Friday, October 15, 2010

What are leading companies doing in terms of employer branding?

What are leading companies doing in terms of employer branding? What are the new trends? What are the strategies used by companies to profile themselves in order to reach the talent market? Let me present the current trends that I have seen lately in Europe, Asia and US. In general, companies want measurable results for their efforts. Although still popular with traditional corporate presentations on campus, companies are adding more focused events for students. Many companies use one-on-one “marketing” earlier in the recruitment process. In addition to trends such as niche-specific recruitment marketing, employers are making better use of web sites and social media.

The strategies companies use to market themselves to respective target groups are more refined than they have been in the past. The financial crises put more pressure on HR and demand for ROI. Universum has identified a few trends in this area that showcase the best employer branding has to offer.

Event-based marketing
Although events have been a popular venue for employer branding for quite some time, the style and scope have changed in recent years. Traditional events where companies invite students to dinner and hold a corporate presentation is supplied with events that focus solely on recruitment. A recent survey from Universum conducted among 1000 companies shows that 63% are doing events in 2010. The activities during the event may include competitions that present a problem for the students to solve. Vestas in Denmark ( is a good example, inviting students from 10 – 14 countries each year to a 4-days event. With these competitions, both students and recruiters gain better perspective on one other; the students have a better understanding of what the position will entail and learn more about the company culture. The recruiters have more concrete information and insight into the applicants. Furthermore, companies are including line and senior managers much earlier in the recruitment process. “The idea is to make you feel special, and also give candidates the sense that the senior management at the company is actually going to care about their success. It’s a huge driver when you’re hiring at the undergraduate level or graduate level, definitely in the US, but also globally among the new generation (generation Y).

Moving online and to web 2.0
Just as consumer-marketing activities occur more often online than off, employer branding has started to follow suit and change its communication platform. Lately, many companies have moved their consumer marketing activities online, and the same idea is slowly trickling through to the employer-branding field. The same survey shows that 54% of the companies are planning to work with social media during 2010. They put up sites for fan clubs on Facebook, and it can became a cool sort of viral marketing. Now we’re seeing that this is starting to reflect in the employer-branding space. In the employer-branding area, some companies have also started using podcasting in their recruitment marketing practice as well, especially in the US and Asia.

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