New candidate survey from ManpowerGroup Solutions finds company brand key to attracting top talent

ManpowerGroupManpowerGroup Solutions, the world’s largest RPO provider, today released an insights paper, “If You Build It, They Will Come: The New Role of Employer Brand,” based on new research into candidate preferences, behaviors and motivators. The report finds one in four job seekers consider company reputation a driving factor when making career decisions and urges employers to implement new strategies to better engage talent with the company’s mission.

The survey of more than 200 U.S. job seekers shows candidates are increasingly seeking employers with a clear corporate identity and positive reputation. Brand reputation is now as important as type of work and pay when it comes to a candidate’s motivation.

“Employer brand is an increasingly powerful tool for creating competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. HR professionals that can draw out the uniqueness of their company’s brand and reinforce a compelling dialogue with candidates, but also current employees, will find top recruits heading straight to them – creating a robust talent pipeline for filling present and future positions within the organization,” said Lisa Schiller, vice president of client delivery, ManpowerGroup Solutions RPO.

The survey also highlighted the power of a tool that is often underestimated: the company website. When seeking information about prospective employers, candidates use corporate sites three times more (86%) than social media networks or news outlets (27%). Company websites are a critical component of brand development, with 36% of job seekers citing detailed company information, job opportunity and compensation as the most valuable information. If companies are serious about attracting the best talent then they must ensure their website is dynamic and content-driven.

Key Survey Findings: 

  • Nearly nine out of 10 candidates still use company websites as their primary source of information about a prospective employer. Search engine results (52%) and peers (45%) ranked second and third, respectively.
  • Nearly one-third of candidates used social media networking to gather information about an organization or open position. The most popular websites for this activity included Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Face-to-face interviews are still the preferred form (72%) of connection with potential employers, followed by phone screenings (16%), group interviews (8%) and Skype interviews (2%).
  • Instagram also emerged as a new tool for 15% of job seekers — especially among respondents comfortable with video technology.

Based on these findings, ManpowerGroup Solutions offers steps to guide employers when building their employee brand. The top three are:

  1. Be candidate-centric: think like a marketer and know your candidate by accounting for their unique motivators, needs and life stages.
  2. Be authentic: establishing an emotional connection is what will set an employer apart, so be spontaneous and avoid the impulse to control what brand ambassadors say and do on social media.
  3. Be consistent: create marketing guidelines for recruiters so they know what messages to impart about the company and speak with one voice when addressing candidates.

“At a time when 50% of U.S. employees do not believe their employer to be open or honest, employers must understand the importance of building a brand based on trust and mutual respect,” said Schiller. “Employers must seize the opportunity to be bold, authentic and consistent across all platforms to attract and retain the best talent of tomorrow.”

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