That’s what we’ve been asking ourselves over the past few months.
And it must have, since Candidate care has plummeted and Employer Value Propositions seem to have disappeared.
Staff benefits, mental wellness initiatives, DEI programs, ESG promotion and the coveted employee-employer relationship were reactions to a Candidate-in-power market.
How distant those luxuries feel in 2023, say our candidates – some of the most talented Tech candidates in the country.
And 77% of Australian executives currently rank ‘attracting and retaining talent’ as their most significant issue, higher than every other concern – whilst Glassdoor reveals that job applicants are increasingly being “ghosted” by employers & recruiters at unprecedented levels.
So, what impact is a poor EVP having on those companies?
Up until the tech-crunch hiring methods were wild.
Employers hiring out of FOMO versus proper Organisational design, over-paying for candidates, offering ridiculous counter-offers for staff to stay (usually for a short amount of time) and so on.
The last 6 months have seen a reversal in much of that, highlighted by redundancies, AI and reduced growth targets.
How has this all affected Employer Branding/EVP?
Well, an EVP has 3 major components; reputation, proposition & experience.
Here’s exactly how each component has collectively regressed over the past 6 months:
Layoffs destroy short & long-term trust - (EVP component #1, reputation).
Your company’s reputation has suffered immeasurable damage. Current staff, alumni and future prospects have taken the hit thanks to leaderships’ inaccurate management.
(What I can’t stop thinking about is how the majority of firms that conduct layoffs do not actually see improved profitability, (Downsizing: Datta, Basuil, Radeva).
Whilst there are of course short-term cost savings, the company then enters a new reality.
Viral bad publicity, IP loss, low employee trust & engagement, higher voluntary turnover, and lower innovation. Profit killers.)
In Real Time’s February Sonar report into the Payments candidate market, we asked candidates appetites to join a Buy-now-pay-later company after word spread that OpenPay was cutting 80% of its headcount. This is what we discovered;
- 68% of candidates said they would likely not seek to join a BNPL in 2023.
- 52% of candidates currently at a BNPL open to a new role in 2023.
- 31% of Full time employees currently at a BNPL are worried about job security.
- The candidate appetite to join a Crypto-startup is currently even lower than BNPL
RIP Candidate power 2020-2022 ??? - (EVP component #2, proposition).
‘Proposition’ is the trade-off. The benefits an employee receives (salary, perks, flexibility, L&D) in return for their pound of flesh (role requirements, targets, expectations).
In a rare moment in employee-employer history, this proposition dipped in the favour of the candidate during 2020-2022 in many industries.
I think it has now swung back to an equilibrium, however the employers are acting like they have all of the power. And candidates are responding in-kind, resulting in higher voluntary turnover.
All whilst business leaders say their #1 issue is ‘attracting and retaining staff’?
The robots aren’t to blame - (EVP component #3, experience).
“Your employee experience reflects the reputation evaluation criteria you’ve chosen to prioritise” Bryan Adams, HBR.
(Which is why hirers have to be so careful when embedding AI into their process. (There are already a few early horror stories). It yells cost-cutting, impersonality, arm-length engagement & is at this stage still regarded as a hindrance to candidates. Far from the warm & fuzzy experience a lot of candidates now expect) – Chang, Boston University.
A lot of companies have taken a hit over the past 12 months. For those who are hiring, their competitors are hiring too and many have really dropped the ball on candidate experience.
This happens for a few reasons:
- The direction of the company is unclear
- The morale of the interviewers is low
- The workloads of the interviewers is too high
- Your recruitment processes are changing or dated
Good candidates are also interviewing you. Seeking any inklings that expose the reality of the Employers’ situation. And they also relay this information back to the recruiter, and to their networks – much more than you’d guess so.
To make sure your EVP gives you a chance of winning talent, do what the best do:
Base it on Talent Intelligence.
TI is the silver bullet to hiring. It allows you to deeply understand your specific candidate market. It’s like asking the fish what bait it wants, when & why.
Tailor it to the department.
Are your BDMs & Back-end Developers motivated the same?
Consider, how do your competitors keep winning the Product Managers you miss out on?
Review, challenge, review, challenge.
Not just analysing external talent, though interviewing your current team & also conducting proper exit interviews
Make it consistent throughout the entire hiring, onboarding & offboarding process.
Interviewers don’t depend on gut-feel and “Brian” isn’t brought in as a final once-over of the candidate. Every stage is purposely structured to assess exactly what you need to, and again, “reflect the reputation evaluation criteria you’ve chosen to prioritise.”
There should be no yielding to perceived employee-employer power.
If a company wants to be an employer of choice they need a consistent, introspective & high value EVP.
Thanks for reading & best of luck out there! Contact Us