Only a Quarter of Organisations Measure Employer Brand Investment

Despite employee engagement being the current buzzword, an international Employer Brand survey of over 500 HR executives by global talent solutions business, Bernard Hodes, found that only six out of 10 employers have a formal employer branding effort in place.

One possible reason is that Employer Brand programmes can be hard to justify to the bottom-line. Only a quarter, (24%) of respondents noted that their organisations were able to measure their employer brand in terms of recruitment and retention. Even fewer, one in eight (13%) indicated that the value of their employer brand is calibrated by their overall company performance.

However, progress is being made. Just over one third (35%) of respondents who do not have an Employer Brand programme in place said there were plans to formalise existing ad hoc branding efforts and two thirds (66%) did hope to have an Employer Brand programme in place within the next five years.

Key employer branding expectations mentioned include ease in attracting candidates (81%), recognition as an employer of choice, (79%) and increased retention (63%).

The report’s message is simple - Employer Branding matters. Organisations that fail to get to grips with the concept will not be able to attract and retain the new generation of talent. The survey was followed by a series of in-depth one-on-one discussions with senior HR professionals from around the world.

Interestingly, compensation and benefits were viewed as less important in attracting talent than other factors such as culture in the Employer Brand mix. When asked to score the importance of Employer Brand attributes in attracting talent, the top score from HR professionals went to quality/reputation of products and services (4.33 out of 5.00), corporate culture (4.00),work environment (3.97) and ethical reputation (3.93). Bottom of the list were benefits (3.52) and compensation (3.51).

Other findings show:

Fragmented ownership: A quarter of Employer Brand initiatives are managed or focussed outside the HR function. Respondents cited the following departments as having primary responsibility/being a stakeholder in employer branding. HR (72% responsibility; 76% stakeholder status), Corporate (44% responsibility; 57% stakeholder status), Marketing (38% responsibility; 48% stakeholder status).

Room for improved internal communications: Just over half of respondents (52%) mentioned an internal as well as an external component to their brand as an employer – a crucial element in the psychological contract.

Key employer brand outlets: Company websites (91%), print outlets (68%) and newspapers (56%) are viewed as the top channels for employer brand communication. Other web media channels (on-line) came in fairly low at 30%.

Says Helen Rosethorn, Chief Executive of Bernard Hodes: "Employees are increasingly asking some tough questions of their employers. These days people think about the implications of aligning their own long-term career reputation with the brand of a particular organisation. The brand of an organisation as a good employer plays an essential role in attracting and retaining a new generation of employee talent, and allowing them to align their interests and aspirations with those of the organisation. "

Source: newsletter