Over the past decade, the talent landscape has been challenged by emerging technologies, evolving workplace expectations, and the constantly changing definition of work and the work environment. Thanks to digital transformation, 'employee experience' has been a focus for businesses like never before. And, the ongoing disruptions have only compounded the need for remote leadership and consistent employee engagement.
To dive deeper into how organizations are creating a better employee experience to influence their employees, how leaders are reworking their talent marketing strategies, and to understand the current employer branding trends, People Matters, in partnership with IT By Design (ITBD), conducted a thought-provoking discussion on “Changing dynamics of Employer Branding in the IT space” and obtained actionable insights for the HR community. The discussion was shared through a LinkedIn Live session, led by Sunny Kaila, Founder and Global CEO of ITBD, and Subir Verma, HR Head, Tata Power.
The changing face of employer branding in the IT industry
With hundreds of thousands of young professionals joining the industry each year, organizations in the IT domain need to cater to a focused and specialized demographic. Sunny Kaila, Founder and Global CEO of ITBD explains, “The modern-day employee expects more from their work and wants it to align with their own purpose.” These expectations also change with new trends and technologies, making it more challenging to provide relevant growth and learning opportunities. Thus, no matter the size of the organization, IT companies must recalibrate their employer brand by accommodating and considering some of the following changes:
- Changing work pattern: Offering flexibility and a hybrid workplace to allow remote workers the comfort of their home and native cities
- New formats of employment: Engaging and hiring freelancers and gig workers at par with the full-time talent
- Diversity: Ensuring a diverse workforce by increasing the participation of different cultures and communities
- Personalized communication: Using digital tools to appeal to talent in a personalized manner, speaking their language
Whether it is using the potential of social media platforms to reach out to relevant candidates or supporting job fairs and walk-in interviews digitally, organizations need to redesign their processes for the new normal.
To position themselves as a young, dynamic employer brand, organizations such as IT By Design (ITBD) have been focusing on finding the talent on the right platform with the help of personalized content. ITBD curates weekly leadership content, including experts-led career talks and blogs, to showcase its "sharing is caring" talent philosophy. This valuable content is available for free on the company’s talent-focused website. Educational content is also made free for tech enthusiasts via "talent newsletter" sign-ups.
Successful employer branding practices that deliver results
Most organizations make the mistake of focusing too much on technology rather than making their employer brand message people-centric. Everyone essentially works to achieve the freedom of time, money, relationships, and purpose. Understandably, appealing to that universal emotion in messaging always results in long-term success.
Kaila says, “By creating a community-driven culture at the workplace, organizations will no longer need to advertise themselves, as their employees' personal experiences and career growth journeys will be inspirational enough to attract the right talent.”
The fact that a strong employer brand can cut the cost per hire by up to 50% should encourage employers to focus on turning happy employees into employer brand ambassadors.
Subir Verma, HR Head, Tata Power explains further, “Imagine the employer brand to be a promise that must be upheld at all times. This promise is tested particularly during times of disruption, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, wherein everyone is experiencing uncertainty.”
Many organizations in the IT industry, such as ITBD, have provided their employees with the security, stability, and flexibility needed to get through existing challenges. By ensuring the wellness and health of their workforce, these organizations have established an 'employee first' culture and strengthened their employer brand from the inside out.
How to achieve employer branding goals
Kaila says that businesses should focus on building a culture of authentic successes, flexibility and care. “Remember, employees won’t remember what business values their organizations had, but how they felt working at a certain place during a crisis. So, walk the talk and care for employees when they are struggling, get them access to the needed resources and support them in their journey, offer them meaningful work and the freedom to find their purpose.”
Verma further adds that organizations must also make efforts to build the right perception by communicating successes. “An employer’s brand is a combination of reality and perception, and how the intended audience views a workplace is critical.” This includes using the right channels to spread the relevant content and demonstrating a commitment to the company's core values. “There shouldn't be a conflict in the internal and external world. The employer brand perception should match the day-to-day reality of working with the same employer. That’s the only way to ensure a sustainable, durable, and authentic employer brand,” Kaila sums up.
The impact of COVID-19 on employer branding
Naturally, employer branding has been impacted by the changes in how we work and propelled by the pandemic. The same challenges have also given organizations opportunities to redesign their processes and rethink their talent strategies. This explains why many organizations in the IT industry and beyond ensured that their employees stayed safe, productive, and positive throughout the crisis and rolled out new policies and programs to support the health and safety of the employees.
The way ahead for organizations to manage future disruptions starts with hiring the right talent and then giving them opportunities to innovate and to succeed. In the midst of a once-in-a-century humanitarian challenge, organizations must also continue to remind their employees that their safety and well-being are their first-most priority. By establishing a culture of authentic care, and compassion, organizations can build an effortlessly attractive employer brand. Remember, keeping up with the changing workplace dynamics is not only important for employer branding but also imperative for business continuity and sustainable growth in the post-COVID-19 economy.
(This article is based on the session “Changing dynamics of Employer Branding in the IT space,” featuring a conversation between Sunny Kaila, Founder and Global CEO of IT By Design, and Subir Verma, HR Head, Tata Power, on May 19th, 2021)