• Andrea Fielding

7 Trends of Employer Branding for 2021

The following article is by Marilia Honorio Ragazzo (Former Senior Client Partner, DE&I agent of change at CI&T), an Employer Branding College Graduate and member of our Global Alumni.

After an uncertain start of 2021 considering our experiences with 2020, and after reading articles and participating on some webinars, these are my considerations to the Employer Brand landscape for the year ahead. These are seven topics of attention while we still adapt to what may be our new reality: never settle and adjust constantly.

The pandemic imprinted several changes in our work environments, work relations, and even deeper in our lives. It influences almost all topics listed below, but many subjects were already on the table. A few of the items, mainly Purpose, Ethics & Values, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), were moved to the spotlight as we lived moments of civil unrest, racial pressure, and increased understanding that we are all together in the same world that might collapse if we don't act.

1. It is really global

The pandemic made many businesses learn how to work remotely and, all the sudden, many untapped talent pools they had no idea they could dream of having. Most companies now realize that employees are everywhere as they learned how to work with distributed teams. The remote work is here to stay, so it is mandatory to have a remote philosophy (preferably a remote-first one) that values the good word wherever it is performed. It requires intentionality when focusing on distributed teams and remote employees, because there are differences and other behaviors to look for.

Distributed teams may be more diverse, more inclusive, and it requires attention, proper incentives and rewards. Remote workers can add agility and enable cost reductions. But it requires study on how to value and prioritize the global workforce within a company, as well as it requires monitoring brand awareness and employee morale. This article from Velocity Global shows some of the points of attention when considering a global workforce.

2. We are people and we need to be well

After a tough 2020, the wellbeing of employees jumped in front of HR and executives eyes. Not only because people were getting burnout, stressed, but because we all felt 2020 in different ways. Women and caretakers were buried into regular work and care for kids, elderly or sick relatives. The pandemic showed we are all in the same storm, but not on the same boat. It exposed mental health like any other situation before, and it showed that companies may look into an holistic support for families and communities. Benefits, for example, may adapt to the needs of candidates and employees. Mental care, caretaker's burden and some other previously difficult conversations must have a place at work so people can be their better selves.

This article from Gartner showed that 68% of companies introduced at least one wellness benefit after March 2020.

3. Corporate Social Responsibility

This was one topic that the pandemic exposed fiercely in the face of the ones that weren't paying attention yet. Here I'm definitely not talking about greenwashing, social-washing, or faking in any way or form. This is the realization of how every corner of the world is connected, of the dependency we have with different parts of the society, how our communities are affected very differently when something out of control happens.

The world is on fire and most of us are not doing anything about it. We see Greta Thunberg provoking conversations and we realize that companies can also do something. Of course they should respect their scope, their potential impact, but nothing is too little when so much is at risk.

Companies don't have to pay anything to look within the employees, communities, clients, and the environment and figure out something to do. Then sharing the journey and some results, even if small, would touch people's hearts so they want to be part (brand awareness) of it or they want to stay part of it (employees). Look into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, look for what other companies are doing. Nothing is too small to prevent companies from starting their CSR programs. And the future is more ambitious. It is the step further from the Corporate Social Responsibility to the role companies have with Social Justice.

Important to highlight that CSR should not have just a pandemic relief focus. In this article from Forbes, companies may reframe CSR parameters and, as a tip, always partner with like-minded organizations that can help to improve the community and reach shared goals.