Employer Brand: A new world of work

A new breed of employee is here

Create a compelling employer brand for a new world of work

A new breed of employee is here. They’re changing the world of work for good.

Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. The impact of this much-talked about generation is already being felt in the workforce, and Generation Z are not far behind.

Driven by a strong sense of social justice and a desire to make a difference, these groups are looking for purpose, not just a pay check from their employers. In fact, three quarters of US Millennials would take a pay cut to work for a company that’s environmentally responsible, whilst 40% of Millennials think the goal of businesses should be improving society.

This isn’t surprising given the pace of change and resulting uncertainty which has impacted the relationship between employer and employee. Jobs for life are gone and employees are expected to adapt and keep learning to keep pace with change. According to John Seely Brown, “the average half-life of a learned business competency has dropped from 30 years in 1984 to 5 years in 2014, and is still dropping.” Given this context, it is only natural that they expect more of their employers and that purpose-led companies with inspiring brands are consistently ranking among the world’s most attractive employers.

At the same time, competition is increasing, not only in the battle to win loyal customers, but to attract and retain qualified talent that can help ensure a company’s success. The skill shortage for high-skill workers in advanced economies (Europe and USA) alone is predicted to reach 16-18 million in 2020.

The smartest companies are reacting to both the need for purpose and intense competition for the brightest minds by developing their Employer Value Proposition (EVP). The EVP creates a fit between the employer brand and the new reality of a highly globalised talent market.

An Employer Value Proposition will be heavily influenced by the brand’s overall brand strategy in all its elements. While the brand strategy will ideally have been created taking into account all audiences including employees, the EVP can act as further elaboration and clarification to ensure employees are clear on what their brand offers them. For example, a brand strategy created in a company that’s driven by fast moving consumer products or services, may not be as employee focused as required when working on employee engagement. In these cases, the brand needs to be translated into a compelling promise to employees.

Brands that lack brand awareness amongst the general public may have to work even harder on their employer brand to attract the talent they need. Even then, the EVP should never disconnect from the company brand but should be seen as an extension of it. Sometimes it may even be necessary to revisit the brand positioning before turning to the EVP.

With the employer brand sitting at the intersection of brand and HR, the involvement of both teams in the process is crucial. Both bring important know-how to the table and need to be highly engaged to bring to life a new or redefined EVP. Definition is only the beginning of the journey. A consistent employer brand strategy based on a powerful employee experience will ultimately define success and ensure real impact for the organisation.

Ultimately, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Authenticity is key and keeping your promise is a non-negotiable if you want to attract this new breed of employees and engage them to drive your business.

3 signs that you may need to revisit your EVP:
- Your business has undergone or is in the process of undergoing a profound transformation and your EVP does not reflect the new reality.
- There is a clear gap between internal reality and external perception of what you offer as an employer.
- You are operating in an industry that historically has not been attractive for talent and you struggle to articulate clearly why the best talent should choose to work for you.

By Michéle Richner

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