Developing a transparent employer brand requires patient work and the support of the company’s senior management.
Employers are interested in employer brands and the transparency of working life, and no wonder: a successful employer image makes the recruitment process easier and supports the growth of the company’s business.
However, measuring a company’s employer image is not easy. According to a survey conducted by Monster last year, only 24% of Finnish companies have set measurable objectives for their employer image. At the same time, 97% of companies believe that employer image is an important factor.
A company must have patience long before any measurable results are achieved. This is evident to Vilhelmiina Wahlbeck, Vice President, Corporate Communications at DNA who has been involved in the development of DNA’s employer image for years.
“First, you need a vision. For us, it all started with wanting to have the most satisfied customers in our industry. To reach this goal, we wanted to make DNA a transparent and attractive workplace with employees who are truly satisfied and proud to work there,” explains Wahlbeck.
Transparency is key
Wahlbeck recommends thinking about transparency primarily from the employee’s point of view.
“We want to express outwards what type of work and working culture we offer. Transparency starts with authenticity and cannot be overly controlled. For example, we don’t have detailed social media instructions, and building our employer image is not left in the hands of employee ambassadors alone,” she says.
Scandic, a company known for its standing as a great place to work, has also considered the impact of transparency on the employer image. According to Antti Karjalainen, Sales Director at Scandic, transparency creates significance first for the employees and then for customers.
“We have consciously aimed to let go of needless boundaries and to create various platforms to help our employees feel inspired. Freedom creates responsibility and, at the end, improves our results,” says Karjalainen.
Both Karjalainen and Wahlbeck note that a successful and transparent employer image cannot be achieved through an HR department alone. At DNA, for example, communications are responsible for the employer image, and the company constantly aims to learn from other companies as well.
“Support from communications and marketing is important. This enables the HR experts to focus on hiring the right people for the company. For us, a decisive turning point was having the CEO support the changes. Support from the management generated responsibility, freedom and trust,” says Wahlbeck.
Significance of employer image on the rise
Consumers also expect transparency from businesses. Surveys on working life trends commissioned by Alma Media and other sources state that, in the working life of the future, expectations towards companies will change and transparency will be essential for products, services and the way employers operate.
“All of these factors affect the degree to which a company is perceived to be an attractive employer. Employee expectations need to be met, and both facts and subjective perceptions now spread faster and more widely than ever before,” says Sanna Koivuranta, Employer Branding Specialist and Business Owner of the Tunto service at Alma Media.
The Tunto service, launched by Alma Media, aims to provide solutions for this challenge. Tunto is a new digital service that analyses the employer image and provides access to employer evaluations. At the same time, the service encourages employees to share their experiences of employers over the course of their career.
“Tunto was designed to functions as a type of Tripadvisor for working life. The service also helps us offer our customers diverse information on the development of their employer image. One of our major objectives is to promote transparency and positive change in Finnish working life,” adds Koivuranta.