Retail Appointment January 2019 TRAP_Jan 2019_Digital Edition - Page 7

top ten for 2018 t is important to distinguish between an employment brand and a product brand. This survey identifies not what people think about the product being sold, or even how it is sold. It measures the perception of the organisations as em- ployers. I Very little has changed since last year’s survey, with Waitrose nudging ahead of Next for 4th place and Asda moving into the top ten, displacing ASOS into 11th. John Lewis retains is crown at the top. The gap has widened still further from the rest, with M&S a close and very strong second to John Lewis. These two em- ployers have dominated the elite of retail organisations for generations and, whilst M&S has had its problems commercially, it is still seen as head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to how it treats its employees. In many ways John Lewis and Waitrose have a head start as they are, in effect, owned by their staff, with profits being distributed amongst them. Next, under the leadership of Lord Wolfson, always maintains a strong showing. Lord Wolfson has for a long time been a leading voice in improving life in Britain generally and is one of the few in- dustry leaders who really could make a difference. Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda all do well, and it is easy to see why. The culture in these organisations, whilst quite properly entirely focused on the customer, recog- nises that a content workforce is more likely to make a happy customer. Bad press Retail employers who have performed less well have often been the subject of bad press. Without wishing to name names, there are many fine employers out there whose employment brand has been damaged by some savage attacks on their leadership in the press. This may or may not be unfair to the leaders, but it is most definitely grotesquely unfair on the businesses that they run. Sadly, in this country the press loves to destroy the reputations of those who are successful, with little regard for the truth. Can an employer improve its employment brand? Most certainly. Of course, the fun- damentals must be in place for them to be a genuinely good place to work. How- ever, all too often opportunities are missed to promote the employer brand; particularly in this digital age. Employers must have a coherent mes- sage about what it is that they have to offer and they need this image to be de- livered. All too often employers look only at the number of applications or the number of hires from a particular recruit- ment campaign and nothing else. Adver- tising only on job boards makes an employer invisible to the vast majority of the workforce who are not actively looking. There needs to be a mixture of high and low tech in any campaign. Job board, al- though valuable, are mid tech. Employers ignore social media at their peril and searching for candidates on Linkedin is not a “push” campaign. Facebook, whether we like it or not, is a way of reaching the workforce that is not job seeking. However, having the office junior post pictures of themselves getting drunk at the Christmas party will not do. The message must be coherent, consistent and interesting. Most of all, it should be succinct. At the other end of the spectrum, print should not be ignored. Whilst national and local newspapers have all but withdrawn from the recruitment market, trade press is still a strong way of getting your mes- sage to the passive market. Everyone picks up a trade journal and looks at the job ads. 2018 If you’ve got a strong message to deliver, it is relatively easy to move up the search engine rankings, but it requires a coordi- nated approach that has the employment brand as a whole in mind, and not just the short term need to fill one vacancy. All about the numbers In addition to asking which brands were the most attractive from an employer per- spective, the respondents were also asked what they look for in a prospective employer. They were provided with a list of options, which they had to rate in order of importance. 1. I look at reviews from ex-employees. 2. I consider their commercial success. 3. I look at whether I like the product they sell. 4. I mostly go on word of mouth. 5. I look up press reports online. 6. I consider what the service was like the last time I was in their store. Last year’s survey reported that a brand’s commercial success was the biggest factor considered by over half of the re- spondents. This was closely followed by whether or not they liked the products the employer sold. The 2018 survey shows only 28% of re- spondents considering commercial suc- cess as their most important attribute, followed closely by 22% basing their choice on store service levels. Press re- ports limped in at a lowly 5%. 53% of those surveyed are currently working in retail management positions; 20% are in a retail head office or regional office position; and 8% work on the retail shop floor. The remaining 19% either did not comment or are not currently working in retail. If you would like to find out what position your firm came on this survey or if you’d like any information on improving your employer brand, please contact Russell Pidgeon on 020 7432 8866. Together Communications is a specialist in recruitment advertising, social media recruitment campaigns, recruitment PR and employee research. 07