Employer Branding in Emerging Markets

A lot has been found and discussed about how the world’s best companies to work for build strong employer brands and attract great talent in the developed markets. We have talked endlessly about how these companies make themselves so appealing that people from across the world, irrespective of their diverse backgrounds, cultures and preferences.

However, we often tend to forget what it takes to build a strong employer brand emerging markets that are estimated to generate around 70% of the world’s GDP growth in the next decade. Yes, the International Monetary Funds (IMF) has predicted that 70% of the global GDP will come from emerging markets – 40% alone from India and China and remaining 30% from other markets including North Africa and South America.

This means that economies in the emerging markets are growing at much faster rates as compared to those of developed markets. This also means that the current is the right time to invest in creating a strong employer brand in these areas and tap the talent market. The companies that are pro-active in talent acquisition in emerging markets will certainly have an upper hand and are going to drive the world economy.

Having said this, it won’t be easy for companies to create a pool of potential talent. The main challenge is the entry of millennials in the workforce. This generation has a different mindset and is more informed and aggressive than its predecessors. And their needs and requirements and expectations from employers are not only high but also diverse. Their expectations and goals vary depending upon their personal preferences and the region where they are based.

Here’s what some of the world’s most attractive employers are doing to establish a strong employer brand and attract top talent in emerging markets:

  • Speedy Progress

    A company that ensures speedy progress to its deserving employees for sure manages to create a vast talent pool. The millennials are more intended towards creating a name for themselves. Therefore, there must be a program in place to track the performance of its employees. At the same time, the companies shouldn’t hesitate in promoting bright millennials, helping in climbing the career ladder rapidly.

  • Recognition of Entrepreneurial Instinct

    Despite working in highly turbulent economic times and knowing that job market is more unstable than ever, young talent has a natural inclination towards entrepreneurship even in emerging markets. This propels them to try and test new ideas and innovate within the company. Companies like Apple, Sony and Samsung ensure that their employees have complete support and resources from the management to work on their ideas or something that they really love doing. It may seem a fun initiative but in reality it’s a serious step taken by the employers to turn things in their favor.

  • Work-Life Balance

    Work-life balance is given more importance than ever. It was the generation of baby boomers that was able to separate their personal lives from the professional lives. However, it is no longer the scenario. Employees no longer leave their emotions at home. Rather, workplace has become their second home, given the amount of time they spend at their office.

    The need for work-life balance, however, varies greatly depending upon the region they live. There have been studies suggesting that people living in Turkey and around North Africa find work-life balance than those living in other parts of the world. Therefore, it’s essential for companies to critically analyze the needs and expectations of individuals while hiring them. Also, they need to look into the general trend in the region.

  • Employee Benefits

    In emerging markets, such as India and China, most employees spend more hours in office than anywhere else. So, it’s only natural to expect some additional benefits from employers. Luckily, even employers are landing support and doing everything possible to make employees much more comfortable at work.

    The companies have working gyms and kitchens at the office premises. The employees are served with freshly-cooked meals and offer a continuous supply of snacks. Moreover, they have health programs designed for their employees. Google goes an extra mile and offers excellent parental leave policy, death benefits and other perks. Facebook offers unique perks in the form of ad credits that employees can donate or use for the cause they care about.

    Because conventional organizations don’t pay much attention to employee happiness, offering additional benefits to make their lives easy is one of the ways to have an edge. It helps create a vast talent pool in emerging markets.

  • Fund Employee Education/Skill Upgrade

    Education and skill enhancement is a lifelong process. It’s obvious that employees will need to take classes, train themselves or enroll into courses to enhance their existing skills and gain a new skill set. Many reputable companies reimburse employees the expenses they make towards learning new things. Such programs promote employer branding and make your existing workforce your brand ambassadors. It’s a progressive initiative that allows employees to develop and train themselves without worrying about the cost.

  • Taking Up a Community Cause

    It’s a gesture that makes existing employees feel proud of associating with a company as well as drives potential talent to be a part of such organization that cares about the environment it extracts resources from and society where it operates. Establishing a community presence has a positive impact on the reputation of an organization. It doesn’t need to be amongst the best places to work. Rather, it can project itself as a humanitarian. No matter what industry you operate in and at what level, taking up a community cause offers you obvious benefits.

  • Your Own Mission

    What the mission of an organization is and how it is projected says a lot about it. Even a big company can be a bad employer and a start-up a preferred one. It’s important for organizations to explain their mission in such a way that prospective employees can relate to it and adopt it.

    A negative attitude, an unclear message ruins a company’s image and acts as a repellant. The values it embraces and ethics it showcases have a great impact on the psyche of their talent pool. So, organizations need to ensure that whatever message goes out is carefully designed and thought out.

The emerging markets are quite promising, not only because they are estimated to contribute to the global economy in a big way but also because their population is young and it leads a more digital lifestyle. Building a strong employer presence in these markets means building a great workforce. And what can be a better way to start than to capture the attention and hearts of prospective talent while these markets are still in their infancy. So, by the time these grow and mature, the organizations that started early would certainly be the top employers in those particular areas.

As the war for the right and diverse talent is already on, capturing the emerging markets gives companies a stronghold in those areas, stretching their talent pool. If you’re expanding or starting up a venture in emerging markets, considering these initiatives, which the world’s best companies have already adopted, can work in your favor.


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