Employer Branding Strategy: Trends To Monitor in 2021

Employers: Does your brand effectively communicate the value your organization has to offer? Are you proud of your reputation in employee experience and employee satisfaction? It’s time you make the necessary adjustments to show your team how much you value their hard work, especially during the unpredictability of the pandemic. Furthermore, your acknowledgment and gratitude will often boost your team members’ mental well-being, thus improving productivity and encouraging them to show the validity of your kind words.

Many employers get wrapped up focusing on the consumer aspect of their brand, but there needs to be an equal focus on the viewpoint of employees and job-seekers. When a strong, healthy image is established through upheld core values, the quality and integrity within each employee will organically strengthen the company’s consumer brand. 

Through a well-structured employer branding strategy, companies can propel their talent acquisition to an upper echelon of job-seekers and improve employee retention. The current shift in today’s workforce calls employers to go beyond the traditional employer branding strategies, i.e., an appealing website, five-star testimonials, and detailed job postings. Here are three workplace trends today’s employers need to closely monitor and implement to stand out as a top place to work:

Increased Workplace Health & Safety Protocols

As the restrictions surrounding businesses returning to the office are beginning to lift, the health and safety protocols remain at large. You can find the CDC’s up-to-date COVID-19 Office Building guidelines and restrictions here. People want to feel safe right now, and if you decide to reopen your office, it is your ultimate responsibility to make sure the proper measures are in place. 

The necessary health and safety protocols go beyond in-office cleaning, sanitization, and social distancing. It is your responsibility to stay up to date with mental health trends by enhancing work-life balance benefits through flexible schedules, childcare assistance, and therapeutic resources. Showcase your call towards mental health awareness and wear it proudly. For the years ahead, establishing a supportive environment for your employees is crucial to retaining your top performers and attracting new ones. 

Integration of Remotely Operating Employees

While some companies near a return to their traditional in-office capacity, others remain in the preliminary stages of that transition. Regardless, the concept of remote employees and Zoom conducted meetings are here to stay. Since companies across the country are making these remote hires, competition for top talent is greatly heightened. If you can adjust your vacant positions to operating on a remote or semi-remote basis, you will open your company to 26% of job-seekers that admit requiring a work-from-home option (via Career Builder). 33% of job-seekers also revealed they apply to jobs outside their location with the expectation they would be able to work from home. 

As a result of the emphasis on remote-based positions, there is an increased value placed on company culture and reputation. Having a quick commute, provided lunches, or an office-with-a-view are much less valued with the hiring shift. The concerns of a remote employee surround topics such as lack of communication, flexibility in work hours, feelings of isolation, and the fear of office politics getting in the way of a promotion. As the employer, you must prioritize ensuring job stability and providing reassurance and fairness in performance reviews. 

An Emphasis on Diversity & Inclusion

Companies that emphasize diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as fair treatment, equal opportunity, and education, will experience immense growth because of the different perspectives and ideas they invite. Consider implementing some of your employees as brand advocates, sharing their positive experiences and excitement about their job online. Your use of social media is a great tool to showcase your responsibility in building a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Conversely, any sign of discrimination that reveals a mark of privilege or bias will be immediately put under the spotlight and have intense ramifications. 

In today’s contest for top talent, the career experts at Smarp stress the importance of attracting the right employees and looking beyond the traditional talent recruitment practices. Here are 10 of the top benefits Smarp lists as a result of diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

  • Accelerated Growth & Financial Performance
  • Boosted Innovation & Creativity
  • Improved Reputation
  • Improved Decision-Making
  • Higher Talent Attraction (67% of job seekers describe diversity as an important factor)
  • Increased Knowledge exchange
  • Increased Employee Engagement
  • Enhanced Employee Retention
  • Increased Employee Empowerment
  • Increased Employee Loyalty

*BONUS* Maintain Accurate Candidate Personas

With the high volume of job-seekers, it has become increasingly challenging to identify all-star candidates. By thoroughly defining your ideal candidate persona, you can more accurately compose your job description to align with your existing team members and culture. Analyze the resume of your current employees and inquire about the qualities that have made them successful. Take note of their demographics, educational and professional background, and any career goals they may have. Other critical questions include:

  • Adding to our three listed above, which job features were most important to them?
  • Were they passive or active job seekers?
  • What tools did they utilize to search for jobs?

Wrap Up

Don’t downplay the importance of focusing on your employer branding and how an effective strategy can impact your company for years to come. Like anything else, it takes hard work and intentionality, but establishing a new narrative through emphasized health and safety, remote integration, and diversity and inclusion will lead you to see your culture and employee output evolve over time. 

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