First impressions are everything, especially for businesses. The way a company communicates its message and values to stakeholders is central to corporate reputation.
Our 2020 Careers Survey showed that information on a company's brand is a highly important factor for jobseekers, as it is emblematic of the company's messaging. Other elements that offer an insight into the company's values, such as the code of conduct and approach to equal opportunities, also play their part in helping to build a corporate brand.
Jobseekers want to work for companies that are respected, as this gives them personal pride and can add weight to their CVs. Companies should also use their brand to stabilise their position in the space they operate in. This is particularly relevant when it comes to building trust in company-owned communication channels, as our yearly Careers Survey by Comprend has also found that the faith stakeholders place in these channels has been declining. Social media arises as a natural focus point, and companies should ensure they are committed to developing their communications on a variety of platforms - experts estimate that by 2021, there will be 3.1 billion users across all social media platforms.
Jobseekers have indicated that they are interested in seeing information on corporate brands included on a website’s Careers section, so including a brief description of it can instantly make it easier for a company to attract top talent. This information can range from your brand history and its evolution to a look at how you are working to develop this brand in the contemporary world – SCA is a great example of this.
Source: Comprend's Careers Survey 2020
Another key piece of information that absolutely must be included is the company’s code of conduct, which outlines how employees should act on a daily basis – a great opportunity for the company to convey its culture. Although the importance stakeholders place on this has dropped from 70.2% to 66.8% in just one year, it is still the second most important piece of information that jobseekers would like to see beyond the Careers section. Kesko provide a detailed page for this information, supported by examples that showcase their credibility and transparency as employers.
An AMO Network study showed that 35.3% of a company's market capitalisation is derived from its corporate reputation, which is in turn primarily derived from its brand. When one factor accounts for over a third of the total value of a company, it becomes imperative that businesses invest time and resources in continuously maintaining it to maximise potential company growth and revenue.
"Companies that can’t communicate what they are doing, and why, will have a hard time staying relevant in the future"
- Staffan Lindgren, CEO Comprend.
The brand is one of the main avenues companies use to communicate their values and culture. Jobseekers appreciate it when a company reinforces these through every piece of content it delivers, across all the channels it uses. This was a consistent theme in our Careers Survey data, where one respondent directly stated they wanted "total honesty and transparency". Consistent messaging through the use of slogans, such as Nike's "Just do it" and L'Oréal's "Because you're worth it", allows stakeholders to gain a clear understanding of the company, its mission, purpose, direction, and why they are relevant to stakeholders. Consistency builds trust – the company appears more trustworthy when it has a coherent message, and stakeholders more easily remember who you are because of this.
For a brand and marketing strategies to be truly effective, the company needs to understand the wants and needs of its stakeholders. This can be achieved through a number of common market research methods - e.g. surveys, questionnaires, observations (such as website analytics) - and should be at the forefront of any attempts to grow a sustainable corporate brand.
When it comes to recruiting, this helps companies access a pool of talented individuals who are invested in the company's values and vision, which ultimately leads to the greater development of the company and brand in the long term.
It is clear that a well-defined brand is important for jobseekers and also makes up a significant part of what they are looking for in a potential employer. Therefore, companies must spend time researching and understanding who their stakeholders are and what they expect from the company. What is essential to understand is that brand communication will increase in response to the greater use of social media and should be reinforced on a company's corporate website. This must become a top priority for companies interested in securing top talent within their industry.