recently read an article about Cluj that made me feel proud of living in this amazing city. It was about Cluj Napoca being ranked second in EU on easiness of finding a job, according to Eurostat data. Cluj has become an incredibly competitive marketplace that companies choose for the quality of people and the diversity of specialists, in addition to the financial reasoning.
This is a good thing for the employees, but the downside is felt mostly by our HR colleagues when trying to recruit in Cluj and generally in Romania. The balance between demand and supply is long gone.
I then became curious what the companies are saying about this, and I read the results of a market survey that E-Jobs ran in 2017. The numbers are worrisome.
- More than 86% of the companies active in the Romanian market face an acute shortage of valuable candidates when recruiting.
- High competitiveness in the labor market is one of the main reasons for the difficulties in recruiting, but 2 out of 10 companies consider that access to specialized candidates is also hampered by the lack of a strong employer brand.
- For 47% of the surveyed companies, recruiting has become more difficult than ever and finding the right candidate takes too long. Recruitment time for open positions is between 30 and 60 days, and 14% of the companies are able to hire after 90 days or more.
- Companies have diversified their methods of attracting valuable candidates, choosing to recruit from smaller cities and offer relocation packages, or to offer a higher salary than the market. However, only 9% invest in programs to develop and consolidate an attractive employer brand.
Companies do mention that a stronger employer brand would be beneficial. Maybe it is true, and an employer brand would help the HR specialist receive more and better CV’s compared to other recruiters. Maybe the investment in activities that would cultivate the employer brand are insignificant compared to the financial effort to support the company’s recruitment strategy without an employer brand.
Maybe offering a higher salary will convince the candidates to join the company, but only for a short period of time, until they get used to the new wage. Just saying, millennials are different than the previous generations and salary is not the main motivator. They will leave if they don’t feel motivated by other things than just an above the average salary. A company with a strong employer brand will find ways to keep their employees motivated, that is for sure.
An employer brand starts with what the employees are saying about the company once they leave the office. How do they present the company to their friends and relatives? What motivates them to wake up every working day (and sometimes weekends too) and go to work? Are they proud to work for your company? And the most important question: would the employees recommend the company to their friends as a great place to work? Attracting and retaining the right kind of talent is central to a company’s ability to grow. A 2017 survey from Glassdoor found that 84% of people would consider leaving their current position if approached by a brand with a better reputation, while 69% would reject job offers from brands with poor employer branding.
An employer brand continues with how much visibility the company has on the market. I am not saying how big the company is. Just ask yourself how visible the company that you own or work for is on the market. How many people have heard of it? This is important because people are more comfortable sending a CV to a company they are familiar with, as they won’t spend time searching for information about some new company that posted a job add. Social media has had a profound effect on employer branding, as it completely changed the way we search and apply for jobs, assess the prospective employers, and communicate in the workplace.
Is CSR on the agenda of the company? Being beneficial for the society is very important and nowadays easier for companies that want to build a good employer brand. CSR may be defined as “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society” (European Commission, 2011). It is proved that companies with a strong CSR strategy are perceived as “responsible” by the employees and thus are more trustworthy. I am not saying that a company should do CSR activities for visibility only, this should be done because being socially responsible is the ethical thing to do. Visibility is just one of the benefits.
Developing an employer brand is not easy, but it is not impossible either. And the best place to start exploring what motivates people to join a particular organisation, to stay with or to leave the company is the internal feedback received from employees. Companies could use the existing data gathered from surveys, focus groups and employee forums or exit interviews to assess their employer brand. And then use the feedback to create an authentic and fresh way of presenting the company’s culture and employee value proposition.
MONDEVENTS works with companies that want to build their employer brand or grow their visibility on the market, through amazing events that communicate the company’s story, vision and values. A corporate event is what a company should do to celebrate success together with its employees, strengthen relationship with the customers and business partners, communicate a new vision or branding, launch new products and services or create visibility on the market. Dare to imagine the amazing. We will create it.