Top 5 Employer Branding Trends You Don’t Want to Miss

At Relish Marketing, we help clients of all sizes develop, build and strengthen their employer brands. Our work requires us to stay on top of employer branding best practices, common pitfalls, what’s working and what isn’t. So we’re constantly looking at businesses that do it right, as well as those who may have missed the mark – and in doing so this year, we’ve noticed five clear trends in the employer branding space that companies need to take stock in:

1. The Merging of Employer Brands with Consumer Brands to Improve ROI

Internal and external perceptions rapidly become part of a company’s overall image, and that’s never been more true than with the prevalence of social media in our daily lives. When consumers have a good experience, they have good reasons to believe that the company treats its people well. When employees are treated well, it shines through in their customer interactions – and positive customer interactions feed back into a positive experience for the employee. The trend toward more closely aligned consumer and employer brands is likely to continue to rise, as research indicates that companies with well-aligned employer, consumer and corporate brands see a 35 percent increase in sales.

2. Multi-Generational Workforce Diversity

Today’s workforce is more with Millennials and Gen Xers leading the workforce in numbers and Baby Boomers nearing retirement. Pay close attention to the specific work expectations and preferred method of communication for each generation.

At the same time, remember that all individuals are different and people of all generations reject stereotyping. So, while it is important to be aware of the general preferences of different generations, it’s always best to get to know the employees within your organization on a personal level to best understand their needs, desires and expectations. And gathering employee feedback on an ongoing basis helps too.

3. The Power of Employees to Convey (or Destroy) Your Employee Brand

In a world of social media, company review sites and the easy-to-obtain sentiments of former employees, opinions are everywhere. These tools can be an effective way to market your organization and leverage positive reviews. For this reason, it’s important to engage not only current employees but also former ones. Consider the role that online alumni communities and special events play in keeping perceptions of your company positive. Candidates trust the company’s employees three times more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there, so their opinion is extremely important.

4. The Gig Economy

Companies likes Lyft, Uber, Upwork and Fiver are a growing, public face of the independent contractor-driven “gig economy,” but businesses in virtually every sector are increasingly relying on contractors to support their workforce, as well. It’s therefore important for employers to enable contractors and other associate workers to see themselves as valuable and important to the company, while also strengthening the employee value proposition for full-time workers.

5. Authenticity (Still) Rules

Authenticity has been a key buzzword for employer brands for quite some time now – but that doesn’t make it outdated or irrelevant. Trust is one of the most essential components of any employee value proposition. And authenticity is critical to ensure that employees both trust their employer and feel trusted in return. Tell true stories. Enable communication to be a two-way street – and communicate clearly with your employees, using real-world language and examples more than euphemisms and jargon. Above all, ensure that your employer brand and employee value proposition reflect the actual experience that employees have at your company.

The diversity and fluidity of today’s workforce mean that your employer brand must work harder than ever to attract, retain and inspire your employees. Pay attention to the trends driving successful employer brands – and capitalize on them to generate the results your business needs to thrive.


P.S. We invite you to take advantage of The Employer Brand Guidebook: How to Attract, Engage and Retain Top Talent. It’s full of useful information and tools to support businesses as they evaluate, cultivate and evolve their employer brands. And we’re offering it free when you download it now.

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