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Three trends HR teams must know about employer branding in 2018


This year’s Employer Branding Now report by Universum Global reveals more companies realise the importance of aligning their employer value proposition (EVP) with the companies’ mission and vision, core values and HR/talent strategy.

Companies, regardless of their size have shifted focus to ‘inspiring purpose’ and ‘innovation’ in their EVP as part of their employer branding strategy.

As the war for talent continues, greater focus has been put to innovation and brand differentiation. Increasingly larger companies have put employer branding among their top priorities when it comes to HR and talent management for the coming year.

Building purposeful brands

Commenting on the geographical differences in attracting young talents, William Wu, Universum’s vice president for Asia Pacific, pointed out that ‘inspiring purpose’ is one of the top attraction drivers among young talent in the USA and China.

The recent economic development in China has provided local talent with fantastic career opportunities. According to Wu traditional perks like attractive salaries, benefits, training and advancement opportunities are no longer the only key attraction factors to Chinese talents. “Right now younger generations in China, much like their peers from the UK and North America, pay equally as much attention to the ‘softer’ elements like purpose, culture, CSR, innovation and work environment,” said Wu.

The report also found that many Chinese employers are setting themselves apart from their competitors by sharing stories and talking about their “companies' purpose”, which is also the most common key quality defined in the EVPs among the World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAEs).

The use of social media and video content

Other than employer branding, the report also provided insight into the growing trends of social media and AI driven recruitment.

Similar to last year’s findings, social media remains the most invested channel among employers to access talent, followed closely by digital advertising.

The report pointed out that 70% of WMAEs (compared to 63% last year) are investing heavily in video as a critical channel to reach young employees. As Gen Z, who is known for their love for video content, start to enter the workforce in the coming years. They have markedly different viewing habits and expectations as found in the survey, and companies may experiment with new video platforms targeted to the youngest generation, such as Snapchat or Twitch.

AI driven recruitment

Companies of all sizes indicated there would be an increase in AI investment as it has massive potential in finding the right candidates by sweeping through massive datasets and identifying candidates to match particular roles. WMAEs are largely optimistic about AI, although the rest of the companies expressed lower enthusiasm, evidently due to a lack of knowledge about it.

“We have seen a number of companies like Unilever making bold moves in the application of AI to their recruitment marketing, and expect many others to follow given the reported success of many of these innovative new practices in driving both cost efficiency, candidate engagement and diversity,” said Global Head of Strategy, Richard Mosley.

The findings from this year’s Employer Branding Now report were based on the opinions of over 1000 HR managers, marketing managers, talent acquisition, recruiting and resourcing managers from 41 different countries.

ALSO READ: Employer branding around the world

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