Can you entice employees to choose for your organization?
Slowly but surely most of us notice that the Dutch economy is recovering. The CPB – the Dutch central planning agency – is predicting higher economic growth for consumers as well as producers this year and 2018. Companies are looking forward to deliver on higher growth in terms of turnover and profit in the short term. Great news, but will they be able to grow in the long run? The labor market is changing rapidly from an employer to an employee market. So the question remains: will companies be able to grow in the long run?
On the 9th of March UWV – the Dutch Public Employment Service and my employer - organized a meeting for employers in the labor market region of North and Central part of the Province in Limburg. Employer branding is becoming the key for employers as a colleague of mine put it so aptly (in Dutch):
Employers from different sectors came together that day and were treated to a varied program. Based on different presentations insight was given into the current and future developments of the labor market and employer branding. After a colleague of mine described the current and future labor market developments, I gave my presentation on employer branding:
- Why is employer branding important?
- What is employer branding?
- How can you built a strong employer brand?
Additionally, all employers were invited to discuss the role of employer branding within their organization. They did this based on the following five statements:
- "The labor market tensions rising again across all sectors."
- "With my current recruitment strategy, I’ll be able to secure future business objectives."
- "Employer branding is part of my recruitment strategy."
- "As an employer, I planning on using employer branding."
- "As of tomorrow, I'm going to set different goals for my recruitment strategy."
After the discussions in small groups, the result was summarized by me in an overall presentation and the results contained remarkable conclusions:
- As the economy is picking up speed, labor market tension is rising across all sectors. Technical professions have been difficult to fill before (as well as IT related functions), but sectors like logistics (e.g. truck drivers), hospitality (e.g. cooks) and health care (e.g. nurse) are experiencing similar problems. As a result of economic growth, all employers – without exception – expect these problems only to become bigger in the near future.
- Business objectives will become more difficult to obtain due to skill shortages. As a result of short term focus by employers (set goals for the year to come), it’s difficult to set long term goals. Even technological developments won’t be sufficient to make up for smaller human productivity. However, in order prepare for future developments on the labor market, the present employers were discussing the option to collectively attract and retain talent per sector.
- Employer branding was regarded as ‘the way to go’, but most employers find it difficult to execute on the topic. Time and knowledge is limited, especially in smaller organizations, and most of the time they do not know where to start. Generally speaking, communications is used to attract and retain talent, but most employers haven’t thought through what they stand for as an employer. In other words, why should anyone choose them and not their competitor?
In short, there is still work to be done as far as implementing an employer brand strategy and executing it on a daily bases. In a follow-up session, UWV will invite these employers once more to present more depth on the topic employer branding and hopefully prepare them for the future. Once this event has taken place, I’ll report to you via my blog.