Paradox – lack of high demand skills and too many unemployable people

Why employer branding is a must when competing in the global talent market.

Against the backdrop of a challenging political, social and environmental climate, common across the globe, we face similar challenges within the labour market, some of which are the widening skills gap and mismatch of unemployable talent, a workplace of five different generations with variable needs and an alternate workforce.

However, companies are reinventing human capital solutions in order to counteract such problems such as taking a more proactive approach towards upskilling and mobilising their valued internal employees to become future-fit to address unfilled roles, re-engaging retirees to mentor and coach the new wave of the incoming generation, employing gig, freelance, and contract workers, etc.

The reason employer branding and marketing is becoming increasingly critical is because talent leaders need to start playing a proactive role to better shape, inform and promote their brands and EVP (employer value propositions) if they want to stand out as a known and trusted brand, prior to them hiring high demand talent. LinkedIn confirms that 80 percent of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent, with the number one obstacle for candidates being not knowing what it’s like to work at an organisation, through completing their application process.

Competing globally requires recruiters to utilise universal tools

Within a borderless talent market, South African/African companies are presently experiencing and running the further risk of losing their valued employees to overseas, progressive companies who are proactively elevating their brands among passive talent.

Through leveraging the power of universally used employer branding and recruitment marketing tools, they are successfully engaging with high-demand talent on social media and providing an exceptional candidate/customer-centric experience. With a consumer mindset, leaders are focusing on actively mapping out the important touchpoints (moments of truth) to ensure that they not only have an exceptional social media presence, but deliver on a memorable candidate experience.

Employer branding essentials to competing globally

Now more than ever, talent leaders need the power of employer branding and recruitment marketing if they are to compete with talent competitors, emerging start-ups and SMEs. So where does one start?

Recruitment and HR specialists need to make that shift from transactional to proactively working like marketers, brand ambassadors, influencers and salespeople. Eighty to 90 percent of people confirm that a positive or negative candidate experience can change their minds about a role or company (Recruiting Brief).

An authentic and well-defined EVP outlining what potential employees can receive in return for their sought-after knowledge, experience and skills e.g., mental health counselling, four-day week, flexibility, remote work.

A good understanding of the candidate target market, with assurance to provide close time and attention to the proper tailoring of job posts. This, on the understanding that candidates have become more select in what they expect from their ideal employer.

Becoming socially active in sharing company news, activities, events, accolades, developments etc. prior to companies needing to fill their high-demand roles. Content is king, so don’t keep your company a best kept secret and expect prospects to recognise and trust your employer brand. Active usage of multiple digital channels i.e., website, social media channels and job ads are just a few of many mediums innovative content creators are leveraging to shape their brands, unveil their culture and appeal to both active and passive candidate markets.

Monitor, listen and learn how prospective recruits are responding to employer brand messaging and continuously update and readjust to address the variable workforce, with assurance to provide continuous empathy and kindness through these uncertain times.

Measure the strength of your employer brand, track metrics around candidate quality, employee experience, source of and cost per hire, offer acceptance rates, and employee retention rate. An employer brand never sleeps!

Recruiters must stop viewing employer branding as nonsense

Challenge: In a candidate driven market where high demand talent is limited and prospects are choosy about what they want, recruiters are looking for fast results! They don’t feel employer branding makes their jobs any easier when looking to hire and fill now.

Solution: Through recruiters making the time to consistently produce content through their social media feeds, showcasing their value, insights and/or personality, they will begin to reap the rewards of their outbound recruiting efforts.

Result: A candidate that receives a familiar and recognisable communication from a recruiter of a trusted employer brand will receive a far more favourable reaction and/or response.

Nowadays, recruitment and marketing are inseparable! The recruiting success depends on the strength and noticeable presence of your employer brand and how you choose to market and sell it!