Why you need an Employer Brand.

 If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.

Jeff Bezos

In CareerBuilder’s 2012 annual job forecast they published the results of a survey conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive  among over 3,000 full time hiring managers and HR professionals conducted throughout November 2011.  The following is a summary of their results.

Four Employment Trends to Watch in 2012

#1 – Compensation Getting More Competitive for Skilled Positions.  Employers expect compensation levels to increase for both current staff and prospective employees as recruiting for skilled talent becomes more competitive. 62% of employers plan to increase compensation for their existing employee base while 32% will offer higher starting salaries for new employees.



  • The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that by 2018, we will need 22 million new college degrees, but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million postsecondary degrees, Associate’s or better. In addition, we will need at least 4.7 million new workers with postsecondary certificates.
  • In another study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce they discuss the value of a college education.  To an employer this study reveals the cost to hire people based on the degree they possess.
  • As I wrote in a post last November, I believe people are attracted to a company by more than money.  People value a company for the following reasons:

Significance Value:  The employee’s ability to make a difference by working with the organization.  This applies to the individual position and/or the contribution of the organization.

Attraction Value:  The attraction of the organizations brand.  This may be created by work environment or the “cocktail party effect” (the feeling of pride associated with telling people at a cocktail party where they work). It also is impacted by offering flextime and the quality of the work environment.

Social Value:  The impact of other employees or the organizations culture.  Think game room with an X-box, works for some, not for others.

Development Value:  The perceived benefit or working for the organization based on long term goals of the employee.  Mentor programs are a key component.

Economic Value:  Salary and benefits

Personal Value:  The impact the organization has on personal goals that are non-work related.  Time with family, individual values, commute time and job locations are a few examples.

#2 – Voluntary Turnover on the Rise.  34% of human resource managers reported that voluntary turnover at their organizations rose in 2011. Employers pointed to the desire for higher compensation and feeling over-worked as the top two reasons employees gave for resigning. 30% of employers said they lost top performers to other organizations in 2011 and 43% stated they are concerned top talent may jump ship in the New Year.


  • Turnover. In a May 2011 white paper published by SBR Consulting (now Randall Research) it was reported that approximately 70% of Millennials say there is a possibility they will change jobs once the economy improves.  It was also reported that 37% of those surveyed do not trust big business.  I’ve read other reports that claim most millennials want to work for five years before starting their own company but this study indicates that only 9% plan to start their own business.
  • Job satisfaction has been moving downward and is now at an all time low:  according to the Conference Board, only 45% of America’s workforce report being satisfied with their employment experience.
  • Over the last 6 years, the percentage of departing employees who would not recommend their employer has grown from 42% to 75%, according to company exit surveys aggregated by Corporate Executive Board
  • The percentage of all employees leaving their employers who are leaving voluntarily is growing – and now greater than the percentage of employees who are laid-off according to current BLS data.


  • Cost of Turnover:  Estimates of the total cost of losing a single position to turnover range from 30 percent of the yearly salary of the position for hourly employees (Cornell University) to 150 percent, as estimated by the Saratoga Institute, and independently by Hewitt Associates. Even a conservative estimate, that the loss of one person is equal to his or her annual salary, clearly illustrates the negative financial impact of employee turnover. For example, for a company with 100,000 employees at an average salary of $40,000 and a turnover rate of ten percent, the cost of that turnover equals $400 million. A reduction in turnover of one-half percent would result in savings of $2 million dollars.  HireCentrix has some details on how to calculate the cost of turnover on their website.  Just look at the cost per hire to see why this is so high.
  • Cost per Hire.  According to Dice the average cost per hire for all U.S. companies was $3,479, while large companies, defined as having 10,000 or more employees, averaged just $1,949. The research firm places total annual expenditures for U.S. talent acquisition at $124 billion, up 10 percent over 2010.

#3 – Employers Bridging the Skills Gap by Training Employed/Unemployed.  There is an increasing number of areas where demand for skilled positions is growing much faster than supply, prompting employers to take “re-skilling” workers into their own hands. Thirty-eight percent plan to train people who don’t have experience in their particular industry and hire them for positions within their organizations in 2012.


  • Detailed studies of unemployment indicate that although the unemployment rate has been high, there are also millions of jobs that are open, mostly due to lack of skilled labor.  Any company that offers training to help its workforce should begin to promote this.  Companies should also consider partnering with non-profit organizations that are providing retraining to the unemployed.  A recent article in the LA Times highlights one example.  Programs like this can have a positive impact on your brand and support could range from volunteers to monetary donations.

#4 – Employers Targeting Hispanic Workers, African American Workers and Women.  Aware of the benefits diversity can bring to their organization, 29 percent of employers said they will be focused on recruiting diverse workers to expand their employee demographics. One-in-five will be targeting Hispanic workers and African American workers to work for their organizations while the same number will be recruiting more women. 44% plan to hire bilingual workers in 2012.

Your employer brand can cost you customers.

StartWire, a start-up founded in 2011 conducted a survey of more than 2,000 job seekers and “found that 77% of respondents think less of companies that do not respond to job applications, and 58% would hesitate buying a product from a company that did not respond to their job application.”


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