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5 key insights on how to build a powerful brand

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​The switch has flipped when it comes to hiring. Last year, it felt like the unemployment rate was on the rise for the foreseeable future, but fast forward 12 months and it’s candidates who are steering the wheel of the market. Alas, we’ve now discovered the single biggest talent shortage in history, which begs the question: how do you attract the best of the best?

The majority of salaries are now deemed as ‘competitive’ and are levelling across all employers, so standing out and hailing as the dominant player is now classed as more than who offers the highest salary.

According to Carson College of Business, 83% of Gen Z workers – the future leaders of your business – reported that they want to work for an organisation where they can make a positive impact on the world, while 75% said they prioritised a workplace that valued a healthy work-life balance.

A common emerging trend amongst job seekers is setting high standards when it comes to choosing an employer – candidates are demanding more from their workplace and often feel confident in communicating this. Start thinking outside the standard employer narrative and focus on your USP, this will enable deeper connectivity with your current employees and harness candidate attraction too.

Wondering where to start? Here are five insights guided by deverellsmith’s data and research function and experienced consultants on how to approach candidate attraction in the current market.

  • Your USP

As mentioned in the introduction, your employer unique selling point is pivotal for standing out from the crowd. Ask yourself: why did you join your business and what has kept you there?

This is when your vision, mission and growth plans come into play. Help the candidate visualise their future at your company. Communicating these statements clearly on your website is imperative, a dedicated careers page or micro-site will amplify the impact and highlight your investment in its people.

Does your employer brand form its own identity? If you want to take it to the next step, an Employer Value Proposition (EVP) can be curated by following a detailed action plan. You can find more details on how to launch an EVP here. This includes brand marketing, company values and competitor analysis.

  • Your interview processes

You (and everyone in your company) should be able to communicate the USP with clarity – this is particularly important during interviews.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology stated that 52% of interviewers make their decision about a candidate in between the first five and fifteen minutes of the interview. As interviewees start to take more control of the process – could this statistic be the same for candidates?

As an employer, relying on the one-way sell (from interviewee to interviewer) is quickly becoming a thing of the past, especially in a candidate short market. Ensure you share the top aspects of working at the company and what a potential employee can expect their career to look like. Set realistic expectations, be honest and truthful to ensure a high retention rate and workplace happiness.

When it comes to the interviewer panel, try to be as diverse as possible. If the leading hiring manager in the role is normally more reserved or introverted, try to bring an extrovert into the room and enable a mix of dynamics for the interviewee to thrive. Try to show diversity in all its forms, including gender, culture, race, sexual orientation and disability.

  • Your employee benefits

The future is flex? The future is now. As 2020 forced society to adapt to remote working, it’s propelled the standardised way of working to offer flexibility in terms of location, hours and ultimately provide a catalyst for better work-life balance. If you enable flexible working – shout it from the rooftops, it’s an instant draw.

“Leaders who understand the importance of the intangible elements contributing to workplace culture become sensitive to what makes their organization truly special.

That is how they define core values and beliefs that are unique, simple, leader-led, repetitive, and embedded – transforming themselves from good to exceptional.”

Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

In 2021, Linkedin reported Deloitte to be the 7thbest place to work in the world. Company CEO, Punit Renjen, puts his people first by offering a variety of benefits that reach a multitude of employee’s needs. These include:

  • Social club funding

  • Study leave

  • On-site library

  • Emergency back-up childcare

  • Physical wellbeing programmes

  • Family day

  • Exclusive employee discounts

It’s becoming highly common for candidates to ask recruiters what benefits are on offer, so providing an attractive package will ensure you stand out.

  • Your company culture

Company culture has become a bit of a buzzword – but what does itactuallymean? Well, it refers to the shared attitudes, behaviours, values and characteristics of a company and its employees.

Company culture encompasses a variety of elements including leadership, company purpose, expectations, team/individual contribution, work environment, ethics and internal and external communication.

According to Deloitte, employers must be ready to adopt a speed of evolution that matches the external environment to attract talent. That means developing robust training and leadership programs, with a real and tangible focus on diversity.

As well as seeking a challenging and varied experience throughout their career, candidates want a culture that stimulates purpose; corporate social responsibility, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and sustainability are all becoming a priority. Nominating ambassadors or champions of these areas not only provides a voice for the people within your company but it also enables short and long-term goals in these focus spots.

  • Your promise

Your promise is how you plan to invest in current and potential employees and what they can expect from a career at your company, as well as the leadership team.

Do you promise to deliver over 100 hours training or a clear progression path? Great! Do you plan on investing 5% of profits towards technology? Even better…

According to The Telegraph, Research by Insight found that 74% of 18 to 34-year-olds say they are dissatisfied with their employer’s technology, and 57% are looking for an improvement in their next job. Technology is so central to Generation Z that it can dictate their choice of jobs, research has shown.

Clearly communicating this investment and how it will be managed is the power to a happy and successful workforce.

Most importantly, ensure these promises are delivered upon. Failing to do so will leave a disgruntled and untrusting team of employees – ultimately, resulting in low productivity, engagement and retention.

If you are seeking further expertise on how to sell your employer brand and reach the best of the best, speak with deverellsmith’s RPO Managing Director, Pete Sheppard

Pete joins after more than 16 years in hiring solutions, with the last 7.5 years focusing on MSP and RPO programmes, streamlining the way his clients attract and retain people whilst reducing agency spend and staying compliant. Support ranges from market intelligence, competitor analysis, exit interview support right through to a fully integrated on-site support team depending on the short- and long-term objectives of the business.