2011 Global Employer Branding Study Results [incl infographic]

Executives now challenging HR and Marketing for responsibility of the Employer Brand strategy In an era of social media dominance where employer branding continues to develop around the world, HR and Marketing are now being challenged by Executives for control of the Employer Brand strategy in new survey findings from […]

Executives now challenging HR and Marketing for responsibility of the Employer Brand strategy

In an era of social media dominance where employer branding continues to develop around the world, HR and Marketing are now being challenged by Executives for control of the Employer Brand strategy in new survey findings from Employer Brand International. The global research study surveyed more than 1700 organizations worldwide.

The study found Executives are taking more responsibility for the employer brand strategy with a 13% increase over the past two years at the same time HR departments solely responsible for the strategy has declined by 12%. Interestingly, in Russia more Executives are responsible for the strategy than the HR department highlighting that leaders in emerging markets are taking a more strategic approach and aligning employer branding to organizational strategy compared to companies who were early adopters in the USA and UK.

Companies who invest in developing their employer brand can expect an increase in employee engagement and ease in attracting candidates with 38% of companies rating them as the main benefits of their employer brand strategy, according to a wide-ranging global survey from Employer Brand International. The study released today also found the rush by companies to shift expenditure into social media to build online communities they can recruit from and engage with, has resulted in a 209% increase since 2009 in social media usage by companies to communicate their employer brand.
Employer Brand International Chairman and CEO Brett Minchington said, “The research shows how far employer branding has evolved over the past three years, especially in emerging markets such as Russia and Poland. The findings underscores how important it was for companies to take a strategic approach to managing the employer brand, clearly define their strategy, develop relevant metrics and allocate sufficient resources to the most effective initiatives.”

Whilst job growth has slowed in many markets around the world since the global financial crisis in 2008, companies continue to invest in their employer brand with 33% of companies planning to increase their investment in 2011/2012.

Whilst the survey found employer branding continues to climb higher on the leadership agenda many organizations lack the capability to leverage their employer brand due to the absence of a clearly defined strategy. The survey found only 14% of companies has developed a clear strategy for their employer brand. Understandably, respondents also said having a clearly defined strategy is the key to achieving their employer brand strategy.

Similar to EBI’s first global benchmark study in 2009, the importance of strong leadership and engaging leadership is a key ingredient to the success of the employer brand strategy. If you can’t engage leaders in South Africa in employer branding it’s game over with 87% of companies reporting CEO engagement is critical to achieving employer branding objectives.

Career development (86%), corporate reputation and culture (84%) and work environment (84%) are the most important attributes a company can promote when trying to attract talent to their organization. The research supports the populist view that intangibles are now responsible for the majority of contribution to shareholder value.

Companies are relying on a range of metrics to measure the success of their employer branding investments, with 38% tracking retention rates.  Some 33% of respondents are tracking employee engagement, 29% record the quality of hire and 27% measure the cost per hire. A company’s ranking in a ‘best place to work’ survey or similar awards programs was number eleventh on the list with only 15% of companies using it as a metric to measure their return on investment.

Other key findings of the global study include:

  • 84% of companies believe a clearly defined strategy is the key to achieving employer branding objectives
  • 71% of employees say obtaining an adequate budget is their number 1 challenge in managing an employer brand
  • 59% of companies leverage their career website for communicating the employer brand
  • 55%  of employees believe it’s important other people want to work for their employer
  • 44% of companies use social media to enhance their employer brand
  • 18% of marketing departments are responsible for the employer brand strategy
  • Defining the employer value proposition (EVP) is most the effective initiative (9% of respondents), whereas the emerging practice of talent pool development is ranked number 16 at 2%

Minchington said, “The most successful strategies are reported by companies that are using a hybrid approach with teams of HR, marketing or communications with strong links to external partners completing the team. The 10% growth in employer brand manager listings in the past two years also suggests many companies are now creating specific functions to manage their strategy. The future looks bright for employer branding professionals.”

Source: press release

About Jacco Valkenburg

Jacco Valkenburg is an international recruitment expert, trainer and author of two books about LinkedIn. He has more than 16 years experience in global recruitment strategies and execution spanning numerous countries for leading companies. As founder of Recruit2 and Recruiter University he provides companies with recruitment and talent management solutions and expertise. His mission is helping companies ‘from good to great staffing’.

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