Employer brand; overused buzzword or imperative to future hiring?


To repeat a commonly used phrase during the last months, we are in “unprecedented times”.

We have simulations of the possible economic effect of the downturn caused by Covid19 in good, ok and bad scenarios – the reaction from businesses has been to prioritise survival in each case, understandably so. In this environment decisions to furlough or make redundancies are a worst case scenario for business leaders to get through the downturn maintaining a level of financial health. What effect do these decisions have on employer brand?

Maslow stated safety needs are of primary importance to the motivations of employees. During Covid19 employees are under anxiety and will naturally have questions of the safety of their role under the mentioned scenarios, particularly when companies have looked to reduce costs by furloughing and making people redundant in the worst circumstances, this causes anxiety. Unsurprisingly, if not handled well, this is likely to have a detrimental effect on employee experience and with it, employer brand. 

More now than ever businesses are perceived on the ethical responsibility they have towards the health and wellbeing of their number one asset, people. After all this is said and done, businesses are the people in them. How people have been treated during Covid19 is directly reflected by employer brand which feeds into retention, engagement and how easy (and costly) it is to attract quality hires post Covid19, all elements that have a large effect on future business performance.

As we enter week 7 of the lockdown and their begins to be some light at the end of the tunnel, the recruitment landscape will and is changing. The businesses able to benefit most during the recovery and beyond will be those who’s employer brand has been strengthened by their ability to support their employees health and wellbeing during these “unprecedented times”.