Updated: Jan 12
2022 is “The Year Of The Employer Brand”
Talent scarce, market fierce, opportunities immense.
Branding is the only way to stand out.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Notable business and talent trends of 2021 that will impact employer branding strategies for the coming years:
The last two years were contradictory and a whirlwind of emotions for everyone involved. From a complete lockdown to closedowns in 2020, to slowdown in first half of 2021 and to a surprising turnaround in the latter part of the year. The world witnessed the sharpest take-offs in second half of 2021 owing to rising business optimism, economic recovery, vaccinations, and acute focus on digital transformation across the globe.
· Every company became a ‘digital first’ company led by artificial intelligence. Super-teams consisting of robos, human-AI collaboration models added more diversity to employees.
· Most companies formalized hybrid models of working - virtual, flexible, remote, 3-day work weeks, etc. to respond to the rising demands for more agile, fluid, collaborative teams spread across the globe.
· Companies and individuals both invested in their upskilling and certifications. Through cross-skilling, reskilling, expert skilling programs, everyone had their ‘SKILL’ in the game. Scaler, upGrad, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning platforms became commonplace and the new hunting grounds for talent.
· Social media hierarchy altered completely. LinkedIn replaced Facebook as the most sought-after social media for employer branding. Instagram topped the charts to engage millennials. YouTube pipped Twitter as the most go-to-place for content engagement. MetaVerse, the new digital universe took shape providing us an interesting alternative to the internet.
· New industries like crypto-currency and gaming took a formal shape. Unknown companies like CoinBase, CoinDCX, WazirX entered the fray.
· Hiring frenzy of 2021 was unseen and unfelt till companies started seeing 60-80% declines in joining’s. The Great Resignation is a phenomenon the world will never forget. There has never been a better time for Indian talent. Engineers and Developers commanded upto 300% increase in salaries.
What does this mean for employer branding in 2022?
It means more commotion and chaos. It directs you to put more rigour and serious investment in employer branding.
LEAD AS AN EMPLOYER WITH THESE 2022 BRANDING TRENDS
Trend 1 – Employer branding will become more strategic as a function
Especially in talent heavy countries like India, Israel and other South-east Asian countries like Taiwan, Philippines, employer branding will take centre-stage. Employers will move away from gimmicks, hiring-led campaigns to embedding employer branding behaviours and strategic thinking in their talent development plans. Employer branding will be owned by all and led by the CEO. HR, Marketing and IT teams will work together as a cohesive unit to build a UNIFIED BRAND VOICE.
Trend 2 – Most companies will revisit or formalize or customize their EVP to their preferred talent sets
Customized Employer Value Propositions that are peculiar to talent sets and their motivations will over-power broad EVP messages. Use talent insights to refine your talent attraction and retention strategy. The EVP communication mechanism will also shift to where the talent is most active. Example YouTube will become core to attracting Data Scientists, as they constantly upskill by subscribing to channels.
Trend 3 – Employer branding communications to focus on upskilling, DE&I, wellness & flexibility
If you follow talent chatter on LinkedIn, It is very apparent that wellness or healthcare packages and certifications policies are leading talent conversations. Remote working will continue to be new joining bonus and flexibility policy will claim a permanent space on careersites. If you can elaborate on the ‘Equity’ part of your DE&I policies or take a stand to promote Corporate Social Justice, please do so, to engage talent.
Trend 4 – Programmatic ads or dynamic targeting will become need of the hour for talent attraction
Social media algorithms favor those with ad budgets. So organic social media campaigns won’t deliver results. Only highly targeted or lead generation campaigns will allow you to meet your hiring targets. Attraction with the right messages is key to your employer branding. Example a junior data scientist gets excited by the volume or type of data that he will get to mine at your organisation. Lead with this message and then assess the clicks to your careersite.
Trend 5 – Employer brand engagement tools will METAmorph into the #metaverse
Simulated digital environments that will use augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) may help employers to ‘captivate’ talent more than their competition. Companies will actively use Virtual Events spaces like OliVR to share thought leadership data, ai-based gaming portals like Perspect Ai or Cutshort or to assess and hire talent. Imagine a Samsung galaxy like augmented reality experience that launches your key employer branding messages in the hands of your talent anywhere across the world. As an employer it will be necessary to engage talent in a digitally connected space!
"By 2023 most companies/employers will have a DIGITAL OFFICE ADDRESS!"
We cannot ignore this reality anymore. From collaboration to visible engagement is a journey that every employer brand will need to take.
Imagine an employee's or candidate's experience when he/she/them can see your entire workforce of 'truly connected' 'talented people' 'working seamlessly' in a 'digital world'. a DIGITAL METRE that shows how many are logged in, how many are undergoing training or certifications at any given point, how many are in a meeting, what is the agenda of that meeting, how many are brainstorming, how many enjoying a happy hour, how many are in the innovation lab! the digital metre will be the CEO's delight!
Microsoft Teams , Google Meet , Zoom will all transform from mere collaboration or workforce management tools into VIRTUALLY AUGMENTED OFFICES with employee AVATARS engaging in the #metaverse very soon!
Trend 6 – Social media branding will be led more and more by CEO, CTO, and CPO (as in chief product officer or innovation officer or chief data scientist)
The CEO or Chief Technology Officers are the new ‘INFLUENCERS’. Tesla’s Elon Musk or Ola Electric’s Bhavish Aggarwal are shining examples. Elon tweets about hiring events and Bhavish proudly shares how the Ola scooter factory is the largest all-women plant globally and establishes their diversity employer image in one stroke, Oops! tweet!