Mission-driven organizations can be surprised to suddenly find themselves struggling with employee recruitment and retention. (Wasn't it just yesterday that marketing was the challenge?) For years, being in the social good sector all but guaranteed you could attract and keep like-minded employees. But today, you need to support what is known as your 'employer brand' if you want to attract the talent you need to advance your mission. Let's look at why and how to build a strong employer brand.
Why You Need a Strong Employer Brand
Interest has surged since the concept of an employer brand as a competitive advantage was first introduced in the 1990’s. Because in many fields demographic trends and a widespread disconnect between HR and marketing have combined to make employee recruitment a growing challenge, today you need to consider your employer brand on par with your general corporate brand reputation and your value proposition to customers.
Your employer brand helps you attract, hire and retain great talent in a competitive hiring market.
A Growing Challenge
The aging workforce presents a challenge — and an opportunity. Industry Week reported the retirement of skilled baby boomers over the next five to 15 years will create the need for an estimated 10 million new workers by 2020. U.S. Census Bureau statistics show the number of U.S. people age 55 and older will increase 73 percent by 2020, while the number of younger workers will grow only 5 percent. Bottom line, employees are leaving the workforce faster than qualified workers are being hired to replace them. Let's look at three sectors facing an especially daunting challenge.
More than half of all registered nurses are over the age of 50 and are among the 78 million baby boomers nearing retirement. “The departure of such a large cohort of experienced RNs from the workforce means that patient care settings and other organizations that depend on RNs will face a significant loss of nursing knowledge and expertise that will be felt for many years to come.” (Source)
Number of Years of Experience Lost to the Registered Nurse Workforce, 1979-2030
The importance of the manufacturing sector to our economic prosperity is well-recognized, though the proportion of manufacturing workers in the workforce has been on a steady decline. And at the same time manufacturers report increasing difficulty recruiting workers with the necessary technology skills to operate today’s manufacturing equipment, public perceptions leave many Americans reluctant to choose manufacturing as a career.
Everybody uses computers now and businesses rely heavily on technology of all kinds, so demand for computer and IT services and jobs will continue to grow quickly. Companies providing software development, IT infrastructure and computer systems design and management – services that are ubiquitous across industries today— will continue to see strong growth opportunities and a talent acquisition challenge. SMBs in other sectors who need to hire a few computer whizzes to support their core operations will find it increasingly difficult to compete for talent with these specialized technology companies.
Marketing Strategies for Recruitment Challenges
Recruitment marketing strategies are proven to be effective in attracting, engaging and hiring the best talent. Recruitment marketing strategies are also the best way to build and expand your talent pool with candidates for current and future hiring needs.
Our mission-driven client organizations are often reluctant marketers and excessively humble about their employment practices and positive workplace environment. In today's tight labor markets, this humility is counterproductive.
Think of your employer brand as your reputation for hiring and workplace practices, times your visibility.
A few basic questions to ask yourself:
- Are current employees featured on your website?
- Do prospective workers see themselves on your site in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, interests?
- Is there a clear statement of mission, principles or values in the About section of your site?
- Are job openings posted first internally and then on your site before being advertised?
- Have your job descriptions and ads been screened for gender bias?
- Is your hiring process described so candidates know what to expect?
- Is there a general statement about benefits and workplace culture?
- Are you active on social media where your candidates are active — beyond the big three (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)?
- Are online application submissions acknowledged promptly, and throughout the process?
Action Plan for Improving Your Employer Marketing
To learn more about how marketing can make your company more visible and attractive to skilled workers and help your recruiting efforts, schedule a 30-minute consultation with Marketing Partners.
2017 US Perception of the Manufacturing Industry (Deloitte, Manufacturing Institute, National Association of Manufacturers)
How Should We Prepare For The Wave of Retiring Baby Boomer Nurses? (Health Affairs)
The U.S. Is Running Out of Nurses (The Atlantic)
Addressing the Skilled-Labor Shortage Problem in Manufacturing (Industry Week)
The Fastest-Growing Jobs for 2016–2026 (The Balance)