The crisis is over and the economy is picking up. The turnover of companies is growing, consumers are spending more money again and unemployment is falling. So much for the good news. The downside of these developments is that employers have to work harder to fill their vacancies. On average, a third of all vacancies in the Netherlands were difficult to fulfill in 2017. This even more the case (more than half of all of the vacancies) for companies in the construction sector and information & communication sector. The 2018 job market demands something new from an employer: consciously investing in your employer's brand, with at its foundation a genuine interest for your current employees.
Many employers still follow the traditional way of working: they have a vacancy, they use recruitment and selection agencies or they recruit via social media, job sites and their own work-at-sites. If the vacancy is not fulfilled, they opt for other solutions such as training candidates who do not yet meet their wishes, adjusting the job requirements or making the employment conditions more attractive. From the available candidates they then choose the best possible candidate for the defined job profile. They prefer to fill a vacancy as quickly as possible, while it can also give a much better result (also financially) if they take the time to develop a long-term strategy. Build a reputation. To stand out among all other employers who are also looking for staff. In short, to strengthen the employer brand of the organisation.
Smart employers understand that you should not only offer attractive employment conditions. Employees are looking for a company where they receive attention as a person, where they are not considered a number. Employees can choose where they want to work and with whom, especially in times of economic growth. Employer branding ensures that you attract attention as an employer. A potential candidate might think: "Hey, that company is interesting in me." A company has to put itself out there and experience if you're willing to show your company culture in a fair and authentic way to current and potential employees, it'll bring success. That's employer branding.
I give presentations and workshops about employer branding in the Netherlands almost every week. In this way, as an employee of the Dutch PES, I share knowledge about the labour market, just like many of my colleagues. I often do a simple but effective exercise with employers. I ask them three questions: What do you want to radiate as an employer? What do your employees want from you as an employer? And finally, what conclusion do you draw from this? What strikes me is that employers often know what they want to emit, but do not have a clear idea of what their employees want from them. This creates a gap between the image and the identity of an organisation. The result is no surprise: employees are not loyal and employers have look for new staff.
Fortunately, smaller businesses are starting to discover the strength of a strong employer brand. If you want to use employer branding successfully, you will have to get to work. In order to find the employees that really suit you, as an employer you will have to discover the core of your corporate culture and then share it with your current and potential employees, customers and stakeholders. This requires open conversations with employees and customers, honest communication with employees and a well thought-out strategy, which every employee is looking for: sincere interest. Sincere interest has always been very sensible, but it is also the foundation on which an employer branding strategy rests. This makes it an inextricable link between employers and employees on the labour market. Now and in the future.