While the corona pandemic #2020 brought to fore the need to continuously and critically invest in Employer Branding and forge even deeper connections with talent both inside and outside the firm; #2021 opened new challenges and opportunities for employer branding owing to the biggest reset that the world of work ever witnessed or manifested; and #2022 looks no different given the pandemic is showing no signs of abatement.
BC, AC (Before Corona, After Corona): EMPLOYER BRANDING BECOMES COMPLEX
Before corona (year 2020) employer branding was all about ‘the candidate’, where acquisition was the main goal; after corona in 2020 & 2021 very apparently it has been all about ‘the employee’, where their engagement and safety became paramount; and in #2022 it will finally be about ‘the whole spectrum of talent’ – upcoming (freshers, potential), incoming (candidates, new joiners, re-joiners), staying (high-performing employees) or outgoing (leavers, alumni).
As employer branding becomes more and more complex and leads to more value-addition for the organisation and to aid you in your employer branding efforts, we have collated THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF EMPLOYER BRANDING THEMES.
These will not only give your teams ideas to freshen up your employer branding stories but also help you accelerate your employer branding efforts in coming years.
To build more context, we have also shared EMPLOYER BRANDING #EXAMPLES of companies who are doing a fab job under each theme of 2021-22. Take inspiration from these companies and unleash your story (in the media) too!
We have literally mapped all that’s happening in the talent world, social world and scoured through endless company webpages to produce this list. The List is exhaustive, encouraging, and action-oriented and will extensively help in pacing-up your employer branding efforts.
The following themes are the most critical trends and predictions for Indian employers. We have written them in alphabetical order because none is superior than the other. You can pick and choose employer branding themes that stand out most distinctly for your organisation and those that will give you the maximum leverage:
A. ASSETS – how many of your HR properties and policies can you count as your employer branding assets? have you created special or specialised employer branding assets, platforms for recruitment, engagement and retention? these could be print collateral, gift kits, videos, digital events, online job fairs, live sessions, hackathons, etc. specially dedicated towards employer branding objectives. @unilever does a fab job of assets created for employer branding. Scroll through their social media pages to know more.
B. BLOGS or VLOGS – In today’s content economy, it is imperative to have company blogs, people blogs, leadership blogs etc. to share your perspective on people issues or to call out your rationale behind challenging stereotypes around HR policies like leaves, medical coverage, rewards, retention bonus, skill bonus, diversity etc. @zomato is very prompt in sharing their perspective on people policies, customer-employee concerns via leader blogs.
C. COMMUNITY AIDS, CORPORATE SOCIAL JUSTICE - assumed a much wider and a very critical role in 2020 over CSR or CR. As employers you will be compelled to take meaningful stands on social issues in coming years. @blacklivesmatter movement saw many brands actively advocating their support, reorienting their diversity agenda to show solidarity with the cause. Also, the more your company will support local community efforts, the more respect you will gain as an employer, the more pride your employees will feel working with you. @Deloitte employees, are saluting their CEO’s efforts to provide oxygen cylinders to India during the resurge or second wave of corona by actively resharing the news on their LinkedIn profiles.
D. DEEPER CONNECTIONS – While the focus of employer branding before corona was on building #authentic, real employer brands; the focus has now shifted towards building and forging deeper connections with not only your employees but also their families. Corona has exposed that none can exist without the other. Talent will have a lot of say in how you shape work and HR policies in 2021 and onwards. Take a cue from @byjus that has allocated 20 crores CEO relief fund for employees and their families for corona related treatments.
D1. DIGITAL – 2020 was all about digital acceleration and transformation. It’s now time to show how forward thinking your employment experience is, when it comes to digital. Companies should be completely transparent about where they stand on the digital grid i.e. performance/work enablement, e-learning via digi-mediums as also what future-of-work or future-of-career looks like at their company. @chargebee is one of the first few Indian start-ups to build an entirely remote-first work model with 500+ home offices across India. Just the promise of “remote-first” says it all about their digital savviness and collaboration tools.
E. EQUITY -- Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) transformed into DEI (Equity) during 2020 to highlight the promise that digital inclusion offers minority populations across the globe. Promoting equal pay opportunities is a direct sign of a modern employer brand. It showcases that the employer values its workforce and is determined to provide equal, equitable opportunity to everyone contributing to its success irrespective of gender, ability, or race, religion. @thoughtworks is continuously building on paying men and women equally. What’s your status on bridging the gender pay gap? Make it known in 2021.
F. FLEXIBILITY - 2020 was the year of “working from home”. It is therefore imperative to call out your flex-work policies clearly in your recruitment marketing communications. @Twitter has declared that their staff could continue working from home permanently. What are you declaring?
G. GIGGERS ARE THE NEW EMPLOYEES - 2021 will see more employers researching and building Gig Work Value Propositions, and creating clearly defined careers policies and career pages for gig workers. @Uber is a gig economy veteran with thousands of drivers across the world, all working on a freelance basis. Take a cue.
H. HOME IS THE NEW OFFICE AND GLOBE IS THE NEW RECRUITING REGION: A globally distributed workforce deployment or hiring model is already real in 2021 thanks to corona and it will get more real in 2022. As employers create talent pools across the globe, the need for an international employer branding strategy is paramount. @dell has a global EVP, ‘You thrive, We thrive’ that helps summarize what they promise their employees where ever they choose to work from. Their social media handle @lifeatdell shares content and supporting visuals in line with this proposition.
I. INCLUSION – Has become the centre point of the diversity agenda in 2020 as with remote work there is no reason for women, disabled, LGTBT, rural people etc. to not be an active contributor in the workforce of India. An Avtaar study showed that percentage of women hires increased from 31 percent in 2016 to 37 percent in 2020. What are your diversity scores? Have you made them official yet? Do you have an official D&I leader actively pursuing diversity targets? Time to share your diversity story a la @accenture.
J. JOURNEYS – Weave the Employer Value Proposition into your Candidate and Employee Journeys. Highlight aspects of the employee and candidate experience that lead to highly positive sentiments in career journeys at your organisation. Call out specific career-paths talent can take at your organisation. @amazon spent a considerable time in training their recruiters on career prospects each role offers at amazon. Thus, contributing to low offer dropouts.
J1 JOBS THAT ARE UNUSUAL OR WEIRD – Corona has locked down businesses and old ways of working. Old jobs are giving way to new, weird jobs like Augmentator (AR expert), Art Therapist, Online Reviewer, Flavorist, Fragrance Chemist, Nail Polish Namer, Frontline Ecommerce Worker, Writing Consultant, Podcaster, Blogger, Personal Coaches, Mental Health Specialist, Machine Learning Researcher, Chief Growth Officers or Chief Revenue Officers etc. If your company o