Recruitment marketers, talent acquisition practitioners and employer branding specialists from around the world gathered virtually on May 6, 2020, for the RallyFwd™ Virtual Conference. Together, we learned from industry thought leaders and employer brand mentors on how to navigate uncertainty during the COVID-19 crisis and still thrive. From new approaches to employee engagement to recruiting with purpose to changes in corporate culture, our speakers offered strategies and guidance to help lead with your employer brand. We also learned about new technology and product demos that improve how we attract and recruit talent today and moving forward.
With the help of live polling, we asked RallyFwd attendees about their own experience and challenges in recruiting and managing the candidate and employee experience while facing unprecedented challenges. Here are the results! Let us know if these statistics come as a surprise or if they align with your own experiences and expectations.
1. RallyFwd attendees think candidates will choose stable companies over a higher paycheck
Although everyone would like to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this crisis, we can’t know how much longer the pandemic will disrupt the way we work and live. It’s highly likely candidates will choose a stable company that can weather the storm over a higher-paying job, but potentially more volatile. RallyFwd attendees believe that candidates will hedge their bets that what’s really important is the stability of their paycheck, as well as how their employers respect them.
RallyFwd speaker Chantell Cooper, Arbonne’s Global Director of Talent Acquisition, shared that companies must position themselves around their values. More employees will place a higher priority on working with organizations that treat their teams well and make a positive impact in the world. Chantell shared how to hire candidates who align with your mission, purpose and values and how to prepare for the changing workforce expectations in a post-COVID-19 world.
2. 53% of RallyFwd attendees are still trying to navigate this crisis, and 45% are ready to move forward
How a company moves forward requires authenticity and thoughtfulness. RallyFwd’s closing keynote speaker, Kathryn Minshew, CEO & Founder of The Muse, presented her outlook on the impact of COVID-19 on employers, the world and on our roles. Recruitment Marketing, talent acquisition, human resources and employer branding teams all play a valuable role in how a company will handle this pandemic and move forward. Kathryn predicts that companies will no longer be able to hide behind inauthenticity and how we treat employees, candidates and customers will impact business performance for years to come.
3. The majority of practitioners are making changes to their Recruitment Marketing content; however, only a fraction reported an overhaul
Whether you’re completely overhauling your recruitment content or just making small changes, it’s important to focus on creating one voice that resonates across all communication channels and gets buy-in from leadership. RallyFwd speaker Chloé Rada, Director of Talent Administration, Technology & Branding at Sodexo USA, discussed her strategies for creating and implementing a crisis communications plan to help your company prepare for whatever comes next.
4. The industry is seeing a slowdown in hiring with 39% of attendees cutting back on their plans, and 24% freezing all new hires
The global pandemic has inevitably caused a slow down in many hiring and recruiting sectors; however, some industries are experiencing a surge in hiring. 24% of RallyFwd attendees said they are sticking with their 2020 recruiting plan or hiring like mad.
5. A company’s culture will change as a result of the pandemic, according to 81% of RallyFwd attendees
The COVID-19 pandemic has displaced millions of workers while creating hiring surges in other areas. We’ve also stepped into a global trend where we’re all encouraged or mandated to work from home. No matter how you look at it, the crisis has changed how we work and how we work together, and the majority of RallyFwd attendees said company culture will change as a result.
Marilyn Yee, Global Employer Branding & People Communications at Klook, shared how company culture is dynamic and constantly changing. The crisis only accelerated the change and is forcing companies to clarify their values and how it directly impacts a company’s competitiveness.
6. The majority of attendees said their CEO knows what an Employer Brand is, but 28% said that they weren’t sure
At RallyFwd, we learned that not all CEOs, Presidents, and company leaders understand what an employer brand is, which inevitably means they don’t understand how their corporate brand is tied to their employer brand. Ashley Waxman, Head of Employer Brand & Social at Asana, advised attendees that at the end of the day, the employer brand and corporate brand are the same in the eyes of the employees, candidates and customers. She offered insights into why all of our communication and content channels, from marketing to recruiting and HR, must all align with one voice to ensure everyone has the same information and assurances.
7. The majority of our RallyFwd attendees said they felt empowered to influence how their company is treating employees and candidates
The world is watching how companies treat employees during the COVID-19 crisis with new websites popping up that rate how well employers are doing. Make no mistake that the employee experience will directly impact how candidates view a company’s brand. Employees also aren’t shy about taking to social media or turning to Glassdoor to out companies who are less than sympathetic during this crisis. Vocal employees help shape your employer brand, both in negative and positive ways, and send signals to potential candidates.
RallyFwd speaker Charlotte Marshall also wrote an insightful article on three ways your employer brand can re-recruit employees during the coronavirus crisis and beyond.
8. Only 40% of those polled said their company has a defined EVP
We all know how important an authentic employer brand is; however, companies are under more scrutiny and visibility than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. Debbie Celado, Head of Employer Brand & Recruitment Marketing for The Americas at Philips, guided RallyFwd attendees through how to assess if your EVP is holding true or needs adjusting to align with the current climate. She also shared how her company’s EVP has held up due to the rigorous process they used to create their authentic EVP in the first place.
9. On a scale of 1 to 10, 26% of RallyFwd attendees voted 8 on whether or not they tell candidates about the challenges and adversity faced when working at their company
Recruitment Marketing and talent acquisition practitioners often spend their time focusing on the benefits of working in a company. Charlotte Marshall, co-author of Give and Get Employer Branding, takes a different approach and advised RallyFwd attendees that we could be attracting talent the wrong way. Instead of obsessing over our authentic strengths and benefits, we can recruit the right talent by pointing out the adversity and challenges in companies that help employees thrive. On a scale of 1 to 10, RallyFwd attendees averaged 7.3 for whether they openly tell candidates about the adversity faced by their employees.
Fine-tuning your EVP using the “Give and Get” framework can outline what an employee should expect in return for their efforts. Impact, purpose, and belonging also help influence candidate decisions and builds a more authentic brand. The result is more disarming, builds trust and can supercharge your talent acquisition strategy.
10. On a scale of 1 to 10, 34% of RallyFwd attendees voted 10 on how well their leadership is living their company values during this crisis
Leadership should live the values of their company to set an example for employees and potential candidates, but are they? According to our RallyFwd poll, the average score was 8.2 out of 10 for leaders living up to their company values. Without authentic leadership taking the helm, the world will see the gaps in a company’s EVP and that what a leader says and what their business does are two separate things. The RallyFwd session, “When Life Reveals Your Real EVP”, guided attendees on how to involve leadership and guide tough decisions about company authenticity.
11. 70% of attendees feel their job is secure during the crisis
Everyone is being affected by coronavirus, including those in the Rally community. Unfortunately 6% of RallyFwd attendees survey said they have already been laid off and 24% said their jobs are at risk. Our speakers shared how your role in Recruitment Marketing, talent acquisition and employer branding are increasingly valuable while navigating the pandemic and reshaping the employee and candidate experience.
12. The relationships between Recruitment Marketing and Marketing still needs work
Recruitment Marketing and Marketing teams must work together now more than ever, but there is still a gap of little to no relationship among one third of RallyFwd attendees, and 26% reporting that Marketing is an outright frenemy. Ashley Waxman advised that the company brand is already being viewed holistically as employer, customer and product in one. She also guided RallyFwd attendees through Asana’s own partnership between Recruitment Marketing and Marketing to communicate in one voice as one brand. She guided attendees on how to align the goals and objectives of Marketing and Recruiting, no matter who you report to.
13. 54% of companies are prioritizing employees, while 40% are prioritizing customers
Employer branding extends beyond the candidate experience and includes how companies treat their employees. 54% of RallyFwd attendees said their company is prioritizing employees over all else, and another 40% said their company prioritizes the customer. Valuing employees during the pandemic crisis can help enhance your EVP and company culture and lay the groundwork for what your company’s recovery will look like as we emerged from COVID-19.
14. More companies are relying on videos of employees for recruiting
If you haven’t started exploring how to use video in your Recruitment Marketing plan, now is the time. More candidates are looking to see how companies value their employees and how they communicate that to the world. You don’t need a big budget to get started with videos. 5% of RallyFwd attendees said they use employer generated content from iPhones and laptops, with 20% use both professionally produced and employee-generated content.
15. 60% of companies are undecided about when to return to in-person work
At the time of RallyFwd on May 6, more states were reopening their workforce with restrictions. However, that doesn’t mean everyone is returning to in-office work in droves. 60% of RallyFwd attendees were still undecided about returning to in-person work, with only 25% saying they would return as soon as possible.
16. 31% of attendees are planning to implement new recruiting technology or solutions to help them lead with their employer brand in 2020
Last December, 64% of our RallyFwd 2019 attendees reported plans to implement new technologies in 2020 to improve their candidate experience. This year, 31% said they would implement new recruiting and employer branding technologies in 2020. I also shared technology showcase highlights to RallyFwd attendees with product demonstrations from Appcast, Clinch, Glassdoor, Grayscale, iCIMS, Talemetry, The Muse and XOR to help support teams for what’s next as we emerge from COVID-19. Many of our RallyFwd speakers also provided insights about some of their company’s tech tools that help with their employer brand and content tools.
The RallyFwd Technology Showcase is available on demand to help you learn more about the emerging and established solutions available. You can access these 30-minute sessions to find out which tech can support you today and prepare you for what’s next.
We hope our RallyFwd poll offers more insights on how your colleagues and peers are navigating the pandemic. As Chloé Rada said during her Crisis Communications with Impact session, “we are in this together,” and we can offer helpful resources and messages of hope during these challenging times.
We hope you’ll find a sense of togetherness, resources and hope by checking out our RallyFwd™ Virtual Conference!