Despite hiring slowdowns in certain industries and regions, students and working professionals around the world remain confident about the hiring market—and leaders agree that hiring the right talent is still a challenge, regardless of the economic landscape, and new global research from Stockholm-based employer branding firm Universum reveals that a large majority think they need to improve their workplace reputations to attract quality applicants—and this need is even more critical in 2023 than ever.
The agency’s eight annual Employer Branding NOW 2023 report, based on its survey conducted during the first quarter of this year, finds that among leading employers in 75 countries, 78 percent say employer branding is a top priority—up 11 points in two years. Even for small- and medium-sized employers, the majority say such branding is a critical area of HR investment, with close to half of all the employers surveyed increasing their employer brand budgets.
“Notwithstanding a flurry of news about layoffs and economic contraction, most companies are still struggling with a talent shortfall, and the problem isn’t going to improve anytime soon,” said Yusuf Azoz, CEO of Universum, in a news release.
Additional findings from the research include:
Differentiation is a top priority
Sixty percent of leading global employers say differentiating their employer brands and EVPs from competitors will be a key objective in the coming year.
Employer brands are revising their Employer Value Proposition
Employee well-being and flexible working conditions—areas of focus during the pandemic years—are now emphasized in fewer than one in three EVPs. The reason: these have become baseline expectations, not “perks” provided by an employer. Delivering a consistent “on-brand” experience for employees is increasingly key given the continued risk of attrition.
Data-driven decision making is now the norm
In 2023, 88 percent of companies listed as the World’s Most Attractive Employers say they “frequently” or “always” use data to drive decisions—using dashboards to monitor every step in the recruitment funnel.
“Data-driven insights are absolutely critical when talent markets are in flux, as they are now,” said Richard Mosley, Universum global client director, in the release. “With so many cross-currents affecting perceptions and preferences it’s essential to stay in tune with your target audiences and monitor your brand image.”
The firm surveyed over 1,700 talent leaders from 75 countries between February 15 and March 31, 2023, and over a 1000 students and professionals.