“Employing the most talented people has to be the most important thing that you are asked to do. Do it better than the competition and you can conquer the world. Do it worse and the best you can ever hope for is second place”
What’s your dream job? For most people it has to do with their passions. Even if that passion is doing nothing and getting paid for it, the dream remains. However, the quantification of dreams has become increasingly possible, especially when one considers the strength of the feelings that drives people towards particular organizations for jobs rather than others.
It was widely believed that pay scales, work hours and employee relations were the main drivers for job seekers when choosing where to apply, a fact that was borne out by statistical data. But that was before the growth of the brand management industry and the increasing strength of positive brand perceptions among consumers became important factors in deciding consumer choices. So if brand perceptions can influence consumers, is it also true, as is widely believed, that employer brand strength influences job seekers choosing where to apply?
According to the ‘ROZEE.PK Top Employer Rankings 2012‘, a survey conducted by ROZEE.PK in collaboration with YouGov, the answer is yes. For example, a highly branded employer who posted a job in the functional area of accounts and finance attracted up to 879% more applicants than a weakly branded employer seeking talent for the same category. The results of the data analysis show that job seekers displayed the same pattern by applying more to those openings that were posted by a top employer. Within the same time frame, there was a vast difference between the number of applications received per job posting by highly branded employers and those received by weakly branded employers.
Though the difference in labour supply against demand is still considerable within the Pakistani labour market, what is surprising is that the number of job-seekers – the majority in fact – prefer applying to employers they perceive to be a better employer brand than their competitors. This impacts the job market in two conflicting ways: firstly, companies with strong employer branding have a larger pool of talent at their disposal eager to work, thus reflecting an intensified supply of labour in the market; two, companies that have not built ‘employer brand awareness‘ are left with a meagre percentage applying to their vacancies, hence perpetually perceiving a more serious shortage of supply in the job market.
From analysing this data we can come to the conclusion that though the Pakistani market is largely an employer’s market, this isn’t true for all companies. Only certain companies, those with good brand and employee reputations, are likely to have a glut of applications for jobs, while others with negative perceptions among job-seekers are left out in the cold. The strength of employee branding is a phenomena that is slowly growing in Pakistan and this is a positive trend. It forces companies with bad reputations to improve their human resource infrastructure in order to compete for the best talent, and it gives incentive for the market leaders to stay ahead of the curve.
In an employers market it’s important that employee rights are protected. The best way of doing this is by giving potential job seekers the tools and information they need to make the right choices for their careers. If the results of the study are anything to go by, it seems that lots of employers need to pull up their socks in the game to attract the best and brightest to their doorsteps. In a previous study, it was shown that the impact of changing demands for different skill sets over time and its corresponding impact on talent supply changed market perceptions about necessary job skills. In the ‘ROZEE.PK Top Employer Rankings 2012‘, we concluded that although labour supply and demand for particular categories influences applicant ratios for jobs, it is the job-seekers’ perception towards the employer that plays the most significant role in attracting talent.