A company’s front-facing image is more often than not the conversation around its brand. But what about a company’s employment brand?
“If you’re looking to build your best possible team, the number one thing you can do is focus on your employment brand,”
said Adam Robinson, co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based Hireology in an interview with us earlier this year. He’s also the author of The Best Team Wins: Build Your Business Through Predictive Hiring. Adam has spent most of his career in the hiring sector and launched Hireology in 2010 to help companies make better hiring decisions.
Adam poses questions about what an employment brand means:
“What do you stand for in a labor market? When people think of you as an employer, what do you want them to think about? What kind of place are you to work at? Are you a high-quality place to work at? Do you only hire top performers? Is it tough to get a job there? Do people like it? Is it a friendly environment? Is it not friendly environment?”
We got to talking about millennials entering into and already working in the workplace as an example of the importance of a strong employment brand.
Adam said their research shows millennial workers tend to want three things: defined career path, pay stability (not most money unlike past generations), and work-life balance.
Say a retail business or car dealership offers a position with a narrowly defined career path, tough working hours, and high commission pay plans.
“You’re going to have a hard time convincing a high-potential millennial entering the workforce that the career is for them, relative to their other options where they may be getting more of those things. Conversely, employers that do embrace those things in these industries are going to have a leg up on their competitors. So it’s worth addressing it.”
Why are millennial workers often construed as lazy and entitled?
Workforce demographics are in their favor. The size of the U.S.’s entry-level labor pool from 2012-2022 will have shrunk by 14%, says Adam. It’s largely because people under the age of 40 are having fewer kids and they’re having them later in life. As a result, there will be and already are, fewer people to go to work in an expanding economy.
In this case, the supply side, or the talent, always wins. The demand for talent is the highest it’s been in decades. As a result, millennial workers will be researching the company they want to work for more than the company will be researching them— talented millennials have their pick.
To bring it full circle, if a company wants to build the best team possible, they will have to work harder to attract that team and much of that energy should go towards developing their employment brand to attract high caliber hires.
This doesn’t apply to just millennials, of course, but to any company looking to develop their A-Team.
Several years ago The New York Times published a scathing story about the brutal working conditions of Amazon (the founder of which, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post, a competitor to the Times). It talked about long hours and impossible expectations and interviewed a few people that cried at their desk regularly or had to forgo time with their family to work.
Adam saw that article almost as a job posting. There are plenty of people out there who thrive in stressful working conditions that push them to their limits and require more than the traditional 40-hour work week. Conversely, there are also companies that offer remote working days, on-campus recreational facilities, and light hours. Both are factors that should be incorporated into a company’s employment brand.
Sites like Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com can provide potential hires with insight into working with a company and be a tool for businesses to bolster their employment brand. At the same time, it can be another metric for consumers to see if their front-facing brand matches their internal mission. Maybe a company touts high-quality and compassion, yet their employee reviews on Glassdoor.com talk about how awful management is. Something doesn’t quite add up.
Looking to take your company to the next level? Think about your how employees and potential hires see you so you can build that dream team you’ve always wanted.