COMMENT:

Employer branding is key to attracting and engaging qualified job seekers in New Zealand.

Voted as our most attractive employer in the 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research report, Air New Zealand stands out through its reliable reputation, financial health, attractive salary and benefits, and pleasant work atmosphere.

What's more, the airline has won the award every year that it has been eligible, so has a consistently strong brand.

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In our tight labour market, such strong employer branding is crucial to a recruitment strategy: LinkedIn statistics show that 75 per cent of job seekers consider an employer's brand before even applying for a job.

Employer branding is defined as a set of qualities, values and career prospects that differentiates your company to potential job candidates from your competitors. Employer branding essentially answers the question: what is it like to work for your company?

Research shows that a positive employer brand leads to 50 per cent more qualified job applicants. Employer branding is even more important in highly competitive sectors where niche skill sets are in serious demand.

So how do you attract job applicants through a strong employer brand?

Create an authentic brand

An employer brand must reflect what truly makes your organisation unique in order to attract the right staff.

"Consider the culture, values and workplace environment that makes your organisation unique," says Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, Adam Shapley.

"To attract job candidates who will thrive and succeed and fit in culturally, you must be authentic".

Authenticity means aligning the employer brand with the corporate brand and core values of the business. The engaged employee culture at Air New Zealand connects with the airline's established brand of providing an outstanding customer experience.

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Offer a strong employee experience

A strong EVP (employer value proposition) becomes the foundation for building a successful employer brand. Offering a strong employee experience that you deliver on attracts staff who will succeed and thrive in your organisation.

Research shows that not all candidates are seeking the same experience. Everyone is different, and the benefits that suit one person may not necessarily suit another.

The jury is out on the single biggest motivator for staff. Randstad research reveals that Kiwis most desire an attractive salary and benefits, followed by work-life balance, and then a pleasant work atmosphere.

Conversely, Talent Propeller reports that pay is no longer a top motivator for job candidates. "Career advancement, flexible working arrangements, and socially conscious policies are attracting new recruits," says Talent Propeller founder Sharon Davies. "Job seekers want to work in a company that aligns with their values and ethics".

"Benefits can be as simple as hosting team BBQs or lunches, celebrating birthdays, or flexible working arrangements".

To ensure you offer the benefits that employees want, the best strategy is to ask them, according to Adam Shapley of Hays. "Conduct an anonymous survey, and engage in open and honest one-on-one conversations with your staff."

Recruitment professionals work with employers to promote an employee experience that attracts the job candidates who are the right cultural fit.

Share employee experiences

Employers who share employee stories create a strong employer brand through trust.

Job candidates seeking transparency about a company engage with real employee experiences.

Employees are the best business ambassadors, according to Katherine Swan, Country Director New Zealand, Randstad. "Encourage employees who have an enjoyable, engaging, and meaningful experience at work to share information about the company."

Employees can share their successes on social media by posting on their LinkedIn profiles, and within their own networks.

Likewise, employers can attract potential employees by posting updates about staff activities and events on social media and the careers page on their website