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HR News Update – Employers must invest in reputation to attract talent

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Organisations are being urged to invest in their ‘employer brand’ in order to attract the right candidates, engage better with existing employers and improve retention rates.

According to a new report by Hudson RPO, those with a reputation for being a great place to work, and therefore have strong employer brands, are able to attract and retain top talent, improve employee engagement and productivity.The report finds leading organisations devote significant resources to building an employer brand with a strong focus on creating an employer brand strategy. Compared to other brands, top employer brands invest an average budget of over 70 percent more on supporting employer brand initiatives while twice as many top brands have a defined and documented strategy compared to other brands.

Hudson’s report, “How to Launch a Successful Employer Brand: Building on the Practices of Top Employer Brands”, is based on a survey of 324 key executives at major companies including Disney and Microsoft, who are considered to be top talent recruitment and engagement brands in “Best Places to Work” and Glassdoor reviews. Companies with strong employer brands focus on key strategies to ensure effective candidate attraction and employee engagement; they define a value proposition for current employees, engage the CEO as a key sponsor, promote the brand through multi communications channels including social media, and measure the return on investment.Darren Lancaster, European head of Hudson RPO, said businesses could not rely on a strong consumer brand to recruit and engage employees.“For those businesses who think ‘so what?’ this report highlights the power of employer brands in the recruitment process.While a strong consumer brand can help draw interest from potential employees, a strong employer brand strategy can help ensure those they hire have the right skills, but also be a solid fit with the company’s culture and work environment resulting in greater employee productivity, increased levels of engagement and higher rates of retention. It can also help define them as an employer of choice which is very empowering in today’s recruitment market.”

However, according to Darren Lancaster, it is often unclear as to who ultimately manages and owns the employer brand strategy within an organisation. “Lack of ownership results in ineffective collaboration which impacts on the success rate of a company’s recruitment process. It’s prudent to invest time winning the support and involvement of key executives beyond the HR department: “Many Top Brands surveyed use external RPOs to work across many departments in their businesses to develop common goals and messaging to encourage buy-in and implement an employer brand strategy.”The survey also found nearly two thirds of companies do not track the return on investment (ROI) of their employer brand. Darren Lancaster added: “It is not hard to track ROI. While many companies use retention rates as the greatest measure of success, they should also think about using employee surveys, time-to-hire metrics, cost-per-hire metrics and the number of applications per position.”

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