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Employer Branding | – creating something special with genuine enthusiasm!

Reading time: 5 min

A guest article by Lucas Senzel, Director HXM Transformation

Give me an “E“, give me a “B” – oh yes, if only it were that easy with the REAL enthusiasm when it comes to employer branding. The certainty that the topic is and will remain en vogue is becoming more and more prevalent. What continues to cause frequent uncertainty is the question of how to position oneself as a truly attractive employer.

And that is indeed not easy! Why?

Because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. What sounds like a phrase for the phrase bank is in fact an indication that there is not just one target group that a company wants to reach. Rather, employer branding is about identifying the target groups that are (really) critical for the company as a first step. In a second step, messages and offers must then be tailored to them and their preferences, and thirdly, they must be communicated in such a way that they are equally effective internally and externally. The latter aspect in particular needs to be emphasized again and again, as employer branding measures should always reach the existing workforce as well.

Okay, up to this point some things were probably known, now let’s shed some light on new developments. In order not to limit the discourse in this article to individual target groups, we would like to address a broader group of people at this point.
And that’s where Generation Z inevitably comes into focus. It essentially comprises the birth cohorts from 1995 to 2012 and describes a majority population that has grown up in a digital world. As a digital transformation company with the ambition to shape the interaction of people, brands and machines as a real experience, we naturally take notice!

Fun Fact:
How did Generation Z get its name in the first place? It all started with the term Gen X, coined by Hungarian-American photographer Robert Capa in the earlier 1950s. He was best known as a war reporter and used the catchphrase as the headline for a photo reportage on young people growing up after the end of World War II. The naming of the following generations was continued by the corresponding letters.

One thing is clear: Generation Z can do far more than handle a smartphone, and rightfully has new desires and demands of the “ideal employer”.

Okay understood. And what does it want specifically?

Of course, Generation Z also wants to earn money and be paid fairly – no question about that. But beyond that, it is above all the corporate culture and values that are important to them. This is also underlined by study results from the global marketing agency LEWIS, which found that only one in five members of Generation Z would work for a company that did not share their values. This also implies honest and transparent communication as well as openness to new ideas and concepts. The topics of sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and social commitment are particularly close to their hearts (Zenjob Gen Z Study 2022). The results of the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2022 also confirm these findings.

The fact that young people may formulate their wishes and preferences much more confidently than was the case just a few years ago is no coincidence. Because they also know that the labor market has long since changed from a shortage of skilled workers to a fundamental shortage of employees. They are correspondingly self-confident in presenting their concerns, but also show a high level of initiative and willingness to drive forward both their personal development and that of the company. Consequently, the widespread stereotype of a generation unwilling to go the extra mile turns out to be a fallacy.

As a company, it is important to find the right balance between promoting and demanding, as well as maintaining an attitude and backbone, for example, even during political or social events. Because, and this is also a phenomenon of our time, young people don’t flinch for long if the job doesn’t meet their expectations. For example, the percentage of those who change employers again after 100 days or less (even without a new job in sight) has increased significantly (2018: 11.6% vs. 2022: 17.8%; Softgarden 2022).

What can be done to prevent this and prevent the probationary period from becoming a nail-biter for employers?

Provide a real experience and confirm expectations. And that starts at the first touchpoint with contact. How? If Generation Z has its way, then they’ll be happy to use social media, but please be real and authentic. Consequently, platforms like Discord, BeReal, Poparazzi or TikTok are celebrated (Keep It Real or Lose Gen Z | WIRED). In order to stand out as an employer when using these media and to offer something special, it is important to package the messages attractively and, if you like, also sometimes to use emotional moving images emotional moving images. In order to be as precise as possible in the target group-appropriate preparation, we not only go into exchange with members of the target group, but also consult AI tools in order to be able to make statements based on representative results – all with the aim of achieving the best possible understanding that is based less on assumptions and more on (real) feedback.

Interesting Fact:
Two-thirds of Generation Z plans to use social media to make money in 2023. “Making Money Online” is therefore no longer a pure vision of influencers. And it also reveals a new financial self-image: financial literacy is now one of Generation Z’s top topics and priorities. Fun projects are increasingly turning into supplementary income

The 2023 Instagram Trend Report

Ah okay, exciting!

While we’re on the subject of “understanding”: What does Generation Z actually think about the Metaverse? Again, she is one of the early adopters! For example, 56% of 14- to 18-year-olds can imagine becoming part of the metaverse (Media Consumer Survey 2022: The Metaverse from the Consumer Perspective). The metaverse is not yet hype in Germany, but employers who dare to try out bold solutions there in terms of employer branding, recruiting and onboarding are definitely among the first movers. And the trend is clear: Generation Z is ready for the metaverse, what’s missing are corresponding formats. As you can see, it is important for us in our employer branding consulting to think in terms of interlinked topics.

And: We are really excited about the variety of possibilities to offer something special. Our company portfolio, consisting of consulting, agency and technology, allows us to cover everything from strategy to creative campaigns and video productions to the programming of virtual worlds from a single source. In this way, we bundle our competencies and allow synergies to emerge early on in the project. Everything from a single source and with the right experts. What’s missing now is you and your individual challenge. Then you are ready to go. Let us think broadly about the topic of employer branding, overcome existing pain points and thereby inspire your applicants and employees honestly!

Do you want to use effective employer branding to attract suitable candidates and applicants to your company?

The author
Team lead communication
Stephan advises the specialist departments on how best to present themselves to the public.