As more employers seek to build their employer brands to attract and keep top talent, the field of employer branding continues to evolve. Changing technologies and employment trends mean that companies must remain always aware of the current environment so they can tailor their branding efforts to meet current needs. Spending time and money on employment branding is futile if your efforts are not being seen or heard by the target audience.Currently, a number of trends are influencing the behavior of current employees and potential employees. And savvy HR pros will pay attention to these trends when planning for employer branding success.
Information overload. Because so many organizations are working to build their employer brands, and because the Internet makes it easier than ever to access information about organizations, potential employees have more information than ever before about potential employers. That means job candidates are likely considering a wider number of possible workplaces. Because of all this easily accessible information, it is vital for employers to identify and communicate the values and cultural traits that make their workplaces unique.
The age of contractors. Over the past several years, growing numbers of workers have joined the ranks of freelancers and contractors, either by choice or as the result of a layoff. And numerous companies and organizations have embraced the trend, hiring these workers for one-off projects or on an ongoing basis. The number of temporary workers is projected to continue growing, while the number of full-time employees is not. While working with contractors and freelancers can allow organizations to remain nimble and control costs better, it also presents a human resources challenge of building a common culture across all workers — temporary and full-time — and make sure all feel that they belong.
Social media. Online networking and social media continue to be one of the most important trends in employer branding. Growing numbers of companies are investing more time and resources in learning about and using social media to reach potential employees, and more are beginning to find ways to use social media to also build community among their current employees. Organizations that are able to harness social media to build thriving communities of potential employees as well as current employees will shoot ahead in the employer branding department.
Ongoing change. Few successful organizations still look the same as they did 10, or even five, years ago. Technology, economic realities and even workers’ attitudes and expectations have changed, and organizations must adapt to remain successful. Wise HR professionals know that the changes aren’t over; they are ongoing. As a result, successful employer branding efforts must be flexible and adaptable.
For instance, if a company seeks to hire new college graduates, its HR department must stay engaged with current college students, regularly assessing their changing needs and expectations for workplace cultures. If a company makes a strategic decision to begin working with more part-timers and contract workers, the HR department must be flexible enough to find ways to allow these workers to participate in the company culture and to feel welcome and valued.