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Early birds get the worm, the old adage said. But what about birds who just started learning how to fly? This metaphor can illustrate how experienced candidates and fresh graduates conduct their job search. Surely, these two are no equal comparison, as experienced candidates are more familiar with the industry compared to fresh graduates. Therefore, what does it take for you, as fellow fresh graduates, to land a job with little to no experience in the desired industry?


The answer is simple, yet very broad in meaning: potential.


Employers are well aware that fresh graduates cannot be compared to those who have graduated earlier and have more experience for a certain position. Thus, one thing worth looking for among fresh graduates is their potential for the long run. It is true that newbie candidates have a potential inside them. What makes some of them stand out among the others is the kind of potential they showcase: which one of them will grow the fastest? Which one of them will reach the highest peak of their abilities? 


As a newly graduate, one attitude you can live by and put into use to maximize your potential is the aptness for improvement. You need to understand where you are at, which is in the starting point towards more journeys ahead. Therefore, remember to tone down your ego and get rid of the thought that you already know it all, as this mindset will keep you from the willingness to learn. Fresh graduates are hired because of their openness towards growth, so remember to keep an open mind towards suggestions as this will help you improve better every day. 


Also read: Student-to-Employee Transition: What Can You Learn from an Internship? 


The next thing worth possessing as a fresh graduate is a zeal. Defined as an eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something, a zeal is one thing that can make you stand out as a fresh graduate. In showcasing this spirit, you need to master the skill of problem-solving. This means that you always know what to do in certain situations to solve problems that do not necessarily require an expertise in something or a certification. 


The ability to put the term “fresh” in fresh graduates into use by coming up with a groundbreaking problem-solving is one quality employers will surely favor. This also relates to the fact that a zeal can get fresh graduates to change the norms in a way that is beneficial to employers. As fresh graduates are not conditioned to certain behaviour or pattern, their ability to challenge the norms can get the company to keep up with the latest niche, thus leading to innovations and even efficiency gains. 


Having these said, fresh graduates are favored by employers when they are able to make use of the potential they have. In this ever-changing world, fresh graduates are expected to keep up with it for the sake of their employers. Stand out among other fresh graduates by showcasing your skill of problem-solving at any given time and strive to always improve for the better.


Also read: Students & Fresh Graduates’ Best Employers to Work for in 2021

5 Things Recruiters Know that Job Seekers Don’t 

Do you often find that recruiters and hiring managers are intimidating? Don’t worry, they are not. They simply want to give you the best hiring experience in their own way. What you should pay more attention to is the secret behind their actions, because there are certain things that hiring managers do not want to reveal in front of their candidates. According to Dandan Zhu, Founder and CEO at DG Recruit, here are a few things recruiters and hiring managers know that job seekers don’t. 

#1 – All basic qualifications having been met 

“The smartest people do not actually end up succeeding the most in real life, while the dumbest people also have just as good as a chance to survive, if not thrive.” 

It means that B or C level students might be as good as A+ students in real life.  In other words, when it comes to the workplace, this means that the most talented and technically savvy engineer doesn’t always become the CTO. Most of the time, it is usually the politically admired and personally connected talent who wins and progresses into the C-suite. Basic qualifications are important to be considered as a feasible candidate, but success is dedicated more by one’s ability to influence, actively listen and respond appropriately, level of social etiquette, and general accentedness by their peers and superiors than one’s technical scores. 

See also: Job vs. Career: Life-long Adventure after Graduation

#2 – HR people are not that important in the hiring hierarchy 

“As you become a serious professional, you can utilise LinkedIn to directly approach hiring managers.” 

Most graduates might think that HR people deserve the utmost respect as they were the gateway to their future career prospects. Yet, Zhu emphasised that it is the hiring manager that makes the utmost decision, while HR is the service and administrative function in the process. Hiring manager dictates everything, including who to interview, what price to pay them, who to hire, and which headhunters to utilise. 

#3 – Job applicants can negotiate and leverage other offers to great effect 

“In today’s world, it is all about the etiquette and manner in which you communicate.” 

As a job applicant, you might be scared of upsetting prospective employers about disclosing where else you are going for job interviews and how much money you actually want. Yet, if a high-demand labour market where the supply of jobs outstrips candidates available, you actually hold a lot more power than employers do. 

Therefore, it is vital for you to research your niche and whether the position you are applying for is currently in the high demand labour market or not. Only then, you know your worth to negotiate and be transparent about offers. If handled appropriately, this will increase employers’ desire for you, not penalise you for looking greedy or not interested. Communication is the mother of all success when it comes to negotiation, thus master it. 

#4 – Interview your interviewers harder 

“Don’t be scared to say what’s on your mind. If something important to you does not align with your future employer, things won’t work out anyways, so it is better to know before you take the job to begin with.” 

Commonly, candidates are so scared of losing job offers or being looked at as needy or demanding so they don’t actually say what’s on their mind. This, however, could hurt your success on the job even if you manage to get a great salary and offer. Chances are, you probably agreed to something that you did not fully understand or align with.

That’s why it’s your prerogative to be a strong communicator. Get the answers you truly need during interviews by asking tough questions that are detailed and specific. This is where you’ll be spending your next few years; you better be aggressive in how you get it out!

#5 – Interview even if you don’t need to 

“Go out and interview even if you don’t need to.” 

Due to loyalty, fear, laziness, and/or arrogance, most candidates refuse to proactively learn about what opportunities are available. Don’t be like these most candidates. No matter if you need to look or not, once you hit a certain amount of experience in your role, it is time to take your head out of the sand and start interviewing, even if just for your own education. 

Read also: What to Do When You Hear Nothing from a Job Application?

When it comes to using social media for professional purposes, most people would agree that LinkedIn is a good place for jobseekers to connect with potential employers and find a job. If you are on the position of actively seeking for new employment, you can take advantage of the network you have built and get in touch with recruiters who search for talents in your field of expertise.

Among other features, the headline is probably the most crucial element of your LinkedIn profile. Headline is a 120-character descriptive column that will appear in search results along with your name, photo, and location. This section is the key if you want potential employers to visit your profile and find out more detailed information about you. To spark their interest to click on your profile, you should create a memorable and appealing headline by describing what you do and what you have to offer.

To let recruiters know that they are on job hunting, some people might put phrases such as ‘seeking new opportunities’, ‘looking for new challenges,’ ‘open for new roles’, or ‘considering new employment’ on their LinkedIn headline. By using such phrases, your profile will show up on the search results when recruiters type these keywords on LinkedIn search. The aim is to directly tell them that you are keen to explore new opportunities.

While it is obvious that you should make the most of your headline to entice recruiters and land a job, do you really need to state and indicate that you are seeking new opportunities on your LinkedIn profile?

On the positive note, advertise your availability on your headline could be a direct signal for recruiters that you are open for new employment. This will help them to find the right candidates who are really looking for job, instead of just guessing and meeting those who are not really interested in moving on from their current companies. Not mention, some recruiters do source for active and available candidates by typing related keywords on LinkedIn search.

However, announcing on LinkedIn headline that you are seeking new opportunities could also mean that you are currently unemployed. Some recruiters and hiring managers could interpret such statement as someone being too desperate about getting employed. Some other might tend to avoid candidates who put similar phrases on their profile, because they might not be interested in hiring someone who have been laid off from their job.

Additionally, using such phrases on your headline will not help your profile stand out from the crowd as it does not communicate specifically about your skills, work experience, career goals, or even the industry itself. Oftentimes, recruiters end up wasting their time for nothing when finding that candidate’s resume is not relevant with the roles they are seeking.

If you are currently employed, announcing that you are open to new opportunities is not a wise move, too. When your employer knows about this, they might wonder why, how, and when you want to intend to leave the company. Such presumption could create awkward relationship between you and your boss, even when you are still working there.

Towards the end, either you are currently employed or unemployed, it will be better to avoid putting such phrase on your LinkedIn headline. Instead, you can activate LinkedIn’s Open Candidate feature to let recruiters know your availability for job offerings. If you are on incognito search, your current employer will not find out this because LinkedIn will hide such information from your boss and only premium recruiters can see this availability.

Read also: 5 Healthy Work Habits for Healthier Office Life

Building and sustaining talent pipeline remains major challenge among business leaders. Consequently, job hopping might be a nightmare for most employers. When an employee leave the team after a year or two, it means that the organisation will waste the training and development invested in the individual. Not only financial loss, employee voluntary turnover does affect the entire team morale and productivity as well. However, as daunting as it might be, Millennials might see job hopping differently from the other older generations.

Recent Gallup survey finds that Millennial is the most likely generation to switch jobs, as 60 percent Millennial respondents stating that they are open to a new job opportunity while having one already. Owing to this trend, the study estimates that millennial turnover might cost the economy $30.5 billion annually. Having reputation as the least engaged generation in the workplace, how can multinational companies (MNCs) ensure their talent retention?

As the first generation of digital natives, Millennials have more formal education than the previous generations, as well as mastering multitasking skills through ample exposure of media and technology. They are known for distinctive characteristics compared to Generation X and Baby Boomers, including their attitudes in the workplace. Robert Walters study reveals that 91 percent Millennials want rapid career progression. To achieve this ambition, 52 percent respondents are willing to grow their career abroad and find a fulfilling job.

Competition for global talent is heating up. To win this intensifying war for the best talent, multinational companies need to come up with a well-arranged strategy. As multinationals seek to grow bigger and stronger in the global stage, they need to attract potential talents and improve employee retention. Given that Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, it is imperative for leaders to observe and identify the best method to attract and engage them.

Below are 5 tips to engage and ensure Millennial talent retention in MNCs:

  1.    Enhance the employer brand

Good reputation and strong employer brand are must-haves for global organisations to thrive and succeed in the global talent marketplace. Having reputed and recognised brand will help you attract potential local talents who seek to scale up their career.

  1.    Provide clear career path

More than just a stable job and competitive salary, Millennials want career progression. According to Robert Walters study, 69 percent Millennials believe that clear path for progression in the business field is among the most important factor in keeping them engaged and motivated.

  1.    Leverage new technology

As multinational companies, you need to leverage the power of new technology not only to run the business smoothly, but also to keep your top performers. For example, you can use big data and analytics to enhance employee experience and improve satisfaction.

  1.    Offer flexibility

Work-life balance is among the most-sought perks for Millennials. Therefore, you can offer flexible work arrangement for your employees, such as letting them arrange their own schedule, provide an option to remote working, and give them freedom to work on certain project. Through this method, your employees in branch office will not feel as if they are being mere puppets for the headquarters.

  1.    Break down cultural barriers

Cultural and language barriers often become great challenge for both local leaders and employees. To solve this problem, you should help them develop cross-cultural understanding and improve their communication skills in interacting with each other effectively.

Next read: How to Find Jobs that Suit Your Personality Type and Innate Skills

When it comes to job interviews, is honesty the best policy? While majority will say a definite yes as their reply, some others might think the other way around. But seriously, with elevated background screening practices now followed by employers, why do people risk their reputation by lying about their past experiences during the job hunting process?

Well, the obvious need we see is definitely to secure a great job offer from reputed companies and pave inroads into the industry they aspire to work for. The need to lie also stems from the fact that employers only recruit candidates with exceptional skills and unique set of experiences working for specific industries, thus driving away the passionately driven employees who perhaps never got lucky with great opportunities, go unnoticed.

So to seek employer’s attention and get selected for interviews with companies, the job applicants are compelled with the need to lie and draft their resumes with industry-specific keywords to pass through ATS filtering, and make it to the top of recruiter’s list .

According to a CareerBuilder survey, the pressure to stand out among the crowd has made job seekers to embellish their skills and qualifications in a CV. The survey further reveals that as much as 58 percent employers said, they have caught lies on a resume.

Jobvite 2015 Jobseeker Nation findings reveal an astonishing insight that 31 percent Twitter respondents have inflated their skills, while 27 percent Facebook users fabricated job references on their social media accounts.

Given that resume is the first medium to create brilliant impression on the minds of employers to understand candidate’s skills, qualification and experiences to be called upon for rounds of interviews before landing the job. But what happens when resume represent inaccurate employment dates or discrepancies in job roles held? Recruiters are then left to prod and re-evaluate their decisions, since they immediately recognise that the applicant has been lying about their tenure for an employer or job roles held in their career. This also creates vacuum of distrust and makes recruiters to probe and delve deeper to discover the real truth.

On screening through piles of resumes, employers would like to design an interview as a section to test and find out what candidates can really do for the organisation. However, no matter how careful the interview is planned and carried out, there are ways to make little whoppers or exaggerations during the session.

Have you ever found yourself growing suspicion towards particular candidates, but unsure of how to figure out for yourself if they are speaking the truth? Below are some useful tips to decode the body language during interviews, which will indirectly or sometimes directly confirm the authenticity of the candidate’s statements:

  1.    If you find them smiling too often, trying to impress

You can feel if someone’s being honest from their smile and laugh. If you notice that the interviewee is smiling too often or faking a smile to create impression on minds of interviewers, then perhaps you need to pause a bit and get cautious – while decoding the silent behaviours and body language as the interviewee smiles.

  1.    They don’t stare at you all the time

Eyes speak more than words do, which could include someone telling the truth or faking it as a clear lie. You just see it and eyes do speak a language different from what the words utter – if you find dichotomy practiced between words and gestures, then perhaps you need to be watchful before selecting this applicant for further rounds of interview or handing over a job offer.

There is a popular misconception that liars generally tend to avoid eye contacts. However, the opposite is true: when someone is lying, they will maintain more deliberate eye contact that could mean staring at you or looking right in the eye for long. So if you find the interviewees holding onto eye contact for a bit longer than the normal, and not followed by glances away from you in between, then it clearly means they are lying and dishonest.

  1.    They don’t practice unnecessary gestures

While listening to their answers, pay attention to the interviewee’s hands. Have you caught them touching their nose, or covering their throat when they speak? Touching nose and covering particular body parts can be silent indicators of  some people speaking lies. Therefore, if your applicants do not show these signs, then they might be telling the truth.

  1.    They blink normally and not too often or fast

People who speak truth will maintain consistent rate and rhythm of blinking, when they are speaking. On the other hand, liars will blink their eyes from slow to faster speed, when they are fibbing. Hence, hiring managers should notice even the slightest detail of the candidates’ eye movement and blinking rate during the interview.

  1.    They have a steady voice and breathing

Someone who is telling lies might unconsciously breathe more heavily than the normal person. Lying can make some people feel nervous, and this contributes to increase in heart rate and blood flow, which makes it difficult for them to breathe and speak in a steady voice.

However, if you find the candidates appearing for an interview are speaking with unchanging unwavering tonalities during the Q&A session, then it is a clear affirmation of the truths and facts stated during the interview.

Do's and Dont's for Creating Catchy Resume

Every recruiter reads a pile of resumes. How could you be so sure that your resume is memorable enough to catch their attention? We heard that recruiters don’t fall for fancy formatting. Plus, they only take less than 25 seconds to skim through your resume.

Really, what should you do? Here are several tips for you, according to professional recruiters.



  • Mention URLs of your online presence

You might think it is not necessary, but recruiters prefer this kind of information than, say, your weight and height. However, it could be more than just your personal social media accounts. There are many websites to showcase your expertise, concern, and interest. Such as blog for writers, Dribbble for designers, and GitHub for developers.

When a recruiter check the URLs, your chance to stand out is bigger than ever. Yes, they spend some time to check your online presence. Thus, demonstrate your expertise to open-source repositories, and don’t forget to include it on your resume.

  • Show some personality into your resume

It is not always putting a ‘boring’ statement on your resume, such as, hard-worker or passionate. Are you a friendly and funny person in real life? Try inserting something on your resume to prove that! Most resumes are very formal. When you write something out of the norm, recruiters will pay more attention to your resume.

Really, there are ways to make your resume more fun.

  • List your important personal projects

Office hours normally only take 8 hours of your 24-hour day. What do you do for the rest of your day? Some people have personal side projects, and it could be a plus in eyes of the recruiter. If your projects are related to the industry, do not take those for granted. It could be a strong reason to hire you.



  • Create old-fashioned, paper resume

Are you using MS Word’s resume templates? Please don’t. Also, you should not list an objective at the top of the resume like people do in the 90s.

Things are not going great as well for people who keep mailing, faxing, or hand-delivering paper resumes. Most recruiters are busy and tech-y. They would most likely prefer digital resumes, since they can find keywords more easily.

  • Write badly and long-winded

Pay more attention on how you write your resume. Is it free of grammatical errors? What kind of writing style did you chose: first person or third person? Whatever it is, make sure you are consistent. Also, recruiters think a resume with a ridiculous number of pages is obnoxious. No need to exaggerate your experiences, responsibilities, and achievements. Do them a favour! Simplify it.

  • Send it to the CEO

Some job seekers think that they have to send resume addressed to the CEO. While in fact, it makes their resume go unnoticed. CEOs don’t often read resumes. Find the correct person you should send your resume to!

Real Resume Advices from Recruiters

You have read hundreds of resume tips, but sometimes your resume still can’t score a job interview. Let alone land you a job. What is actually going on?

Most job seekers are obsessed with their resume, because it is the only thing they can control within the job search. They can’t be sure that they will nail the job interview.

Truth is, it is rare to get hired by simply submitting a resume. If the resume is not good enough, you won’t even have a chance to meet the recruiters.

In order to be invited for a job interview, here are some real advices about your resume from recruiters’ point of views:

1. Irrelevant experiences are clearly pointless

Job hopping is acceptable these days, but it makes recruiters confused with your expertise. Once recruiters are not sure about the things that you are good at, they will prefer not to conduct an interview with you.

Truth is, your resume should connect the dots, because no one else will do it for you. Recruiters will not be able to put the pieces together, since they are skimming a pile of resumes. Worse, you can’t explain to them without an actual job interview.

2. Less is definitely more

A recruiter will only skim your resume in 10-20 seconds on the average. Thus, the shorter your resume, the better. No more than two pages. Make it as simple as possible. Also, your resume should be easy to read that even students in general could understand. Really, do a favour for the recruiter.

3. Flashy resume won’t get you far

Unless you are applying for a graphic designer position, your resume is supposed to use the traditional format. Forget about special effects and other layout designs you think are cool. Recruiters want a proven qualified candidate, not just a flashy resume.

Use black normal font against a white paper with familiar size. Also, don’t put too much bold, italics and underlining. Traditional resume formatting makes it easier for both recruiter and yourself. Better to focus on the content providing your most relevant qualifications, so that you can score the job interview that you wanted.

employee engagement

Bessie is a freelance writer and has 10 years of HR experience. She is currently a Regional HR Business Partner with a US MNC. 

There have been many discussions on the benefits of employee engagement and the importance of companies investing in them.  Even so, we see that there are still companies who remain sceptical of such investment given the cost and time involved. Some are unsure of how they could get started; while some give up after few attempts.

As HR professionals, we have to understand that employee engagement is a long-term investment. Besides emphasising on the benefits, you have to ensure that your management understands that it is not about waving a magic wand and seeing the benefits the next week or month. However, it does pay to wait patiently for the company would subsequently benefit from its investments. Some of the key benefits of employee engagement include:


  • Increased Productivity

A survey conducted by the Hay Group observes that companies with more engaged employees are much as 43 percent more productive.

  • Increased Retention Rate

Engaged employees tend to be more committed to their job and company. They are the ones who are more loyal and will stay with the company. They can also be the positive energy within the company that help to boast the overall morale and work environment.  A study by Towers Watson shows that Similarly, 72% of the highly engaged said they would prefer to remain with their employer if they receive a new opportunity.

  • Increased Business Success

Employees who are not engaged will not be doing their best. Key findings from Gallup indicates that employee engagement result in 21% higher productivity and 22% higher profitability. A successful company requires committed employees who continuously strive for the best performance and encourage others to do so.

Now that we are aware of the benefits of employee engagement, the next question will be on how to get started on it. Below are some tips on how you can take the first step to employee engagement.

 Read also: Using Social Media to Hunt for Talent

Getting started

There are numerous employee engagement activities that a company can organize but you should ensure that these activities meet the needs of your employees.  It is pointless to carry out numerous activities and observe that your talent attrition rate is on the rise.  Carrying out activities without understanding the gaps or needs will only waste your time and deplete your energy.

The first step is to conduct an employee survey.  Conducting an employee survey will enable you to find out where changes within the company are required. Consider if you have the budget to engage a consultant to draft the specified survey questions or provide you with the template. There are many consultancy firms which offer such service including collating the result as a third party provider. This will ensure anonymity of the participants where employees will feel most comfortable. Do remember that majority of the employees will not want to see their feedback about their managers landing up on their manager’s desk. This would backfire on them and your entire engagement plan.

If you have limited budget, it is still possible to draft your own survey questions. You will be able to find plenty of possible survey questions online but you should decide on selecting and using the correct type of questions. For instance, the question should be clear and direct and not too ambiguous. Upon selection, you can use free survey website to create the list of questions that you have selected. One of my personal favorite is but the basic membership will limit the number of questions and responses that you can create and receive. Such survey website will be able to collate the results whereby you can generate it as report and graphs for analysis.

Analyzing the result

 Analyzing the result is the most important part of deciding what action plans are needed after the employee survey.  In my opinion, some of the sections that usually have poorer scores are the following.  Since every company has its own culture and challenges, the action plans will also differ to meet the situation. From my experience, the following are some of the sections that typically have lower scores.

Common issues:

    • Compensation and benefit:  It is not unusual to see compensation and benefits as one of the top concerns since most employees believe that they are not paid well. As HR professional, you should not neglect this especially if the score is extremely low. You should re-examine your salary structure and benefits programs to make that they are competitive within your industry.
    • Teamwork: You should aim to promote team bonding through various activities.  It would be wishful thinking if you believe that all you need is to organize a one-time activity and expect everyone to work well together after that. Like trust, team work needs to be built and established over time. In my previous company, it took us 3 years before we observed a significant improvement in our team work section!
    • Management: If management is one of the key concerns, you should share this information sensitively with the management team since some feedback may be against them. My suggestion is to share and discuss these findings with your General Manager before sharing them with your management team.
    • Work life balance: You should identify the potential group of employees who may have provided this feedback. The highest possibility would be the ones who tend to work overtime on a regular basis. Discuss with their manager potential solutions to ease their workload or streamline their current process. Consider if you intend to roll work life balance strategies on a company-wide basis.

Decide on action plan and time line

 Once you have identified the areas for improvement, decide on the action plans and timelines for them. Ideally you should focus on 2-3 areas for improvement for a year so that you can have detailed action plans for each of them. You should also share the plans and timeline with your employees so that they are aware that the company is serious about engaging the employees.

Tapping on available funding 

As a HR professional, I can clearly understand the challenges of securing a budget from the management for employee engagement activities. You may want to know that the Singapore Government offers various funding which companies can tap on. Depending on how creative you can be, they can actually be very useful in your employee engagement activities. Two of my favourite funds are the Workplace Health Promotion Grant and the Workpro fund.

    • Workplace Health Fund is is a funding scheme offered by the Health Promotion Board (HPB). The grant provides financial support to help organisations start and sustain their workplace health programmes.  With the funding, you will be able to promote team bonding through healthy activities within the company. I would see this as killing two birds with one stone! You can obtain more information from
    • Workpro fund (used to be known as WOW fund) by MOM supports work life initiatives to improve work-life harmony; job-design; age management initiatives and many more.

Now that you have the tips and the tools, I wish you and your organization luck in implementing a successful employee engagement program. Do believe that the effort invested will certainly pay off in the long run.

Gone are the days when companies rely solely on job boards and recruitment agencies to recruit talent. Today, social media is becoming part of the recruitment marketing mix as companies start to realise its pros: jobs can be filled faster due to social media’s high usage rate and immediate response time; a larger pool of qualified candidates will know about the openings through social networks; and low cost with high return on investment (ROI) amongst other benefits.

 This is not surprising with the massive growth of social media over the years. 2012 saw a 305% increase in the number of social media users since 2009. More popular sites have attracted hundreds million of users – LinkedIn (150 million), Twitter (300 million) and Facebook (845 million). Today, social media has become a part of our lives and we use it for so many purposes – shopping, networking and searching for jobs (and even love) online!


This social media boom has created an opportunity for companies to tap on more channels to increase the visibility of their employment brand online and promote interaction with candidates. What is surprising is while employers see social media as a useful recruitment tool, they are not actively using it to recruit talents according to the 2013 XpertHR survey - only 46% of employers use it.

SEE ALSO: Why Your Employer Branding Matters

How can companies leverage social media for employer branding?

Besides consistent communications of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to candidates and employees, it is important that internal and external communications work in tandem to optimise employer branding online. Some suggestions are to:

  • Build online profiles

Create a full company profile which communicates the EVP to candidates. This also serves as an example for employees on the tone, style and content of the company’s social media presence.

  • Support virtual interaction

Use a channel to promote ongoing conversations for candidates to ask questions and connect with employees. This can draw on the passion of employees.

  • Engage in online forums

Employers and employees can contribute to online groups and provide useful information about company, and leverage employee testimonials to make its online presence more genuine for candidates.

  • Encourage employee profiles

Train employees to use social media platforms – build their personal brand and promote the EVP. This sends a strong signal to candidates that employees are proud to endorse their company.

  •  Think about multiple profiles

While this may not work for a smaller company, a larger one may want to consider multiple profile pages such as different job functions or geographical locations to target candidates more precisely.

  • Think before you jump onto the social bandwagon

It is important to have a strategy for social media recruitment – what your company wants to do and how to do it. Here are some points and questions to consider:

  • Set objectives

Be clear about your business, marketing and social media goals. Do you want to drive recruitment, build employer brand awareness or reach new candidates?

  • Understand target audiences

Know the social graphics of your candidates. What are they doing online and who are their social influencers?

  • Validate through social listening

Conduct a market analysis. Do you understand your employer brand presence in the social space? What are your competitors doing online?

  • Define your strategy

Establish resources, roles and stakeholders, and plan for budget. Who is the social strategist and community manager in your company? Do you have funds for headcount, tools, training, development and consulting?

  • Define implementation plan

Select the channels and plan the content. Do you want to use LinkedIn, Facebook and/or YouTube? What are the types of posts? What is the content calendar line-up?

  • Define rules of engagement

Work out disclosure/ethics, social media, community and response policies. Have your employees attended social media training? Do your company and employees know how to response to comments posted in the social media?

  • Establish ongoing measurements

Set quantifiable goals and metrics to monitor. Do you want to raise awareness about your EVP or increase website traffic? How will you track the responses?

Social media will continue to be an employer branding trend in 2013 and it is important that employers leverage on social media to reach the talent pool, as part of the communications strategy. Companies who use only one-way or two-way communications may not be able to reach out effectively and efficiently to candidates and employees. Engaging the target audiences and promoting interactions about the company in the social media can help companies to build trust in the EVP and strengthen their employment brand.

Talent War

In today’s talent war, a strong internal and employer brand can help companies attract and retain top talent and positively impact its business performance.

Companies that are perceived to be attractive employers will find it easier to attract talent as people want to work for popular employers. By communicating about what the work environment is like, companies are also more likely to attract the right talent that fits their organisational culture. More applicants, better candidates and higher offer-acceptance rates are critical for employee attraction in today’s tight labour market.


A strong employer branding also goes a long way in engaging employees. By developing consistent internal and external messages about what it is like to work for the company, employer branding creates a stronger corporate culture. An attractive employer creates a positive image in the mind of employees. A company’s reputation is among the factors that potential employees consider when choosing a job. A reputable company is which makes them proud to work for the company and motivates them to stay.

To remain an employer of choice, companies will also implement better management practices such as talent development and performance management programmes that will further enhance talent retention which in turn, reduces recruiting cost and attrition rates.

By hiring and retaining strong talents, companies can grow and maintain a competitive edge. Corporate and employer brands are also interlinked. Like employees who want to work for top employers, customers want to do business with a popular employer. Thus, a good employment brand supports the corporate brand and creates positive effect on the business.

Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

At the heart of employment branding is the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – the perceived employment experience that a company offers employees. An EVP includes total rewards, purpose and values of the organisation, job nature, culture and colleagues. Only an established EVP will allow employer branding to unleash its full potential to communicate the key propositions why people want to work for the company.

Many top employers have compelling EVPs which enables them to build strong employer brands that enhance employee attraction and retention. Let us take a look at some of the world’s most attractive employers in 2012 (based on Universum’s global index of employer attractiveness) and find out what differentiates them in the marketplace.


  • Google

The world’s most attractive employer receives over one million applications a year! Google’s employer brand is clearly communicated –  the technology giant offers a fun and creative work environment that requires employees to play hard and work hard, and to collaborate with great people to solve big technology problems and produce great results. Candidates know what to expect and want to be part of this culture.


  • L’Oreal

L’Oreal is an award-winning company for both its products and human resources initiatives. Its slogan ‘Because you’re worth it’ is engrained in its culture and conveys that employees deserve the long-term investment that the company has put in them. Policies such as global profit sharing and good career prospects make it an attractive place to work.


  • Procter & Gamble

By building from within, Procter & Gamble consistently put out the message that it encourages employee potential and enables them to succeed. Its internal people development system is what makes its employer brand unique and differentiates it from competitors. The internal promotion mechanism enables employees to identify with the corporate culture and contributes to the development of the company and the employees.


  • Microsoft

Microsoft has strong values that focus on a global approach, highest quality, and innovation. Employees are given the opportunity to work with innovative products. Externally, the company emphasizes on being creative on the job. Internally, the company ensures that employees can develop continuously and strike a work-life balance. This aligns with its employer branding of being innovative, powerful and global.


  • Unilever

At Unilever, product innovation and sustainable living are the crux of its brand. This intertwines with its employment brand to be the employer of choice for people who want to work on the future in a sustainable way. Its ‘Made By You’ message communicates that employees have the opportunity to build big consumer brands and develop lasting, challenging careers at the same time.


Five steps to Employer Branding

Universum, the global leader in employer branding, suggests five steps for companies to develop the employer brand:

1.    Research

Know the positioning of your company in the employment market so as to determine the appropriate action plan.

 2.    Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Analyse the factors influencing the employer brand, and define a strong and true EVP. This will help you to deliver sound communications and develop an attractive employment brand.

 3.    Communication strategy

Choose the most efficient and effective channels to reach the talent pool. It is important to emphasise the most attractive factors and be consistent in employer communications.

 4.    Communication Solutions

Use the right words and images to express your company’s EVP so it is in line with the corporate identity and branding efforts. Always strive to develop consistency for all communication materials.

 5.    Action

Implement all the steps, monitor closely what works and adjust the action plan all the time. It is important to set clear and measurable goals on what your company wants to achieve with the planned activities.


If your company has not started on the employer branding journey, it is time to take the first step and reap the benefits of a strong employer brand.

Cindy is a freelance writer and has 10 years of communications and human resource experience in the public and service sector. She is an expert in employee engagement and employer branding and has won major HR Awards.


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