We’ve reached the middle of the year, and business owners know what that means — It’s time to identify some of the trends from the first half of the year to make the most of the next 6 months. Thanks to COVID-19, a lot has changed about the way we do business — and how employees view employment. In the era of the Great Resignation, a number of new trends have popped up that you, as an employer, should take note of. Here are 5 key trends to consider for your employer branding in 2022.
“In a tight job market, with no end in sight, employers will need to brand themselves as a great place to work, too. Brand recognition has risen to a top priority for companies in 2021. In 2022, businesses will need to effectively communicate benefits, perks, and most importantly, culture to attract talent and stay viable.” — Forbes
Diversity, equity, and inclusion, otherwise known as DEI, is often front of mind in the month of June. However, employees — especially Gen Z employees (aka your new roster of talent) — have their eye on whether your startup really believes and incorporates those three elements year-round.
A DEI strategy isn’t necessarily a quick fix, but if you want ways to make an impact today, we have some ideas for you.
2. Employee Experience
Your employees want to know your business is aligned with their values. That’s why they’re applying to work for you, and that’s what will set you apart from other businesses — especially ones with a bigger budget than a startup. However, the employee experience goes beyond the bean bag chairs, pizza days, and ping pong tables.
It’s also the hiring and onboarding experience, education and development opportunities, flexibility (which we will get to), and feeling like they’re an integral part of the company. It also means a new focus on employee mental health and wellness. After two years of uncertainty and health scares, it’s definitely top of mind. A McKinsey study found that nearly 50% of employees feel somewhat burnt out.
If you do the job well (and follow some of these steps), your employees won’t only become ambassadors for your company while they’re working for it, they’ll be ambassadors for life.
3. Moving Into Trust
Before COVID-19, a big part of being a great employee meant being present. With the huge shift to remote positions, many companies are discovering that being present at the office might not be as important as they thought — and so are numerous employees and candidates. One of the largest employment trends of 2022 is adding work-from-home options to the roster.
That means building your company culture on a pillar of trust to get the job done. In the words of Acatech, businesses and startups need to move “from a presence of culture to a culture of trust” in 2022. Employees want to know you believe in them to do the work they need to without watching over their shoulders. This can look like offering more flexibility in how and where your employees do their work or offering more pay transparency in your hiring process and around the office. However, even if you don’t have an office or storefront, your company culture is still important. If you’re worried about maintaining and engaging your employees with your startup, remember to keep your company culture alive, even in a virtual world.
4. Work-Life Balance
Right in line with the flexibility of remote working is work-life balance, something more employees are putting a premium on. It shows in the stats, too: Job ads that include the mention of remote work see nearly 300% more applications than other listings. While it isn’t always possible to offer complete remote work or schedule flexibility, being able to offer something like building a healthier workplace culture will go a long way in the second half of 2022.
A quick way to incorporate work-life balance into your culture is to schedule mental health breaks into your employees’ calendars, offer more paid sick days, flexible holidays so different religions can celebrate the days that matter to them, and maybe a prayer or meditation room to make sure everyone is feeling at home — even at work.
5. Personalized Experiences
Can you think of a job where you felt like you were replaceable? Just a cog in the ever-moving, ever-growing machine that is the company? If so, how would you rate your satisfaction? Probably not very high. No one wants to feel like they’re replaceable or under appreciated. Employees want to feel appreciated! That’s why one of the largest employer branding trends is to create personalized experiences. Your employees want to be seen, heard, and make an impact — chances are, they love what your startup does and want to feel like they’re truly a part of it. Otherwise, they’d work for someone else. You can create personalized experiences for your employees by fostering a relationship with each person, giving constructive feedback and building a career path and growth trajectory with them. According to Spoon Agency, tailoring your team’s development should also be closely linked to their ambitions.
Of course, there are numerous tips and tricks to managing your employer brand in the first place. If you struggle with where to start, don’t forget to check out our blog. We offer tons of tips (like these ones!) for how to build, grow, and integrate an employer brand into your startup’s business plan as you get off the ground. If you feel like you still aren’t getting the job done to its ultimate capacity… Well, it’s kind of what we’re good at. Get in touch any time! We’ll get you sorted and on your way ASAP.