Half of Australian job seekers say an employer’s brand and reputation is more important today than it was five years ago, with Millennials leading the charge on being the most brand-driven candidates, according to new research by ManpowerGroup Solutions.
The research of 4,500 global job seekers from influential employment markets, including more than 750 Australians, found that there has been a re-balancing of power between employers and individuals, with candidates better placed to accurately detect a company’s internal culture, core values and level of authenticity.
“With factors such as compensation and type of work becoming more standardised across companies, job seekers are looking at employer brand and reputation as a key differentiator that can help distinguish one from another,” said Sue Howse, general manager at ManpowerGroup Solutions, Australia and New Zealand.
Brand-driven candidates are Millennials who will actively seek out information on company brand
According to the research 21 per cent of surveyed Australians identify as being brand-driven, with Millennials between 25-34 years old the most likely group to be motivated by brand. Overall, the research also showed a strong link between being brand-driven and valuing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Brand driven candidates in Australia are eight per cent more likely than non-brand driven candidates (25per cent versus 17per cent) to actively source company brand information prior to an interview, whether that be through an in-house recruiter, hiring manager or using technology or social media.
While digital mediums such as company websites, employer review sites and social media, are key information sources for brand-driven candidates, human interaction plays a crucial role in their information gathering process.
“Increased transparency and greater access to information is better enabling Millennials to gauge an organisation’s brand and culture more quickly and more thoroughly than ever before,” Howse said.
“If organisations aren’t proactively engaging with individuals in a positive way via various channels, candidates will make their own assumptions and decisions based on the information they do have.”
Employer-employee trust and company reputation the most important aspects of company brand
More than eight in ten Australian survey candidates (84 per cent) said ‘Employer-Employee Trust’ was the most important aspect of company brand, compared to 81 per cent globally.
Australia also rated ‘Organisation’s Reputation as an Employer’ significantly higher than the global average, at 76 per cent versus 70 per cent globally.
“Trust and reputation is built on what an organisation says it does, versus what it actually does. Building a culture of mutual trust internally and externally starts at the top. Leaders must “practice what they preach” and align their actions and behaviours to what they advocate,” said Howse.
“Encouraging and enabling an environment that allows employees to be positioned as company brand ambassador is vital to building a culture of mutual trust. Further, employers must recognise that employees today want to embrace the concept of “one life” – one that blends work and home life – hence remaining flexible and agile is vital to building mutual trust.
“The practice of publishing job ads and waiting for individuals to apply is archaic. Employers must tap into current employees – being the most credible and influential sources of information for candidates and potential new hires – to actively tell the brand’s story and live its culture both in real life and through social media platforms.
“Those who choose not to utilise these important resources, or fail to recognise their direct impact on company brand, risk being left behind.”