The last 12 months have reinforced that an employer brand extends far beyond the recruitment of new talent. More than ever, the way organisations ‘do business’ and treat their employees matters, and goes a long way in helping to retain people and their valuable skills. Additionally, we’ve seen an increased interest from customers and clients who are paying closer attention and making judgements on businesses based on how they treat their employees.
A laser focus on employer branding is forcing organisations to re-define their proposition, taking into account the far-reaching effects of the pandemic that are here to stay. Here, we look at the key elements that make up a compelling employer brand in 2021. What’s missing from yours?
According to research from Gartner, two-thirds of organisations (68%) introduced new wellness benefits to support employee mental and emotional wellbeing during the pandemic.
Businesses that demonstrate a commitment to looking after employees will stand out as a great organisation to work for and benefit from a more engaged and energised workforce.
The most effective wellbeing strategies are long-term and consist of short campaigns executed throughout each year. These campaigns can focus on particular areas of wellbeing, including mental health, sleep, healthy eating, exercise or relaxation. Implementing a thought out programme proves that wellbeing is not an afterthought but something that runs through the fabric of the business.
Marriott is an organisation that stands out when it comes to messaging around wellbeing. The multinational company believes that the foundation for its success depends entirely on the wellbeing of its people. Under its commitment ‘TakeCare’, Marriott has created a workplace environment where people’s emotional, physical and financial needs matter and where each employee is valued and appreciated.
Employer branding is influenced by both external and internal factors, including when an organisation is going through a transition and has to let go of employees. If poorly treated, ex-employees or unsuccessful candidates can leave bad reviews on a company or spread the word about negative experiences. Moreover, these people may one day be faced with the decision to become a customer or business client.
The upheaval of 2020 saw outplacement solutions become integral to employer branding strategies. An outplacement service demonstrates that the organisation cares about doing the right thing for its people. A truly effective solution provides specialist support to ensure career transitions are less stressful and more productive. The aim is to equip people with the tools, training and motivation they need to secure their next role.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Companies are becoming increasingly aware they must do right by their employees, the community, and the environment, meaning corporate social responsibility (CSR) is crucial for any modern business strategy. Furthermore, CSR is proven to attract and retain employees and increase a company’s market value by up to 6%.
For CSR initiatives to prove successful, they need to mean something to the business, customers, and employees. For that reason, strategies should be tailored to the organisation and directly relate to the industry it’s in and its output. A good place to start is by asking these simple questions:
- What do we do as a business that impacts the environment? What can we do to reduce this impact?
- What can we do to ensure all of our employees and customers are treated fairly?
- What are we doing to make society better, both locally and on a global scale?
Smoothie giant Innocent counts ‘responsible’ as one of its core values. The company practices what it preaches, with well-known initiatives including knitted hats on bottles to raise money for Age UK and the donation of 10% of all profits to charity each year.
A solid diversity & inclusion (D&I) strategy that welcomes employees of all ethnicities, gender identities and cultural backgrounds should be a given, not a selling point. More crucial in 2021 is creating an environment of equity and belonging. For example, while your doors may be open to everyone, is everyone included and valued? Are there genuine opportunities for everyone to progress?
For belonging to exist, employers must be brutally honest with themselves and their key stakeholders. Over the last 12 months, Omni has been open about the improvements made to our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) strategy. We acknowledged that, while we always had an excellent gender balance, with zero difference in salaries and 50/50 male and female board representation, more could be done regarding ethnic, socio-economic and disability diversity.
Belonging was integral to this, so workplace culture had to be addressed. We knew that recruiting based on the traditional ‘cultural fit’ approach would mean hiring the same behaviours and characteristics repeatedly. In short, if you know your existing culture isn’t serving a sense of belonging for all, change it.
Part of Omni’s DIB strategy involved us becoming a signatory of the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter, reflecting the practical steps we’re taking to ensure our workplace is tackling the barriers that ethnic groups face in recruitment and, crucially, progression. Additionally, as a member of the Business Disability Forum, we’re working towards improving workplace equality for individuals with different abilities.
Omni works with organisations across a broad range of sectors to develop winning Employer Brands and promote opportunities to a diverse range of candidates – driving engagement and nurturing talent in the process. Find out more about what we can do for you by connecting with one of our experts today.