Tag Archives: Universum

Employer Branding Now

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Universum, the global employer branding and market research organization, recently published a new report on the state of employer branding practices. It’s good. If you’re unclear about what employer branding is, this report is for you. If you’re involved – at all – with talent acquisition, this report is for you. If you’ve created your EVP (employee value proposition) and are headed into activation, this report is for you. Because talent is everything in today’s hyper competitive global marketplace, employer branding is becoming a critical part of talent strategy.

The report, Employer Branding Now, is a comprehensive review of what leading organizations around the world are doing to become more successful in connecting with the talent they need. Without giving away the store, the following graph shows how overall investments in recruitment channels are shifting. No surprise that investments in social channels are increasing, along with employee referral programs and alumni networks. On the other side of the coin, it’s probably not surprising that print advertising is sinking rapidly. And while you may have thought job boards were dead, that just isn’t the case. But check out the third-party recruiter channel. Are you surprised?

Universum EBnow

Food for thought here, I think!

The report is the outcome of a yearly survey of approximately 2,500 employer branding managers from around the world. The respondents represent a wide range of industries, and include 100 of the FORTUNE 500.

The actionable insights that conclude the report give helpful direction to those in the thick of employer branding activation, as well as those just starting to work on their EVP:

  1. Create closer alignment between employer brand priorities and talent priorities.

  2. Fully leverage the power of EVPs to deliver greater employer brand focus and impact.

  3. Balance brand consistency with talent segmentation and local targeting.

  4. Invest in quality social media content (no longer a side order, now the meat of the day).

  5. Invest in analytics – effective employer brand strategies are increasingly numbers driven.

The report is delivered in a colorful and easy to read eBook format. It’s a good read with attractive and easily understood graphs and data points. You can get it here.

 

Full disclosure: I chair Universum’s North America Board.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employer Branding, FORTUNE Magazine, Global Human Capital, HR Analytics, Human Resources, Recruiting, Social Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Universum

Should You Care About Worker Happiness?

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Universum has just published another fascinating survey analysis that should be required reading for any leader wondering about the engagement of their employees, humanity in the workplace, or whether or not their workforce is happy. The summary is available here and it introduces the Universum Global Workforce Happiness Index™.

The survey covered 250,000+ professionals in 55 markets in order to set country- and industry-level benchmarks. The Universum Global Workforce Happiness Index is calculated based on:

  1. Employee satisfaction in their current job,

  2. Likelihood of recommending their current employer, and

  3. Their stated sense of job loyalty.

Starting off with a simple four-box model of work happiness, the four quadrants are simple to understand because of their common sense approach:

Universum Happiness 1STRANDED employees feel dissatisfied in their current jobs, but are unmotivated or unwilling to make a change. SEEKERS are dissatisfied at work and looking for a change. RESTLESS employees require immediate attention because even though they are satisfied and likely to recommend their employee, they are open to changing jobs. FULFILLED employees are satisfied, feel positive about their employer as a place to work and aren’t interested in changing jobs. This construct is simple and makes it easy to relate to these four types of workers.

If you are leading a global business, then the Global Workforce Happiness Index By Country chart will give you some interesting data to chew on:

Universum Happiness 2If you have global expansion plans should you prioritize those countries whose workers are Restless? Or countries whose workers are Seekers? Or do you go right for the Fulfilled worker countries? Maybe it isn’t enough to be looking at skills availability – maybe the availability of hearts and minds should also be a factor.

This report summary packs a great deal of insight into just 17 pages and I’ve just skimmed the surface for you. In the final section, every employer would do well to follow this recommendation: separate “attraction drivers” from “retention drivers.” Do the characteristics that attract high quality candidates to your organization retain them for the medium- or long-term? For organizations battling it out in the talent wars around the globe, this is the next tough question to answer.

The implications of workforce happiness around the world – especially with GenY and GenZ becoming the dominant generations at work – are beginning to change how every organization relates to its people. We’re re-thinking lots of fundamental people processes, policies and behaviors. Factoring the happiness of our people is just one of the ways things are changing.

This is a super report. It gives just enough analysis to be useful, while creating the case to get the full report. I liked it a lot.

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Filed under Analytics, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Global Workforce Happiness Index, Happiness at Work, HR Data, Universum

Get To Know Me: Here Comes GenZ

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We haven’t quite got GenY figured out, and here comes GenZ! Universum, the global employer branding firm, has conducted a GenZ survey and found some interesting conclusions. In Generation Z Grows Up we’re given a bit of a peek into this new generation that will be 40% of all consumers by 2020 (less than 5 years from now!) and there is news:

  • GenZ is spooked by the college debt of the Millennials

  • GenZ doesn’t think universities are preparing students for workplace success

  • GenZ perceives current high levels of unemployment following university/college graduation

And it appears that Gen Z’s current orientation to post-secondary education isn’t what we might expect:

Universum Gen Z 1It would appear that 62% of Gen Z would consider joining the economy right after high school – particularly if employers will invest in their training. Of course, as with all things global, attitudes are different around the world. On average, though, if only 38% of high school students globally are committed to enrolling in a university degree program before joining the world of work, there are a great many young people considering forgoing the traditional post-secondary education route in favor of less debt, more employer-sponsored training, and more employment opportunities. Maybe.

Universum has been surveying college/university and graduate school students about to graduate for almost 30 years. It probably has the biggest and most robust data set of student expectations and employer preferences in the world. The 2015 Gen Z survey asked more than 50,000 recent high school graduates about their future careers, higher education plans, as well as their attitudes about work and life. A real window into the next generation of employees.

I know it seems like we haven’t figured out the Millennials yet. But time is marching on and it’s time to meet and greet a whole new generation of employees. Given the dramatic demographic shifts we’re experiencing, we can’t get to know these newcomers fast enough. The first truly digital natives are sure to provide employers opportunities as well as challenges.

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Gen Y, GenZ, Universum

Who Really Cares About Employer Branding?

Data Point TuesdayIn a recent report by Universum, a tactical view of how organizations are attracting talent and combating problems is given with some fresh insight. The report: State of Employer Branding is part one a four-part 2020 Outlook series, based on responses from 2338 interviews conducted in the winter of 2014 in 18 different countries. Respondents represented a variety of industries and job functions with more than 50% working within HR, 16% being the CEO of their respective organization, and 23% working for organizations with more than 1000 employees in the country. Universum’s report starts by posing a necessarily blunt question to its readers, “How long have executives argued over the need to make talent attraction a corporate strategy rather than an HR strategy?” Point taken, talent acquisition remains an ongoing point of struggle for organizations, but is a critical strategy for organizations to remain competitive.

March 10 2015 Talent Acquisition Concerns

As Universum makes clear, we’ve known this for a while, so what are organizations doing to step up to issues relating to talent? Let’s take a look at the meaty details of Universum’s report….

Talent acquisition and retention is a complex equation involving (among other things) talent management and development, employer branding, and analytics to measure effectiveness. Part of the problem with employer branding is where responsibility lies:

  • 60% of CEO’s feel they own employer branding.
  • 58% of HR executives, 63% of talent acquisition executives, and 57% of recruiting executives say HR owns employer branding.
  • 39% of marketing executives point to HR owning the role and 40% to the CEO owning the role.

Why all this variability? Universum underlines repeated studies that have shown CEOs don’t believe HR is up to the task, as well as studies that say HR itself is not confident in their current approach, or do not feel their approach is innovative. Greater stakeholder cooperation is another broadly identified need when it comes to employer branding efforts:

  • 70% of senior executives see a closer need for stakeholder cooperation in the next 5 years.
  • 77% of HR executives see a closer need for stakeholder cooperation.
  • 53% of CEO’s see stakeholder cooperation as a growing need.

Though this is an identified need, without changing CEOs’ confidence in HR to solve strategic talent challenges, HR will be hard pressed to effect change in this area.

Universum asked respondents about their employer branding objectives, and how these objectives will change in the next five years.March 10 2015 Employer Branding Objectives

Interestingly, of all the objectives listed, none earns much more than one third of respondents’ votes. The most critical need is “to fulfill our short-term recruitment needs” but is claimed by just 36%. This should lead us to ask why so few executives (and CEOs in even lower numbers) are prioritizing such objectives? Universum offers the following explanations

  • Organizations face a lack of clarity about which objectives matter most
  • There is a perceived lack of ownership for the discipline of employer branding
  • Employer branding is not viewed as a critical priority when organizations face many other pressing challenges

To better understand their commitment, Universum studied how organizations are currently investing in employer branding:

March 10 2015 Employer Branding Budget

Overall, we see that organizations are overwhelmingly focused on external employer branding efforts. KPIs, however, often measure almost inclusively internal factors (presenting another potential issue).

Organizations also face a perceived gap when it comes to the association between consumer and employer brands. Recently there has been a concerted effort to more closely align employer and consumer brands, yet when executives were asked how closely they feel these are aligned, the responses indicated there’s still much work to be done:

  • 19% say their employer and consumer brands are the same
  • 36% say “there is a connection today”
  • 17% say there is no connection at all

When marketers were asked this question though, the answers were remarkably different, with marketers much more likely to report a connection between the employer and consumer brand.

How do organizations more forward with an employer branding and talent strategy when there appears to be little consensus about how to do so? Universum’s report cites from PwC’s global CEO survey, which reports that while 93% of CEOs say they know they need to change their strategy to attract and retain talent, 61% say they have not taken steps to do so yet. The first step towards addressing “the talent gap” may just be to get organizations to accurately recognize areas of misalignment and differing perceptions. Employer branding, as we see from this data, is certainly one of these areas. Organizations must also commit to an investment strategy; as Universum states: “If talent is as important to competitive might as capital, it must be managed and measured with the same disciple applied to financial planning and management.”

This report makes me think we have a massive showdown coming between HR and CEOs. I don’t know about you, but I think I know who’s going to win unless something big happens. And the only thing big I see happening is Marketing swooping in to save the day. HR, if you think you’re hearing footsteps, you probably are!

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employer Branding, Talent Acquisition, Universum