Companies fight a gory battle for quality manpower, and SMEs have been getting the short end of the stick. U SME and U Associate Exchange held an intimate sharing session on 26 January 2018 to discuss about talent management for SMEs, and how SMEs can leverage on employer branding to woo candidates of calibre.
Branding beyond marketing and public relations
All speakers see employer branding to transcend the traditional definitions of marketing and public relations to be an organisational effort in creating the right employee experience. Eunice Wong (Employer Branding Consultant, LinkedIn Talent Solutions) likened the decision-making process which candidates go through in their job search to consumer buying. This was echoed by Jerome Joseph (Branding Expert, Charisma Academy), highlighting on how clarity in brand and consistency in culture would be crucial for a company to develop strong branding. The case studies shared by Jenson Tham (Relationship Manager, LinkedIn) were certainly enlightening for the participants to consider employer branding as part of the overall organisational strategy.
Becoming an Employer of Choice – the employee value proposition
The employee value proposition is a mix of characteristics, benefits and ways of working in an organisation. Gary Lee (Global Head of Leadership and Organisational Development, Sivantos Group) advised SMEs to look to offering benefits to compensate for remuneration. An example of such benefits would be to hire working mothers on flexi-work arrangement, harnessing their professional capabilities without stretching finances and enable employees to have work-life balance. In fact, SME bosses need to represent their employee value proposition and will need to demonstrate to their employees, who look up to them.
Communication is key
Steven Foo (Executive Director, The Quayside Group) shared his view on communication as a crucial component of employer branding. It is through communication that he inculcates company culture into employees at all levels, particularly the lower-skilled workers. He further stressed the importance for SME bosses to change their mindset pertaining to human resources, and to foster regular and open communication across all levels of staff.
Elijah Woo (Creative Director, H2Hub Pte Ltd) spoke of communication as a progressive approach for him to recognise and address diverse responses from employees. With such clear mandate, everyone in the company sharing the same vision and mission would work towards achieving objectives, and on the leadership level, to filter candidates to select suitable talent.
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