According to Hinge Research Institute’s newly released Employer Branding Study 57% of job seekers across all career levels consider culture as important as pay when evaluating job prospects. Corroborating culture’s importance, cultural fit edged out work history and experience among 75% of recruiters. The study was conducted as businesses around the world grappled with the past four months’ health, economic, and political crises.
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“In today’s crisis environment, potential hires are taking a hard look at whether prospective employers’ values are aligned with theirs, while recruiters are putting a premium on maintaining a healthy workplace culture,” says Lee Frederiksen, Managing Partner of Hinge Research Institute. “Companies should pay as much attention to their employer brand as they do to their financials. Their reputation as a workplace is crucial to attract and keep the people they need to deliver on their brand promise and get through any disruption.”
The largest of its kind, the study fielded responses from 1,034 talent recruiters and job seekers across 10 industry groups around the world. Respondents were segmented by industry, career stage, and job search status—non-seekers, passive seekers, and active seekers.
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Responses to questions on how their firms handled major disruptions show participants’ heightened concern for company culture, as well as culture’s impact on turnover. 56% of active job seekers gave their firms’ crisis response poor ratings, while only 7% of non-seekers did. 56% of respondents who rated their firms poorly cited delayed actions and lack of a plan while 28% cited poor communication. When asked what respondents would change about how their firm handled a merger or acquisition, 69% cited having a formal integration strategy and plan for employees to prepare and adjust.
The study throws three key insights into relief. First, cultivating a strong employer brand is a strategic imperative, as it plays a crucial role in recruiting and keeping talent. Second, businesses should tailor employer brand messaging according to a candidate’s career stage, industry, position, and talent profile. Third, as job seekers make decisions based increasingly on information that they find online, companies should close the gap between what they do and what they say they do.
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