Good employer branding can reduce salary pressures

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The Scottish labor market has seen a further increase in hiring activity, according to the latest jobs report from the Royal Bank of Scotland, continuing the trend from the end of 2021.

Permanent vacancies in Scotland are growing faster than the UK average and the supply of candidates has been falling for eleven months. In the meantime, the lasting impact of Covid on the available workforce remains to be understood. Remote work means that where once the competition for candidates was limited by locality, the fight is now global.

In such an environment, Scottish employers are under pressure to raise advertised wages to attract needed workers and avoid the detrimental impact of long-standing vacancies on their businesses. This race to hire has resulted in fourteen consecutive months of increases in the average salary of permanent Scottish workers. During this period, the hourly rates of temporary workers also steadily increased.

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While this no doubt appeals to job seekers, such increases are not sustainable. An alternative is for candidates to choose an organization because of that company’s reputation, services and business style – what we call their “employer brand”.

Shaping how candidates perceive an organization through a clear articulation of why targeted candidates should work for a company rather than their competitor produces exponential improvements in hiring results. It can convince the best people to join and it allows an organization to reduce the need to compete on salary alone.

But what are the ingredients of these winning employer brands?

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An employer brand should reflect the true culture and values ​​of an organization. Employee review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed mean people can instantly see inaccurate claims about a company. Worse, organizations that hire under false pretences suffer greater attrition when the employee experience falls short of expectations.

With this in mind, communications should be authentic, but not rooted in the mundane. They should reflect the organization’s vision for the future and highlight the elements of the employee experience that are truly unique. It is only by differentiating themselves that organizations can hope to be perceived as employers of choice, and therefore lower the remuneration of new entrants.

Finally, although we talk about candidates as if they were a homogeneous group, the motivations and career priorities of employees will be different from one individual to another. Understanding why current employees show up for work every day can help identify how to attract different candidates and give you a head start in the race to get the best staff.

Jess Scarborough, employer branding and communications strategist at TMP UK, is a guest writer on behalf of s1jobs.

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