Talent attraction and retention remain significant challenges across India Inc. The combined impact of post-pandemic evolution in how we work and the rapidly changing skills demand today have made companies wary of their hiring efforts.
In the latest research by Keka and People Matters, respondents highlighted Talent Acquisition and Retention as among their top challenges for the year. A recent WTW report highlighting this rise in hiring concerns noted that in 2022, over 78% of companies prioritised recruitment efforts. This was closely followed by retention of talent at 68%. The survey also revealed that over 85% of companies found attracting and retaining talent in the digital space difficult.
For SMEs, talent challenges are further compounded by funding challenges and often broken HR processes. While technology has become a great enabler, its apt and contextual usage can help the SME sector build more impactful ways to hire, engage, and retain talent.
The recently launched People Matters and Keka ebook Employer Branding Reimagined explored significant challenges to employer branding in the post-pandemic world and provided SMEs with a handy guide on addressing employer branding issues and revamping branding efforts.
Growing importance of employer branding
Defined as the creation, management, and acceleration of your company's reputation as an employer of choice, the practice of employer branding today plays a pivotal role in ensuring companies can hire, engage, and retain top talent. With the rise of digital platforms, employees have built new ways to connect and collaborate. As a result, the new hybrid world of work requires more robust employer branding efforts that are continuous and impactful in creating the right connections with prospective candidates and current employees.
The need for qualified talent holds across sectors, and it's a problem that has been accentuated in the post-pandemic era. For SMEs, this has meant eyeing top talent that can accelerate growth and support sustained productivity. Again, employer branding and being able to create and showcase the right work culture go a long way in helping SMEs win the war for talent.
In a concept borrowed from customer branding activities, investing in resources and structures that enable a strong employer brand plays a significant role in enabling SMEs to attract the right talent. By creating a strong identity for organisations as they win over employees and candidates based on principles similar to customer engagement and customer experience.
"To hire and retain talent, HR must promote employee sensitivity and build an employee-friendly work culture. For example, respect for work-life balance is ensured with proper practices and by setting examples of a great culture. A lot of effort is required to emerge as someone who cares for employees," noted Awasthi, Head of HR, Delta Tech Gaming Pvt. Ltd.
To create a strong employer brand is to go beyond simple brand recognition; it has to create a more meaningful connection now. Employer branding efforts must be backed by a compelling promise and purpose, helping connect employees to prospects and growth opportunities. Aspects that SMEs can significantly improve by using the right technologies.
Role of Digital Transformation
As companies find newer ways to grow and remain productive, many have realised the importance of talent and thus are investing heavily in improving their talent management capabilities. This rise in tech transformation has also led to HR leaders refiguring their roles. A report by PwC reveals that 96% of HR leaders see the role of HR moving away from being just a service provider to focusing more on being employee experience designers, change agents and talent developers. This also enables them to focus on building a strong employer brand.
But as changes, companies build future-looking practices to ensure they can attract, hire, and retain necessary talent. So for SMEs, it's crucial to restructure employer branding efforts to ensure the better success of their hiring and retention efforts.
HR Technology's successful use to improve the human experience is the key to developing a strong employer brand for SMEs. In addition, strong employer branding requires a consistent presence across multiple platforms, a proactive communication approach, and an organisational ability to support changing employee preferences like career growth opportunities. SMEs can significantly improve these aspects through a tech-enabled branding strategy.
From restructuring branding efforts to ensuring robust employee experience and streamlined recruitment marketing strategies, digital tools and technologies play a significant role in ensuring SMEs can hire, engage and retain their talent. While the sector faces many hurdles, it can significantly improve its people practices with the right and prudent usage of digital HR tools and technologies.
Learn more about digital engagement tools that helped SMEs to create better employee experience in the latest People Matters and Keka ebook on revamping employer brand.