Weber Shandwick has conducted a global survey that finds that only 19 percent of employees globally perceive a strong match between how their employer represents itself and what they experience. Only 19 percent of employees globally report their experience at work matches their organisation’s employer brand.
In Australia, employees rate this alignment as the second highest globally (29%), behind India (33%), with Mexico (28%), Brazil (26%) and China (25%) making up the rest of the top five.
This highlights a credibility gap that exposes employers to reputational risk. Closing the gap provides an opportunity for employers to more successfully drive recruitment, employee engagement and retention. An authentic employer brand is particularly critical in an age of extreme transparency where job candidates make reputational assessments with ease based on what an organisation’s employees say online or through word of mouth.
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 ground-breaking study published in 2014 about how employee activists were sparking a new social movement in the digital age.
The Employer Brand Continuum
Although the level of employer brand credibility is disappointing at 19 percent, our study finds that the terrain for improvement is wide open. Only a minority of employees (7 percent) resolutely disagrees that there is an alignment between what employers say about themselves and what they experience. The largest segment – 74 percent – falls in between. These are “marginally aligned” employees, and their employers have the opportunity to change perceptions by better defining and living an employer brand that employees recognise, believe and promote.
The Business Case for Bridging the Divide
Although credible employer brands are hard to achieve, organisations reap the following when there is alignment between employer brand and employee experience:
- Better Recruitment. Employees in aligned organisations are more likely than organisations on average to recommend their employer as a place to work (76 percent vs. 54 percent, respectively).
- Stronger Advocacy. Employees in aligned organisations are more likely than organisations on average to urge others to buy their company’s products or services (59 percent vs. 49 percent) and post or share praise online about their employer (41 percent vs. 23 percent).
- Greater Retention. Employees in aligned organisations are more likely than organisations on average to be very likely to continue to work for their employer over the next year (77 percent vs. 64 percent).
- Increased Productivity. Employees in aligned organisations are more likely than organisations on average to put more effort into their job than is required (54 percent vs. 40 percent).