Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Poor employer brand cuts candidate pool in half, LinkedIn research finds

Employers must invest in their employer brand as well as employee benefits to attract the best talent

Organisations need to pay just as much attention to how they are perceived as they do to the salary and benefits they offer potential employees, according to data from LinkedIn. New research published today reveals that no amount of money could tempt half of UK workers to consider taking a role at a company with a poor employer brand.

Fifty-three per cent of people surveyed for LinkedIn’s Winning Talent research, a study into the factors influencing people’s choices about where they want to work, said they would entirely rule out accepting a job offer from a company with a reputation for having poor job security, dysfunctional teams, or poor leadership. Negative opinions  from current or previous employees of the company in question and a poor reputation among industry peers rounding out the top five factors that put people off an employer.

The importance of addressing employer brand issues such as professional development opportunities and salary is clear: employers failing to invest in their reputation among potential candidates – their employer brand – could be paying an additional £2,720 per employee hired compared to companies with a good reputation. The costs could add up to an additional wage bill of £4,080,000 per year for a company of 10,000 employees. This is in addition to the more restricted choice of staff created by a poor reputation.

Chris Brown, director of LinkedIn Talent Solutions UK commented, “LinkedIn’s Winning Talent research shows that a poor employer brand or reputation does not just make it harder to find the best staff, but also impacts a company’s bottom line. In addition to simply attracting better employees, a strong employer brand helps employee retention and engagement, so the true value is even greater than this data suggests.”

Brown continues: “Finding the best people remains the number one driver of success for any business. Better communicating the benefits and attractions of their business to potential recruits has to be top of the agenda for recruitment, resourcing and talent professionals.”

LinkedIn’s research also found that offering flexible benefits and perks is the most valued benefit for talent. More than a third (36 per cent) of employees said flexible working arrangements would persuade them to take a job with an employer, even if their friends and family might not approve of the company. Evidence of a positive internal culture was the next most important factor (34 per cent would be persuaded), while a good reputation within the relevant industry (28 per cent) would also trump the concerns of friends and family.

Having a strong employer brand clearly benefits companies when recruiting. One in six UK workers (17 per cent) would take a new job with a company offering increased job security, greater professional development opportunities, and a higher calibre of internal team, even without the offer of a pay rise.