Yves Pilet Consultancy
Employer brand management
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The synergy between recruitment and employer branding

On the 4th and 6th of October the third annual 'Landelijke Dag Werkgeversdienstverlening' (the National Day of Employer Services) of the PES was held in Amersfoort and Tilburg. On both days, I was fortunate enough to gave a workshop on labor market developments, recruitment and employer branding together with a colleague of mine, Karsten Bulling. The purpose of this event was to contribute to the increase of the knowledge and professionalism of colleagues in the field of labor market developments and unemployment. All activities were aimed to share, inspire, listen and especially to the discuss how PES as a whole - colleagues, municipalities and stakeholders - can keep moving forward and reduce unemployment in the Netherlands.

After the opening of both days, we kicked of our workshop entitled "Recruitment, employment and branding: what is it and what can you do?". The audience was able to discover the following:

  • Through automation and robotics, the world is changing around us and change organizations strategic course. This requires a different kind of skill set of the employees. This will change jobs: some will disappear and new functions will arise.
     
  • The economy and the labor market in the Netherlands is recovering. There are more jobs, the number of vacancies is increasing and unemployment is decreasing. Tension on the labor market is increasing, although this is not the case for every profession.
     
  • The age and composition of the workforce is changing: it has been for the last 50 years. Women are living longer, particularly as a result of better healthcare, but are also giving birth to fewer children. As a result, demographic pressure on the workforce is rising.
     
  •  During the last crisis organizations and their recruiters were more focused on mobility of current staff than attracting new employees. In the next few years, due to rising employment and economic growth, attracting and retaining employees will become important again. As a result of mega trends like growing demographic pressure and technological developments this will become increasingly difficult than before the crisis.
     
  • This brings us to the crucial question management will face: where will we get our people to achieve your organizational strategy? Recruitment is one way to go, but likely not sufficient. Adding an employer branding strategy to the mix will build synergy between both approaches and allow organizations to find, recruit, retain and motivate the right people in order to ensure the continuity and growth of the organization.
Yves Pilet giving his workshop on labor market developments and employer branding

Yves Pilet giving his workshop on labor market developments and employer branding

Recruitment and employer branding are also facing new challenges:

  • During the last crisis organizations and their recruiters were more focused on mobility of current staff than attracting new employees. In the next few years, due to rising employment and economic growth, attracting and retaining employees will become important again. As a result of mega trends like growing demographic pressure and technological developments this will become increasingly difficult than before the crisis.
     
  • There is a shift in the importance of the four steps of the recruitment process (search, recruitment, selection and on-boarding): employers have always emphasized steps 1, 2 and 3 and step 4 has been underexposed. Discussion with those present at the workshop showed that it would be wise to use the recruitment budget more effectively by moving budget from steps 1, 2 and 3 to step 4: it just doesn't make sense for you as an employer to use all of your budget on bringing in the right candidate (search, recruit and select), but as soon as the employee starts his job (on-boarding) little time and effort is put in making the attraction a success. Here's some free advice: set common goals between the employee and the organization ("What do you want to achieve in three months? What do you want to accomplish in 6 months?). That way a new employee immediately can offer added value.
     
  • PES Employer consultants meet recruiters in their work on a regular basis, often with seemingly contradictory interests (recruiters want their KPIs (employees attract eg for 1 year, so that they receive a bonus), while PES would like to place employees with a distance to the labor market. Insights in the process of recruitment can help PES consultants. Discussing the issues at hand with management of the employer at hand, is one way to go.
     
  • And, last but not least, basic knowledge of the field of employer branding still fairly limited. And while the opportunities to establish distinctiveness for employers is becoming more crucial, my mission remains to give insights in how employer branding can be used to attract and retain the right employees.
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