, both internally and externally.
Anything deemed insensitive would not only ruin your chances of a successful recruitment campaign but also demoralise employees working in that region. It’s important that no matter in the world where they are, they feel connected and represented as part of the brand.
6 companies that have nailed their employer branding strategy
We’ve discussed the key steps to building an employer branding strategy, but what do these mean in practice? Below we discuss several companies across the globe that are maximising their potential to attract, recruit and retain the best talent available through their messaging, and what lessons you can pick up from them.
Vodafone is a prime example of a brand that felt it was doing everything right, but after careful analysis determined they were lacking in some areas. They quickly rectified this by conducting a thorough survey across 40,000 people to find out how people felt about the Vodafone brand.
This feedback became the heart of a new employer value proposition, which has proven far more effective in appealing to new and existing talent. At the core of this is something called the “two-way deal”, which promises team members that they will get as much out of their career at Vodafone as they’re willing to put in.
We’re proud of the role that our BAM solutions have played in supporting Vodafone’s employer branding strategy, helping them deliver greater campaign materials on a global scale.
Another of our clients, Unilever, has built the strength and success of their employer brand through their status as a leader in their industry. By focusing on materials that emphasise their notable reputation in their employment brand strategy, they present an aspirational image to potential recruits, as well as improve the motivation of their existing employees.
Plus, Unilever in recent years adopted an approach of responding to every testimonial left for their company on Glassdoor, positive or negative. This willingness to respond to employee concerns and use their reviews to improve conditions has consistently kept the company among the “Best Place to Work in the UK” rankings.
L’Oréal back in 2013 demonstrated the value of placing your employees at the centre of your employer branding strategy. After passing 300,000 followers on LinkedIn, they used this as an opportunity to highlight the stories and skills of their team members across the globe, emphasising the opportunities available at their business to potential jobseekers.
As it’s well-established that people trust other people over brands, L’Oréal’s approach was an effective way to build confidence in their brand through the voices of their own employees.
While many fashion brands utilise their social media accounts for their products, Zappos pairs this with content demonstrating the benefits of joining their team. On Instagram in particular they share a substantial amount of CSR work, employee stories and company-wide events to help their brand feel more appealing to both jobseekers and the wider public.
Furthermore, their Insider Program has been a great innovation for their employer branding strategy. This allows anyone interested in joining their team one day access to information relevant to the company, allowing Zappos to source from the best available talent.
When Hubspot came under increased scrutiny after being named one of the Best Places to Work in 2018, this investigation simply shone a bigger spotlight on their commitment to listen to their employees and take their feedback and suggestions on board.
This extends to Hubspot’s social media presence, where they have regularly encouraged followers to leave comments that can act as jumping points for future content. It also champions its dedication to a fun company culture, with flexible work hours and tuition reimbursement.
Pushing a strong visual element to their employer branding strategies, Heineken in early 2019 launched their “Going Places” campaign, focusing on celebrating the stories and development of 33 of their employees across the globe.
After conducting research into the values their brand represent, the company honed in on three pillars: authenticity, transcendence and longer-term brand management. These were combined into the campaign, inspiring their existing workforce and encouraging prospective employees about the potential they can unlock at Heineken.
The future of your employer branding strategy
We hope that this insight into the best practices of employer branding strategies will help guide your way to presenting a more attractive, comprehensive proposition to prospective candidates, as well as keep your current team members engaged with your brand.
The importance of employer branding can never go understated in how it drives the future of your organisation, and establishes a workforce that is motivated, committed and inspired to be part of your company. Achieving this on a global scale is far from straightforward, but through our market-leading BAM software, your team is able to efficiently execute your employer brand strategy.
‘Quiet Quitting’ – The silent workplace rebellion and how employer branding can solve it
The term ‘quiet quitting’ started as a whisper in the corporate corridors, yet as a trend it has quickly become too loud to ignore. What started out as an idea on TikTok, has sparked a larger discussion about employee wellbeing, burnout and work-life balance. Is this a fad retreading old work frustrations, or is there change in the air?
Employees coasting in office jobs isn’t a new concept. Ever since humans first began working at a desk, there have been those that are dissatisfied with it for one reason or another. Depending on the setting, there can be a number of reasons why an unhappy employee decides to ‘quiet quit’ instead of quitting outright. Is there a difference between coasting and ‘quiet quitting,’ or is this simply a new term for the same dissatisfaction and absence of passion we are already familiar with?
What is ‘quiet quitting’?
Despite its name, ‘quiet quitting’ doesn’t actually involve quitting at all. Instead, it’s an active decision to stick to strictly fulfilling your work duties as described in your job description and contract – while otherwise disengaging from any extra tasks outside of it, and the associated overtime. The idea behind it, in short and simplified terms, is to fly under the radar as much as possible, while still showing up to work to perform your duties in a normal fashion. Beyond this, the quiet quitter has no interest in going above and beyond in pursuit of growth, promotions or bonuses.
To understand ‘quiet quitting’ in our current setting, we first need to go back to the pandemic. With everyone having their lives forcibly slowed down by lockdowns, it naturally gave people a lot more time to think and reflect. With work being such a big part of our lives, and with many people feeling burnt out even before the pandemic hit, it comes as no surprise that people spent time thinking long and hard about work and how it affect’s their lives.
The Great Resignation
All this contemplation resulted in what has since been coined ‘The Great Resignation,’ with unhappy and overworked employees quitting their jobs in droves. Some quit in favour of following their dreams and completely new career paths, while others found similar jobs with companies that offered better conditions, salaries and company culture. Already we have answered one of the burning questions around ‘quiet quitting’; ‘why don’t they simply quit their jobs outright?’ The answer is they did, or at least a large portion of the ones that had the option did.
The ones who don’t see quitting as an option may stick around due to being bound by contract, their financial situation may be too uncertain to quit at the current time, or they believe that the situation would be the same with a different company. In some cases people may choose to stay because the salary is good, but they are ‘quiet quitting’ in response to a work environment or culture that is otherwise demotivating or toxic.
What drives employees into ‘quiet quitting?’
As humans, we have a natural drive to desire and pursue happiness. Finding this happiness is a long journey with a number of factors and measurements, that for most of us involves a certain measure of fulfilment through work. One of the main factors for how fulfilled we feel in our job positions is salary. However, individual differences will influence much weight it carries for us among the other factors of our work life. Simply put, some people value a good salary more, while others think it’s more important to find real meaning in the work itself.
The part where this gets complicated is when we introduce the employer, work environment and expectations. It’s only natural that an employer has expectations for the people who work for them, but it’s just as natural that the employee has some for their employer as well. This is why we have contracts – so that they are clearly set both ways. In theory this should make it all very clear-cut, but the waters are quickly muddied by hustle culture, crunch time and chasing bonuses and promotions.
Work-life balance and clear boundaries
While most countries have labour laws that stipulate the number of hours you’re allowed to work in a week, hustle culture – the idea that if you’re not always giving 110% at work, you are underperforming – is still prevalent in many countries and companies around the world, and it will often run contrary to these laws.
There’s nothing wrong with putting in extra effort here and there if it can make a difference, and your hard work is justly rewarded. A bonus or a promotion has to be earned fairly. It should be said, however, that when working overtime and taking on extra tasks outside your job description becomes a regular occurrence and the new norm, the path to burnout becomes short.
While there can be more factors that can influence employees into ‘quiet quitting’, there’s a clear indication that burnout and a lack of appreciation and reward for hard work is a major contributor to the dissatisfaction that leads to quiet quitting. This isn’t just about being passed over for a promotion or a bonus, but also having good ideas shot down in favour of sticking to things as they have always been. Being constantly stressed and never getting ahead of the workload due to understaffing or impossible expectations will also have a major impact on an employee’s decision to disengage.
Numbers from a Zenger Folkman analysis – highlighted in this Harvard Business Review article – point a heavy finger at bad managers as being another major cause, dismissing the notion that ‘quiet quitting’ is a matter of insubordination, laziness or revenge for overwork.
Work life will never be without its fair share of stress, frustrations and challenges – you need look no further than the funny pages in your local newspaper to find cases of humans joking about and laughing off common work life frustrations to cope with them. But there is a line somewhere between cracking jokes, heaving a sigh and saying “it is what it is”, and the formation of online communities like the infamous Anti-Work subreddit, and physical movements like the Lie Flat movement in China.
From these scathing numbers highlighting burnout and poor management, it seems that ‘quiet quitting’ may be a justified, silent rebellion to regain control of one’s work-life balance and the rejection of a long-standing, unhealthy and counterproductive hustle culture. Having seen how it causes unhappiness and burnout in the generations before them, younger generations like millennials and Gen Z are sending a message – that they refuse to follow the same road, and expect a more balanced work culture and professional life.
How can employers prevent ‘quiet quitting?’
Knowing that ‘quiet quitting’ is a symptom of a dysfunctional or unbalanced work relationship, and a poor employer brand, there are a number of steps you can take to help your employees stay positively inclined to the work they’re doing, and the company they are working for.
As a manager discovering or suspecting ‘quiet quitting’ in your team, you may be tempted to take a hard stance and crack down on it with disciplinary measures. Keep in mind what we mentioned previously – that in the vast majority of cases, ‘quiet quitting’ is not about laziness or insubordination. Taking the iron fist approach and pulling employees into meetings for stern words is actually likely to make the problem worse and vindicate the ‘quiet quitters’ in their decision to disengage.
Realign and clarify expectations – provide training and reward hard work
With overwork and drifting responsibilities being among the main causes of ‘quiet quitting’, it’s possible you may have to take a step back and reconsider what your expectations are for the individual roles. Make sure that they are clear cut and not vague, so that employees have a clear understanding of where their responsibilities begin and end.
You may not always have the budget to take on new hires to meet expanding needs. If you have to rely on your current employees to handle new responsibilities, make sure you provide them with proper training to set them up for success as much as possible. This includes educating them on your brand identity. You may also want to consider a monetary incentive here in addition, keeping in mind that it’s still less costly than a new hire.
Regardless of the reasons and situation, there’s no way around rewarding hard work if you want to keep your employees engaged and motivated both short term and long term. A bonus scheme may seem like the obvious solution, but you should also consider setting a clear internal mobility strategy. Establishing and maintaining a clear path to climb the ladder internally will go a long way to both keep your employees motivated, and strengthen your employer brand overall.
Empower your people to work smarter, not harder
It’s not unheard of to have a lot of tasks that need doing, and not enough people to do them. It’s the nature of business that keeping up with the market takes hard work, but if your team is constantly trying to catch up and never quite getting there, it’s a clear indication that the current process isn’t working as well as it could.
Hiring new people to handle the extra workload might be the right decision in some cases, but hiring and training new employees is costly, and may be overkill depending on the situation. Before considering the recruitment option, you should look into whether your team could benefit from better technology solutions that help them streamline repetitive tasks and remove bottlenecks that slow everyone down. It even provides better room for your employees to be creative in their roles, and help them feel like an active part of the company.
If you feel that you don’t have the budget to invest in tech right now, keep in mind that reducing your time-to-market and increasing the cost efficiency of your marketing team can make a big difference for your bottom line.
Revisit your Employer Value Proposition
The pandemic has had a significant impact on how we approach and structure our work life, and companies will benefit a lot from showing willingness to adapt and adjust to our new sensibilities. You won’t have to throw out the whole book, as the basic principles of EVP remain mostly the same as before, but it’s well worth the effort to revisit it and see what you can do to adapt it to the new ways.
Flexibility in the workflow
The employees that are the most passionate, productive and motivated, are usually the ones who are given the right amount of freedom, trust and flexibility. They have the room to explore new ideas and apply creativity to solving problems or finding new directions. When employees are given space and trust, they will feel that their expertise and contributions are valued – which helps to give them a sense of ownership of the work they carry out, again leading to a greater sense of fulfilment.
Fulfilment is an important aspect of our mental wellbeing. Not every job can be amazing and fun, as someone has to do the boring stuff – whatever it may be for any given company – but if the work itself is very dry and routine, it’s important to have it contextualised with the value it provides.
Flexibility obviously doesn’t mean an absence of structure. You can and should still have clear deadlines as part of the workflow. Yet adjusting how you measure performance to focus on results instead of hours can make a big difference on the pressure your employees feel.
We must keep in mind however, that trust is a two-way street. Depending on the state of your current company culture, there may be some work involved in building and reinforcing a culture of mutual trust with the right balance of give and take.
Flexibility to accommodate life
Work naturally takes a high priority in our everyday lives, but sometimes life throws us a curveball and other important things have to take priority over it. Whether it’s a family member falling ill or the car breaking down, giving your employees the flexibility they need to tackle untimely problems will make them feel far more safe and at ease both on good days and bad. If your employees feel like they are taken care of and met with empathy when the going gets tough, they are likely to be far more productive in general, and willing to give back.
Support your employees’ mental health
Good mental health is essential for maintaining productivity. While better flexibility will go a long way to help your employees keep a healthy and balanced mind, there are other ways you can support them as well. Rooting out toxic behaviour in the workplace and promoting a positive culture where people help each other instead of stepping on each other makes a world of difference for employee wellbeing. It can also be a great idea to include benefits that directly support the mental health of employees who may be going through rough times.
Provide employee benefits with real value
A ping pong table isn’t a proper employee benefit, or a positive contribution to company culture. Stick to benefits that can actually make a positive difference for your employees. You could consider contributions to bus passes or gym memberships, or other opportunities that your business niche allows for. Maybe your company has a client that deals in sporting goods or electronics and you could negotiate an employee discount?
“Only the rich get richer”
Subvert this demotivational idea with things like LTI programs or stock options that give any employee the option to invest in the company and its success if they want to. Being personally invested is a great source of motivation, and provides lower level employees a reason to smile along with the boss whenever the company experiences success and growth.
Empower your employer branding team with brand management by Papirfly™
Investing in your employer brand may be the smartest decision you can make for keeping your current employees switched on, actively engaged and motivated to stick around. In addition, by becoming a more attractive employer, you’ll see a greater influx of stronger candidates in your long term recruitment.
Some of the world’s most notable employer brand teams make use of brand management to bring their employer brand to life, and keep a firm grasp on their EVP every step of the way. Read about them in our brand stories and hear directly from them how our solutions have made a difference.
Why people leave jobs: and how your employer brand can fix it
In any organisation, the feeling of losing good employees is one you have to get used to very quickly. People quit their jobs for a wide variety of reasons – some of which are completely out of an employer’s control.
Nevertheless, while employers must become accustomed to the feeling of losing employees, they should never become comfortable with it. Because in many cases, their decision to leave is something that could have been prevented.
Now with phrases like “The Great Resignation” gaining traction, and a global Microsoft report revealing that up to 41% of employees contemplated quitting or changing professions in 2021, it seems an appropriate time to examine the standout reasons why people walk away from their employers – and how a strong, protected employer brand can keep them around.
Source: The Work Intitute
Citing ‘poor benefits offering’ as a reason for leaving jobs has increased over 100% since 2010
4 reasons why employees quit
1. Lack of growth and development opportunities
Most people do not aspire to be in the same role for decades. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and progress in their career. If they cannot see these possibilities in their organisation, they will look elsewhere to find somewhere that will empower them to realise their true potential.
If employees feel unchallenged by the work they do, boredom can quickly set in – and boredom breeds demotivated, uninspired workers. In time, too much monotony will spur them to seek a fresh challenge somewhere else.
Source: The Harris Poll
1/3 of workers quit their former job because they didn’t gain new skills or improve their performance
2. Lack of meaning or purpose
Similarly, if employees feel like what they do lacks purpose, or isn’t contributing to their organisation’s goals, this can quickly dissuade them from sticking around. This is particularly possible when employees don’t feel connected to their company’s mission statement, values or objectives. Without this connection, it is much easier for them to disengage from their employer.
More than 50% of organisations have seen a rise in employee requests to work more flexibly
3. Poor relationships with management or coworkers
Employees’ internal relationships are a major influence on their happiness and motivation. If they do not feel like their work is appreciated by management, or that they are constantly being berated by those above them in the pecking order, that is a sure-fire sign that they will not stay with the company long.
This extends to co-workers as well. If an employee feels isolated at work, or struggles to form good relationships with their colleagues, this again could spur them into leaving. The more passionate someone feels about their co-workers, the less likely they are to leave them.
Source: Career Addict
79% of employees consider bad leadership a factor in their decision to quit… and 40% would return to their old job if the boss was replaced
4. An unappealing corporate culture
In the same vein, if the corporate culture within an organisation is unpleasant or stagnant, it is likely to frustrate the employees trying to work within it. Especially for younger generations, a rigid or overwhelmingly negative atmosphere will actively encourage them to find one that is more suitable.
72% of employees would leave their existing employer for one with a more inclusive culture
Read the complete collection of insights in our latest white paper
In many cases, employee turnover can be addressed and minimised. By placing a firmer focus on the quality and consistency of your employer brand, this can convince your most talented team members to be with you for the long haul – and your company will reap the benefits of a more established, motivated workforce.
To help spread your employer brand across the entirety of your organisation, BAM by Papirfly™ is a powerful ally to have on your side. As well as accelerate the rate in which you create employer brand materials – taking production completely in-house – BAM also enables you to:
Contain all brand guidelines, onboarding materials, training videos and more into one brand portal
Organise all campaigns through a streamlined, effective campaign planner
Store and share all approved assets with your teams globally through a comprehensive Digital Asset Manager (DAM)
Attracting graduates: a new wave of employer brand
The graduates of today are the future leaders of tomorrow. So getting your company noticed at a pivotal time in the careers of these bright young prospects is crucial.
Gen Z and beyond have experienced turbulence much like any other generation. But when it comes to the outlook on careers, the environment and the future, they have been exposed to a much thicker wall of negativity, which employers will have a partial responsibility in helping them break through.
Employers need to not only work hard to bring their employer brand to this new wave of prospects – they need to inspire this generation into believing anything is possible once again. It’s a big challenge, but it’s a vital one to ensure that the right talent is nurtured, retained and driven in the right direction.
Overcoming challenges with graduates
There are typically two main scenarios employers are finding themselves in with graduates.
They are inundated with applications for certain roles
For more specialised roles, there is a smaller pool of talent and competition is high
First let’s look at the most common situation: receiving too many applications.
This can be a problem for a number of reasons that will affect your ability to recruit quality graduates…
Problem…Too many people with similar skill sets are applying and it’s difficult to distinguish who might be most suitable based on their application alone, suggesting there’s a flaw in the application process.
Solution…If you are using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), there should be options available to introduce more detailed screening questions. These answers should give you insight into an applicant’s personality, communication skills and general motivations for the role before considering their skill sets.
Your team should also set some common rules for what a good applicant looks like. For example: they must include a cover letter, they must have tailored their cover letter to your company, they must have a nicely presented CV – those kinds of things. This sets parameters that can help you weed out those who haven’t made the effort.
Additionally, ensure your employer brand’s mission and purpose are coming through enough on your job creatives – give candidates an accurate feeling of what it’s like to work for your brand, and they will likely deselect themselves if they don’t feel they are a good fit.
Problem…Too many applicants are under-qualified for the role they’re applying for – this may mean the application process is too easy or the information provided is misleading.
Solution…If you’ve been a victim of the ‘Indeed effect’, where applicants are just clicking apply to your role even if it’s not aligned to their skills, you can consider the following ways to reduce the amount of unsuitable applications you are receiving:
Consider promoting your roles on more specialist jobs boards, as this will prevent the vacancy from being accessible to anyone and everyone
Review your advertising creatives – are they giving out the wrong message about the roles? Is the company’s expertise shining through?
Make sure the essential skills, experience and qualifications are clearly defined in the job description or landing page
Problem…There’s no time to view the volume of applications coming through with any kind of detail – leaving you missing out on talent and those who don’t hear back feeling disconnected to your employer brand.
Solution…Again, this is where putting in some key filter questions can come in handy. You can use the answers to help determine the quality of the application before committing to reading the CV cover to cover.
For more high-level roles, you may ask the candidate to include a portfolio or include a short task as a first or second stage of application. Make sure this is clear in your job description, as plenty of people who don’t have the skills you need won’t want to proceed based on that request alone.
Lastly, ensure your ATS is set up to give automated responses to applicants. Make it clear that if they are unsuccessful they will not be contacted (providing that there’s no time to respond to each individual), but be sure to encourage them to apply for future roles again after 6 months, a year, or whatever time frame you choose.
Next, let’s explore scenario two: small or hard-to-reach talent pools for specialist roles.
This can also create an equally overwhelming amount of problems for your team.
Problem…Your specialist roles aren’t being filled because your offering isn’t strong enough.
Solution…Graduates in niche industry areas are likely looking for the role that’s going to benefit them and their careers the most.
When looking at your employer brand, think beyond just the salary and benefits. What are the candidates actually going to benefit from by being your employee as opposed to another brand?
Candidates need to feel excited about the future, not just the initial role they’re taking. Financial security and a decent roster of benefits are an expectation for many and alone are often not enough to inspire a big career move.
Problem…You may be losing talent to competitors.
Solution…When an applicant turns down your job offer for another opportunity elsewhere, it’s important to keep the window of opportunity open.
Ask them politely what your company can learn from their experience and what they could be doing differently, and add them to future candidate pools. Teams can then follow up in 6 months or a year via LinkedIn to make them aware of any new roles available.
Problem…You are not receiving a decent quantity of applicants.
Solution…Reviewing the media placements of your employer brand advertising should be your number one priority. Are your teams promoting the roles in the right places? Are they targeting aspiring developers with ads on Facebook instead of Reddit? Or hiring for a remote role in very specific locations?
Consider putting out an incentivised survey on LinkedIn or appropriate channels to gather first-hand insight into where someone might look for a specific role.
Problem…You are struggling to find the exact skills needed for your specialist roles.
Solution…Graduates aren’t going to come with the exact skills needed to join your organisation and hit the ground running from day one. In the longer term, it’s worth really thinking about how important these skill sets are to the business. Do they warrant creating a company-sponsored degree? Or an in-house training programme?
These kinds of opportunities help to mould prospects into the kind of employee your brand needs, and give them on-the-job training and experience. It’s a very time-consuming commitment, so you need to be sure that the investment is worth the outlay and disruption.
What are the priorities for graduates?
Depending on the industry and the individual, priorities for graduates will vary from person to person. A recent study by Bright Network did help to shine a light on what graduates as a whole are prioritising, some of which we’ll explore here…
They want to be upskilled
95% of members want to be upskilled directly by employers. Having a clear path of progression and training allowance can help graduates understand how your company can take their career to the next level.
They want a genuine commitment to inclusivity and diversity
Many employers preach about inclusivity but fail to live up to the reality. Having HR provide training on important subjects such as unconscious bias, celebrating a wide range of holidays, a commitment to fair pay and having dedicated strategic training programmes are all small steps every company can take towards becoming more inclusive and diverse. But a few gestures aren’t enough – the commitment must be ingrained in your employer brand.
They want to know that employee mental wellbeing is a priority
53% of Millennials were already burned out from work pre-pandemic, up to 59% today. Gen-Z is a close second, with 58% reporting burnout post-pandemic, up from 47% in 2020. While working from home orders and more flexible working have been introduced because of the pandemic, it doesn’t mean the workload has reduced in any way. Having a company show they put people before profit and prioritise mental health will be a key driver for many graduates.
They want to work for a company that’s actively reducing their environmental impact
If graduates are painstakingly separating their recycling each week, using metal straws and reducing their carbon footprint, they want to know that the company they work for is doing their bit, too. It’ll take more than an annual beach clean to impress candidates too – the products, services and practices your brand undertakes need to work hard to reduce short and long-term impact. This is increasingly becoming a dealbreaker for candidates.
Does your employer brand need to work harder to accommodate graduates?
With only 42% of students saying they feel prepared to enter the world of work, being there for them at this confusing time can help them build a stronger connection to your employer brand.
Make sure the application process is clear and uncomplicated. Don’t avoid questions about salary and progression. Have your company’s mission dominate your employer brand. They are the talent of the future, and in many cases the talent of right now too.
How you communicate your employer brand is vast – social media, emails, videos, adverts and more. Staying on top of your messaging and adapting your creatives with a constantly moving market can be a challenge – but BAM by Papirfly™ can help you digitise your employer brand, simplify your processes and help teams create infinite promotional materials every month.
One of the biggest mistakes in employer branding is that it can easily become disconnected from what drives it in the first place – the core mission and values of your business. This is what defines your company and should come through in everything it says, does and creates.
One of the biggest mistakes in employer branding is that it can easily become disconnected from what drives it in the first place – the core mission and values of your business. This is what defines your company and should come through in everything it says, does and creates.
How to build an employer brand that benefits employee retention
Attracting top talent to a company is more important than ever in the current talent market. To fully realise the benefits these employees can bring however, it’s important to keep them around for as long as possible to drive continued success.
Retaining existing staff nowadays goes beyond providing a competitive salary and a few day-to-day perks – all of the elements of a workplace have to align in order to create an environment where talented people truly want to be.
Failing to meet these expectations makes it considerably more likely that staff will simply look elsewhere for their ideal role. After all, the average person changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime.
As a result, crafting an engaging and effective employer brand is critical in retaining top talent.
What is employer branding?
WAn employer brand is how a company presents itself as a place of work to existing teams in the office. As well as pay and benefits, an effective employment brand should encompass:
Although a ‘customer brand’ and an employer brand are often thought of as two separate entities, in today’s connected world, the two should be approached as different sides of the same coin.
The markers of a strong employer brand
An employer brand is a crucial tool in the fight to retain talent today. But how can you determine the effectiveness of your existing employee brand proposition?
While every employer brand is different, the following traits can help give senior marketers an idea of whether or not their employer brand is on the right track.
3 techniques for building an employer brand that retains top staff
Building an employer brand that staff truly value doesn’t miraculously happen overnight. It takes careful planning, the buy-in of managers and the aid of specific techniques.
1. Establish a strong EVP
An employee value proposition (EVP) is a unique opportunity for an employer to demonstrate how they’re different from the competition. From the pay on offer, to the company’s vision and values, these elements should be specifically crafted to excite and empower existing staff.
Creating a strong proposition is not a matter of guesswork or copying what ‘hot’ companies are doing. It’s all about spotlighting an enterprise’s unique selling point (USP) and acknowledging the wants and needs of those in the office. In the quest for a strong EVP, consider:
Offering flexible work options
Supporting the mental health of teams
Backing cycle to work schemes and other incentives
A winning EVP shouldn’t just include the physical and financial needs of workers, it should also empower employees and get them on board with the company vision.
A brand advocacy program is an internal process that encourages people within the office to talk about the company both online and offline to cast it in a positive light.
Whether this involves staff sharing ‘behind the scene’ photos from their workday, or teams engaging with content on social media platforms, both approaches can not only promote the employer brand further, but also help staff feel more involved in the business.
However, before giving teams the green light to post, a successful employee advocacy program must have a concrete process in place. A single typo, poorly worded post or inappropriate image associated with the brand could tarnish an otherwise solid reputation.
Take stock of teams throughout the organisation
Map out how best to utilise employees’ voice
Educate brand ambassadors on the brand’s purpose and values
3. Build and distribute an employee newsletter
An employee newsletter is not just a useful document for keeping teams within the business up to date with the latest news and developments – it can also serve as another way in which an organisation can strengthen their employer brand.
Creating and circulating an employee newsletter helps keep teams in the loop and serves as a vessel for departments to share their wins with the rest of the company. By giving staff an occasional forum to express themselves and learn about their colleagues, people will feel more invested in the business and the work they do.
To support the creation of an effective employee newsletter, a dedicated brand management solution can help teams quickly and easily assemble a perfectly branded newsletter. With the use of intelligent templates, even those without design experience can create on-brand assets with confidence to feature within.
The benefits of employee branding
By taking steps to create the ideal environment for teams in the office, businesses can enjoy a number of powerful benefits:
Employee retention is improved
When a worker departs a company, it can cost between six and nine months’ salary to recruit and train a replacement. In the wake of multiple departures, an organisation could quickly be looking at a six-figure expenditure down the road.
By holding onto staff for longer, and improving employee retention throughout the company, time and resources that may have otherwise been dedicated to recruitment can now be invested elsewhere.
Staff productivity is boosted
Between ad-hoc chats around the office, inefficient processes and other distractions, the average employee is productive for 60% or less of each day.
Taking steps to enhance an employer brand and engage employees can play a key role in improving productivity and work ethics. When people are united behind your brand values, they will be more motivated to put in the effort at work.
Worker morale rises
26% of employees in the UK are actively disengaged. Pair that with the fact that low morale correlates to an increase in negative behaviors such as absenteeism and conflict, and it’s easy to see how unhappy workers can bring forth a number of issues.
By building a strong employer brand and creating an environment where team members feel comfortable and happy, morale soars, workers attend their job more often, and friction between colleagues is kept to a minimum.
Activate your employer brand with Papirfly
Although employer brands are a huge benefit to talent retention, taking the steps to develop and implement a winning employer branding strategy is easier said than done.
Creating, managing and coordinating the content needed to nurture the internal brand alongside other marketing responsibilities can seem overwhelming and unsustainable.
Do you bring on new staff to fulfill the vision? Do you make concessions in one area to invest more into the employer brand? The correct answer is neither.
By using a comprehensive, all-in-one brand management platform, such as Papirfly, teams can streamline content production, coordinate resources quickly and deliver a compelling and consistent internal brand that retains team members longer.
To do this, our solution features a suite of tools specifically built to enhance employer branding. Some of these include:
Custom templates empower your employees to create infinite on-brand assets quickly and easily. With this accessible software, even those with no design experience can build compelling collateral with absolute confidence and no risk of breaking with brand guidelines.
Digital Asset Manager
The built-in DAM allows everything from brand guidelines to EVP videos to be shared with teams all over the globe in just a few clicks. Get everybody united in a single vision with ease.
Languages and localisation
Localise content swiftly and create crucial branding documents for teams in any region, all without the need for third-party translators or agencies. Take your internal brand strategy global with haste.
If you would like to learn more about Papirfly and how we can help enhance your employer brand, get in touch or book a demo today.
How a strong employer brand can directly affect employee health & wellbeing
Working consumes the majority of our adult lives, and while not everyone is lucky enough to have a career they love, everyone should have the security of a job that supports their mental and physical wellbeing.
In the past, both large and small companies have been criticised for placing ‘profit over people’, resulting in poor working conditions and employees being overworked and underpaid. Thankfully, this appears to be a declining trend as workplaces become more competitive in the race for the right talent.
Although we are unlikely to see a world where the ‘profit over people’ mentality is completely absent in our lifetimes, we are seeing strong employer brands emerge. These employer brands are working to realign expectations, drive change and create better opportunities for work-life balance within their organisations.
Workloads, stress and burnout
A company’s operational and organisational structure plays a key role in the level of burnout found within a business. Levels of stress are perpetuated by lack of planning, management, staff and organisation.
#1 Have regular project planning meetings. Attend these meetings with a full understanding of team capacity. When booking time in, ensure you leave room to allow for ad hoc tasks.
#2 Put regular task management reviews in place, alongside quarterly team structure meetings. Determine the full remit of responsibilities for each team member and ensure they are communicated, this way they can flag any requests coming to them outside of their duties. This will also help you identify recruitment needs.
#3 Create a culture of ‘working smarter not harder’. Encourage employees to find new and innovative ways to do their job. This could be anything from investing in tech and software to hiring interns.
Flexibility and work-life balance
Trying to attain work-life balance shouldn’t be an extreme juggling act. Working weeks that consist of 40+ hours have long been seen as the ‘standard’ to earn a decent living, but this perception is changing.
While not everyone can offer reduced hours, offering flexibility in terms of when and where an employee works could make a huge difference to their quality of life.
Working from home may cut hours off a commute each day. This could be the difference between someone seeing their child before they go to bed or not. Flexi-hours may also allow employees to leave for work later, creating space for some quality personal time working out in the gym before heading to the office. Flexibility at every level offers benefits to employees, and in the long-term will help enrich their lives and make them less likely to take time off due to mental or physical health issues.
Team leaders and management can help encourage a greater work-life balance by:
Discouraging working at weekends
Encouraging taking full lunch breaks
Ensuring annual leave is taken in full
Leading by example by adopting healthy at-work habits
Not only will teams be more happy, engaged and productive, they will begin to build an emotional connection to your company, becoming an advocate for potential future hires.
Financial security and benefits
Financial stress can affect mental and physical wellbeing on a range of levels.
Fair pay and performance-based increases will keep employees feeling appreciated and motivated. But financial security can extend far beyond this. Here are some other ways employees can be supported:
Access to financial support and advice
Share and ownership options
Life assurance policies
Health insurance for employees and their families
Assistance with retirement and pension planning
Relationships, workplace dynamics and leadership styles
The way colleagues interact with each other can have a far-reaching impact on the company culture, general happiness and day-to-day atmosphere within the business.
For example, a secretive closed-door environment could encourage rumours to spread or end up ostracising employees, resulting in high levels of stress, low mood and the development of a toxic work setting. Strict rules and micromanagement could also see employees become stagnant, stressed or nervous when they come in each day.
Here are 4 ways to prevent your workplace culture from turning sour and how you can keep your employees comfortable with their working relationships:
#1 Foster a workplace where autonomy is encouraged by managers, and employees are empowered to make decisions within their remit. Anything out of a worker’s control should be highlighted early on in employment, with boundaries firmly set and understood.
#2 Open-door policies or regular one-to-ones give employees the chance to speak about how they’re feeling, and can help discourage gossiping within teams. By encouraging active conversations, problems can be listened to and addressed before they escalate.
#3 Communication should be frequent and ongoing. Regular team meetings and updates on the company will help employees feel included and in-the-loop.
#4 A clear, formal route for escalating problems to HR should be in place. If someone is being bullied, experiences inappropriate behaviour or has witnessed something immoral, they should feel safe and confident in reporting it through the official channels.
Motivation in professional and personal goals
Money might help the world move but it doesn’t always take employees where they want to go. It’s so important for individuals to be seen as just that, themselves, and never just another cog in the machine.
With the right career development path and ongoing Continuing Professional Development, employees will begin to appreciate your interest in them. Likewise, understanding their personal goals can help you build a better picture of their career path and what motivates them.
For example, if they want to buy a bigger house, the incentive of a pay rise will drive them. Or, if they plan to have a family, a more flexible work schedule would be more appealing for some.
Sickness, health and leave policies
While not every company can offer the best health insurance policy, it’s important that some kind of investment is made into employee wellbeing. Whether that’s a basic health plan for all, an upgrade to safety equipment, the introduction of regular exercise clubs or free access to mental health therapy — there are so many ways organisations can support teams in these modern times.
The foundations of a strong employer brand lie within you, your team and what your company stands for. Ultimately, you can’t build a desirable company to work for if employee mental and physical health aren’t looked after.
Managing communications for your internal teams and externally to prospective candidates can be time-consuming, confusing and costly. BAM by Papirfly™ helps to bring your employer brand to life. It puts the power of creation back into your hands, and gives teams autonomy to build all the assets they need – without needing to be designers.
So, whether you need to get a video promoting a role out in the next half hour, artwork created and printed for a recruitment fair or employee comms made and distributed urgently, BAM can make it all a reality.
Understanding Gen Z: what the next generation is looking for in an employer
Generation Z is doing a lot to shape the future of work. And for recruitment and employer brand teams within the Millennial category and beyond, it can be hard to pin down exactly what’s needed to nurture this current and future talent pool.
In terms of generational shifts and experiences, they’re the most unique of the century, having grown up with internet connection as standard.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the mindset of Gen Z in the context of employment and recruitment.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Download our concise whitepaper for your key insights and action points.
Who is Gen Z?
Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z aren’t the mystery that the media portrays. In fact, their motivations, wants and needs are very reasonable. They are also paving the way for raised workplace expectations and improved benefits packages for every generation.
Gen Z’s ideal workplace looks vastly different to those of some earlier generations. Having a family isn’t the top priority. Work-life balance is key. Salary is only one of many other critical factors.
They are the generation causing waves not seen before in the world of work, and now employers are having to quickly learn how to attract and retain this all-important workforce of the future. With Gen Z accounting for around 30% of the world’s population, they are predicted to represent 27% of the entire workforce by 2025.
What makes Gen Z different?
Working conditions across the world have greatly evolved over the years, reforming through both legislation and the needs of the global population. While many prior generations have been exposed to very distinct periods of time, and have seen the gradual progression of society and technology, Gen Z has been raised in a world that centres around technology in almost every aspect of life.
The older portion of Gen Z has been witness to the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. Gen Z places salary as a lower priority than other generations, and are not worried about taking risks despite the financial turmoil of these events.
Gen Z wants to be challenged, nurtured and pursue interesting work that means something to them. Unless they have the job of their dreams or are working for a company that has a mission to do great things in the world, without purpose, Gen Z is likely to move on from one role to the next, until they are able to find the right fit.
They know they can’t undo the damage that has been done to the environment and the world, but by working for a company that has sustainable and ethical CSR and ESB policies, it can help to shine a positive light on their employer.
Additionally, diversity and inclusion have become deciding factors of whether a Gen Z candidate feels comfortable working for an organisation, something that has had much less focus in older generations.
Insights on Gen Z attitudes
The unique circumstances that Gen Z experienced as they made their journey to the workplace have not only given them a distinct set of priorities but have also shaped their attitudes at work.
Their lives are wholly integrated with technology
To Gen Z, being connected to what’s going on in the world and the people they care about is a must. They are more likely to be receptive to new tools and software, and could help companies find more digital ways to reduce manual processes.
They are always learning
As one of the most formally educated generations to date, Gen Z thrives on learning new information in engaging ways. If they don’t know how to do something, they’re more likely to find the answers on Google or watch a tutorial on Youtube first than ask peers.
If they’re not learning or bettering themselves, they can feel stagnant, restless and unfulfilled so it’s important to keep professional growth and gaining skills a high priority within their working hours.
They won’t stick around just for financial security
We’ve seen a seismic shift in the rights of workers over the last half a century. But to this day, there are still employees who find themselves stuck being unhappy in roles where they aren’t treated correctly. This is often because they are responsible for their families or have other financial commitments.
If a Gen Z employee is unhappy, they won’t stick around and hope that things will improve – regardless of whether they are in a good financial position or not. Their entrepreneurial spirit will carry them off to the next opportunity or they will start up a venture on their own in a freelancing capacity. It’s important that a company’s culture, values and mission align with a Gen Z employee’s expectations, as well as the perks and benefits.
What are Gen Z’s needs, wants and expectations in the workplace?
To capture the attention of burgeoning Gen Z talent, it’s important employers are doing all they can to satisfy the needs, wants and expectations of this savvy new wave of workers.
What does Gen Z need?
To have interesting and fulfilling work
Financial stability but not at the expense of their mental health
A supportive culture where work-life balance is appreciated
Flexibility in how, when and where their work is delivered
To continually learn and grow, professionally and personally
What does Gen Z want?
To work for an environmentally conscious company
To have shared values and attitudes with their employer
The opportunity to give back to their community or causes they care about
Logical pay progression based on merit, skill and contribution
Trust and freedom to earn more holiday or prolonged periods of leave
What are Gen Z’s expectations?
Inclusion and diversity to be a priority for their employer, who can effectively demonstrate their commitment
A personalised employee experience and journey, based on individual goals as well as their wider team’s
Incentives for pay rises, progression and improved quality of work
Transparency and openness within the workplace environment
Having the option of hybrid working, but having the opportunity to regularly meet with colleagues in-person – face-to-face interaction is still important to Gen Z
Discover Gen Z’s needs, wants and expectations in our handy whitepaper and distribute it to your team as a learning tool. It’s full of tangible ways to make your employer brand more appealing to the next-generation workforce.
How to recruit and retain Gen Z
While we can’t generalise an entire generation, recruitment experiences have seen the etiquette between candidates and potential employers change somewhat with the Gen Z population. Here we explore what this change could mean for your recruitment strategies…
Move fast, communicate often
They are keen to move fast and don’t want to be sitting around waiting for responses from interviewers. If your interview process is unclear, long or multi-staged, your Gen Z candidate will disengage and move on to the next opportunity. The key here is to keep communication clear, consistent and frequent.
Highlight support network
While one of the most educated generations, Gen Z is acutely aware of the knowledge and skills gaps they may need for roles. If the training and support they’ll receive on-the-job aren’t made clear from the outset, they are also likely to disengage.
Opportunities to go global
A desire to travel is something that has been strongly ingrained in most generations, but Gen Z is set to make it more commonplace than it has ever been before. If a global company firmly aligns with their mission and values, another big plus would be opportunities to transfer to other disciplines in different parts of the world – exposing them to new cultures as well as new areas of the business.
Put mentorship programmes in place
Training and routes for progression are valuable to Gen Z, but having someone they can go to with any questions or advice is invaluable. Gen Z has incredible gratitude for someone that takes the time to help them, so having a dedicated mentor will both be beneficial for them and for succession planning within the business.
Regular recruiter training
The employer brand experience starts with your recruiter, whether that’s an in-house person or an external company. If they aren’t receiving regular training or check-ins, there could be something going wrong at the very first hurdle.
Gen Z is the future – is your employer brand ready for the change?
Employer brand teams have a big mountain to climb when it comes to realigning recruitment strategies to meet the needs of Gen Z – though many are already making the changes. It’s important to get real-world feedback on your campaign ideas and approaches, whether that’s through market research or internal surveys with existing Gen Z employees.
In order to support an agile approach to brand content production, a tool such as BAM by Papirfly™ can play a big role in meeting the demand for marketing materials. It provides a central place for teams to create infinite digital, video, social, print, email assets and more. No design experience is needed and there’s no danger of assets going off-brand.
Intelligent templates ensure teams stay totally aligned, and that marketing can be quickly adapted for different markets and cultures.
Back to basics: how to improve your talent retention
It may sound obvious to say that it pays to hold on to your best talent, but you may be surprised at just how big of an impact it makes. A recent study of more than 600,000 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes found that high performers are 400% more productive than ‘average’ ones.
Over the last decade, there has been a widening skills gap across all sectors and a growing trend in changing jobs much more frequently. According to research by McKinsey, nearly a third of senior leaders cite finding talent as their most significant managerial challenge. Be sure to read our previous article, ‘Employer branding – how important is your employer brand?’ to gain some expert tips on navigating today’s unique recruitment landscape.
The gap in skills is largely due to a gap in experience. We are at a time when many baby boomers who have developed their skills at a company over a long period of time are beginning to retire — taking decades of knowledge and experience with them.
On top of this, millennials tend to be less loyal towards their workplace. In their report, ‘How Millennials Want to Work‘, Gallup found that one in five millennials have changed jobs in the last year and two in five are currently looking for a new job.
What does it take to attract and retain talent in 2022?
Remote-friendly interviews and onboarding
65% of candidates say that bad interview experiences will make them lose interest during an application process. Hindered by technical issues, a lack of face-to-face interaction and not being able to convey the atmosphere of the office can make it difficult for employers to make the best first impression.
“Trust has to exist from day one. When you’re remote you don’t have the opportunity to lean into someone’s cubicle to see how they’re doing. You have to get creative about ways to nurture that relationship.” Chloe Oddliefson, Head of People Operations at Dribbble (via Miro)
How a company supports employees working remotely will also have an effect on how long they decide to stay at a company. This all starts with a well-thought-out onboarding process that accounts for the challenges of not being in the office. If you want to retain great candidates from the get-go, using a digitised version of your onboarding document and omitting anything in-office related won’t cut it.
When new starters aren’t able to meet their team in person, onboarding is even more important for sharing elements that will help them learn all they need to know to become a successful addition to the company. Depending on the role, a comprehensive onboarding process may last around three months and cover these five areas:
Pre-onbording by HR, line manager and recruitment team
Onboarding by HR, line manager and payroll team
Orientation by line manager, colleagues and senior management
Feedback on first tasks and assignments by line manager
Ongoing support into their new role by line manager and colleagues
Promoting health and wellbeing
For obvious reasons, health and wellbeing has taken the spotlight over the last year. After companies saw first-hand the effects of employees suffering from poor physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic, this will be an important value in employer branding going forward.
Many companies already offer health and wellness benefits like gym memberships, cycle to work schemes and free healthy snacks. However, these make no difference when your employees are working unreasonable hours or are not getting the right kind of support.
More than creating a more enjoyable place to work, addressing employee wellbeing issues at their root cause will help reduce burnout, increase productivity and retain employees for longer. Consider initiatives like:
Allowing flexible hours
Organising social activities
Regular employee check-ins
Empowering employee growth
Companies that leave their employees’ career growth stagnating have always been more likely to lose their most enthusiastic people more quickly.
In fact,70% of high-retention-risk employees say they’ll be forced to leave their organisation to advance their careers.
A focus on offering opportunities for personal and professional development will be a key factor in facing the current global retention crisis. These are especially important for retaining new talent at the beginning of their careers who are looking to learn fast and constantly improve. Some of these opportunities could include:
Internal learning and development programmes
Access to online courses
Room to grow within roles
Mentorship from senior employees
Opportunities and encouragement to put ideas forward
Internal comms is key
Internal communication is often one of the most overlooked areas of an employer brand proposition, yet it’s evident in the employee experience every single day. Part of making it a positive one is determined by building a connection and maintaining engagement.
Too often, internal comms is kept to the bare minimum and lacks the personality and culture traits that a company’s employer value proposition is centred around. Focusing more attention on what’s relevant and interesting to employees helps make them feel more engaged with the goals of the business. This not only instils more purpose in their role, but builds more loyalty too.
If you are keen to tackle work-related challenges that might encourage team members to look beyond your company, download our handy checklist outlining what you can do to address these issues and make a positive difference to your employees’ experience.
While email, surveys and text messaging are an essential part of the day-to-day running of a business, there is nothing stopping you from exploring other channels for more engaging communications. Video, social media posts, podcasts and blogs are a great way to share information, invite discussion and garner enthusiasm about what’s going on in the office and the wider business.
With BAM by Papirfly™ you can streamline your internal asset creation with easy-to-use templates that help teams produce studio-quality materials in minutes. It also gives you a bird’s eye view of your campaigns and makes it quick and easy to share relevant and on-brand assets within your organisation.
Here are some great examples of companies that got it right:
The NHS To make sure that all their employees were getting their flu jab, the NHS used the power of video to create these engaging posts for their social media channels.
Pizza Hut At the beginning of the pandemic, Pizza Hut acted fast to create a two-way conversation between staff, franchises and restaurant managers. Using the simple medium of WhatsApp, they helped employees feel valued in their role in feeding Britain during a challenging time.
A more personalised approach shows a company’s ability to listen to the individual concerns of their employees. To retain the best talent, companies need to ditch the ‘one solution fits all employees’ approach.
Develop retention strategies that…
Understand the different visions and goals of their staff – both professional and personal
Allows employees to make their voices heard
Provides opportunities to take on new challenges and steer their own path
“Personalisation for millennials in the workplace is about them seeing their work and organisation as a projection of themselves, and that drives loyalty.” Felicity Furey, Founder of the Professional Leaders Institute (via The CEO Magazine)
Be more flexible
When workplaces were plunged into lockdown, some were more prepared than others to support their employees to do their jobs effectively from home.
The most successful strategies included…
Adopting the hybrid working model
Testing out the four-day week
Investing in technology that makes remote collaboration possible
Go further than raises and bonuses
Higher salaries and monetary rewards are one of the first considerations for an employee thinking of leaving an organisation. But they aren’t the only deciding factor. While having a competitive salary is undoubtedly a good thing, it does nothing to make a company stand out from the competition.
Establish a remote interview processes
Even if you have no immediate plans to bring in new talent, having a remote hiring strategy in place is vital for future-proofing your turnover, which is likely to increase going forward in 2021.
What should the remote interview process achieve?
Can assess a candidate’s ability to work independently
Reviews their proficiency communicating via digital channels