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Why and How do you Measure People's Perception of Image of the Workplace?

An image is a concept. It is a mental picture that we have about things such as an object, a person, a group, an organization, or a nation. It is our notion or belief about something that is not physically present around us.

The image of any entity, be it a product or a person or a company, is its intangible asset. For example, the reliability (hence the high resale value) of a used car stems from its positive image as a dependable vehicle among car users. For a political candidate a favorable image is the most critical selling point that helps the candidate win an election. Similarly, the corporate image of an organization is one of its greatest assets and a strong positive image accounts for about half of the market value of a company.

Organization and Marketing research studies suggest that a positive image of an organization should be used in all business activities. It is, therefore, worth exploring how the positive image of a company should be utilized in its talent recruiting process. This is the main focus of this post.

The age of Internet provides an unprecedented opportunity to the talents (job seekers) to look for an organization’s culture, image, and reputation as critically as the proposed career opportunities and wages to choose the company as a potential workplace. To succeed in their recruiting processes, therefore, organizations should take active measures to share, promote, and highlight information of their corporate images as much as possible. However, most of the organizations are lagging behind to take such initiative. A common practice in a traditional organization is to place job ad in various career websites and provide a description that include roles and responsibilities as well as requirements such as educational background, work experience, technical skills, and social skills. They also include the EEOC statements to be consistent with industry rules and regulations.

The job seekers can obtain information about a company from a multitude of online sources (such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn etc.) which may or may not have the true reflection of a company’s image. This could lead to confusion among job seekers which, in turn, could result in a risk for the company for not being able to attract the best talents from the market. To avoid any such unwanted situation, the traditional approach of job advertisement should be substantially revised, if not replaced, by data driven methods to make the job descriptions more appealing to the job seekers.

Since Talent Acquisition team works in tandem with Marketing department to create job ads, I recommend the concept of “workplace image” to the managers of the respective departments and provide a method to incorporate this information to make effective job descriptions. This additional information will help job seekers in creating a holistic picture not only about the job (“what are the things they must have and should bring in?”) but also about the image of the organization (“what would it be like to be there?”) they are interested in.

I have written a white paper that discusses the methodologies to create the “workplace image” metric. It is designed in such a way that that it not only promotes a company as a brand but also help job seekers to obtain a detailed picture of the work environment. To quantify workplace image, the article recommends Talent Acquisition and Marketing managers to share information about the following aspects of their organizations: 1) culture and values, 2) career opportunities, 3) total compensation, 4) work-life balance, 5) recommendation of the employer to friends, 6) workplace inclusiveness, 7) senior leadership roles, and 8) social and environmental responsibilities.

For its successful implementation the suggested method requires a close collaboration between workforce analytics and marketing analytics teams within an organization. This teamwork brings an opportunity to create values for Human Resources and Marketing departments as effective business partners.

Employment websites can also benefit from utilizing this method. For example, an effort to create a comprehensive picture incorporating workplace image and a talent’s professional skills is worth pursuing by companies such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn because it will make the paid memberships more attractive to the job seekers.

A pdf copy of the paper can be downloaded from my GitHub repo:

This post first appeared in LinkedIn pulse on March 1st.