Experts from the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU) have studied the employer branding practices of the most prominent Russian companies during the coronavirus crisis as part of the research “Employer branding in companies in a pandemic: goals, tools, results”. The main conclusion is that employer brand focus and unique employer value proposition for different employee audiences lead to success in recruitment.
The research consisted of two stages. The first included a survey among 24 international companies — winners of the best employer rankings in 2019, the second part included surveys of representatives of 153 knowledge-intensive firms mainly from the consulting and IT sectors. The researchers were interested in how these companies used the employer branding practices.
"We conducted a survey of the best employers in Russia, and then conducted a comparative analysis of their employer branding practices in order to attract qualified professionals during the corona-crisis period. We analyzed the employer branding goals and the employer value proposition, communication channels and brand values that companies, as employers, shared,” said Dmitry Kucherov, Head of the research group, Associate Professor, Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management.
Antonina Lisovskaya, Associate Professor of the Department of Organizational Behavior and Personnel Management, noted: “Companies used employer branding during the coronavirus crisis as an element of strategic HR and an important corporate challenge. It should be noted that a special focus of employer branding practices was on the youth market. That's why companies have been actively using the Internet to promote the employer's brand, for example, the TikTok social network. Some questions have remained for future researches: who is actually responsible for the employer branding in the company, and how recruitment decisions relate to employer branding decisions and employer brand values."
Olga Alkanova, Senior Lecturer, Marketing Department, spoke about the relationship between the development of the employer brand and recruitment indicators, which was confirmed by the results of the second part of the research. “Most of the knowledge-intensive firms, the winners of the best employer rankings, did not reduce a number of employees and even increased it. We concluded that there is a statistically significant positive connection between the orientation of companies towards the employer branding, the creation of a value proposition of the employer for different audiences, and the strategy for attracting or retaining employees,” said Olga Alkanova.
The research was presented at GSOM SPbU in March 2021. HR managers from AB inBev, Russian Railways, Space307 and Ernst & Young took part in the event.
Employer branding is an interdisciplinary field of research that includes the areas of human resource management, marketing and branding, and social psychology. Also, employer branding is a specialized area of management consulting and an in-house business process in large companies.