14/08/2018 07:08 AST

Engaging with potential job seekers online is positive for a company's employer branding and is demanded by 94.7 per cent of the region’s job seekers, according to poll conducted by Bayt.com, a leading job site in the region.

Two-thirds of these job seekers (66.5 per cent) said they follow companies on job sites to ‘learn about their work environment’, said the report titled “Employer Branding in the Middle East and North Africa”.

That being said, the majority (82.3 per cent) 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 per cent) 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 per cent).

The Employer Branding Imperative

About 93.6 per cent of job seekers believe that a company’s employer brand is important for its success, with 85.9 per cent 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 per cent).Others also mentioned ‘recognition as an employer of choice’ (3.4 per cent), and ‘better employee engagement’ (2.2 per cent).

Nine in every 10 respondents claim that online employer branding helps ‘increase talent retention rates’ (89.8 per cent) and 79 per cent 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 per cent), this is followed by an ‘unprofessional work environment’ (6.6 per cent), ‘unclear job descriptions’ (2.5 per cent), and ‘lack of information on job sites’ (2.3 per cent).

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 per cent), followed by ‘all employees’ (15.2 per cent), ‘the marketing department’ (10.3 per cent), and ‘the company’s senior management’ (3.6 per cent).

“The recent technological advancements and trends, which make information easily and readily accessible, have rendered employer branding one of modern-day essential business practices,” said Suhail Masri, vice president, Employer Solutions, Bayt.com.

“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,” he added.

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 per cent) work best for employer branding. Other channels such as ‘social media’ (9.6 per cent), a ‘company’s own website’ (5.2 per cent), ‘PR and media’ (2.2 per cent) and ‘offline events and marketing’ (0.7 per cent) are reported to be less effective.

Nine out of 10 Mena respondents (93 per cent) say that they ‘research a company online before applying for a job’, while only 7 per cent do not. Job seekers in Mena follow companies on job sites to ‘learn about their work environment’ (66.5 per cent), to ‘find and apply for jobs’ (15.4 per cent), to ‘evaluate a job offer’ (1.9 per cent), as well as to ‘check the latest news and updates’ (1.8 per cent), and to ‘prepare for an interview’ (1.6 per cent).

At 62 per cent, ‘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 per cent).

The newly launched Bayt.com Branding Platform allows companies to target custom audiences through tailor-made mailers and ads with premium placement and homepage integration, as well as the ability to create a customized company profile to share more information with online talent, and real-time analytics for assessing employer branding performance.

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