In the wake of Coronavirus, business owners are looking for silver linings in the rubble around them. A key shift would seem to be in the employment market where, for some time now, employees have ruled the roost.
At the beginning of the year, companies scrambled to impress current and prospective talent, trying to convince them of the ‘why us’ component of their employment offer. They invested in Employer Branding and Employee Experience as a priority for their budget and key contributor to overall organisational objectives. Organisations such as Virgin Media have reported saving millions when they built and launched a successful Employer Brand (Fast Company, 2016).
However, now that unemployment is on the rise, many employers believe they can go back to basics on their offer as target talent are forced to be less picky and those lucky enough to have a job are keeping their heads down in an effort to hold on to it. It’s an employers’ market, is it not?
It is not. Although much has changed in the employment landscape throughout the last few months and employees have experienced unnerving and uncertain times, employers still need to work hard if they want their people strategy to succeed. Those organisations who choose to be lazy in the way they communicate with target talent are likely to get left behind (probably for the second time).
As media coverage builds around potential redundancies post-furlough with no indication that the chancellor intends to change his mind on the deadline, it can be easy to find reasons to cut recruitment marketing and employee experience budgets. However, here are three reasons why getting the dream candidate to sign on the dotted line could prove harder than ever.
#1 It’s More Difficult To Establish Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
Although the term ‘USP’ is generally associated with communicating with clients, it is relevant when marketing to current and prospective talent. It is the ‘why join’ and ‘why stay’ with us of the employment offer, placing emphasis on the ‘with us’. It was difficult enough to differentiate from talent competitors pre-covid when employers had control over the ‘look, think and feel’ factors of the office environment, however as remote working prevails as the rule rather than the exception, this will be somewhat difficult to maintain.
#2 Remote Work = Remote Opportunities
Speaking of remote working… Many organisations are in the process of establishing a ‘work from anywhere’ policy document allowing their people to work in the office, from home or from the Bahamas if they so desire. This could prove challenging for businesses as it means they no are no longer solely competing with their local talent competitors.
#3 Exceptional Talent Is Hard To Come By
And even harder to keep. The chances are the dream candidate is an overachiever. They may even be the best in the business. For this reason, they will never be without a good opportunity. They will always have somewhere to call home in the world of employment. However, even dream candidates value job security to an extent and so prospective employers will need to work even harder to convince them to make a change.
It is tempting for employers to breathe a sigh of relief and return to recruitment strategies of the past, as I like to call it ‘Employer Blanding’. However, we must seek to be creative and truly strike a genuine and unique connection with future employees, remembering that if this connection is easy to make it is just as easy to break.
This post is part of our #TheReset series in association with Ulster Bank
If you would like to get involved in #TheReset, either as an individual or as part of an organisation, please do get in touch by emailing us at [email protected] or [email protected] with an idea for inclusion in a range of articles or events over September and October.