Employer Branding in the Post-Covid Times – New Challenges

The Covid-19 pandemic has literally turned private and professional lives upside down, and both employees and employers faced unforeseen challenges from 2020 onwards. While many companies unflinchingly took advantage of the unexpected shift to the home office, other industries and companies strived to adapt. Read here what challenges pose searching for the top talents in these post-Covid times and how the proper employer branding and talent attraction strategies can help.
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    Employer Branding – Show Your Company’s Best Sides

    Even before the pandemic, building a strong employer brand was crucial to attracting the right talent to your company. But the pandemic-related changes in the job market increased the pressure to stand out from the plethora of companies while appearing authentic and attractive at the same time. Now more than ever, the war for talent is fierce, and companies have to contend for the attention of talent.

    Therefore, the main goal is to attract the right talent to your company. Post-pandemic times resonate as an important wake-up call for all companies to present their own history, core values, and mission and vision in a unique, engaging, and attractive way. Remember, appealing employer branding attracts the right applicants to the company.  

    Employer Branding - Show Your Company's Best Sides

    The Great Resignation – a Wide Range of Opportunities

    Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the shortage of skilled workers presented a significant challenge in several industries. However, many employees started to reconsider their jobs due to the pandemic and radical upheaval it brought to our personal and professional lives. Today’s workers are reevaluating their needs, wants and desires in their workplace.

    According to LinkedIn Business, this led many of them to apply for open positions internally within the company or even seek new opportunities externally. A study by the Pew Research Centre in the U.S. enumerates the main reasons for resignation according to the respondents that changed their jobs in 2021:

    • Low salary
    • Lack of growth opportunities and career advancement
    • Lack of respect and recognition of their achievements

    The majority of participants (61% to be exact) who quit their jobs in 2021 stated that finding new employment was easy and straightforward. Additionally, the majority of those respondents with a new job reported that quitting improved their professional lives in terms of salary, career advancement, or more flexible working schedules. Keep this information in mind as an incentive to observe how your company appears to the prospective candidates. An authentic and attractive employer brand will benefit your recruiting process and candidate pipeline. 

    Talent Attraction – Increase the Attractiveness of Your Company

    Recruiters worldwide know that the days when they could choose from an endless list of applicants belong to the past. Highly qualified workers are in high demand. It’s up to companies to showcase themselves skilfully and be attractive, interesting and appealing to the right talent with well thought out strategies and measures.

    To achieve all this, often, it is enough to make minor improvements to their existing application process: for example, changing the image or the text on the job ads on social media in a way it creates more interest and a broader reach to the prospecting employees.

    It is worth going through the existing recruiting process by putting yourself in the applicants’ shoes. For example, you can quickly check whether your career site is mobile-friendly, the application form is self-explanatory and straightforward, and if all the other touchpoints of the candidate journey need to be improved. 

    Employer Branding in the Post-Covid Times - New Challenges

    Define Your Candidate Persona

    Another challenge when searching for the right candidates is focusing on the right target group. As Startups Magazine points out in an article of theirs, the job market is currently compounded by four generations – and each of them has different requirements and expectations. While the so-called baby boomers often prefer part-time jobs to retirement, employees in their forties work part-time because they tend to focus on family needs. The shift to the home office during the pandemic taught us that, in many cases, it is easier to integrate a flexible working schedule into real life than fixed office hours from 9 am to 5 pm.

    Moreover, as Great Place to Work found out in a conversation with youth researcher Prof. Bernhard Heinzlmaier, young talents again prefer secure, permanent employment with a fair salary in times of crisis. They demand their employers to take care of their employees and show concern for their wellbeing. In return, the young generation of workers hit by the crises stays more loyal to their companies. This trend of applying for open positions in large, stable companies rather than in less established ones – or even in companies operating in the high-risk sectors – in times of crisis is also claimed by the European Employment Services.

    Furthermore, for both Millennials and Generation Z, identifying with the company culture is highly important. They require companies to offer learning and growth opportunities, stable work-life balance, and compatibility of personal and professional goals – reports Startups Magazine. Therefore, it is imperative to implement this information on different target groups and types of applicants into recruiting strategies to develop the correct approach to their candidate journey.

    The World of Work Stays Digital

    Alongside the working conditions mentioned above for attracting the top talents, some other changes in the workplace during the pandemic consolidated in the post-Covid times and are here to stay. A report published by Microsoft states that the shift to home office – triggered by the pandemic – has launched the further shift to hybrid working. This flexible work model involves part of the workforce working in-office again, while the rest of the employees work remotely from the home office – and it will stay long with us.

    In an independent survey, 70% of participating employees said they appreciated and benefited from the flexible work model. The Society for Human Resource Management instead warns of the lack of socialising that characterises remote work – while we as social beings need and seek personal interaction and contact with our peers. The flexible work model allows workers to decide by themselves whether and how often they work at home office or in-office with their colleagues. 

    However, this shift to remote work did not stop the recruiting process during the pandemic. Whereas before the pandemic, everybody would frown upon carrying on job interviews or even business meetings online. The European Employment Services reported that many recruiters even see positive sides in online job interviews. For example, they save both recruiters and candidates time and money on the application process and enable a faster and more efficient candidate journey.

    Employer Branding in the Post-Covid Times - New Challenges

    Conclusion

    The competition never sleeps – which is especially true for the war for talents. Companies should therefore prioritise improving their recruiting strategies – especially in these post-Covid times as the job market is forecast to recover. That is why you should take the following aspects to heart:

    Improve your employer brand to attract the right talent

    Check whether your employer brand is authentic and in line with your company culture. This is the only way to find talents who can identify with your corporate values and are genuinely interested in your organisation.

    Increase the attractiveness of your company

    Think carefully about when and how your candidates come in touch with your company during the candidate journey. If necessary, improve all these touchpoints individually by, for example, improving the job ad text or the landing page for the online application. 

    Have your target group firmly in mind

    You’ve enhanced your employer brand and reviewed your company’s working conditions. It is now crucial to knowingly focus on the desired target group you would like to be involved in the candidate journey. To do so, share your authentic company culture on those social media channels where your top talents spend their time.

    Offer flexible work schedule

    Over the past two years, all generations currently represented in the labour market have become familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of the hybrid working model that has become predominant in many industries. The majority of them would also like to maintain this flexible work schedule in the future. Meeting your talent’s needs will improve your relationships with them and do company culture good.

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