CDI Corporation

Is Your Employer Brand Deterring Quality Applicants?

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Your company is hiring, which means you’ve likely done the groundwork and communicated your job openings externally. So why aren’t there more A-player candidates knocking on your door?

A recent LinkedIn survey of 26,000 professionals found that the main reason people don’t apply to a job is because they don’t have enough background about the company or even the position itself. If your company isn’t able to attract suitable candidates, it’s likely that your employer brand is lacking. Effective employment branding is able to attract permanent and contract employees, even when they are not actively looking. Establishing a unique and compelling employer brand is one of the most effective ways to attract and keep top talent in your company.

According to Entrepreneur, out of more than 100 HR professionals and executives surveyed by Brandemix, 80 percent said they believe employer branding is effective. So, before you start your hiring efforts, consider the following steps for strengthening your employer brand:

Make a great first impression with a mobile, quick-apply process
In today’s world, there isn’t much that hasn’t become mobile-friendly for consumers, and applying for a job is no different. Fueled by increasing candidate demand for simple, quick-apply processes that can be completed on the go, mobile-friendly applicant tracking systems are increasingly being used by recruiting firms and talent acquisition teams at companies to transform the job search experience. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Report, 34 percent of respondents said their career sites were mobile-optimized, a 14 percentage-point increase from 2014.

Recognizing the need to attract the best talent with a quick, mobile-apply process, CDI recently launched a new mobile-friendly, candidate job board on CDICorp.com.

Leverage existing employee advocacy and leadership
The focus of the employer brand has changed with the times, and the evolution of social media especially has made companies more transparent. As a result, potential candidates are more likely to listen to what a company’s employees have to say than its advertising tactics. Today, attracting talent to your blended workforce relies much more on the advocacy and engagement of your employees.

“It’s important to keep in mind that your employees can either be your company’s strongest brand ambassadors or your biggest critics,” says Vince Webb, vice president of investor relations & communications for CDI Corporation. “These are the individuals who truly represent your company culture and brand. It’s their voice that potential candidates will trust most.”

Make it a team effort
The face of an organization should be well-rounded and include everyone from the top down, whether they are permanent or contract workers. Potential applicants are just as interested in learning more about their future peers and co-workers as they are their managers, directors and even C-level executives. Make it a team effort by providing candidates the opportunity to hear from people at various levels in the organization. Whether it’s in the interview process, through employee testimonials on your website, or social media engagement, job seekers should receive the same message about what it’s like to work at your company.

Similarly, just as the messaging should be uniform across all company departments, the entire team should be living out the brand in the same way. This is accomplished through engaging with the community, demonstrating company values and exhibiting company work ethics.

Showcase company culture
Most potential candidates are looking for more than just a job; they’re looking for a career at a forward-thinking company with exciting opportunities and ideas. This is where you can really get creative with video and social media posts that bring to life your company’s culture (i.e. employee recognition, social events and charitable activities). In addition, try to showcase the day-to-day life of your organization, providing a realistic inside glimpse into the organization. Candidates want to have a good sense of their work environment, even if they are signing on for temporary positions.

Consider outside perspectives
Sometimes being too close to your employer brand will prevent you from promoting it clearly to prospective candidates. If you’re looking to attract top, passive candidates, collaborating with an external recruiter could highly benefit your employer brand. With expert insight into the industry, a good recruiter will strategically leverage your brand to attract the best talent that is not necessarily on the market. In addition, skilled recruiters have visibility into what competitors are doing to attract the same caliber of talent.

By following these tips, you can build a captivating and sincere employer brand that actively attracts new talent while retaining your current workforce. “Above all, stay true to your brand in both your words and your actions,” says Webb. “Consistent, positive messaging about the employee experience at your company is key in positioning the organization as an employer of choice for permanent and contingent candidates.”

Recent CDI Analysis

“Above all, stay true to your brand in both your words and your actions. Consistent, positive messaging about the employee experience at your company is key in positioning the organization as an employer of choice for permanent and contingent candidates.”

Vince Webb
Vice President, Investor Relations & Communications
CDI Corporation

Employment Situation (U.S.)

The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in September, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although total nonfarm payroll was down 11,000 from August and fell slightly short of economist forecasts for 172,000 new jobs, the job market is holding steady. While the unemployment rate rose slightly to 5 percent, it is being viewed as a positive, signifying that more Americans are returning to the workforce.

In fact, despite a slower payroll gain than the same time last year, economists say the job market is still solid for accommodating labor force growth, reported Bloomberg. Moreover, consumer spending remains strong and continues to be the driving force of U.S. expansion this year.

"Job gains are slowing down a bit but it’s not such a concern," Scott Brown, chief economist for Raymond James Financial Inc., said before the report. "What matters is that the job market is getting tighter. The fundamentals look strong for consumer spending."

Total nonfarm payroll employment was revised for August, up 16,000 positions from the originally reported 151,000. However, a downward revision for July offset that growth, bringing gains for both months down by 7,000 less than previously reported. Job gains have averaged 192,000 per month for the last three months.

In the wake of these figures, the Federal Reserve is still expected to raise interest rates late this year, and there was little in the report to suggest that the job gains might lead to inflation, reported the New York Times.

Last month, both the employment-population ratio and the labor force participation rate remained relatively unchanged, at 59.8 percent and 62.9 percent, respectively. Some of the largest gains for the month occurred in the professional and business services sector which added 67,000 positions, largely in management and technical consulting services.

Employment in sectors including mining, financial activities, government, manufacturing, wholesale trade, construction and transportation, and warehousing remained relatively unchanged for the month.

Economists expect that hiring will continue at a substantial pace, as there are still many unemployed people looking for work, according to the New York Times. Chief United States economist at Barclays Michael Gapen told the source that he forecasts unemployment to fall as low as 4 percent by the end of next year.

"The expansion will end before you run out of labor," Gapen said. Helping the situation is the group of prime-age workers who have stopped looking, a factor called "labor market slack" by policy makers at the Federal Reserve. The lack of participation by this group is expected to keep the pace of hiring strong, without a risk of overheating the economy.

Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payrolls increased by $0.06 to $25.79, while average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose to $21.68 for September, a $0.05 increase.

The full Bureau of Labor Statistics report can be downloaded by
clicking here.

Employment Situation (Canada)

Far surpassing economists’ forecasts, Canada added the most jobs since 2012 last month as employment grew by 67,000 in September, reported The Globe and Mail. Marking the second consecutive month of job growth, gains were predominantly in part-time work and self-employment. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7 per cent.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had predicted only a mere 7,500 jobs added, which was far less than the actual number of positions created. The hopeful labour report for September follows a year of less-than-ideal job growth. Though the first quarter of 2016 saw a slight increase of 33,000 jobs, the second quarter saw little change in employment. Total third quarter growth came in at 62,000 jobs, according to the monthly labour force survey released by Statistics Canada on Friday. When compared to this time last year, however, employment was up by 139,000.

"A positive report for the Canadian economy, and one that continues to show modest national growth and an ongoing shake-up in regional labour market strength," Bank of Montreal Senior Economist Robert Kavcic said of the survey in a note.

The biggest gains were in public administration, a sector that saw growth for the second month straight. Between federal, provincial and territorial public administration, 19,000 positions were added. Educational services employment rose by 17,000, and the transportation and warehousing sector added 8,300 positions, though remained little changed from 12 months earlier.

Although losses occurred in the healthcare and social assistance industry, down 14,000 jobs last month, total employment in the sector was up by 1.4 per cent when compared to September 2015.

Last month, 44,000 part-time employees entered the job market while 23,000 people entered full-time work. Driving the month of strong gains was the self-employment sector, which added 50,000 new positions. This was the biggest increase in self-employment – comprised of both part- and full-time work – in seven years, according to the Financial Post.

Though there was some concern over self-reporting bias amidst the sudden increase in self-employment, these positions are still important to the economy.

"If you can’t find work, you create your own work," said Vincent Ferrao of the Labour Division of Statistics Canada. "It makes sense, given fewer people were working for companies and more people were working on their own."

The Bank of Canada was also comforted by the positive report, according to the Financial Post. In its most recent quarterly business outlook survey, the Bank of Canada showed signs of forward momentum as companies reported plans to boost spending and hiring over the next year. Moreover, resource companies have an indication that the commodities slump has bottomed.

The lending level for the central bank held steady for the month at 5 per cent, a rate it has been at since July 2015. The next interest rate decision by Governor Stephen Poloz and his policy council will come on Oct. 19.

Canadian ES Report:
Labour Force Survey, September 2016

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