New Focus on Branding and Employee Experience for HR

Two related trends are receiving heavy attention within the Human Resources field these days: branding and employee experience. With unemployment at a 30-year low, hiring new talent has become a top concern for many companies. According to a recent article in Forbes, recruiters are experiencing a 40-percent increase in time to hire.

“Of course, the biggest challenge employers find in this kind of economy is how hard it is to attract the right people,” the article said. “Recruiters are arming up with lots of new weapons to find people.”

Among these tools are branding (the emotional perception customers and potential employees have about a company) and employee experience (the sum of an employee’s experiences, from recruitment to retirement).

A Look at Branding

A company’s brand matters, not only to customers but also to potential employees. Millennial employees are more concerned with workplace quality of life than past generations. Jim Link, chief human resource officer at Randstad North America, told HRDive that companies that don’t make a meaningful effort to appeal to younger workers are in danger of missing out on new talent.

“More employees, especially younger workers, are seeking individualized, tailored career experiences from their employers — and employers aren’t especially good at this yet,” Link said.

A 2017 article in HRDive highlighted ways business can adapt their brand to attract new talent.

“One of the most important things a company can do is actually effect change,” said Bryan Chaney, talent branding and attraction strategist at Indeed. “I look at the surface level stuff — social media, reviews, all those things that you can quickly access — as the icing on the cake. I look at the actual culture, the support an employee experiences working at the company as the cake itself. It’s got to have layers.”

Communicating a company’s ethos can be done outside of the marketing department, Chaney said.

“Communicating internally is big,” he said. “I’m sure there are other people who are more extensively seasoned when it comes to internal communications. My goal is getting employees engaged to tell stories externally. I get to be the storyteller and help other people be the storyteller for their experiences inside Indeed.”

Beyond that, he said, companies should consider new benefits packages and flexible work hours as ways to improve their brand.

New Focus on Employee Experience

While customer experience has dominated business thinking for several decades, there has recently been renewed focus on employee experiences. In a recent article in Forbes, Denise Yohn explored why companies have shifted their attention toward worker satisfaction.

“Several workforce factors have raised the importance level of” employee experience, she said. “First, many businesses currently operate in sectors where a war for talent rages. Whether it’s retail, high-tech, or jobs whose need for highly specialized skills is not matched by adequate compensation such as nursing and airline pilots, it’s getting harder for many employers to attract and retain talent.”

Whereas branding allows businesses to recruit new workers, a focus on employee experience allows companies to increase employee retention.

Therefore, “employers must provide development more quickly, move people more regularly, provide continuous cycles of promotion, and give employees more tools to manage their own careers,” concluded a report cited in the article.

The online Master of Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado is one way to keep up with new trends within HR. The forward-looking curriculum includes courses on how to attract and retain talent and can be completed in as few as 12 months.

Learn more about the UNC online MBA with an emphasis in Human Resource Management.


DeloitteInsights: 2018 Global Human Capital Trends

HRDive: Authenticity, Transparency: Keys to Keeping an Employer Brand on Point

HRDive: 10 Trends That Will Shape HR in 2018

Forbes: The Ugly Side to Today’s Low Unemployment Rate

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