attracting modern job seekers: employer brand research 2018

Reported as the lowest in more than 20 years, Hong Kong’s adjusted unemployment rate remains at 2.8 between February and April this year.

While having a candidate-short market is good news for both the economy and workforce, it’s no secret that employers must now work harder to attract modern job seekers and secure the right talent. This is one reason why I’ve seen more companies looking to adopt HR technology in their process as part of the overall company’s transformation agenda. Many of our clients have already taken strides and are responding to the fast pace of change, mainly driven by technology and increasingly demanding employee expectations.

However, from my conversations with some of our clients, there is a common set of hurdles faced that make adoption and transformation a challenge irrespective of the technology choices. These are:

  1. A lack of insight into what employees and candidates really need and want
  2. A lack of digital experience or skills among staff and leaders alike, which places pressure on talent acquisition
  3. General culture issues within the company
  4. Poor employee experiences which can make adoption, engagement buy-in difficult and even result in lost talent

All of these challenges are very much linked to the company’s employer brand. It’s my hope that the Randstad Employer Brand research can provide some insights to address these challenges - most specifically what people really want and need.

There are a few questions we can start to ask ourselves as we continue to invest and grow our employer brand during times of transformation.

  • Is my employer brand strong enough to attract the right talent with the skills required for me to remain at the forefront?
  • Do we truly live the culture that we value and promote past the point of hiring?
  • Are we communicating well enough to help our employees discover and create a positive and healthy employee experience?
  • Do we as leaders in our business know what motivates each and every one of our people so we can get the best out of them?

looking beyond the paycheck

Hong Kong is the world’s second most competitive economy. It is also home to one of the world’s most expensive real estate in the world. This ecosystem has no doubt created a high-stressed environment among the locals who are not only competing for jobs in the market but are also looking for an employer who can fulfil their monetary expectations.

Having said that, our research this year revealed that employees and job seekers are increasingly demanding better work-life balance support from companies to help them be more productive and happier. Hongkongers ranked work-life balance as their second most important criteria, just one per cent after attractive salary and benefits.

A healthy work-life balance is more than just providing flexible work arrangements. We have seen a number of companies take the lead in offering employees’ wellbeing initiatives that are embraced by staff, such as childcare services for working parents, gym memberships and family-friendly leave policies. Having robust and inclusive work-life balance policies can nurture a diverse workforce, offering employees greater autonomy and flexibility in their careers to balance lifestyle with ambitious careers.


local companies most popular among Hongkongers

In general, the expectations Hongkongers have of their ideal employer have increased as compared to 2017. They want to work with a company that offers an attractive compensation package, can promise long-term job security within the organisation, and most noteworthy - a company that will offer a healthy work-life balance.

Unchanged from last year, the top three employers that were crowned Hong Kong’s Most Attractive Companies are homegrown brands. In fact, eight of the top 10 most attractive companies for 2018 are local employers and most of them are recognised for having a healthy financial track record. Local companies tend to have a deeper understanding of the local culture and nuances. They are also able to better anticipate employees’ and job seekers’ needs and changing expectations to adapt their HR strategies and policies quickly, which makes them more appealing companies to work for.

Do you have what job seekers are looking for?

Companies that invest in finding out the key motivation drivers of their employees and candidates are more likely to succeed at implementing work-life balance initiatives into their overall business strategies. This is true for other aspects of the employer brand such as providing your employees with the latest technology, a promising career development, job security and more.

A great employer brand more than embodies your workplace value and culture, it is the pillar of strength in the company that attracts and retain your best talent. This is why in a competitive job market like Hong Kong, a company with a strong employer brand stands out, giving you the advantage over talent and market share.

This is the sixth year that Randstad Hong Kong has studied the career motivation drivers of more than 4,000 employees and job seekers. Connect with us for a year-on-year recruitment trend analysis. Gain insights into what people are looking for, and what drives them to leave or stay with their employers.


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