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Employer branding as an important multiplier in recruiting

43 percent of German companies see the shortage of skilled workers as a business risk, according to a recent survey by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Barely one and a half years after the beginnings of the Corona crisis, the lack of highly qualified specialists has not only reached pre-crisis levels, but has even exceeded them, according to the Institute of the German Economy. In May 2021, there was a total shortage of 268,786 qualified workers in Germany. The development of remote working and home office with few days of presence, favoured by the pandemic situation, makes recruiting and onboarding more difficult for human resources managers. In addition, the HR department must not lose sight of existing employees in order to minimise fluctuations. We asked Theresa Vollmer, Head of Full Moon People, about the importance of employer branding for HR - especially recruiting.

How long have you been involved with HR issues?
Theresa:
I studied social sciences and already at that time I started to deal more intensively with "personnel topics" - I was particularly interested in the sociology of work and companies as well as systems theory. I have been responsible for human resources for five years now, have had many training courses and have always been open to learning a lot from customers, employees and applicants in my everyday work. I have a lot of fun accompanying people on their professional path and helping them to progress. I am particularly pleased that I have always had a high rate of my employees being taken on by clients, even in hard times like 2020. I am still in regular contact with the majority of my former employees and all of them, without exception, would love to work for me or with me again. That is a nice confirmation!

What fascinates you most about recruiting and why did employer branding come into your focus?
Theresa:
In recruiting, I find the interplay of different expectations particularly exciting: on the one hand, you're talking to a great applicant and on the other hand, you're talking to the corporate client. Both have certain expectations. As a recruiter, it's my job to balance the two sides and bring together those who fit together best. Often the facts alone are not enough for this assessment and it is necessary to find out what the actual motivations and wishes are. This requires a lot of tact. 
Working in the staffing industry, I quickly realised the relevance of employer branding. Temporary employment brings with it the problem that the client is only helped in the short term. After 18-24 months, the employee leaves the client company and takes all their knowledge with them. In my opinion, a long-term solution is to strengthen the employer brand through various employer branding measures. Skilled workers, trainees, but also all other employees are looking for an employer they can be enthusiastic about, where they experience appreciation and work in a pleasant working atmosphere. Many companies offer this, but they do not communicate it to the outside world. Often the application process is so complicated and lengthy that it deters great applicants. This is where Full Moon can provide uncomplicated help for self-help with its expertise, among other things, and thus be more than just a service provider.

How are employer branding, personnel marketing and recruiting actually connected?
Theresa:
The areas are very closely linked, and in some cases the transitions are fluid. Take Google, for example. It is generally known that Google has very modern structures and is a model in the areas of internal communication and working atmosphere. This is because the company not only implements things, but also actively talks about them and presents itself as a pioneer. Therefore, it is an absolute dream for many employees to work for Google. The location or the pay are second priority. Of course, in the end, the actual working conditions must also correspond to the image communicated to the outside world in order to avoid a high staff turnover. 
Many companies have not yet understood that employees are no longer in a "supplicant position", but that the recruiting process also puts companies in an application situation for suitable skilled personnel. I often hear from applicants what bad experiences they have had in the application process - be it bored interviewers or long feedback deadlines or even very unpleasant interview management. This does not reflect well on the company as a whole. That's why, for me, recruiters and HR staff are just as much brand ambassadors for their company as the sales department is.

What role does employer branding play for you in recruiting?
Theresa:
Employer branding is an important multiplier in recruiting that is becoming more and more important. In the long run, it can also save costs because you no longer have to rely on expensive service providers, headhunters or job portals to find suitable candidates.

What challenges do you currently see in recruiting?
Theresa:
Against the background of the current situation, the biggest challenges clearly lie in the digital selection process and how to design it in such a way that both sides get a realistic picture of each other. Despite various digital meeting tools, you only get a real feeling for your counterpart in a face-to-face conversation. It is important to find ways to get as close as possible to the face-to-face meeting. 
Furthermore, onboarding is a big issue. Many new employees do not build up a relationship with their new employer, as they do not get to know their colleagues properly from remote, nor can they develop a feeling for the working atmosphere.

In your opinion, how important is the candidate experience?
Theresa:
For me, the candidate journey or candidate experience is extremely important and within my team we are constantly working on improving it. People say there is no second chance for a first impression. This also applies to companies. For me, the main pillars are commitment and appreciation. Even if you don't get hired, you have the opportunity to expand your network or work together at a later date. In addition, applicants share their experiences with friends or in internet forums and thus influence the external perception of a company.

Why is employer branding also important internally?
Theresa:
Internal employer branding is aimed specifically at existing employees and is intended to increase identification with the company, which in turn increases employee satisfaction, loyalty and retention. This in turn leads to lower fluctuation and thus less loss of know-how within the company. Overall, a decrease in fluctuation can "save" enormous HR costs in the areas of recruiting and induction. 

Dear Theresa, thank you very much for the interview!
Feel free to contact our specialists at any time with any questions you may have about your employer brand. We will be happy to advise you!

Requests to:
Katrin Jetter (Senior Consultant)
arbeitgebermarke@fullmoon.de

Would you like to know how strong your employer brand is?
Click here for our free initial check (only available in German).

Read more about the topic in the magazine article "The relevance of employer branding for effective personnel marketing".

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