PR is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to promoting your employer brand.
And right now it seems that major contractors and consultancies are in a public relations battles with their competitors to come out on top of the coronavirus PR war.
Just last week, six of the twenty largest UK contractors have come out and said that they won’t be taking the furlough bonus (for each employee brought back from furlough) in January under the government’s job retention schemes.
Taylor Wimpey’s boss has announced that making redundancies is “short sighted”. Skanska’s UK CEO, Gregor Craig has made headlines by saying they wouldn’t make any salary cuts for any staff and that “people remember that you cut their salaries”. Morgan Sindall have pledged to repay the £9.3m it claimed from furloughing staff.
Companies are making some bold PR claims.
It all sounds amazing in a time when job security has been shaken across all sectors, not just transport, infrastructure and the built environment. So, the companies that can prove that they have their employee’s best interests at heart will come out on top when it comes to attracting talent to the business.
Redundancies are unfortunately fairly commonplace for many people and businesses at the moment. Which means that the market has been flooded with talent, all particularly wary of how secure a new role will be.
So publicising what your company is doing to safeguard roles is vital to ensuring your employer brand is one people can trust.
But realistically, most companies are finding it difficult right now and can’t feasibly guarantee that there won’t be any pay cuts or that they won’t be taking the government’s help over the next few months.
So aside from the claims that the big contractors are making, what can you publicise to make sure that you are coming out on top of the PR battle with your competitors?
1. Contract Wins
Big or small, publicising that you have won a major bid or a new contract shows the talent market that you are still open for business and it celebrates the work that your employees are doing.
2. Health, Safety & Wellbeing
Are you going above and beyond to make sure that employees are working in a safe environment? If so shout it from the rooftops.
Pushing staff to return full-time to offices right now before they feel totally comfortable is bad press. Obviously, business does need to get back on track, and for many working remotely isn’t feasible 100% of the time.
But if you do have to get staff back in the office or on site, go the extra mile to make it safe.
3. Flexible Working
If you can offer it. Do.
Flexible working has long been a huge selling point for candidates, but now they have had a taste of working from home, it’s going to be hard to convince people to go back. We recently conducted a survey and 86% of people don’t want to return to the office full time.
If you are offering someone a job that requires them to be in the office 5 days a week compared with another company that allows them to work from home 2 or 3 days a week, it’s going to be a hard sell to persuade them your role is the better option.
Not only this, but by taking away the commuting costs you are effectively giving employees a bonus that hasn’t cost the business a penny.
It’s not an easy environment to be promoting your employer brand at the moment, so every little thing that you are doing well should be celebrated. PR can be a hugely valuable tool in making your business stand out from your competitors and to attract the best talent.