Organisations should embrace transparency to reinforce employer brand

Diarmuid Russell

Employee Benefits Live 2016: Organisations can build and reinforce their employer brand by embracing the opportunities that social sharing and transparency bring.

Delivering the opening keynote address at Employee Benefits Live 2016, Diarmuid Russell (pictured), vice president of international at Glassdoor, explained that employees’ ability to share information and experiences online is transforming the way in which jobseekers evaluate potential employers and determine whether that employer and job role will be a good fit for them at that stage in their lives. This can ensure a potential recruit’s expectations align with the reality of working for an organisation thereby increasing retention rates, while also improving the number and quality of applications that are best suited to the organisation’s culture and the position available.

The data and experiences shared by current staff on sites such as Glassdoor can also enable organisations to better understand the needs of their workforce and quickly react to areas of dissatisfaction among their staff. By taking a proactive approach, for example by responding to reviews, acknowledging areas that need improvement and communicating what action is being taken to address these, organisations can improve employee perceptions about where they work. Indeed, research conducted by Glassdoor found that 62% of respondents feel better about an organisation that responds to reviews on the site.

Transparency can also help current and potential employees to benchmark their compensation and benefits package.

Russell said: “If [organisations] are proactive [they] can use this transparency to really manage the employer brand, and that’s increasingly important for businesses today.”

Employers can reinforce their brand by offering ‘moments of magic’, unique benefits and engagement schemes that reflect an organisation’s core values and purpose, explained Russell.

Moments of magic could include providing items and treats for new recruits on their first day of work that represent the organisation they have joined. Such initiatives, while low cost, can help differentiate organisations and encourage employees to become brand ambassadors from day one. Other initiatives could include experiences that are unique to an organisation’s culture.

Russell said: “Moments of magic are the opportunity to really transcend the day to day employment experience and bring some magic to the employer brand and employee experience.

“It’s not just about fun stuff; it’s about finding something that is true to the [organisation’s] core values and that represents what they do.”

The key attributes of employers of choice

During his keynote session, titled Revealed: the secrets behind becoming the best place to work, Russell discussed the traits that winners of the Glassdoor Employee Choice Awards have in common. These include aspirational factors such as unique workplace cultures and ensuring employees feel valued, as well as more practical elements such as employee benefits, good perks and facilities, and a family-friendly culture.

Russell identified the five key attributes of award winners: a mission to believe in; investment in culture; putting people first; embracing transparency; benefits that add sparkle.

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Russell said: “Think about [the organisation’s] mission, whether [it’s] telling the right story, and whether [it is] a mission that people can relate to and that motivates them.”

He added: “When [organisations] get the benefits and opportunities for employees right [they] can really add sparkle and reinforce [their] employer brand, as well as driving some social sharing.”