8 February 2019

10 things to learn from the world’s most attractive employers

Universum's World’s Most Attractive Employers report has hit double figures, so we heard from them what sets the best from the rest. Here are our 10 takeaways...

Universum recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of the World’s Most Attractive Employers report. We had a little listen of their very insightful webinar, delving into 10 years of data to discover how businesses can future-proof their employer brands and attract the best talent.


1). Money (still) talks

Although there are plenty of other driving factors for a candidate to choose an organisation to work for, they still want to know that they’ll be on track for high future earnings.

Quick tip: Make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to salary and offer competitive packages for your industry. Have clear incentive/commission structures in place and introduce annual KPI focused salary reviews so people can clearly see how they will progress.


2). Learning and development

For the past 10 years, professional training and development have consistently been driving factors for candidates. But now they’re more important than ever. Why? Because technology is changing faster than ever before, and with it, the skills required by employees. Candidates want to know that they’re going to be continually trained and invested in, allowing them to keep their skills up.

Quick tip: We find that a lot of organisations we work with have fantastic L&D programmes, they’re just not communicated well enough to managers (who can then cascade down) or taken advantage of enough by employees. Why not run an L&D campaign – or L&D Week –  highlighting the opportunities available and encourage company-wide learning? And remember to include L&D opportunities in job descriptions and candidate comms.


3). Flexible working

We’re actually quite surprised to see that flexible working hasn’t increased further as a driver for choosing somewhere to work. The Universum webinar focussed on two sectors – business and engineering and IT – and the interest in flexible working has increased nine and 10 per cent respectively.

But Gen Z is likely to increase this even further as they begin to enter the workforce wanting flexible, empowered, and agile environments. Because of this, we’ll likely start to see startups attract the talent who were traditionally drawn to corporates.

Quick tip: There is more than one type of flexible working, and the first step is choosing the type that is most suitable for your business. Compressed hours, working-from-home, flexitime etc. Find out more about them here and how they can be integrated into your organisation.


4). Purpose

One of the biggest changes over the past decade has been the desire for candidates to make a difference. Gen Z, in particular, wants to do something meaningful and are looking for businesses with a clear purpose beyond making money. The purpose is often wrapped up in leadership and ‘inspiring leadership’ has also grown a driver.

In practice: Universum mentions Volvo as an excellent example of a company with a higher purpose, with their mission to make roads safer and stop road-related deaths. A purpose can’t just be lip service though – it has to be infused throughout every single aspect of a business (which is what Volvo does well). Define your purpose, map out your organisation, and see what changes can be made to support that purpose and make it real and tangible.


5). Innovation

Given that the webinar focuses on the business and engineering and IT sectors, unsurprisingly innovation is another important attraction factor for candidates. They want to work for forward-thinking companies where there is a continual opportunity to break boundaries and innovate.

In practice: Adopting a culture of innovation is difficult if it’s not something that you have already. To truly embrace innovation you need to be action-orientated and know that failing is part of the journey to success. Start with a small project as a pilot and adopt a test and learn approach. Why not get creative and try an innovation competition to tackle a business issue? It would help boost that culture of innovation whilst improving teamwork. A win-win!


The challenge is differentiation

Out of all of these factors, innovation and purpose are the most important to candidates. As Universum points out in the webinar, the challenge now is differentiation. Companies have realised the importance of purpose and innovation and are now starting to sound like each other – making it increasingly difficult to stand out in a candidate-driven market.

We firmly believe that organisations need to approach their employer brand with the same vigour and creativity they do their external brand. Storytelling and creative visuals based on thorough research and a clear understanding of the target audience – that’s where companies will start to stand out.


How can Synergy help you?

From defining your purpose to delivering L&D campaigns we’re here to help. Want to talk about how to make your organisation more attractive? Get in touch.

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