The Employer Brand Credibility Gap: Bridging the Divide

Have you ever taken what you thought would be a dream job as promised during the interview phase only to turn up and find out that the reality is quite different? If so, you’re not alone!

In fact, newly published research by Weber Shandwick with KRC Research finds that only 19% of employees globally believe there is a strong match between what their employer promises and what they actually experience. This mismatch highlights a credibility gap that exposes employers to reputation risk.

The research shows that although a perfect match between the employer brand and employee experience is hard to achieve, organisations reap great benefits when there is alignment between the two – including better recruitment, stronger advocacy, greater retention and increased productivity.

[Related: Labour Trends: 5 Disruptions Impacting Jobs in 2018]

The popularity of Glassdoor shows that it is easier than ever for potential employees to capture a glimpse into the reality of an organisation’s employee experience. As such, an authentic employer brand is particularly critical in this time of extreme transparency where job candidates make reputational assessments with ease based on what an organization’s employees say online or through word of mouth.

The good news is that this also presents a huge opportunity for organisations. In the UK, less than 10% of employees resolutely disagree that there is any alignment between what employers say about themselves and what they experience. This segment is basically unmovable. The largest segment – 73% – fall in between. These are “marginally aligned” employees, and their employers have the opportunity to change perceptions by better defining and making real an employer brand that employees recognize, believe and promote. Moving the 30% who “agree” that there is alignment to the “strongly agree” group would be the best use of company time.

[Related: Employee Satisfaction Surveys]

Of course, a credible employer brand doesn’t happen by accident. It is fostered deliberately through values, leadership, and good employee communications, and it is told with a compelling narrative that is authentic, recognisable and brings to life the actual experience employees have working at an organisation. Best practices – from building to activating – are gleaned from the research and can be found in the report.

The research, The Employer Brand Credibility Gap: Bridging the Divide, was commissioned by global communications and engagement firm Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research and is based on the online responses of 1,902 full-time employees across 19 markets worldwide. It follows Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism, a groundbreaking study published in 2014 about how employee activists were sparking a new social movement in the digital age.

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