Dubai: In today’s hyper competitive market, companies have to find ways to differentiate themselves to become an employer of choice and ensure not only talent attraction, but also retention. In the latest Bayt.com poll entitled Employer Branding in the Middle East and North Africa, the leading job site in the Middle East found that engaging with potential job seekers online is positive for a company’s employer branding and is demanded by 94.7% of the region’s job seekers. In fact, two thirds of these job seekers (66.5%) said they follow companies on job sites to ‘learn about their work environment’. That being said, the majority (82.3%) of respondents believe that it is currently ‘difficult’ to learn about company culture and work environment before applying for a job, including three in every four respondents (76.1%) who say that it is ‘very difficult’. Only one in 10 respondents claimed that finding out sufficient information about the company culture and work environment was easy (10.9%).
The Employer Branding Imperative
93.6% of job seekers believe that a company’s employer brand is important for its success, with 85.9% stating that it is ‘very important’. When asked about the benefits of employer branding, seven out of 10 MENA respondents said ‘ease of attracting job seekers’ (70.2%). Others also mentioned ‘recognition as an employer of choice’ (3.4%), and ‘better employee engagement’ (2.2%).
What’s more, nine in every 10 respondents claim that online employer branding helps ‘increase talent retention rates’ (89.8%) and 79% agreed that it can also help ‘reduce long-term hiring costs’.
Two thirds of respondents believe that the most harmful thing for an employer brand is ‘not communicating with talent’ (67.4%), this is followed by an ‘unprofessional work environment’ (6.6%), ‘unclear job descriptions’ (2.5%), and ‘lack of information on job sites’ (2.3%).
When asked about who in the company was responsible for employer branding, a majority of the respondents answered that the onus lay on ‘the HR department’ (69.1%), followed by ‘all employees’ (15.2%), ‘the marketing department’ (10.3%), and ‘the company’s senior management’ (3.6%).
“The recent technological advancements and trends, which make information easily and readily accessible, have rendered employer branding one of modern-day essential business practices. Indeed, in today’s hyper-connected world, and amidst the ongoing battle to hire and retain the best talent, companies that manage their online presence and create a powerful online brand are able to better position themselves as an employer of choice among top talent. Bayt.com provides employers around the region the essential tools to elevate their employer brand and become a more attractive workplace for potential job seekers. In fact, a full branding platform is now launched on Bayt.com to allow companies to share more information with their target talent, attract more applicants, and track and measure their brand power in real time,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President, Employer Solutions, Bayt.com.
The Importance of an Employer’s Digital Presence
In today’s digital era, one of the best ways to let people know about your work environment is by being active online and engaging with your audience. Humanizing the digital approach is essential to make potential employees relate to your company. In fact, more than three quarters of MENA respondents believe that ‘online job sites’ (79.9%) work best for employer branding. Other channels such as ‘social media’ (9.6%), a ‘company’s own website’ (5.2%), ‘PR and media’ (2.2%) and ‘offline events and marketing’ (0.7%) are reported to be less effective.
Nine out of 10 MENA respondents (93%) say that they ‘research a company online before applying for a job’, while only 7% do not. Job seekers in MENA follow companies on job sites to ‘learn about their work environment’ (66.5%), to ‘find and apply for jobs’ (15.4%), to ‘evaluate a job offer’ (1.9%), as well as to ‘check the latest news and updates’ (1.8%), and to ‘prepare for an interview’ (1.6%).
At 62%, ‘reputation and culture’ rate high on the list of priorities as an important type of information respondents need to know about companies. This, in addition to ‘work environment and facilities’, ‘perks and benefits’, and ‘rewards and recognition’ are all important points of consideration for a quarter of MENA respondents (24.2%).
Data for the 2018 Bayt.com ‘Employer Branding in the Middle East and North Africa’ poll was collected online from June 10 2018 to August 02 2018. Results are based on a sample of 8,681 respondents. Countries that participated are the UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Morocco, Bahrain, Tunisia, and others.