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HR Tech 2014: Employer Branding, a Key RPO Growth Service

At last week’s 2014 HR Technology conference I met with several of the RPO providers. Discussions included service offerings, latest trends, new business and growth. My meetings confirmed findings reported in NelsonHall’s Q1 2014 RPO market analysis that RPO growth would be mid-teens in 2014. RPO is thriving, with vendors reporting growth ranging from the low teens to 30%. And one of the key RPO growth services is Employer Branding.

NelsonHall’s Q1 market analysis reveals that 56% of RPO contracts now include Employer Branding. This is such an important service that all RPO vendors now offer it. NelsonHall has been covering RPO for eight years, and we’ve seen its growth from 53% of vendors offering Employer Branding in 2007, to 88% in 2009, to 100% in 2014.

One of the sessions I attended at HR Tech was a joint presentation by ADP RPO and their client AstraZeneca, for whom ADP performs 7,000 annual hires across all positions in the company. Terry Terhark, President of ADP Talent Acquisition Solutions presented on its RPO partnership with AstraZeneca while Lisa Smith-Strother, former Global Employer Brand Recruitment Director at AstraZeneca, presented on Employer Branding. 

AstraZeneca’s Employment Value Proposition (EVP) and touch points maximized to enhance Employer Branding include:

  • Vision and mission: Providing news, leader appointments, capabilities, etc.
  • User Experience: Career site with job search information giving a positive candidate experience across all channels, including social media
  • Recognition: Highlight employer of choice awards and other recognitions to create a perception of the company
  • Values: Use of employee videos and social media to give a peek into values, culture and career path to assess fit
  • Core EVP: Defining what it expects from its employees, the preferred behaviors and the type of people that are most likely to thrive
  • Company Personality: includes Employer Brand, culture and corporate responsibility; who we are and our main themes

In support of its partnership with ADP, AstraZeneca is doing brand ambassador training for the ADP RPO team. Within AstraZeneca, Employer Brand leaders are becoming more consultative, providing guidance to HR and business leaders.

ADP RPO supports AstraZeneca Employer Branding in several ways including:

  • Promoting opportunities through passive candidate pipelining
  • E-marketing campaigns to keep candidates abreast of AstraZeneca activities
  • Incorporated talent communities building candidate relationships prior to openings existing
  • SourcePoint technology, used to build branding to candidates

Why is Employer Branding so important? By improving and properly reflecting the company’s image and what it is like to work for, quality of hire will be improved by attracting and retaining the right talent for the company. For example, research conducted by Cone Millennial Cause group found that 80% of a sample of 1,800 13-25 year olds wanted to work for a company that cares about how it impacts and contributes to society and ~50% would not work for an irresponsible corporation. By 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce.

The Employer Brand International 2014 Employer Branding Trends Study shows that the top media used by companies to enhance their Employer Brand are:

  • Social media 58%
  • Career website 56%
  • Recruitment advertising/employer marketing 52%
  • Recruitment branding 45%
  • Induction program 42%

The impact of increased focus on Employer Branding will be improved employee engagement and satisfaction, leading to reduced attrition for a bottom line cost savings to the company. Expect to see Employer Branding increase and be included in ~60% of RPO contracts by 2015.

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