Countdown to Skills Crisis? What Our Latest Research Tells Us About Skills Gaps

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting

The workforce skills landscape is transforming at blinding speed. Automation, AI, sustainability initiatives, demographic shifts—global forces are conspiring to make skills gaps and talent shortages more acute by the day. Don’t think it’s moving that fast? Well, the World Economic Forum predicts that a jaw-dropping 85 million jobs could sit vacant by 2030, resulting in $8.5 trillion in lost revenue.

The very meaning of “skills” is shifting beneath our feet. Skills requirements have already changed 25% since 2015, and experts forecast 65% more change by 2030. However, companies still rely heavily on degrees and experience over skills when it comes to making hiring decisions. No wonder we’re careening towards a global skills crisis.

PeopleScout partnered with skills-based workforce management platform provider Spotted Zebra to survey over 100 senior HR and talent acquisition leaders globally, plus over 2,000 employees worldwide, to compare perspectives. Our new research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown, maps the skills landscape and diagnoses the disconnects between employers and their workforce.

Read on for some key findings from our report.

HR Leaders are Ill-Prepared for the Skills Crisis

According to a study by PwC, 40% of global CEOs believe their business will be economically unviable in 10 years unless they reinvent for the future. Our study revealed that nine out of 10 HR leaders believe that up to 50% of their workforce will require new skills to effectively perform their job in the next five years. Yet, when asked if they are currently undergoing or planning a workforce transformation initiative in the next three years, nearly half (45%) of HR leaders admit to having no plans to undertake one.

So, in other words, half of employees will soon be underprepared for the future, but most companies have no strategy in place to address the issue.

According to LinkedIn, 84% of members are in occupations that could have at least one quarter of their core skills affected by generative AI (GAI) technologies, like ChatGPT. So, how are HR leaders preparing for this digital transformation and the AI era? Shockingly, a full third (34%) say they have no preparations in place to prepare for new technologies. Those who are preparing emphasise bringing in outside talent rather than reskilling existing employees.

Industry Composition by GAI Segment
Percentage of LinkedIn Members by Industry

impact of GAI on workforce skills
(Source: LinkedIn Economic Graph Research Institute)

This is likely because they lack an understanding of the skills they have within their existing workforce. Our data revealed that 68% of organisations identify skills from manager feedback, which is highly subjective. So, it’s no surprise that 56% of employees think their skills are underutilised in their current roles, and 61% think there are other roles in their organisation where their skills could be utilised.

An unprecedented skills revolution is barrelling down the tracks, but companies are fast asleep at the switch. It’s time to wake up and get employees future-ready or risk a global skills crisis and talent scarcity for decades to come.

Digital & Tech Skills Gaps are Widening but Tech Skills are Viewed as Unimportant

Both employers and employees dangerously underestimate the importance of tech and digital skills. In our survey, both parties listed tech and digital literacy skills with low importance. With the skyrocketing demand for tech and digital talent, this does not bode well.

skills in the workplace

Mobile apps, ecommerce and digital transformation have made technology integral to every corporate strategy. However, supply isn’t keeping up with demand. McKinsey analysed 3.5 million job postings in high-tech fields and found there’s a wide divide between the demand for tech and digital skills and the qualified talent availability. The most sought-after skills have less than half as many qualified professionals per posting compared to average global figures. 

No wonder 63% of HR leaders in our survey admit they struggle to recruit the skills they need. Closing tech and digital skills gaps through recruitment alone is no longer sufficient. So, we were concerned when our research showed that 73% of the workforce haven’t been offered opportunities to reskill.

Organisations must invest in helping their employees evolve their skills via reskilling and internal mobility to cultivate digital and tech literacy across their entire workforce.

Case Study: Reskilling in Action

The Challenge:

A large global financial services company needed to undertake a major digital transformation program. The organisation needed to acquire key digital and tech skills while leveraging the existing company knowledge of employees in declining customer service roles by reskilling them.

Previous efforts by the organisation to assess employees’ suitability for reskilling were led internally and included multiple, time-consuming line manager interviews. Of even greater concern, around a quarter of those who began the reskilling program dropped out.

The Solution:

The bank worked with their long-time RPO partner, PeopleScout, and Spotted Zebra to assess customer service staff in bank branches and call centres to find ideal candidates for its tech and digital skilling program. Skills profiles were created for tech roles, which employees were assessed against to find the best fit.

The Results:

  • Redeployed 150 people, saving over $2.5M in exit costs
  • Saved over $350,000 in training and development costs
  • Reduced time investment by hiring managers
  • Reduced the reskilling cost-per-person by 70%

Employees Don’t Feel Confident in their Skills for the Future

A third (34%) of workers have doubts about how their skills will keep pace with new technology and automation. Meanwhile, just 17% of organisations are offering targeted reskilling programs for existing employees.

Where are HR Leaders Deploying Skills-Based Practices?

Skills-Based Practices
(Source: PeopleScout and Spotted Zebra)

This imbalance spells disaster. As change overwhelms existing skill sets, most workers will begin to feel unsure of their career paths or left struggling to stay relevant.

Investing in reskilling makes solid business sense. We must bridge the gap between workers anxiously facing uncertainty and leaders failing to invest in their resilience. HR leaders who empower their workforce with adaptable skill sets today will drive continued success in times of swift and sweeping change.

Finding a Talent Partner to Support Your Skills Transformation

The agility to match emerging skill requirements will soon become a competitive necessity. If you haven’t started your skills-based transformation, now is the time.

In our survey, one in two HR leaders admitted to a lack of understanding of skills-based practices. If you’re struggling to understand how to take advantage of skills-based practices in your organisation, PeopleScout is here to be your guide.

As a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner, we can help you understand the skills within your existing workforce as well as the external market supply and demand. We offer solutions across the skills agenda, from skills-based talent intelligence and market insights, building skills frameworks, and creating skills-based success profiles to redesigning recruitment processes, skills-based hiring strategies, and helping you maximise the potential of your existing workforce.  

To learn more about PeopleScout’s skills-focused talent solutions, get in touch.  

Talent Predictions: How Talent Acquisition Will Navigate 2024

By Simon Wright, Head of Global Talent Advisory Consulting 

We are in one of the most transformative periods in the history of work. Between technological disruptions, societal shifts and global events, the talent landscape five years from now will likely look very different than it does today. However, even in times of uncertainty, we can discern key trends that will impact the way organisations source, recruit and retain talent. 

As a leading talent solutions provider, PeopleScout has a unique vantage point to view the forces shaping the future of work. Based on our experience and industry insights, we believe there are eight core areas talent acquisition leaders should embrace in 2024 to up-level their strategic importance within the business.  

1. Talent Leaders Will Look to New Models to Ride the Economic Waves 

The power balance has now shifted back to the employer amidst a tight labour market, fewer vacancies and a cost-of-living crisis. But if you think it’s time to pause investment in your talent programs, think again.  

Talent acquisition teams shrunk during COVID-19 and then grew quickly as part of the bounce back only to shed jobs again this past year. With continued uncertainty, TA leaders must showcase the value they bring to business by minimising the impacts of economic fluctuations.  

It’s time to leave behind the boom and bust and embrace agility through a strategic approach to workforce planning and forecasting. Talent solutions like recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), including modular RPO solutions, offer responsiveness to help stabilise operational delivery amidst unpredictable economic waves.  

2. Business Transformation Will Shape the Workforce 

The specific skills and capabilities companies need are shifting rapidly, which means the jobs and roles employers need to fill are changing too. According to McKinsey research, one-third of new jobs created in the U.S. in the past 25 years were types that barely existed previously, particularly in high-demand areas like data analytics, software development and renewable energy. According to Totaljobs, despite a general slowdown in hiring, the demand for green jobs continues to go up, skyrocketing by 677% between 2019 and 2023. 

However, this business transformation is being hampered by the lack of talent and relevant skills. Economic, social and labour market changes are evolving faster than workforce training and development systems can keep pace. There simply aren’t enough workers with experience in emerging fields and new technologies.  

TA leaders must work proactively to build the reputation and influence of their employer brand with potential talent now—ahead of the hiring they need to do in the future. This means being able to recruit the best talent in the market, not just the best talent in your pipeline. Investing in candidate nurturing and employer branding strategies now will ensure organisations can hire first—and fast—when the time comes. 

3. Employees Will Continue to Reevaluate Their Relationship with Work 

TA leaders must be the eyes and ears for their organisation, tuning in to the candidate market and shaping the employer value proposition (EVP) to meet the changing needs and expectations of candidates. Today’s employees are demanding more, and the one-size-fits-all EVP approach must evolve to keep up.  

Organisations that refresh their EVP with a more human-centric approach that recognises employees as people, not just workers, will go beyond traditional offerings to provide exceptional life experiences that match employee needs. Delivering a positive emotional connection will be crucial for improving retention, overcoming the productivity vacuum and attracting quality talent in 2024.  

4. Data Will Be the Key to Overcoming Talent Scarcity  

The labour market has shrunk due to the retirement of Baby Boomers, and companies face an enormous brain drain of institutional expertise. Not only is the upcoming population smaller and not replacing the Boomers who are leaving the workforce, but they lack the some of the soft skills of the departing generation. With this double depletion at play, organisations will need to work hard to attract and train Gen Z in order to keep their workforce development on track for the future. 

Additionally, long-term illness, including lingering complications from COVID-19, has sidelined many working-age adults. The latest ONS data shows that the number of people economically inactive because of long-term sickness is now over 2.5 million in the UK alone. 

The key to reducing the impact of talent scarcity in 2024 is data. It’s time for TA leaders to treat talent intelligence as business intelligence, bringing it to the C-suite to drive decision making and inform strategy. Organisations must leverage data to understand both internal and external talent pools, maximising ROI on talent attraction and retention efforts. 

Talent Acquisition Predictions

5. Skills-Based Practices Will Take Centre Stage 

In order to keep pace with changing roles and dwindling talent pools, leading organisations are taking a proactive and holistic approach to adapting their workforces. They are investing in upskilling and reskilling programs while also leveraging RPO partners to find professionals with the most in-demand and future-proof skills. 

More organisations will look to expand candidate pools and tap into diverse skill sets through skills-based recruitment. To do this, organisations must evolve their candidate assessment practices to focus on skills rather than credentials or pedigree. We’ll see more organisations follow the likes of Google and drop their university degree requirements. This will have the added benefit of promoting greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace.  

6. Internal Mobility Will Receive Big Investment 

More than a third (36%) of HR professionals surveyed identified employee retention as a priority in 2024. Internal mobility will become the key to retention as well as filling open roles and skills gaps. Focus will shift from building external talent pools to internal talent pools, putting methods in place to identify transferable skills that can be boosted to support business transformation.  

We saw an uptick in labour hoarding in 2023 talent trends. In 2024, organisations must invest in transforming the skills of the workers they’ve kept on board in order to ensure they’re ready for what’s on the horizon. 

In 2024, career moves won’t take a linear path but will weave across departments and disciplines, providing workers with variety and rewarding work. Organisations must train hiring managers to look at candidates, not just for their fit for a specific role, but for the value they can bring to the organisation.  

7. Long Overdue Tech Upgrades Will Happen for HR 

The Josh Bersin Company estimates the HR technology is a $250 billion market. 2024 will be the year of recruitment tech stack upgrade.  

Organisations will look to capitalise on AI-powered features to do the heavy lifting so their teams can focus on more valuable recruiting activities. TA leaders should look to technology to augment human touches throughout the candidate experience, to identify opportunities for streamlining through automation, and to help them better interrogate data for a more agile resourcing model.  

This is also an opportunity for TA leaders to demonstrate they can deliver digital transformation and deliver ROI from these investments. This has been a criticism of talent acquisition and HR in the past, and it’s time to dispel that narrative.  

8. AI Fever Will Hit an All-Time High 

And finally, it wouldn’t be a 2024 talent acquisition forecast without a mention of AI. Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) tools, like ChatGPT, were on the tip of our tongues in 2023. As organisations grapple with the ethics of AI, most will succumb to the transformative potential and begin to test and experiment with how AI can benefit their workforce and operations in 2024.  

The role of technology will keep evolving within talent acquisition, but it’s primed to have a pivotal role in streamlining recruitment tasks and improving efficiency in everything from screening to assessments to interview scheduling.  

Organizations should take a principled approach to leveraging AI and automation to augment recruiting, while ensuring human oversight and care for people remains central. Starting with a small project or two will clear the mist so you can see clearly where AI will add value to your recruitment tech stack and candidate experience. 

The Importance of the Right Talent Partner to Help You Ride the Waves 

The future of work holds exciting potential, but also some uncertainty. However, while individual trends are difficult to predict, TA leaders that embrace agility, skills practices and tech innovation will find themselves in a strong position to prove their value in driving business performance. As your talent partner, PeopleScout will be ready to support, challenge and inspire you for whatever lies ahead. 

By staying on top of key shifts like these and working with an expert talent solutions provider like PeopleScout, companies can build workforces with the skills, mindsets and diversity of experiences to thrive in the next era of business. 

Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

Church of England: Full-Scale Recruitment Process Review Through a DE&I Lens

The Church of England turned to PeopleScout to help them review and co-create a future-proof recruitment process strategy to support them in recruiting people who reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.

With the support of PeopleScout, Church of England’s National Church Institutions now have:

  • Clarity over their current strengths in diverse recruitment to roll out wider, as well as opportunities for improvement
  • Actionable, realistic, tailored recommendations for creating change in their unique organisation
  • A co-created roadmap with both quick wins and long-term strategy to mobilise change immediately whilst maintaining momentum
  • Out-of-the-box ideas for talent attraction and candidate experience to boost the diversity of new joiners
  • Support and buy in from key stakeholders and employee resource groups so that any actions can have a lasting embedded impact

Situation

The Church of England (C of E) and its seven National Church Institutions (NCIs) have made great progress already in creating a diverse, fair, and unbiased recruitment processes. But, like most organisations, they face unique challenges. The main one being the barriers which come with being a faith and mission-based organisation, coupled with the external perception of the Church. With the progress they had already made, the C of E were looking to accelerate the pace of change and take this to the next level, which is where PeopleScout came in.

Solution

The Church of England engaged PeopleScout to execute a recruitment process review through a diversity, equality and inclusion lens (DE&I) with the goal of uncovering further opportunities, including:

  • A forensic deep dive of over 80 internal documents spanning role creation, assessment policy, organisational values, and DE&I training.
  • DE&I data analysis of C of E’s recruitment processes focussing on progression and engagement.
  • Deep immersion in the organisation and connection with its members to understand what is happening on the ground through discovery interviews and focus groups, winning hearts and minds along the way.
  • Regular consultative check-ins with the core team to ensure they are involved at each step of the way so they can own the recommendations.
  • Co-creating a vision of what the future can look like with an actionable roadmap decided by current C of E employees.

Results

Examples of some of our recommendations include:

  • Create a competency/behaviour library and corresponding bank of interview questions to support hiring managers when designing role profiles, job descriptions and interviews for their roles.
  • Revisit the Church of England’s brand visibility, marketing strategy and transparency based on feedback from their new joiners in order to better attract candidates from all backgrounds and religious orientations.
  • Create clarity around instructions for filling out application forms to allow more consistency in response quality from candidates (e.g., using example responses).
  • Keeping interview panels to a maximum of two or three members from C of E to reduce candidate anxiety.
  • Create a central onboarding checklist to ensure everyone receives the same support when joining their role in any of the NCIs.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Church of England
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • About Church of England: The seven National Church Institutions (NCIs) work together at an international and national level, supporting the ministries of the Church.

The Recruitment Handbook for Financial Services Talent

The Recruitment Handbook for Financial Services Talent

The financial services industry faces immense recruitment challenges. With skills gaps persisting, economic uncertainties complicating hiring, and cultural perceptions pushing away young talent, talent leaders need solutions.

That’s why we created The Recruitment Handbook for Financial Services Talent.

In this information-packed guide, you’ll discover:

  • The latest global trends impacting financial services hiring so you can plan accordingly
  • 4 key recruitment strategies to solve your biggest hiring obstacles
  • Real-world examples and case studies of these strategies in action with RPO

Whether you need to build your employer brand, enhance your candidate experience, upskill employees or leverage better sourcing techniques, this handbook has tactics you can implement right away.

Download your copy now.

Talent Trends: 2023 in Review

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting  

Earlier in 2023, we highlighted six key areas that would impact how companies attract, retain and develop talent. With the year wrapping up, we’re revisiting these critical topics to examine what transpired in the talent landscape and what may be on the horizon for 2024.  

From closing persistent skills gaps to offering more work flexibility, companies continue to face pressing talent challenges. Economic fluctuations have led some employers to pull back on hiring and remote work, while others doubled down on upskilling programs and expanded their talent pools.  

In the following review, we trace how the 2023 predictions played out amidst an uncertain economy and ever-evolving workplace. 

1. Closing Skills Gaps 

What We Said: 

With rapidly evolving technologies requiring new skills, companies are making upskilling and reskilling their workforce top priorities. Most employees feel unprepared for future jobs, so it’s important for organisations to invest in development to retain employees, build confidence, and help them adapt to changing business priorities. 

What We Saw: 

Skills gaps, and the upskilling and reskilling that must happen in order to close them, are still very much top of mind for HR leaders. The economic slowdown has increased candidate availability, so in the short term there has been more tech talent available, for example. But long term, there is still a skills crisis, and organisations are largely yet to shift to skills-based practices. 

We’ve seen front-runner organisations investing in skills development initiatives to grow the workforce they need. For example, Amazon’s program Career Choice is part of a wider initiative to invest over $1.2 billion by 2025 to provide 300,000 U.S. workers with the training they need to pursue careers in whatever field they choose.  

The average shelf-life of skills is now less than five years. So, the skills conversation is only going to get louder. If the World Economic Forum’s prediction is correct that over 85 million jobs will go unfilled by 2030 due to a lack of skilled talent, resulting in $8.5 trillion (USD) in annual lost revenues, then this is the most pressing issue facing talent leaders today.  

2. Offering More Flexibility 

What We Said: 

Amidst the acceleration of remote work, companies are facing mounting pressure to offer greater location and schedule flexibility to attract and retain talent.  

What We Saw: 

The return to the office debate is still raging. Employees want greater flexibility, but more and more employers are pulling people back into the office. Even Zoom, the video communications company that helps us all work from home, announced in August that it will start tightening its restrictions on remote work. Amazon, Disney and more have all reduced remote-work days. 

While power has shifted back to the employer, this issue won’t go away. If you really think your employees love coming to the office just because you’ve introduced free snacks, you don’t understand what flexibility means to your workers. Flexibility is not just about where you work. True flexibility is about giving more autonomy to your employees about the kinds of work they do and when and where they do it. 

3. Shifting to Contingent Workers 

What We Said: 

As the desire for work flexibility drives more professionals into freelance and contract roles, organisations are increasingly utilising these temporary workers to fill pressing skills gaps and specific project needs while maintaining financial and strategic workforce flexibility. 

What We Saw: 

The economic uncertainty this year has made organisations less likely to make permanent hires. Plus, freelancers, consultants and contractors have developed into an essential part of the workforce as skills requirements become more complex. Maintaining a mix of traditional and flexible talent is crucial for businesses to stay ahead in today’s dynamic climate. 

With the enormous interest in ChatGPT and generative AI, it’s not a stretch to think the pace of business transformation will only accelerate in 2024. And demand for contingent workers will continue to rise. Indeed, according to Ceridian, 65% of organisations plan to increase their reliance on contingent workers in the next two years. 

Talent Trends 2023

4. Tapping into New Talent Pools 

What We Said: 

Facing workforce shortages, organisations are expanding their applicant pool by targeting untapped talent like Generation Z, unretiring Baby Boomers and boomeranging ex-employees.  

What We Saw: 

In 2023, the UK government launched a “returnership” initiative to inspire those over the age of 50 to come back to work. The goal is to help older workers retrain and learn new skills, providing them with a roadmap back to the workplace and encouraging organisations to hire them.  

We also saw organisations turn their attention to the talent pool sitting right under their noses. Internal mobility was a hot topic for talent leaders in 2023 as recruiting new talent became more and more challenging and costly.  

We were also reintroduced to the concept of labour hoarding, a term coined in the 1960s. This practice refers to organisations forgoing head-count reductions now, so they’re prepared when business picks up. In an era of labour shortages, organisations are keeping their workforces to avoid the risk of losing good talent to a competitor and to skip the costs associated with hiring again. 

5. Rallying Around the Mission 

What We Said: 

Our Inside the Candidate Experience research revealed that for 50% of candidates, an organisation’s mission and purpose are a key influence on their decision to apply. Yet, when evaluating career sites, we found details on the mission or purpose of the organisation less than half (48%) of the time.  

What We Saw: 

Employees are more dedicated than ever to finding an employer that shares their values and offers them a sense of purpose. However, workers within organisations that lack a sincere commitment to improving the community and supporting climate initiatives often report disengagement.  

According to Gallup data from June 2023, 59% of global workers say they’re not engaged at work. This is worrying as we move into a labour market that favours employers, as they will inevitably become less motivated to keep their employees engaged. Yet, a key reason why someone quiet quits hasn’t changed—and it’s down to a lack of connection to the company culture and purpose. 

A lack of engagement in the workforce is a leading factor in the productivity vacuum. Going into 2024, my hope is HR leaders will go beyond simply thinking about wellbeing to view their employees as whole people—not just workers. Updating your employee value proposition (EVP) to be more human-focused can help strike the right balance between compassion and business interests. Shifting to a Personal Value Proposition (PVP), and customising offerings so that each employee feels valued as an individual, can help in fostering a positive emotional connection. 

6. Engaging Outside Talent Acquisition Solutions 

What We Said: 

Despite economic uncertainty, business leaders foresee revenue growth in the coming year, but may need flexible and agile workforces achieved through contingent staffing to meet their top challenge of filling critical roles amidst a shifting talent landscape. 

What We Saw: 

We saw an increase in talent acquisition teams looking for quick wins. At PeopleScout, we are investing heavily in talent solutions designed to boost agility for employers of all sizes and across all industries. This includes offerings like our Amplifiers and PeopleScout Accelerate solutions launched this year. 

Amplifiers provide modular, targeted recruitment process outsourcing tailored to specific hiring needs. Clients can implement RPO support for just part of the talent acquisition lifecycle, whether that’s filling the top of the hiring funnel with high volumes of qualified talent or gaining deeper insights to guide strategic workforce decisions. This “as-needed” model is ideal for companies that want to remain nimble. 

Additionally, our PeopleScout Accelerate technology-enhanced RPO solution is purpose-built for fast-scaling organisations that need to ramp up recruiting quickly. We can implement PeopleScout Accelerate in just two weeks, providing access to our proven recruitment methodologies and our industry-leading Affinix talent acquisition technology suite right out of the gate. 

As we close the books on 2023, it’s clear the talent landscape continues to shift in new and uncertain directions. In the coming year, agile organisations that invest in the longevity of their workforce and truly connect with their people on a human level will maintain an edge. Rather than recoiling from change, forward-thinking talent leaders have an opportunity to guide their organisation’s evolution. Now is the time to build workforces that can pivot on a dime while staying true to their purpose. 

Authenticity in Action: 6 Things Candidates Look for in Your Employer Brand

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting

As businesses have stabilised post-pandemic, the conversation in the C-suite has shifted to balancing productivity and empathy—how to drive business performance while addressing the evolving needs of the workforce.

The secret lies in your employer value proposition (EVP).

Your EVP must place individual employees firmly at the heart of their own experience. This new approach to EVP—a Personal Value Proposition or PVP—is designed to resonate with employees as unique individuals with distinct motivations and aspirations.

Job seekers can see right through generic employer brands nowadays. Candidates crave authenticity and want to connect with a company’s true culture before joining. So, how can you craft an employer brand that both resonates with individual job seekers and showcases what your organisation is authentically all about?

Here are six key areas today’s talent looks for when evaluating an employer brand’s authenticity.

6 Signs of an Authentic Employer Brand & EVP

Keep these priorities front and centre as you shape your EVP to align both with your organisational priorities and employee needs.

1. Meaningful Connections

What Candidates Want:

In today’s job market, candidates aren’t just looking for a job—they want a workplace that helps them feel truly engaged and connected. A leading employer brand should attract top talent by cultivating genuine connection with peers, leaders and the overarching mission.

What Employers Should Show:

In our research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that mission and purpose is a top three consideration for job seekers looking for a new job. Yet, less than half of employer show information about this on their career site.

By highlighting your organisational mission, you help candidate make an emotional connection to your employer brand. Amp up the authenticity through storytelling—how individual employees live your mission through their work, how your organisational policies reflect your brand purpose, how new hires can expect to make an impact when they join.

Purpose oriented employees are 47% more likely to promote their employer externally without incentive.

2. Holistic Development

What Candidates Want:

Employees are seeking work experiences that help them realise their potential beyond just job tasks. Workers are taking more control of their own professional trajectories, seeking opportunities that offer autonomy and alignment with their skills, passions and personal circumstances.

Work is no longer confined to a single job or career path. Instead, it is seen as a series of opportunities that facilitate personal and professional growth.

What Employers Show:

Development opportunities like mentorship programs, leadership workshops and reskilling bootcamps to support internal mobility are top of mind for employees—especially Gen Z. Training should address both hard skills (like coding, certifications or licenses and statistical analysis) and soft skills (like resilience, relationship building and empathy). However, we find that organisations don’t do enough to show the impact of this training on individuals and their personal and professional growth.

You can show this impact authentically by bringing it to life through telling the career stories of your employees. Watching a video of an employee sharing how they were able to go through a reskilling program and join a different department is far more powerful for a candidate than just reading about the program.

Here’s an example from Adobe showcasing their employees’ career paths on social with a global #AdobeForAll celebration.

3. Flexibility & Empathy

What Candidates Want:

Flexibility should no longer be the domain of people with children. Everyone wants more flexibility in where, when and how they work. It could be about caring responsibilities for parents, or it could just be having the time and space to pursue passions outside of work. Ultimately, this issue is about organisations demonstrating they trust their people and providing autonomy where possible.

What Employers Show:

Employees who are granted time and space to pursue their passions bring fresh energy, insight and creativity to the job. Yet, for our Inside the Candidate Experience report we audited the career sites of over 215 organisations and found that information on flexible working and work/life balance is mentioned just over half the time.

Help candidates experience this authentically by profiling employees who are embracing flexible work patterns. This helps them see how a role can fit into their own life. By understanding life outside work directly fuels innovative excellence within it, organisations can architect roles that let people show up as their best and truest selves every day.

4. Well-Being & Psychological Safety

What Candidates Want:

If this past era has taught us anything, it’s that employees require our care as much as any business strategy. The Great Resignation was fuelled by individuals reprioritising their well-being over their next promotion or paycheck. And Quiet Quitting is often the result of employees losing psychological safety and no longer seeing a return on their engagement.

Why Leaders Think Employees Quit:
Looking for better jobs
Compensation
Work-life balance

Why Employees Actually Quit:
Not feeling valued by their organization of by their individual managers
Not feeling a sense of belonging at work
(Source: McKinsey)

What Employers Show:

To keep employees healthy and productive, employers must start constructing safe spaces for people to bring their whole selves to work. That means prioritising both physical and mental health, with an emphasis on creating environments where employees feel safe to both express ideas and dissent and even discuss failures without fear of backlash. It also means creating a culture of gratitude in which employees are given the opportunity to recognise and reward their peers for a job well done.

To communicate to candidates that your focus on well-being is more than lip service, include information on specific actions your organisation is taking to support employees whether that’s wellness benefits or financial support programs. Don’t just state you have work-life balance programs—showcase how you empower people to utilise them through things like extra PTO days around major life events and even showing leaders modelling using your well-being perks to set the tone.

5. Diverse & Inclusive Environments

What Candidates Want:

Employees want to be a part of an organisations that celebrates true diversity, promotes cultural intelligence and fosters a workplace where multiple traditions, rituals and ways of thinking lead to innovation. These conscious cultures go beyond attracting candidates from underrepresented groups. They amplify their voices and put them into positions to reshape industry norms altogether. When asked how hearing from actual employees would influence their job search 86% of job seekers said they value stories from employees.

What Employers Show:

We found that 35% of organisations don’t feature a diverse group of real employees on their career sites. In addition, 60% of career sites don’t contain any video content in which employees share their personal journeys and stories. Often, we see that organisations mention their employee resource groups (ERGs) but fail to share the work these groups are doing and the impact they make within the organisation and community. Employees want to see action, not virtue signalling.

Candidates find the voice of an average employee more credible than what companies say about themselves, so featuring real employee stories throughout the candidate experience is a proven way to engage candidates on an emotional level, building authenticity and brand trust.

35% of organisations don’t feature real employees on their career site

6. Community Engagement & Purpose Over Paycheck

What Candidates Want:

Employees are becoming more socially conscious and looking for employers that provide avenues for engagement with environment social governance (ESG) issues, with as many as 80% of workers in some industries saying that community and sustainability concerns play a role in whether they will resign from or remain at certain organisations. Two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search, and they will look to your posts to see how your organisation is backing up its promises.

74% of employees say their job is more fulfilling when they’re given the chance to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues

What Employers Show:

Employers must take purpose beyond platitudes. Yet, we found that a one in three organisations are not posting employer brand related content to their social channels at least on a week.

A great example is Ben & Jerry’s. The company actively engages in social justice campaigns like Advancement Project, including on their social media channels, and gives employees time off to volunteer in community projects.

Include social media posts of photos and videos of corporate volunteer activities or ERG-sponsored events. Seeing images of real employees giving back makes your purpose-driven culture tangible for candidates. Even a corporate post of an individual employee who ran a marathon in support a charity close to their heart can show what purposeful empowerment looks like at the individual level.

The Power of Storytelling for an Authentic Employer Brand

Injecting authenticity into your employer brand is about moving past broad statements of intent, to the actions that back it up. Follow the old adage—show, don’t tell.

Your brand should remain as dynamic as your people. Don’t shy away from evolution when new priorities emerge. So be bold, stay real, and let your employer brand reflect what truly makes your organisation shine.

Openreach Leadership Programme – Directors of Tomorrow

Openreach Leadership Programme: Directors of Tomorrow

Openreach Leadership Programme: Directors of Tomorrow

One of the world’s largest communication organisations, Openreach, were after a sourcing-led recruitment solution involving a thorough assessment design to deliver a brand new leadership programme for eight to 10 future directors.

Situation

Openreach approached PeopleScout to help them stand up and deliver a new senior leadership programme which would allow starters to rotate through a series of roles to provide them with the skills needed to be successful in a director position.

Openreach wanted PeopleScout to drive the assessment process and to source candidates for the programme, presenting a list of the most suitable top candidates. The roles included:

  • Senior Engineering Area / Regional Manager Fibre Network & Delivery (FND)
  • Chief Engineer – Senior Operations Manager
  • Senior Area Manager – Service Delivery

The aim of the programme was to improve diversity and innovative thinking within the business. The business to date was lacking in gender and ethnic diversity, with most employees coming from a telecoms background. Openreach wanted to bring in candidates from diverse backgrounds with experience managing large operational teams outside of the telecoms sector. To do this, we interviewed senior leaders and heads of resourcing to understand the transferrable skills they were looking for. From this we were able to make a target list of industries and organisations which had similarities. These included field operations and management, logistics, and engineering as well as consumer-centric operations such as retail.

Openreach also wanted to improve career pathways within the business. So, our second aim was to support internal mobility by introducing a new step stone between senior management and director levels.

Our team were given a short time frame of just four weeks to create a solution and design the process. Plus, we would then have to present candidates to Openreach for interviews in a competitive market.

Solution

Our team were tasked with attracting and sourcing candidates, designing and supporting the assessment centre and completing the recruiter screening. Our solution also included a candidate attraction marketing campaign, including writing job copy and building a microsite.

Advertising Plan

Our skilled team devised an inclusive and effective advertising plan. This involved creating a tailor-made job advert and a microsite containing relevant and exciting content about the opportunities available. Using imagery and quotes from their current directors, we brought the Openreach story to life and showed what real employees’ roles looked like. We supported our diversity goal by using both female and male directors in the attraction content.

The microsite played the biggest part in telling the story, taking potential Future Leadership programme candidates through their first few years at the company, detailing where they’ll end up.

We partnered with Openreach’s media partner for the campaign strategy for which LinkedIn was predominantly used. Posts from employees were used as well as brand-led posts that recruiters leveraged to highlight roles. We again drove our diversity objectives by using more women in our social media posts to amplify their voices.

A Sourcing-Led Approach

To begin, the recruitment process was sourcing-led, focusing on the candidate experience and the thorough qualification of candidates. We also specifically targeted passive candidates from different industries with key transferrable skills. In order to help bring the role to life, we were able to direct candidates towards the microsite and video content that PeopleScout created for the campaign.

Assessment

Our team worked with Openreach senior leaders to design an assessment solution, involving job analysis and a competency assessment framework. This enabled us to create a stepwise assessment process to evaluate candidates through cognitive testing and personality profiling. The penultimate stage involved a competency-based interview to identify a shortlist of candidates to present to Openreach for final interviews.

The assessment design included a feedback report from the interview panel for each candidate as well as a feedback interview for candidates who completed the testing stage.

Results

PeopleScout’s assessment design for Openreach led to:

  • All required roles filled

Amongst the new joiners, 25% identified as female and another 25% identified as Asian or Black. All selected hires scored highly in both the online test assessment and the interview.

  • 3:1 interview-to-offer acceptance

Our detailed assessment process was a good predictor of success. From the 81 candidates who were screened by recruiters, 34 candidates were selected for assessment, with 23 advanced final interviews. Out of the 23, 10 were offered roles with eight acceptances.

The overall process from start to finish included a collaborative relationship from all teams at Openreach and PeopleScout to successfully deliver a brand new programme.

Ten months on from the candidate’s start date, we can confirm they have all successfully passed probation and are all actively working towards a director position.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Openreach
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 10 Future Leadership programme candidates

“PeopleScout were really thorough, understood our requirements and ensured that they were able to accurately represent our business and the specific roles we were recruiting for. Communication throughout the process was excellent and they delivered the end result we were looking for.  When we surveyed our new joiners about their pre-hire experience, without exception they all held PeopleScout in high regard. We would have no hesitation in using PeopleScout in the future.”

Katrina Baillie, Head of Resourcing, Openreach

City of London: Supporting Specialist Recruitment for Niche Roles

City of London: Supporting Specialist Recruitment for Niche Roles

City of London: Supporting Specialist Recruitment for Niche Roles

Over the last eight years, City of London have partnered with PeopleScout to support on a number of recruitment campaigns for hard-to-fill roles.

Situation

PeopleScout have worked as the City of London Corporation’s media partner for the last eight years, and during that time, our sourcing team have supported them on a number of recruitment campaigns. City of London have used our specialist solutions to find candidates for various unique and hard-to-fill positions, including:

  • Assistant Director – Animal Health and Welfare Service
  • Port Health Assistant Director
  • Port Health Manager
  • Security Manager – Smithfield Market
  • Head of Commissioning
  • Assistant Director – Cemetery and Crematorium
  • Technical Manager
  • Head of Operations – Central Criminal Court

Solution

Our solutions are sourcing led, acting as an extension of the client’s own team, and focusing on amplifying the client’s brand to make passive candidates aware of great opportunities. We create bespoke solutions based on our client’s needs and budgets, and this is no different with City of London.

We have supported solutions such as:

Signposting

Advertising and marketing on LinkedIn with recruiter-led profile matching and messaging to raise awareness and encourage quality applications by signposting talent to your vacancy, advertised on your website. Applications are tracked and all engagement is recorded. This is later used to produce an end-of-campaign report with application activity.

Search and Selection

Full end-to-end recruitment support including briefing call, sourcing, screening, candidate management, shortlist submission, interview scheduling and offer management. Vacancies can be posted on your site, alongside any other media and directed into our ATS for us to manage. As part of this solution, client receives work in process reports as well as end of campaign report.

Results

Our partnership over the years with City of London has resulted in:

  • Consultative relationships built with hiring managers
  • High candidate outreach response rate
  • Shortlist of a minimum of five qualified candidates presented for each campaign
  • Market insights compiled and presented back

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: City of London
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • About City of London: The City of London, also known as the Square Mile, is the financial district of London. As the governing body of the Square Mile, City of London provides a range of services, from policing to green space maintenance. They offer varied career opportunities to a diverse range of Londoners.

Employer Brand Hacks: 10 Tactics to Steal from Consumer Marketing 

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting 

Consumer marketers have honed their brand strategies through decades of tracking detailed customer analytics, optimising digital experiences and crafting emotionally compelling messages. When it comes to leveraging data and analytics, consumer marketing is ahead of employer branding. But it doesn’t have to be that way!  

Talent acquisition pros can adapt these same tactics to understand candidates, polish touchpoints and build strong employer brands. Your employer brand can steal a page from the consumer brand playbook to step up talent attraction and retention. 

Hacking the Employer Brand: 10 Tricks from Consumer Marketing 

To help you think outside the recruitment box, we’ve outlined 10 employer brand hacks below to infuse your candidate attraction strategy with consumer-savvy flair. From mystery shoppers to NPS surveys, these creative approaches will revolutionise your talent attraction strategy.  

1. Engagement Analytics 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Measure engagement metrics on ecommerce and social platforms to gauge product resonance. 

Employer Brand Hack: Consumer marketing is as much science as it is art these days. Take page from your marketing peers and leverage analytics tools to monitor engagement levels with your content across digital platforms and third-party sites. You can gain valuable insights into how potential candidates perceive your employee value proposition (EVP) by monitoring the types of content that talent interacts with on sites like LinkedIn and your career pages. 

For example, heavy traffic and shares of content spotlighting your company’s flexible work options, learning and development programs or commitment to DE&I indicates these subjects are important to candidates. Likewise, you can identify red flags where pieces of your EVP are falling flat or even turning candidates away. 

By analysing these engagement metrics, talent acquisition teams can refine outward-facing messaging to better reflect and emphasise the cultural elements already igniting passions. 

2. Sentiment Analysis 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Analyse customer conversations on social media to gauge sentiment around products. 

Employer Brand Hack: Job forums and social media channels have become backchannel focus groups, where in-the-know candidates exchange intel and impressions of potential employers. The everyday dialogue happening online shapes perceptions of your organisation and EVP outside your control. Are you listening? 

Immerse yourself in these dynamic discussions by using social listening tools to assess the narratives being woven about your company culture and their sentiment. Pay special attention to the emotional tone. What feelings are sparked at the mention of your organisation? Is it warmth, intrigue and affinity? Or perhaps skepticism, frustration or even antagonism? 

These unfiltered insights should inform your talent marketing strategy in real-time. Where positivity and praise emerge, double down on those messages. When you uncover misconceptions, course correct. Talent will continue to chatter, but plugged-in talent leaders can help guide the tone. 

3. Feedback and Review Platforms 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Closely monitor customer reviews on sites like Amazon or Trustpilot. 

Employer Brand Hack: Employer review platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed or kununu have become gold mines for candid insights directly from current and former employees. Monitoring these key sites should be a standard pulse-check for talent acquisition leaders and CHROs alike. But be warned—this is where you’ll find the unvarnished truth. 

One way to improve your employer brand is through employer review sites. We recommend a quarterly audit digging into themes and analysing sentiment over time. Are certain departments or practices called out repeatedly? Do some locations have better scores than others?  

Used strategically, these insights provide CEOs, talent acquisition leaders and hiring managers at every level with an unfiltered mirror into the inner workings of company culture as employees are actively experiencing it. With this invaluable intelligence in hand, you can address problem spots through policy change or manager coaching. You can also double down on what’s working—the perks, flexibility, and cultural elements making employees stay. 

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Use NPS to gauge product loyalty and word-of-mouth potential. 

Employer Brand Hack: Implementing employee NPS (eNPS) and candidate NPS (cNPS) surveys offers a valuable pulse check for recruitment and retention alike.  

With existing employees, these surveys quantify the likelihood of recommending your organisation as a workplace. Low scores signal disengagement. Likewise, surveying candidates during the recruitment journey provides an understanding where expectations aren’t matching up with realities, helping you to refine your talent screening practices. Candidate NPS surveys can be sent post-interview and again post-onboarding for insights into both the recruitment and induction process. 

Your employer brand health hinges on aligning the candidate experience with the employee experience and delivering on your brand promises throughout the talent lifecycle. Both eNPS and cNPS metrics offer evidence-based insights to inform your talent program strategy. 

5. Focus Group Discussions 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Dive deep into consumer preferences using focus groups. 

Employer Brand Hack: When was the last time you picked the brains of candidates who have recently been through your recruitment process? As you refine your employer branding strategy and before you evolve your candidate experience, these individuals offer invaluable, straight-from-the-source insights. 

In addition to surveys, organise quarterly listening sessions with a mix of talent segments: recent new hires, employees in their first year, candidates who made it to advanced stages but ultimately declined offers, and even short-listers you opted not to hire. In a judgement-free environment, empower them to share candid impressions about their journey with your organisation pre- and post-hire. 

Use this time to dig deep. What excited or deterred them about your employer brand initially? How did the interview or communication style align with their expectations of company culture? What workplace elements inspire their loyalty or doubts now as employees? Are perceptions consistent or disparate across genders, generations and ethnic groups? 

These focus groups go beyond what a survey can fully capture. As a result, you can pinpoint what’s resonating or missing the mark in talent attraction, selection and retention. Bonus—it also demonstrates that employee input spurs action. 

6. Mystery Shopping 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Deploy individuals to assess the customer experience—incognito. 

Employer Brand Hack: Another way to get the insider perspective on your candidate experience is to use an old trick from consumer marketing—mystery shoppers. This involves engaging individuals to navigate the recruitment process undercover, reporting on their experience from start to finish. 

Equip your “mystery shopper” to navigate the application, screening and interviews as authentically as possible, jotting detailed notes along the way. Instruct them to assess logistics around communication cadence, process efficiency and technology glitches. But more importantly, they should capture the emotional highs and lows they felt when interacting with your employees, content and brand at each step. 

When you debrief, try to uncover interactions where your employer brand deviates from the actual experience across key variables like location, department, seniority level and demographic background. These behind-the-scenes findings will prove invaluable as you seek to optimise recruitment ROI and evolve the candidate journey. 

7. Competitive Analysis 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Assess the brand vis-à-vis competitors. 

Employer Brand Hack: Benchmark your employer brand against competitors to grasp areas of strength and improvement. 

In today’s transparent talent marketplace, candidates have unprecedented visibility into everything from compensation to culture at your organisation as well as your closest rivals. They are comparing you on everything from your work environment to DE&I commitments. 

This means your employer brand strategy can no longer happen in a silo. Formal competitive intelligence monitoring can help you benchmark your employer brand against competitors to understand strengths and opportunities. 

Audit the career sites, social media channels, job boards, industry reports and review site profiles of competitors to understand what messages and claims they’re leaning into with their employer brand. The goal here is not copying others’ employer brands but to understand how you can stand out and where you can bring sharper focus to what makes your culture uniquely attractive.  

8. Deep Dives into Unstructured Feedback 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Sift through customer service calls and chats to identify common themes. 

Employer Brand Hack: In their focus on surveys, employer review sites and focus groups, talent acquisition leaders often overlook the wealth of qualitative feedback hiding in plain sight internally.  

Sources like exit interviews, town hall meetings and other internal platforms can offer genuine glimpses into how employees view your employer brand. You’ll uncover grounded narratives around things like which leaders inspire employee pride or skepticism, or real-talk on workloads affecting mental health and work-life balance. 

This intelligence takes your employer brand strategy from reactive to proactive. It empowers you to intervene early before issues become viral Glassdoor threads. But just as importantly, you can also double down on what’s working, giving you an informed perspective to guide messaging, policy and experience in sync with employee values and expectations. 

9. Audience Segmentation 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Segment the customer base to tailor messaging and understand perception among different audiences. 

Employer Brand Hack: Employee perceptions within departments, roles, locations and tenure lengths often vary more than we realise. What engages your engineers may disengage your creatives. What excites recent college hires may fall flat for senior leaders. 

In today’s fragmented but transparent talent marketplace, one-size-fits all employer branding is no longer effective. By investing time and effort into audience segmentation, CHROs take big step in evolving their EVP to PVP, personal value proposition.  

Like customer personas, developing talent personas are a great way to engage in a targeted, personalised approach to talent attraction. These nuanced profiles allow you to sharpen your employer brand and talent attraction content for niche talent pools beyond one generic EVP message. Plus, you can tailor by regional expectations, whether in different cities in the same country or across continents.  

Getting segmentation right ensures candidates see your employer brand as a match for people like them from the start.  

10. User Behaviour Analytics 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Understand how customers interact with their website or app by using user analytics tools like heatmaps. 

Employer Brand Hack: Consumer marketing teams are increasingly adopting digital analytics tools to better understand customer preferences and behaviour. Talent acquisition leaders can borrow this tactic too. Tools like heatmaps and click maps offer visual snapshots tracking precisely how users navigate and scroll career pages. These visual activity maps identify which content generates the most interest or engagement on your career site.  

Lingering on the mission statement? Scrolling past office photos? Double-tapping into stories on career mobility but glossing over benefits? These granular insights reveal which candidate attraction content holds the greatest appeal for your candidates. 

By understanding where your high-traffic areas and natural user flows are, you can guide candidates with attention-grabbing messages or entry points to more in-depth information. Likewise, you can weave in more stories around topics that are proving popular to leverage that momentum. These tools can also flag areas of friction, like errors or “rage clicks,” that could lead to candidates abandoning their application or leaving your career site.  

Employer Brand Strategy: The Value of Data 

Data and insights should always be the bedrock beneath an employer brand. Take time to gather feedback, analyse findings and track the impact of new initiatives. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new perspectives and unconventional approaches to stand out from the crowd. 

With the right balance of boldness and research, you can craft a magnetic employer brand that both resonates with candidates and drives critical recruitment metrics. So, take a cue from your marketing peers—be brave, think big, and transform employer branding into a discipline as sophisticated as consumer marketing.  

Don’t Make These 10 Employer Brand Mistakes

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory 

Let’s be real—crafting an authentic, compelling employer brand in today’s dynamic talent marketplace is no easy feat. With diverse candidate expectations and rapid digital disruption, even the most seasoned talent acquisition and HR leaders can slip up. Don’t fret if you’ve made some employer branding missteps along the way. To help you diagnose potential gaps, I’ve put together this handy list of 10 common employer brand mistakes.  

These pitfalls can erode candidate trust, diminish your employer value proposition, and even cost you top talent. Learn from other companies’ miscues to refine your brand messaging and employee experience. The key is course-correcting before your employer brand perception deteriorates further. Let’s dive in! 

1. A One-Size-Fits-All Approach  

Companies often craft a single, broad message, expecting it to resonate with everyone. In our diverse world, nuanced tailoring to different demographics, cultures and backgrounds is far more impactful.  

By evolving your employee value proposition (EVP) into a dynamic, human-centric personal value proposition (PVP) you embrace a flexible approach that addresses employees’ diverse needs and aspirations as unique individuals, not just workers. The PVP does not replace the EVP; rather, it evolves it. It’s not just about being an attractive employer. It’s about enabling each individual to realise their full potential, and in doing so, empowering your organisation to thrive in an increasingly competitive and complex landscape.  

Learn how to evolve your EVP to a human-centric PVP and increase productivity 23%.  

2. Overlooking Employee Voices 

Employers sometimes mistake professional aesthetics for authenticity, sharing polished, yet hollow messages. In today’s world of TikTok and Instagram, your talent craves real talk and real storytelling. At the end of the day, facts and stats don’t connect like stories do—whether it’s through videos, podcasts, blogs or social media posts. 

One of the most effective ways to manage perception and shift views is through showcasing real-life employee experiences, achievements and testimonials to highlight the positive aspects of your workplace. PeopleScout’s recent research, Inside the Candidate Experience, found that 35% of organisations don’t feature their real employees on their career site. Yet, 86% of candidates say they value stories from employees and that it helps to influence their job search. 

Employee testimonials can provide the most candid and compelling insights about a company and are one of the best ways to inject authenticity into your employer brand. So, put your people first, and let their journeys within your organisation take centre stage. Leveraging employee advocates in your employer brand and candidate attraction content will help you grab hearts and stand out from the competition.  

3. Static Branding in a Dynamic World  

The pandemic was a major shift that changed people’s perspectives on work. The Great Resignation shook things up even more, with workers now expecting a lot more from employers when it comes to meaningful work, development opportunities, work-life balance and flexibility. However, many organisations are still relying on the same old pay and perks-focused EVPs that just don’t inspire today’s talent anymore, leading to low engagement and high turnover. 

Companies that define their employer brand—but don’t revisit and revise it periodically—risk appearing out of touch or stagnant. If your organisation hasn’t updated its employer in the last three years, you’re overdue. 

4. Overemphasis on Perks, Underemphasis on Purpose  

Modern employees, especially younger generations, often prioritise purpose and impact over perks. Our research shows that half (50%) of candidates say an organisation’s mission and purpose are key influences on their decision to apply. Yet, less than half of employers show information about the organisation’s mission, purpose or values on the career site. Companies that solely highlight surface-level benefits may miss attracting deeply committed talent. 

Top Considerations When Looking for a new Job by Generation

Candidates want fulfilling employment and a company that upholds their values. By not featuring this information on your career site, you’re passing up an opportunity to create an emotional connection with your talent audiences. 

I know what you’re thinking—why not just direct candidates to where this information is on our corporate site? Here’s the thing: the second you send applicants somewhere else, you risk losing them. They may never make it back to actually submit an application. Instead, make things seamless by keeping the candidate journey in one place. The more you immerse talent in an experience right on your career site, the more likely they’ll envision themselves at your organisation and apply for a job.  

5. Over-Promising, Under-Delivering 

Brands sometimes craft a compelling and aspirational image, but if the day-to-day reality doesn’t match, it can lead to disillusionment and distrust among employees. 

The number one obstacle for candidates when it comes to applying is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organisation. So, brands that can show candidates what their day-to-day tasks will look like in a role will see more applications and higher-quality candidates. Consider creating videos that show a diverse range of your employees in their real work environment so candidates can see themselves in the role and at your organisation.  

6. Neglecting Feedback Loops 

Not establishing mechanisms to gauge how the employer brand is perceived internally and externally leaves companies blind to misalignments or areas of improvement. Different workforce segments—full-time workers, contingent workers, working parents, employees just starting their careers and those considering retirement—all have diverse needs. So, involving employees in the EVP development process is a great way to ensure their voices are heard and their perspectives are considered.  

Conducting focus groups, workshops or surveys to gather employee input and insights will help you understand how to tailor your EVP to these unique segments. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of ownership and buy-in among employees, increasing their engagement with the EVP and creating a crucial step toward achieving a PVP. 

7. Not Addressing Negative Perceptions  

Ignoring negative reviews on platforms like Glassdoor can further erode trust. A proactive, open approach of responding to reviews is one of the most important ways to create a strong brand presence on employer review sites.  

Leaving thoughtful replies demonstrates maturity and commitment to growth and is guaranteed to show candidates and employees that you care—regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative. In fact, according to a Glassdoor survey, 62% of job candidates agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. 

8. Lacking Cultural Competence 

Global brands must recognise and respect the cultural nuances of the regions they operate in. A message that resonates in one culture might misfire or even offend in another. A lack of cultural literacy in your employer brand can lead to confusion among your talent audiences, making it more difficult to recruit top talent.  

When it comes to your global talent strategy, it is important to work with local employees to build an employment brand that is effective across the world. Plus, you want to ensure that your recruitment marketing campaigns are culturally appropriate in each region. This could even include leveraging different social media sites which can have varied relevance for employer brand recognition and job searches from country to country. 

9. Failure to Integrate Your Employer Brand Across Touchpoints  

An employer brand isn’t just about recruitment ads or company websites. It should be integrated into every employee touchpoint, from onboarding to training to exit interviews. 

Every aspect of your employer brand—from voice to visuals—should capture the essence of life at your company. When candidates see your brand personality reflected everywhere, it builds trust. They don’t just hear you boast about culture fit and experience—they feel it through every interaction. So, let your employer brand shine through in big and small ways on your career site, social posts, job descriptions and more. Candidates will gain confidence that your employer value proposition rings true if you walk the walk at every step. 

10. Ignoring the Role of Middle Management 

While top leadership plays a role in defining the brand, it’s often middle management that has the most face time with employees. They translate your employer branding into daily reality. If they aren’t aligned with the brand message or don’t embody its values, the EVP can quickly fall apart as employees recognise the inconsistencies between branding and behaviour. 

Managers should undergo employer branding training. When the entire management chain fully buys into the brand promise, managers can activate it for both employees and candidates. With alignment from executives to front-line supervisors, your employer brand transforms from buzzwords into actual company culture. 

PeopleScout Can Help You Avoid Employer Brand Mistakes 

Avoiding common employer brand mistakes takes dedication, but the rewards are well worth the effort. By sidestepping these pitfalls, you’ll craft authentic and human value propositions, strengthen candidate connections and build an employer brand that is flexible enough to speak to a variety of talent audiences.  

PeopleScout’s award-winning in-house Talent Advisory team has fresh ideas to help you evolve your employer brand. Contact us today to get help with your toughest challenges.