• Your ‘Employer’ Brand

How much focus does your company put on managing your consumer brand? Most will have strict brand guidelines and gatekeepers to ensure your brand is tightly controlled and protected. This enables organizations to show consumers how wonderful your products are, the incredible experiences that you provide and how they will have memories that last a lifetime if they go with you in a measured and consistent manner. Some organizations simply are better at it than others, that is just the nature of it.

But who markets to potential employees?

We saw examples in 2019 of Air New Zealand, Real Journeys and SKYCITY all generating content that highlighted why they were a great employer. The content was fronted by employees and often followed a ‘day in the life of’ style. This is an effective way to take potential employees and their influencers deeper and give them an understanding of the fun and varied roles people in tourism can enjoy.

Other companies such as AJ Hackett Bungy and Sudima Hotels have been recognized within the sector by winning awards for their employment practices. Sudima Hotels who won the Tourism Talent Employer of Choice Award at the 2019 New Zealand Tourism awards have reportedly managed to reduced staff turnover from 40% to below 15%. That isn’t only good for attracting and retaining great talent, it is also exceptionally good for bottom line EBITDA.

Why is branding as an employer important?

Your employer brand is the image that potential employees and their influencers have of what it is like to work within your organization. Undoubtedly it is impacted by consumer marketing to an extent, but now in a hyper connected world it is easy for potential employers to be turned off working for an organization at multiple points. It may be a post they read on social media by a disgruntled staff member, it may be you’ve recently been in the media for an employment relations issue, but more likely is that your potential employee has a connection within your organization, or has one degree of separation to the organization. Word of mouth in a small labour market is still number one.

What can employers do to enhance their brand word of mouth?

The 2019 Randstad Employer Brand Research showed that the top five reasons for leaving a role in 2019 were;

  • Compensation too low 39%
  • Limited career path 37%
  • Work-life balance issues 29%
  • Insufficient challenges 28%
  • Lack of recognition/rewards 28%

Four of the five above reasons for leaving are related to the management of people and resources. Smaller companies may not be able to pay more, and in the tourism and hospitality industry where margins are often tight it is accepted you don’t work in the industry solely for the money. But the remaining four are points that management can work on and address with their teams. Generation X once used to be chastised for changing companies regularly, it is only now that employers have come to realize it isn’t the employee’s fault, it is the organization for not allowing those employees to keep growing. As soon as someone feels they are stagnating, they will move on to the next challenge with the long-term view of career development off a wide and varied base of experiences.

As an employer if you can keep your teams challenged and learning they will stay for longer. If you can give them recognition, and try to build in some work-life balance they will also stay longer. Funnily enough, these things will also create positive word of mouth of your employer brand.

Work-life balance seems to be one that many employers are struggling with, particularly in tourism. It might not be possible for people to do 4 day weeks, but it is entirely possible for you as an employer to recognize when your team has done well or pushed through a particularly busy period. When that happens, then why not give them a paid day off as a thank you, or even half day?

A winning vision in the talent war

There is absolutely a talent war happening across the globe and across all sectors. Finding employees who graduate and then work their way up to the top within one organization is near impossible (unless you’re the army).

Employees have lots of choice in today’s market, and to get the best wanting to work for your organization it is important to have a clear vision of what you stand for. A vision that is clear and your employee’s believe in.

Human beings want to be part of something more than solely making money for ‘rich’ owners, they need to know their efforts are making a positive difference in the world and in the lives of others.

If your vision isn’t true to your organization, or clear to your employees it will fall over, and with it your employer brand. Your vision needs to reflect your people, it needs to be dynamic enough that those coming in can feel a part of it and have an ownership of it. Anything less and you’ll be left behind.