Employer Branding and Employer Attractiveness: Between Skills Shortage and Digitalization

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In less than ten percent of the German Company The shortage of skilled workers is a topic, in more than 40 percent of companies, this condition is felt in many areas, sometimes even massive. In order to be able to draw attention to the desired applicants, new ways must be taken in recruiting, a holistic employer branding seems the answer to the most pressing questions after the "how?". A supposed patent solution that requires activity and rethinking in many areas.

Employer branding and employer attractiveness: Between a shortage of skilled workers and the pressure to digitize Employer branding and employer attractiveness: Between a shortage of skilled workers and the pressure to digitize

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Marco Ebeling is an online editor with a focus on careers and HR topics.


HR issues: When skilled workers are lacking

The above figures are from the latest KOFA study, overwritten with "How companies find employees despite a shortage of skilled workers", This investigation was the result of a cooperation between the competence center for skilled workers (KOFA), the job page Indeed and the journal Human Resource Management.

The results of the company surveys show once again how urgent the question of possibilities of more efficient recruiting still is. On the other hand, they show in the same way that in many places the measures for personnel planning do not meet the acute need for qualified employees.

How do companies win in the War for Talents?

I would like to clarify this once again:

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  • Of the companies that claim to be affected by a shortage of skilled workers, 49 percent are trying to solve the problem with strategic personnel planning.
  • In companies where the shortage of skilled labor is not or is not a big issue, only a little more than one-third (36 percent) is planned with foresight in order to fall behind in terms of staffing levels.

Overall, the importance of recruiting has increased in recent years against the background of greater competition for employees. This can be read by the increasing number of employees in recruiting. Because those companies that need to be more focused on recruiting out of necessity, as well as those who are not (yet) affected by the shortage of skilled labor, have a stronger position in this area, so the bottom line is 54 percent The interviewed companies occupied the recruiting departments with more staff.

Is employer branding really the way to success?

Nevertheless, the question remains as to which concrete measures companies are taking to find future employees. Which will be followed by the next question: Is an employer branding, which is geared exactly to the desired target group, really the way to personal success? The KOFA study has a very clear answer to this question: A large majority (76 percent) of German companies were able to make good and sometimes even very good experiences with the help of an elaborated employer branding.

Apart from that, the good positioning towards the competition and presentation to potential new employees is also important against the background that the career path for the applicants is rarely clearly predetermined.

Applicants: There is no employer of choice

According to findings of the consulting company Employer Telling there is no such thing as the "Employer of Choice"that is, the desired employer, to which it prefers the candidates. The responding market research institute respondi was able to determine that just over 70 percent of the participants stated that they did not have a desirable employer.

By contrast, the remaining 30 percent accounted for very different entries. At the top: Google, BMW and the public service. Overall, however, the distribution of the named, preferred employers was so wide that even frequent entries only produced results of just over one percent. Even for large corporations, there is still room for maneuver to put themselves in the right light with targeted employer branding.

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Employer branding: where companies can start

However, there are differences in where and by what means companies pursue this approach, as the KOFA study reveals. This can be observed, for example, when dealing with so-called "bottleneck talents", which are thus sought with high urgency for the company.

For these, both special monetary and non-monetary benefits are among the incentives for recruiting, but:

  • As common as this measure may be, it communicates in public, for example by corresponding information on the career page Of the company, financial benefits and additional benefits are only available to a quarter of businesses.
  • Otherwise, the staff members only put their cards on the table in the first personal meeting (41 percent), in the follow-up meeting (20 percent) or in general only on request from the candidate (13 percent).

It should be noted, however, that the urgency is also an indicator of whether special services are made public or not: Companies with skills shortages do this about three times as often as companies whose staffing situation is less tense (30 percent to 11 percent).

Employer: Achieve more visibility among applicants

According to the investigations that the Special topic "Employer Branding" The Center for Human Resources Information Systems (CHRIS) does not include any special financial allowances or benefits but even the most common measures. The study, commissioned by the job portal Monster in cooperation with the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg and the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, presents a different picture of the employer branding measures of the largest German companies:

  • As an important tool to bring your own company more or less into the perception of the applicants, among other things, the cooperation with universities and schools is considered.
  • This is followed by the provision of a career website that explicitly addresses the target audience as well as efforts to achieve a holistic, positive candidate experience.

The stronger focus on social media is also an issue in companies. Almost 78 percent even believe that the ability for applicants to find out about a potential employer there or on the Internet in general, requires a rethink in employer branding. Among other things, this means focusing more on the target groups.

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Employee blogs instead of image movies

However, there is a lot of catching up to do here: blogs in which the employees themselves can report on their daily work or in which, even more specifically, former applicants talk about their experiences with the application process rank far behind in the measures to increase attractiveness, with a share of less than 30 percent.

By contrast, just under 62 percent of the surveyed applicants believe that this is precisely what makes them more attractive as an employer. Thus, the employee blogs are still in the middle, but at least clearly before corporate films for social media, of which 60 percent of companies (Applicants: 44,6 percent) hope for a boost.

Candidate Experience: The company from the point of view of the target group

However, the necessary change of perspective seems difficult for many companies. This is particularly clear from the answers given by the candidates for the CHRIS study regarding their suggestions for improvement from the employer. Because even if there is no employer of choice, at least very clear ideas as to how the future employer should be.

Among the top answers are surprisingly many who count the experts as the "basic features": With 70,5 percent, the candidates see the salaries, for example, the greatest need for improvement and the desire for a good working atmosphere (64,4 percent) is apparently still too rarely fulfilled.

Employer Attractiveness: What Does a Company Offer?

Above and beyond this, it is above all the services offered that can make a decisive contribution to employer attractiveness:

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  • Good career and training opportunities are among the factors that are high on the applicant's wish list (68 or 67,6 percent).
  • Close behind: A secure job (61 percent), which at the same time enables a sufficient work-life balance (62 percent).

In contrast, in many areas that are commonly believed to be of great importance to the new generation of employees, surveyed applicants see less room for improvement, such as flat hierarchies (48,9 percent), the ability to work from the home office ( 53,8 percent) or the offer of flexible working time models (56,6 percent).

Different applicants, different wishes

However, it remains questionable how valuable and meaningful these results are, as there are differences between individual studies. For example, the online portal meinestadt.de has one in common with the University of Kaiserslautern among non-academic professionals Survey conducted on the expectations of the employer.

The result: security aspects (secure workplace, 63,7 percent) are clearly ahead of promotion opportunities (23,1 percent), a punctual salary payment (60,3 percent) is preferred to a higher than average salary (20,2 percent). This coincides in part with the Results of the Randstad Employer Brand Research studyin which occupational safety is considered almost identical, while an attractive salary in the course of this survey has a similar high priority (63 percent).

Candidate selection: It depends on the right target group

What would actually be underlined just how important it is for companies in the employee search, to get a clear idea of ​​the target group, they want to turn to. Thereafter, the measures for employer branding should be designed and designed and set in the appropriate places.

While the generation of digital natives fast digital communication processes already in the course of application expected, such aspects may play a secondary role for experienced professionals. Employer branding is not so much about what the company is looking for, but what the applicants are looking for with their prospective new employer. The companies will have to orient themselves even more in the future.

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  1. Margaretta Schepers

    Nicely presented - I will soon familiarize myself a little more with the topic.

  2. Nadene Copeman

    Excellent! You really do not need more words to describe this blog.

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