Employer branding is how employees and potential candidates view your company as an employer. Unfortunately, many employers underestimate the power of employer branding. The reality is that thanks to online review sites that allow you to rate employers, your company is already developing an employer brand whether you realize it or not. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a bad reputation before you even put a comprehensive employer branding strategy in place.

To help you craft a strategy to build a brand that effectively attracts prime candidates, we conducted extensive research to see what employees expect from their employers. Here’s a closer look at these results.

group of people talking
group of people talking

we polled over 185,000 employees

For our 2020 Employer Brand Research Report, we polled over 185,000 employees from 33 different global markets. Our survey included workers from a variety of job sectors and department levels. The majority of our Canadian respondents are permanent workers aged 18 to 64 years old who primarily live in Quebec and Ontario.

50% won’t work for a company with a bad reputation

Results from our research report reveal that 50% of eligible workers would refrain from working with a company that has a bad reputation. Unfortunately, a poor employer brand, whether real or perceived, could severely limit your ability to hire high-quality candidates. Furthermore, it could take years to repair this damage and create a positive brand image. It’s crucial for organizations like yours to take proactive measures to develop a strong brand that attracts, not deters, qualified candidates.

employees are seeking higher salaries

Out of the 18% of respondents who have changed jobs over the last 12 months and the 25% who are considering switching jobs in the upcoming year, salary is the biggest driver behind these moves. In fact, half of the respondents ranked an increase in salary, as well as benefits, as the top reason for seeking out new job opportunities.

candidates want these 3 things

Salary is so important that 60% of respondents, whether seeking other employment or not, ranked it as the number one factor that determines whether they stay in their job. In addition to salary, employees are also looking for companies that offer a healthy work-life balance (49%) with things like flexible scheduling and remote working as well as job security (46%). Since our research was conducted prior to the pandemic, it’s highly likely that the importance of both job security and work-life balance has increased significantly among workers.

employee perception                         

If employers are taking steps to prioritize the main features candidates want in the workplace, it’s not resonating with employees. According to our employer brand research, employees’ perception is that employers prioritize the financial health of their business and reputation over salaries and work-life balance. This disconnect could mean the difference between hiring the most qualified candidates or settling for less skilled ones.

strengthen your employer branding strategies

The good news is that there are steps you can take today to start building your employer brand from the ground up or to enhance your existing brand.

  •  understand your target candidate

Before you start building or rebuilding your employer brand, you must first identify and understand the needs and goals of your target candidates. This step requires you to take a closer look at demographics within your workforce and to identify their workplace priorities.

This action is vital because our employer brand research shows distinct differences between generations. For example, Millennials are most concerned about career development, whereas baby boomers prioritize salary and benefits, and Generation Xers are concerned about job security.

Understanding these differences can enable your company to develop a customized employer brand that resonates with the right audience. Our study can provide the insights you need to develop a brand that matches your ideal candidate’s needs.

  •  give candidates insight into your work environment

Our research shows that the primary obstacle preventing candidates from accepting a new position is that they don’t know what it's like to work for your company. Fortunately, there are several employer branding strategies you can use to provide candidates with this insight.  

For example, social media is a great tool you can use to share brief posts and short videos that showcase your company’s workplace. You can also share posts and images of your team volunteering at a local charity to show that your company gives back to the community.

Additionally, the company should use employee insights and interviews to create detailed job descriptions that more accurately describe each position. This level of transparency can build trust between the candidates and the employer and strengthen your overall reputation.

  •  promote, assess, and adapt your brand

Employer branding is not a strategy that you can just build and forget. Instead, it takes time and commitment to building a strong brand. It’s crucial to promote both your company culture and employer brands at all levels of your company. Every interaction is a chance to enhance your employer brand. Use  company meetings, newsletters, recognition programs, orientations and training to shape your brand and reinforce who you are as a company. Equally important is the need to frequently assess your employer brand and make adjustments to meet the new demands of your current workforce and attract skilled candidates to work for you.

Don’t make the mistake of letting online review sites set the tone for your employer brand. Instead, take steps today to develop or strengthen your employer brand in an effort to improve hiring outcomes, boost workplace morale and increase job satisfaction levels throughout the company.

our employer brand research report contains numerous insights about what canadian workers look for in their workplaces. read the detailed report to start crafting a more attractive employer brand today.

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