Employer branding is key in fight for talent

In the war for talent, HR professionals are not being equipped with one of the most important weapons in the recruitment armoury – employer branding.

An exclusive survey of 1,889 Personnel Today readers with responsibility for recruitment reveals that 95% of respondents believe employer branding is ‘important’ (Fig. A), with 80% saying that it will become even more so (Fig. B). And yet only 25% of those surveyed have responsibility for employer branding (Fig. C).




Many senior HR professionals said they were trying to make their organisation an ‘employer of choice’ in the face of low unemployment and skills shortages.

One said: “There is so much competition for good candidates, those with a good employer brand will be able to pick and choose from the best candidates.” And another added: “People are becoming more inclined to look for roles where the organisation’s values are aligned with their own.”

Recruitment remains the preserve of the HR department. Indeed, the number of people in HR with responsibility for recruiting is increasing (Fig. D).


The proportion of jobs being filled by both internal and external recruitment advertising is on the decline, while recruitment consultancies are filling a greater share of the vacancies (Fig. E). But the biggest change to the recruitment landscape has been the development of the internet.


Three-quarters of respondents agree that it has changed the way their organisations approach recruitment (Fig. F).


But while much of this can be attributed to the growth of online media and jobs boards, survey respondents claim that the fastest growing medium over the next two years will be their companies’ own websites.

Seventy-six per cent plan to use their company websites more for recruitment purposes. Local and national newspapers will be the losers, with 23% and 37% (respectively) of respondents planning to use them less for job ads.

One respondent summed up the general mood: “I intend to get our website working efficiently to attract candidates without agency or advertising fees attached.”

Despite respondents’ clear interest in the cost of recruitment, only 6% said their companies had a cost-per-hire target. The average cost-per-hire is measured, however, and stands at £2,773 (£3,175 among organisations with more than 10,000 employees).

And HR departments are increasingly finding that the return on investment from their recruitment spending is being measured (Fig G).

That investment will be channelled into a number of areas, but principally it will go to employee retention schemes, followed by developing in-house recruitment websites and improving employer branding (Fig. H).



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