Employer Branding: Boardroom Buzzword or Just BS?

2019 was a candidate-driven market for employers and HR pros. The US economy was strong, consumer confidence was high, and investors were cautiously optimistic. Top talent had the education and experience to be more selective than ever about their jobs. Concepts like workplace wellness and employer branding came to the forefront of recruiting. 

But all things come to an end.

  • 2020’s concerns about a global Coronavirus pandemic and an oil price war raging between Russia and Saudi oil producers brought the US economy to a screeching halt.
  • Stock markets tanked, and the price of oil dropped well below $30 / gallon for the first time in twenty years.
  • Businesses shuttered their doors quickly, travel and service industries were hit particularly hard by quarantines and a drop in foot traffic. 

Moving forward, we wonder if employer branding will be material in the near future, or if staff will be chasing any paycheck possible. Is employer branding still worthy of being a boardroom buzzword? Or is it just BS?

What is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the reputation your organization has among employees. It describes the workplace environment, management skills of supervisors, and the value your business places on staff.

It’s affected positively and negatively by:

  • workplace wellness programs, like “mental health days” or discount gym memberships for employees
  • media coverage about your business, whether it’s “good press” or bad
  • the flexibility of your supervisory staff
  • and other unique features about the positions you need to fill, like quality training and competitive wages

Back in 2019, when you were looking to recruit and retain top talent, all those factors played a part in the type of recruits you would get for a job advertisement.

  • But as we move forward in 2020, this is going to change.
  • If we were in real estate we might call it a seller’s market.
  • Recent upheavals in the job market mean more competition for available jobs.
  • Employees will be more likely to take any job that pays the bills for now and look to move up in an organization later.

The talent acquisition game has been turned on its head in a matter of weeks!

Coronavirus Concerns and Social Distancing Caused Unemployment to Jump in March 2020

Coming from a great year, with historic lows in unemployment around 3.6 percent, the stock market crash and Coronavirus concerns caused US unemployment claims to spike to 33% within a matter of weeks. 

  • This is the sharpest rise in US unemployment since the historic Great Depression

For the businesses that weather the storm, the talent pool will be bubbling over with eager and experienced staffers who are ready to work. We suspect these recruits will be less interested in the workplace perks that were craved in 2019, and merely eager to earn a living with their skills. 

Will Employer Branding Matter Six Months From Now?

We think so! None of us have a crystal ball or the ability to gaze six months or a year into the future. However, we do know that technology is here to stay. We believe the recruits of Fall / Winter 2020 will be spending their time combing every possible resource for work like:

Our Role at Ratedly

At Ratedly our goal is to monitor your employer branding. We’ll keep a finger on the pulse of what your employees are saying about YOU. We follow more than twenty anonymous employee review sites in real time, so we can be sure your reputation is strong enough to attract and retain the best staff now or six months from now. Contact us to learn more about the app today!