14 Jun Employer Branding: New HR Tactics for 2013
Human resources departments face new challenges this decade.
New online recruitment methods increase applicant pools, but also require new filtering strategies and more time from human resources specialists.
The rise of social media has made employer branding a key factor in successful recruitment, but human resources departments have little experience in managing a company brand.
This collision of HR, information technology and marketing departments has both increased costs for companies and led to a significant revolution in how human resources departments communicate with employees.
The recent report from Randstad, “What Workers Want: Employer Branding in a Rebounding Job Market,” is only one study tackling this issue. According to Randstad, public perception of a company brand is even more important now that the job market is in a recovery phase, since United States employees have seen years of “salary freezes, temporary furloughs, layoffs, and even long periods of unemployment,” that make it difficult to trust companies.
Fortunately, the Randstad study also indicates that employee needs remain simple. The survey found the top three factors in choosing an employer remained the popular competitive salary/benefits, job security and a pleasant work atmosphere. Around 52 percent of workers said they wanted recognition for their good work, and 51 percent said that they were looking for open and honest communications. The challenge of the modern HR department is conveying these factors on online and through social media channels.
Randstad suggests using social media to first find out what people are saying about the company and its work atmosphere, using “digital conversations as an informal focus group.” All current employees should become brand ambassadors for the company on their own social media profiles. Social networks like LinkedIn also allow recruiters to reach out and start conversations with potential candidates directly, if necessary.
One advantage of the social media approach is that it typically comes with low costs on the part of the company. Human resources departments must learn to invest more time into proper social media outreach, but few direct expenses come with the change. Of course, some companies simply do not have the experience, time or confidence to embrace such online branding exercises themselves.
These companies are fueling a new sector of the market, known Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), where firms outsource recruitment practices to third-party vendors. These vendors have experience in building online brands, and 2013 innovations in the RPO field are making such services available to smaller companies as well as larger corporations. These working relationships highlight an overlooked advantage of the new employer branding needs: The HR industry is becoming an increasingly diverse place, and the number of inventive solutions continue to grow.