It is worth considering which aspects of HR and Employer Branding will be crucial for employers in the coming months or quarters.
Contrary to initial assumptions that the market will drastically change to one where employers choose from among many fantastic candidates and CVs flow into their funnels with the force of a waterfall. The crisis caused by the pandemic showed us a completely different reality. Our Administrative Director, Paulina Węgierski reveals how employer branding looks like nowadays.
Two stages of the events
The first one, in which our social media was flooded with a wave of posts such as: “the consequences of the pandemic got me too #JobHunt”. We watched with great joy how we can unite in difficult times and support each other and recommend companies that have not stopped recruiting. By participating in this process and recommending my friends to organizations, I can say with full satisfaction that each of them received a satisfactory offer within a few weeks.
The second stage – in which, in my opinion, we are at the moment – concerns people who, before the pandemic, considered changing their workplace, but gave up this idea, again appreciating the stability of their employer and resistance to market turmoil, or decided to postpone their plans for a more peaceful future. The next group, the most affected, are employees of the entertainment, catering and service industries. These are, to a large extent, people applying for almost every available offer, hoping for a stroke of luck – that perhaps in another industry someone will see their potential and help them get out of a difficult life situation. On the third hand, we have employers who are looking for a way to reach the best candidates and convince them to decide to change jobs by ensuring the security of their future in the event of the closure of public life.
Employer Branding nowadays
In this situation, do we need Employer Branding? Since employees no longer give notice, they diligently perform their duties, make sure that the boss appreciates their involvement while working remotely and is sure that they are necessary for his organization? Definitely yes. We cannot be sure what our near future will look like. We should learn from each situation and strive to holistically build security and a sense of stability within our team as an employer, and to present ourselves on the market in the same way to new candidates.
It is understandable that business owners are withdrawing incentive and marketing budgets aimed at promoting the company on the labor market. However, there are many cost-effective ways to achieve this. goals that organizations implement. An example of such activities is the verification of the team’s needs and transparent, open communication. “At the moment, our company cannot afford to keep both the salary at the current level and all the benefits. For the sake of the entire team, we have decided to suspend non-wage benefits so that salaries remain unchanged.
Many employers were forced to cut wages and reduce the number of jobs. This also requires a transparent message and an explanation: “The reduction in wages results from the difficult situation in the country and the world, and is currently the only solution that can prevent us from making redundancies. We will keep you updated on the company’s condition and restore salaries as soon as possible.” For many, this seems obvious and banal. Unfortunately, for many companies this turned out to be an insurmountable obstacle. Employees were left with the message: “As of today, wages will be reduced by 30 percent, until further notice. Some people have not received another piece of information until today – how long will the current situation last? What must happen for my salary to return to normal?
We should learn from each situation and strive to holistically build security and a sense of stability within our team as an employer, and to present ourselves on the market in the same way to new candidates.
Such and similar cases cause an internal conflict in the employee – “I have to accept the given state of affairs, because I have no other choice. What if I change jobs and do not survive the trial period, or the epidemic returns and I completely lose my job in the new place? But I don’t want to work here for 70 percent of the salary, I have two children and a mortgage, and my partner has been given a notice.” Another aspect worth mentioning in this topic is the attempts by employers to use the pandemic to build savings at the expense of lowering wages under the pretext of the impending crisis. As a person responsible for Employer Branding, I say firmly “No!” similar activities. Business honesty in the employer-employee relationship is one of the key aspects of building trust and mutual attachment.
Looking for positives
The crisis also had a positive impact on Employer Branding activities. How many people consider free life insurance from their employer as standard or even their obligation? Plenty. Similarly with other benefits offered, which tempt candidates. Suddenly they turned out to be extremely important and especially appreciated. I think the time has come when our racing with “wow” effects, spectacular events, mass-produced gadgets and the like will be calmed down and focused on important things. Not for me or for employers. For employees.
It is worth asking those most interested what they need at this moment. If your organization has reduced salaries for some time, maybe the right direction would be to provide year-end bonuses or thirteenth paycheck instead of fruit Tuesdays and collective Thursday breakfasts? Maybe the employee will appreciate the extension of the notice period or the additional 3 days of vacation in a given year instead of a new batch of notebooks with a beautifully engraved company logo? I am convinced that the package of services and activities tailored to the team will be crucial for the success of internal activities.
Beeing a good employer
We live in an era of instant information flow. We have already seen the strength of the social media sphere and recommendations provided by friends. It is not a discovery that this trend is worth taking advantage of. The challenge is to be an employer that encourages similar activities. We will be able to talk about the success and effects of the steps taken when the number of applications from this source actually increases. It means BEING a good employer, not just pretending to be one – follow the needs of our team, provide them with space to share their thoughts, opinions and tips, listen to them and gradually implement them.
How we feel at work matters to each of us. It is worth taking care of integration at a time when we are separated by remote work, and tasks are not always completed within the set deadlines. We have countless possibilities, e.g. organize a competition in which the prize is a voucher, or a package delivered to the door of the house, maintain constant communication with the entire team about news and plans for the coming weeks.
It means BEING a good employer, not just pretending to be one
How we do it
At Raisead Holding, we offered our associates free support in obtaining funding related to the “anti-crisis shield” and explained the principles of its operation. We ensured the possibility of complete remote work. Also in the current – transitional period – everyone has the opportunity to choose whether they want to appear in the office, depending on how confident they feel about the situation. Based on our periodic survey, we have introduced the desired improvements in the teams, and we systematically respond to reported needs.
We attach great importance to informing about any changes on a current basis, we redirect funds to the most demanding areas and having the greatest impact on the positive reception of our team. For the coming weeks, we have planned the first charity event – due to the house cleaning popular at home, we encourage everyone to collect unused clothes and blankets to donate to those most in need. We expect an impressive amount. In our calendar, we already have upcoming internal events, such as a chocolate competition for sweet words about the company, which will allow us to collect what is actually appreciated in our activities, and at the same time will provide positive emotions.
We make every effort to open up even more to every person in the company, encouraging meetings with our HRBP, sharing concerns, questions and doubts. Only through the feedback we collect will we be able to respond to the changing situation. We are fully aware that without trust we will never know what the potential reasons for dissatisfaction with our work may be.
I am glad that I can work in an organization that wants to see through the prism of each staff member and knows that it will have a huge impact on its future.