Productivity is a question of talents and engagement strategies. And companies are making every effort to include top talents in their teams through employer branding. More companies are beginning to realize the importance of aligning the companies' strategies, core values, mission and vision with their employer value proposition (EVP), according to the opinions of over 1000 marketing managers and HR managers from 41 different countries, reported in the 2018 Employer Branding Now by Universum Global.

Regardless of size, companies have moved their focus to innovation and inspiring purpose in their employer value proposition as part of their employer branding strategies. Brand differentiation and innovation have won the biggest input share as the war for talent grows stronger. And for the coming year, more companies have prioritized employer branding more, when it comes to talent management and HR businesses.

Here are three trends HR teams must know about employer branding in 2018.

Defining purpose in brands

'Inspiring purpose' represents the top drivers of attraction among young talents in China and the United States, said Universum VP for Asia Pacific William Wu while commenting on young talents attraction considering the difference in geographic location. Local talents have been presented with fantastic careers in China due to the nation's recent economic development. Hence, traditional perks such as benefits, attractive salaries, training, and development opportunities are now the least factors attracting Chinese talents, Wu said.

“Right now younger generations in China, much like their peers from the UK and North America, pay equally as much attention to the ‘softer’ elements like purpose, culture, CSR, innovation and work environment,” Wu said, according to HumanResources.

Many Chinese employers are utilizing one of the most common key qualities in employer branding: sharing stories about their 'company's purpose' to distinguish themselves from their competitors, which is a quality recognized among the World's Most Attractive Employers (WMAEs) in EVPs.

The use of video content and social media

Included in the employer branding strategies are the growing trends of social media and AI-powered recruitment. Just like the previous year's report, social media remains the channel mostly invested by employers for talent hunting, followed by digital advertising.

From the report, 70 percent of WMAEs invested a lot in video contents as the most viable channel to reach young talents. Generation Z will be joining the workforce in the coming and their love for video content will be utilized by employers to access more talent. The report shows that Gen Z has distinctive viewing habits and expectations. Companies are likely going to target new video platforms widely used by the generation, like Twitch and Snapchat.

AI-powered recruitment

Identifying matching candidates to specific roles by sweeping through a large volume of datasets is the promise offered by AI-powered recruitment. While this method of unbiased recruitment also represents the means of closing gender gap in various sectors, companies of different sizes have recently indicated interest in the technology. WMAEs are largely fascinated by the use of AI in recruitment. However, some companies expressed low enthusiasm, bluntly as a result of poor knowledge about it.

Many companies such as Unilever are beginning to take bold steps in the use of AI for recruitment marketing and more are expected to join the bandwagon following reports of their success which include cost efficiency, talent diversity and employee engagement.

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