“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I will be watching you…”
Even though this is a song we all love, in trying times like these, the way companies treat their talent will define their talent brand for decades to come. Leadership views during uncertainty are noticed, needed, valued and will be remembered forever. Therefore, leaders must take control of their talent brands now.
Lately, I’ve been asked a lot whether employer brands would be affected when world economies hit a soft patch. Will there be a hiring freeze? Will there be a lot of downsizing? Here is my take.
- Blessing in Disguise: We have seen 2–3X increase in traffic on LinkedIn. Chances are that all social media platforms are experiencing it. We can also see that companies are slowly waking up and embracing digital marketing which was something that a lot of them struggled with in the past. The HR fraternity now understands the power of digital media.
- Critical Talent Still Remains in Demand:Job seekers have increased in number and only important roles are open for hire. The key to building a strong employer brand to attract the shrinking set of critical talent, which will continue to be imperative on your hiring requirements. Flab will be cut or ignored organically on its own. Employer branding strategies need to be more targeted and focused.
- Sectors With a New Ray of Hope:Agriculture, Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Health, E-commerce, Insurance and Consumer Tech sectors have become more relevant than they have ever been. These sectors are now open for employer brand professionals to make an impact when it matters the most.
- Talent Brand Over Employer Brand: Perhaps, this is the best time to reiterate the concept that our lot at TrueBlue Advisory have always believed in: talent experiences should take the lead over how companies want to project themselves. Hence, effective communication is the mantra that would truly pay off. Companies need to communicate more proactively and consistently. No one internally or externally is looking for answers. But they are looking for transparency like never before. So don’t be afraid to acknowledge the crisis that you’re in. Whatever the organisation’s stance and the new strategy is, do share it with your employees. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your mettle as an organisation. Let people know about your values and what you stand for when the going gets tough.
- Employee Experience >= Customer Experience:Talent is also in a soft patch where they’re struggling to manage both personal and professional needs. And all they expect from you is empathy. We also know that career pressure will only increase in the coming months. So, let’s choose to be empathetic to people who count on us!
- Candidate Experience Will Take the Forefront:It’s important to be transparent. If you are still hiring or building a talent pipeline, let the candidates know if your response time will be affected, if at all they will be considered for future roles or if the current role is frozen or doesn’t exist anymore. Remember, this was the biggest complaint that candidates have always had about employers — the black hole. This is the best time to fix it for good and set a new precedent from now.
- EVP Is the New MVP:This crisis is a litmus test for your organisation’s Employer Value Proposition (EVP). Every interaction can shape how employees view your company, culture and brand. Consider these times as opportunities to live up to your promise to your employees, which are defined through your EVP.
Last but not the least, plan for tomorrow, today. Maintaining employer brand and culture takes time, work and effort, especially in times of crisis. If you’re able to give it enough importance, you will be able to build an employer brand that is resilient and a culture that can withstand tough times.