While European economies struggle with high unemployment (for example, Spain with unemployment around 22 per cent and Greece with 21 per cent), Singapore has the opposite challenge — a tight labour market.

With an unemployment rate of 2 per cent and ambitions to grow productivity by 2 to 3 per cent annually by 2020, Singapore is experiencing major labour market challenges.

Randstad’s 2011/12 World of Work report found that a third of business leaders in Singapore said the challenge for the year ahead was attracting top talent. But in this market, the competition is intense, with wage pressure also becoming an issue in terms of finding and securing quality employees.

For businesses and industries that must compete with higher paying industries for talent, the next best option is to build and develop an attractive employer brand.

Randstad research shows that remuneration is not always the deciding factor for jobseekers when choosing the best employer. 

Employees also want to join a strong company culture led by leaders who communicate a clear vision. They want professional development opportunities, and they also want career progression.

These are all part of what makes up an employer brand. But what is employer branding? Is it just jargon or does it have real meaning?

Employer branding

Employer branding is the messaging that positions your organisation as an employer of choice and fosters brand loyalty. Developing a strong employer brand is fundamental to attracting and securing talent, but even more so in Singapore’s skills-short marketplace.

Employer branding helps organisations build an emotional connection with jobseekers and employees, resulting in higher levels of engagement, which in turn enable the attraction and retention of leading talent.

At the simplest level, a strong employer brand is about having a good reputation. Most business leaders agree that a good reputation as an employer and a highly engaged workforce will deliver competitive advantage, superior financial results and organisational value.

A strong employer brand positions you in the market for talent as a preferred employer and creates brand ambassadors for your organisation.

Aligning your external brand proposition with your internal employer brand proposition will allow your brand DNA to truly shine through. A good employment brand will give you access to an enhanced talent pool with more candidates who match the role requirements, meet and exceed the expectations of the hiring manager, and connect with the organisation’s culture.

What’s your EVP?

Understanding your employer value proposition (EVP) — the offering you provide in return for the skills, capabilities and experiences an employee brings to the organisation — and taking active steps to improve employee engagement is central to the concept of employer branding.

An EVP must be unique, relevant and compelling if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement and retention — the true essence of what gives your organisation the competitive edge.

Employee engagement is about translating employee potential into employee performance. This will have a positive impact on organisational performance as engaged employees are intellectually stimulated and emotionally inspired.

They have the tools needed to perform their jobs, are advocates of your organisation, have a desire to stay with you, are more customer-focused and are willing to go the extra mile when required.

There are many benefits of being clear about what you stand for and aligning every aspect of your business around this central thought. These include better financial performance, greater innovation and improved retention, reduced absenteeism and lower overall recruitment costs.