Research shows that most leaders are facing severe challenges onboarding the right competencies to the company. In addition, many encounter a shortage of skilled talent, and in some business fields, retention is also a challenge. – Something that is still relevant even though an economic downturn is looming. The talent landscape is highly competitive and new measures need to be taken to attract and retain the right talent. 

In 2022, the talent landscape was characterised by high employee turnover, burned-out employees and return-to-office policies. Though companies and organisations will still face challenges in 2023 and the years to come, these are, to a greater extent, characterised by employees’ search for meaningful jobs, flexibility and development opportunities.

The talent landscape of today 

This is especially true for Generation Z, who brings entirely new values and norms to work. 74% of this generation, born between the mid-nineties and early 2010s, ranks purpose ahead of a paycheck. More specifically, this means that Purpose drives them to work hard – caring about and feeling engaged in what they do. It is, therefore, essential that organisations and companies find their core purpose. 

This is also evident in the survey conducted by McKinsey in 2020  (shown above), where employees were asked about the importance of purpose. The survey shows that 82% of employees feel that it is important for a company or organisation to have a purpose. Especially contributing to society and creating meaningful work are top priorities for employees. Put differently, employees find it extremely important to be part of decisions and behaviours they can be proud to stand behind. – And are drawn to organisations and companies that clearly and positively impact their personal life and the world. So, in the pursuit of talent, it does matter that the company stands for something. 

Despite the anticipated economic downturn, the need for talent attraction and retention remains significant, making it crucial for employers to prioritize their branding efforts. With greater mobility among workers, the strength of an employer brand must remain as robust as ever, if not more so. Furthermore, employees’ expectations around flexibility, well-being and meaningful work are on the rise. By investing in employer branding during a low economic period, companies can gain a competitive edge when the talent market rebounds. To meet these growing demands, we believe that identity-driven employer branding holds the key. 

Identity-driven employer branding 

Organisational identity, the “Who we are as a company”, explores organisational goals and values. Attributes connected to the organisation must be either central, enduring or distinguishing to be considered part of the organisational identity. We believe that organisational identity is the common point of departure for all activities, allowing companies to strategically position and differentiate themselves. – Something very important in employer branding. As the McKinsey survey from 2020 states, Purpose should be a deep reflection on your organisational identity. This is what we call a true identity.

Not many talked about concepts such as ‘Purpose’ and a company’s ‘Why’ many years ago. Now these are widely used. In our opinion, it is equally important to make sure that your core story is alive within your organisation. That it permeates the decisions that are made and the people that are employed. This way, we not only secure a visible and active ‘Why’, but also a clear ‘How’. Purpose is also an integral part of developing an effective employee value proposition (EVP), securing talent attraction and retention as well as a positive company culture. By using these concepts actively, you can secure both meaningfulness and differentiation at the same time. 

How is your company different from others? What can you offer employees that others cannot? Our Identity Compass helps you answer these questions by looking closely at the authentic values and behaviours integrated into your company. By engaging in this process, you will become more aware of your company. – An awareness that can be used strategically to become an employer of choice. After all,  the better the match between the values of the firm and the values of the individual, the more likely the individual is to be attracted to the organisation.

During the last decade, we have helped many companies with building strong employer brands and meaningful EVPs, talent attraction and retention. Of these, we can highlight NKT, Hamlet Protein and Nævnenes Hus, who we have all helped cultivate a strong identity and employer brand. We believe that a company’s identity is the foundation for creating value and continuous growth for companies, organisations and brands. With an increasingly competitive talent landscape, it is imperative to discover the purpose of the business you are responsible for now to make a difference.