Patrick Pearson

Engaging Employees: Attracting Future Employees

Employees are the engine of any company and, just as you wouldn’t put a go-kart engine into a F1 car, a quality company needs high calibre employees to drive peak performance.

To attract the best possible talent, a company needs to respond to the changing concerns of new generations. Nobody likes stereotyping, but there is plenty of qualified research, such as that from Capital Group, to evidence the fact that Gen Y and Gen Z employees care more about social impact, lifestyle, corporate culture and common values than earlier generations.

Every company needs to unravel the mind-set of this new workforce, understand what makes it tick and develop a talent strategy to attract and retain tomorrow’s leaders. Effective communication should lie at the heart of that strategy.

An employer needs to present a clear picture of its purpose beyond profit and its employer value proposition. An effective website, supported by social media, is an essential tool for achieving this, as it is the natural port of call for digital natives. Our latest digital FTSE research study - “Lighting the Way” - analysed current trends in corporate websites and found that 75% of the FTSE 100 have careers pages that cater to specific audiences, such as graduates, and tailor their information according to different interests. In this area the FTSE 250 lags behind, with only 48% of companies catering to specific groups.

Given the key role that websites play in engaging potential employees, it is surprising that many companies have been slow to leverage the platform and exploit its full potential. This year, we noticed a large improvement in the FTSE250, with 72% of companies providing current job opportunities on their website, an increase of 28% compared to last year.

Despite this progress, many companies have yet to adopt emerging practices. In our research we identified that only 57% of the FTSE 100 provide a “Why work here” page, a section which provides a key opportunity for companies to display the characteristics that new generations look for, such as diversity, flexibility, personal development, wellbeing, social purpose, access to leadership and opportunities for mobility.  As well as this, of the FTSE 100 and 250, only 40% and 20% respectively use video employee profiles. Those companies that invest in comprehensive career sites that address different talent groups are now using their web presence as a magnetic ‘front end’, attracting candidates and  funnelling their profiles into sophisticated applicant tracking and talent segmentation systems.  

At Black Sun we create tailored communication solutions to help organisations attract and retain talent, applying our artistic flair and specialist knowledge to deliver lasting impact for both current and prospective employees. This includes films, intranets, career sites, and multi-channel campaigns to embed values or change across global operations.

While external communications needs to feature strongly in the talent attraction strategy, internal communications is critical to talent retention. Recently, we delivered a new employee app for our client Vesuvius. With 11,000 employees worldwide, many without access to email, we had to reinvent the way the company engaged with its workforce. Acting as a strategic partner, we launched Vesuvius V.LINK, which has since been shortlisted for the 2019 Internal Communications and Engagement Awards in the category ‘Best use of mobile or apps’.

For more information on employee communications, please contact