Thursday, March 18, 2010

Employer Branding in Asia

I have just returned from a longer Employer Branding turne in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, where I managed to meet more than 50 employers. During my trip I realized that the cultural, religious and socioeconomic differences are even larger in Asia than in Europe and the US. With this in mind employers have to be extra sensitive to local variations in culture and attitudes when they tailor their employer brand for different parts of Asia. Hence, it’s crucial that employer branding strategies are developed based on local input – and not in a top-down approach from an office outside the region, e.g. Europe or the US.

Some lesson learned

GENERATION Y: There is a big focus and awareness about Generation Y among employers in Asia. They call the young talents for “small princess” and are afraid that they will become too spoiled. The result of the one-child policy is that parents put all effort in their child and get very high expectations on them.

RELATIONSHIP: Establishing an employer branding presence in Asia depends on many factors such as personal relationships with officials and government entities – all of which take time to develop. The most attractive companies to work for in China have been in this region for a long time and their strong employer brands reflect their commitment and investment.

FEAR: Your reputation, regardless of if you are a company or a person, is extremely important in Asia. Many companies therefore feel that the safest way in doing employer branding is to do the same as the competitors. It takes time to try something new.

EMPLOYER BRANDING: Employer Branding is a new fast growing discipline. It’s a quite new topic and executed on an operational level rather than a strategically level. Employer Branding is still short term recruiting rather than long term branding. Few seniors or leader groups are involved in the Employer Branding work. It will take time before CEOs realize the advantage of Employer Branding.

RESEARCH: Using research to track and benchmark the Employer Brand is still a very new philosophy and tool for them.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back Carlo. It sounds like you experienced a lot and your impressions of the region are educational. Thanks for this blog post.