THE world’s most attractive employers are 33% more likely than other top employers to say hiring is getting harder, which may be an important barometer for the talent marketplace.

A comprehensive report showcasing how talent acquisition professionals view employer brand management highlights how employer branding has changed over the past year and benchmarks small companies to large enterprises. We’ve been hearing about more challenging recruitment conditions for some time, but what has changed this year is that the world’s most iconic brands are voicing concern over the issue. Communication has changed our relationships with our jobs.

More than half of young South African professionals are unhappy in their positions and are looking to change employers within the next 12 months. “From the nearly 23 000 professionals that responded to Universum SA’s 2019 employee attractiveness survey, satisfaction levels are sitting at an average of six out of 10. On average, employees change jobs within the first two years of employment – and while they are looking, the implications are that the employer carries the training and development costs to the benefit of other organisations.”

This speaks to a greater need and focus on how employers and HR professionals engage with talent. Finding a job is no longer “an event” – it’s a lifestyle. “We are no longer compartmentalising our jobs and our lives separately like we used to do,” said Winani Ndlovu, a research manager at Universum.

She explained that we may switch off our screens and turn off notifications, but we carry our work, our corporate brand and reputation with us wherever we go. “Because of digital mobility and always-on communications, we want flexibility, we need downtime for our interests and a culture that suits our professional and personal code of conduct. We insist on ethics to be proud of, social participation and a range of factors that go way beyond the functions of the job,” she said.

Keeping a work-life balance is crucial to professionals. “The shift is that in order to bring passions and interests into the fabric of our individual lifestyles, there’s a tendency to weave them into our work environment too,” Ndlovu added. “While ticking the boxes will get you the position, the attraction to work for a specific organisation has a lot to do with what makes you tick,” she said.

Lawyers working in the music industry, accountants working in sport and marketers choosing to work for children’s rights organisations are examples of this. The trends of short-term transfers overseas which combine work with the opportunity to travel and meet, and even the concept of unlimited leave, now enable professionals to step away from the work environment while working their weekly hours into their schedule from a different location. Delivery of work in this instance is non-negotiable, but for a self-driven professional, focus and productivity can be exponentially enhanced by simply giving them the room to work to a different rhythm outside of the norm for a period of time.

“A level of entrepreneurship, even within a corporate setting is possible, if not crucial to many,” she said. In fact, most universities have ensured that entrepreneurship is a key area of focus in the student’s learning journey to help empower them to think outside the box with regard their career. Universum advised that employers look at talent attraction, engagement and retention challenges more strategically. The recruitment world has in the past forced talent to view employment as a job instead of a part of life.

“Most communication used to be around the roles and the employer’s industry,” said Ndlovu. Talent now looks beyond the role. What is the work environment like? What are the job characteristics? What is the advancement potential? If these can’t be answered, it has a significant effect on mobility from job to job and country to country, with a concerning impact on the already stretched economy.

Supplied by: ByDesign Communications

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