Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Universum Advisory Board in the US

I have just returned from a business trip in the US, where we conducted an Advisory Boards for the most popular employers in America. The Advisory Board was hosted by McKinsey & Company in New York.

We touched upon different topics, and I had the opportunity to make a lot of reflections. Here are some of them:

First of all it looks like US employers face more employer branding challenges than ever due to the “New dot-com” companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple. They are moving in with strong employer brands. These companies offer the stability that the old dot-com companies could not, and are therefore looked as good alternatives to traditional careers in corporate America that struggled during the financial crises.

External Employer Branding activities are moving toward more event-based branding such as competitions, and case studies, making students feel more important to the employer by involving them.

With the economy heating up after the financial crises, companies are coming back putting their employer brand out there to increase the awareness. Hence, it’s increasingly important to be aware of competitors’ images – not just one’s own. And employers have to keep in mind that the image they project externally has to be true internally as well. Failing to do so ultimately creates an even bigger problem – the retention of the top talents. The key to successful retention is to make sure the company can live up to the brand and the employer value proposition.

One of the hottest trends at present is internships. The market for talent is changing, as in the rest of the world. The Millennials are bringing new values and attitudes to work – they really need to understand how it is to work there. Companies have therefore increased their focus on internal branding and cross-departmental cooperation in order to connect their internal and external branding strategies. One way of showing the internal identity is by offering internships. It is seen as a very efficient tool, not just for recruitment but also for improved retention. Internships are now being developed into an on-boarding experience, designed to bring students into the company long-term.

I look forward to learn more at our next global Advisory Board in London!

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