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Evolve Your Employer Branding Strategy to Attract Candidates and Build Competitive Contingent Talent Clouds

Maggie Getova | September 27 2022 |

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven increased labor market volatility across the globe, but the nature of these fluctuations continues to evolve. According to our June 2022 APAC Labor Market Report, unemployment rates have now decreased to near the same level as before the pandemic and have even dipped below pre-pandemic rates in India, Australia and Singapore. Open roles have also started exceeding pre-pandemic levels, shattering records in countries like Australia, which has seen an 86% increase in vacancies.

This tight, highly competitive market is generally mirrored in the United States and Europe. Given this fierce global battle for talent, organizations need to use every tool at their disposal to attract and retain talent. One critical tactic companies can pursue is developing and promoting their employer brand, but many organizations have been remiss in this area when it comes to the contingent workforce. However, that can be a big mistake because companies can see significant cost savings when they invest in their employer brand, as they spend about 43% less on cost per hire than companies without a strong employer brand.

In this blog post, we’re going to:

1) Define employer branding,
2) Demonstrate the importance of delivering a great candidate experience from the start,
3) Discuss the ways a strong employer brand helps attract the best talent, and
4) Detail a real-world success story. 

What Is Employer Branding?

Employer branding is the association of a company’s reputation and perception, as opposed to its corporate brand. The most important goals of employer branding are to attract, engage and retain candidates.

Historically, most organizations have only focused their employer branding efforts on full-time workers, not contingent, for a variety of reasons including:

  • Contingent workers made up a smaller portion of the workforce and were considered less important/strategic.
  • Organizations had less control over the contingent candidate experience since this was typically managed by staffing suppliers.

However, as contingent workers take up a larger part of many organizations’ workforces – and occupy more strategic, mission-critical roles – it’s becoming imperative that businesses invest in appealing to this worker population. Furthermore, savvy companies are also now keeping contingent workers for longer periods of time and redeploying or reassigning them, which drives efficiency, talent quality and cost savings. This is key considering that nearly 30% of job seekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting, indicating poor alignment between the employer brand and worker. 

Attracting and Retaining Workers Through Strong Employer Branding

As a result of the volatile, highly competitive labor market, employer branding is becoming increasingly important. Businesses should keep in mind that candidates for contingent opportunities, like their full-time peers, are being much more scrutinizing of the companies they choose to work for, especially as they have more options. They’re also more aware of a business’ core values and brand presence, which can factor heavily in what opportunities they pursue.

Contingent workers are looking to join and stay at companies which provide positive work experiences, supportive work environments and key benefits (including ones specifically geared toward contingent workers), such as:

Organizations need to demonstrate that they’re well-established, stable and can provide an excellent worker experience. Anything a company showcases in terms of worker benefits and company culture on social media, its websites or during interviews needs to be reflected in the workplace, or it could jeopardize the employer brand and lose potential candidates to competitors. According to one study, 92% of people would consider changing jobs if offered a role with a company with an excellent corporate reputation.

Improve Your Employer Brand: Providing a Great Candidate Experience from the Start

Employer branding can have a significant impact on the candidate experience when organizations utilize direct sourcing, which is when they leverage their own talent pools to source candidates through integrated technology and service components. A direct sourcing solution lets companies use employer brand as a powerful tool to help attract candidates and hire the best talent faster by giving them a full scope of candidate data and total control of the candidate experience.

Compared to the traditional staffing model, direct sourcing gives organizations more control of the candidate experience from the very beginning of the application and interview process. Adopting a leading-edge, integrated direct sourcing platform:

  • Provides candidates with a modern user experience (UX) from the first touch of the candidate through onboarding.
  • Allows candidates to take more control of the process by, for example, creating a candidate profile and receiving AI-based feedback on how well they fit the role.
  • Enables more rapid candidate screening, interviewing and selection, while driving improved communications with candidates so they know where they stand in the process.

As candidates feel more positive and confident in moving through the application process with a company, this typically drives increases in both candidate volume and quality.

Let’s take a look at one healthcare company that strategically leveraged its employer brand as part of its  direct sourcing program, and the various benefits it saw as a result.   

Real-World Success Story: Company Leverages Employer Branding, Direct Sourcing to Fill 120 Positions in Four Months

A large international healthcare company wanted to manage its robust internship program more efficiently, short-list qualified candidates and save on resources. Partnering with Magnit, it leveraged its strong brand to build its talent pool as part of its direct sourcing program.

The Magnit team worked with the business to create a client-branded, easy-to-use applicant website. Candidates would simply upload their resumes and be automatically matched to jobs based on their experience, skills and potential thanks to deep-learning AI. Candidates could also quickly and easily apply to multiple positions, making for a smooth, fast and convenient experience. This in turn created a positive impression of the client’s brand, which resulted in more applicants and better hires.

After utilizing Magnit Direct Sourcing, the client saw several key program wins, including: 

  • Filling 120 intern positions within four months, narrowed down from 9,000 applicants
  • Delivering an enhanced candidate experience through client-branded applicant website
  • Creating an early talent pool pipeline that can be leveraged for future hiring needs outside of the intern program­

Learn More:

  • Discover how direct sourcing can benefit your employer brand and help attract talent in this expanded case study.
  • Read how investing in employer brand is becoming essential to hiring and sourcing the best contingent workers in an increasingly competitive labor market in our APAC Labor Market Report.
  • Check out our Employer of Record page to learn how Magnit helps companies nurture a strong worker experience.

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