Survey finds job hunters value company reputation over pay and benefits 

Employers who fail to build a strong, positive employer brand risk losing more than half of their prospective job candidates, research has found.

A survey with more than a thousand employees, by professional networking site LinkedIn (LI), revealed that a company’s reputation was more important to jobseekers than pay or benefits when deciding whether to apply for a vacancy or accept an offer.

In its report Winning Talent, LI revealed that 53 per cent of respondents said they would rule out a job offer from an organisation that was known for its poor job security, dysfunctional teams or poor leadership. And a less-than-glowing reference from current or previous staff along with a poor reputation among industry peers were also among the top five reasons for jobseekers to give an organisation the cold shoulder.

LI said that a poor reputation could also be costing employers money in addition to severely limiting their choice of staff. The study showed that companies which don’t invest in their employer brand may be paying an additional £2,270 per hire – compared to companies with a good reputation – which could add as much as £4,080,000 to the annual wage bill for an organisation with 10,000 employees.

Chris Brown, director of LI Talent Solutions UK, said: “Our report shows that a poor employer brand or reputation does not just make it harder to find the best staff, but also impacts a company’s bottom line. In addition to simply attracting better employees, a strong employer brand helps employee retention and engagement, so the true value is even greater than this data suggests.”

In addition to a good reputation, employers aiming to entice the best employees should also revisit the benefits they offer and how these perks are promoted, Brown added.

“Better communicating the benefits and attractions of their business to potential recruits has to be top of the agenda for recruitment, resourcing and talent professionals,” he said.

More than a third of employees (36 per cent) surveyed by LI said flexible working arrangements and evidence of a positive working culture were highly valued and would tip the balance in favour of a job opportunity even if family and friends disapproved of the firm.

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