Talent Trends: 2023 in Review

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting  

Earlier in 2023, we highlighted six key areas that would impact how companies attract, retain and develop talent. With the year wrapping up, we’re revisiting these critical topics to examine what transpired in the talent landscape and what may be on the horizon for 2024.  

From closing persistent skills gaps to offering more work flexibility, companies continue to face pressing talent challenges. Economic fluctuations have led some employers to pull back on hiring and remote work, while others doubled down on upskilling programs and expanded their talent pools.  

In the following review, we trace how the 2023 predictions played out amidst an uncertain economy and ever-evolving workplace. 

1. Closing Skills Gaps 

What We Said: 

With rapidly evolving technologies requiring new skills, companies are making upskilling and reskilling their workforce top priorities. Most employees feel unprepared for future jobs, so it’s important for organizations to invest in development to retain employees, build confidence, and help them adapt to changing business priorities. 

What We Saw: 

Skills gaps, and the upskilling and reskilling that must happen in order to close them, are still very much top of mind for HR leaders. The economic slowdown has increased candidate availability, so in the short term there has been more tech talent available, for example. But long term, there is still a skills crisis, and organizations are largely yet to shift to skills-based practices. 

We’ve seen front-runner organizations investing in skills development initiatives to grow the workforce they need. For example, Amazon’s program Career Choice is part of a wider initiative to invest over $1.2 billion by 2025 to provide 300,000 U.S. workers with the training they need to pursue careers in whatever field they choose.  

The average shelf-life of skills is now less than five years. So, the skills conversation is only going to get louder. If the World Economic Forum’s prediction is correct that over 85 million jobs will go unfilled by 2030 due to a lack of skilled talent, resulting in $8.5 trillion (USD) in annual lost revenues, then this is the most pressing issue facing talent leaders today.  

2. Offering More Flexibility 

What We Said: 

Amidst the acceleration of remote work, companies are facing mounting pressure to offer greater location and schedule flexibility to attract and retain talent.  

What We Saw: 

The return to the office debate is still raging. Employees want greater flexibility, but more and more employers are pulling people back into the office. Even Zoom, the video communications company that helps us all work from home, announced in August that it will start tightening its restrictions on remote work. Amazon, Disney and more have all reduced remote-work days. 

While power has shifted back to the employer, this issue won’t go away. If you really think your employees love coming to the office just because you’ve introduced free snacks, you don’t understand what flexibility means to your workers. Flexibility is not just about where you work. True flexibility is about giving more autonomy to your employees about the kinds of work they do and when and where they do it. 

3. Shifting to Contingent Workers 

What We Said: 

As the desire for work flexibility drives more professionals into freelance and contract roles, organizations are increasingly utilizing these temporary workers to fill pressing skills gaps and specific project needs while maintaining financial and strategic workforce flexibility. 

What We Saw: 

The economic uncertainty this year has made organizations less likely to make permanent hires. Plus, freelancers, consultants and contractors have developed into an essential part of the workforce as skills requirements become more complex. Maintaining a mix of traditional and flexible talent is crucial for businesses to stay ahead in today’s dynamic climate. 

With the enormous interest in ChatGPT and generative AI, it’s not a stretch to think the pace of business transformation will only accelerate in 2024. And demand for contingent workers will continue to rise. Indeed, according to Ceridian, 65% of organizations plan to increase their reliance on contingent workers in the next two years. 

Talent Trends 2023

4. Tapping into New Talent Pools 

What We Said: 

Facing workforce shortages, organizations are expanding their applicant pool by targeting untapped talent like Generation Z, unretiring Baby Boomers and boomeranging ex-employees.  

What We Saw: 

In 2023, the UK government launched a “returnership” initiative to inspire those over the age of 50 to come back to work. The goal is to help older workers retrain and learn new skills, providing them with a roadmap back to the workplace and encouraging organizations to hire them.  

We also saw organizations turn their attention to the talent pool sitting right under their noses. Internal mobility was a hot topic for talent leaders in 2023 as recruiting new talent became more and more challenging and costly.  

We were also reintroduced to the concept of labor hoarding, a term coined in the 1960s. This practice refers to organizations forgoing head-count reductions now, so they’re prepared when business picks up. In an era of labor shortages, organizations are keeping their workforces to avoid the risk of losing good talent to a competitor and to skip the costs associated with hiring again. 

5. Rallying Around the Mission 

What We Said: 

Our Inside the Candidate Experience research revealed that for 50% of candidates, an organization’s mission and purpose are a key influence on their decision to apply. Yet, when evaluating career sites, we found details on the mission or purpose of the organization less than half (48%) of the time.  

What We Saw: 

Employees are more dedicated than ever to finding an employer that shares their values and offers them a sense of purpose. However, workers within organizations that lack a sincere commitment to improving the community and supporting climate initiatives often report disengagement.  

According to Gallup data from June 2023, 59% of global workers say they’re not engaged at work. This is worrying as we move into a labor market that favors employers, as they will inevitably become less motivated to keep their employees engaged. Yet, a key reason why someone quiet quits hasn’t changed—and it’s down to a lack of connection to the company culture and purpose. 

A lack of engagement in the workforce is a leading factor in the productivity vacuum. Going into 2024, my hope is HR leaders will go beyond simply thinking about wellbeing to view their employees as whole people—not just workers. Updating your employee value proposition (EVP) to be more human-focused can help strike the right balance between compassion and business interests. Shifting to a Personal Value Proposition (PVP), and customizing offerings so that each employee feels valued as an individual, can help in fostering a positive emotional connection. 

6. Engaging Outside Talent Acquisition Solutions 

What We Said: 

Despite economic uncertainty, business leaders foresee revenue growth in the coming year, but may need flexible and agile workforces achieved through contingent staffing to meet their top challenge of filling critical roles amidst a shifting talent landscape. 

What We Saw: 

We saw an increase in talent acquisition teams looking for quick wins. At PeopleScout, we are investing heavily in talent solutions designed to boost agility for employers of all sizes and across all industries. This includes offerings like our Amplifiers and PeopleScout Accelerate solutions launched this year. 

Amplifiers provide modular, targeted recruitment process outsourcing tailored to specific hiring needs. Clients can implement RPO support for just part of the talent acquisition lifecycle, whether that’s filling the top of the hiring funnel with high volumes of qualified talent or gaining deeper insights to guide strategic workforce decisions. This “as-needed” model is ideal for companies that want to remain nimble. 

Additionally, our PeopleScout Accelerate technology-enhanced RPO solution is purpose-built for fast-scaling organizations that need to ramp up recruiting quickly. We can implement PeopleScout Accelerate in just two weeks, providing access to our proven recruitment methodologies and our industry-leading Affinix talent acquisition technology suite right out of the gate. 

As we close the books on 2023, it’s clear the talent landscape continues to shift in new and uncertain directions. In the coming year, agile organizations that invest in the longevity of their workforce and truly connect with their people on a human level will maintain an edge. Rather than recoiling from change, forward-thinking talent leaders have an opportunity to guide their organization’s evolution. Now is the time to build workforces that can pivot on a dime while staying true to their purpose. 

Authenticity in Action: 6 Things Candidates Look for in Your Employer Brand

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting

As businesses have stabilized post-pandemic, the conversation in the C-suite has shifted to balancing productivity and empathy—how to drive business performance while addressing the evolving needs of the workforce.

The secret lies in your employer value proposition (EVP).

Your EVP must place individual employees firmly at the heart of their own experience. This new approach to EVP—a Personal Value Proposition or PVP—is designed to resonate with employees as unique individuals with distinct motivations and aspirations.

Job seekers can see right through generic employer brands nowadays. Candidates crave authenticity and want to connect with a company’s true culture before joining. So, how can you craft an employer brand that both resonates with individual job seekers and showcases what your organization is authentically all about?

Here are six key areas today’s talent looks for when evaluating an employer brand’s authenticity.

6 Signs of an Authentic Employer Brand & EVP

Keep these priorities front and center as you shape your EVP to align both with your organizational priorities and employee needs.

1. Meaningful Connections

What Candidates Want:

In today’s job market, candidates aren’t just looking for a job—they want a workplace that helps them feel truly engaged and connected. A leading employer brand should attract top talent by cultivating genuine connection with peers, leaders and the overarching mission.

What Employers Should Show:

In our research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that mission and purpose is a top three consideration for job seekers looking for a new job. Yet, less than half of employer show information about this on their career site.

By highlighting your organizational mission, you help candidates make an emotional connection to your employer brand. Amp up the authenticity through storytelling—how individual employees live your mission through their work, how your organizational policies reflect your brand purpose, how new hires can expect to make an impact when they join.

Purpose oriented employees are 47% more likely to promote their employer externally without incentive.

2. Holistic Development

What Candidates Want:

Employees are seeking work experiences that help them realize their potential beyond just job tasks. Workers are taking more control of their own professional trajectories, seeking opportunities that offer autonomy and alignment with their skills, passions and personal circumstances.

Work is no longer confined to a single job or career path. Instead, it is seen as a series of opportunities that facilitate personal and professional growth.

What Employers Show:

Development opportunities like mentorship programs, leadership workshops and reskilling bootcamps to support internal mobility are top of mind for employees—especially Gen Z. Training should address both hard skills (like coding, certifications or licenses and statistical analysis) and soft skills (like resilience, relationship building and empathy). However, we find that organizations don’t do enough to show the impact of this training on individuals and their personal and professional growth.

You can show this impact authentically by bringing it to life through telling the career stories of your employees. Watching a video of an employee sharing how they were able to go through a reskilling program and join a different department is far more powerful for a candidate than just reading about the program.

Here’s an example from Adobe showcasing their employees’ career paths on social with a global #AdobeForAll celebration.

3. Flexibility & Empathy

What Candidates Want:

Flexibility should no longer be the domain of people with children. Everyone wants more flexibility in where, when and how they work. It could be about caring responsibilities for parents, or it could just be having the time and space to pursue passions outside of work. Ultimately, this issue is about organizations demonstrating they trust their people and providing autonomy where possible.

What Employers Show:

Employees who are granted time and space to pursue their passions bring fresh energy, insight and creativity to the job. Yet, for our Inside the Candidate Experience report we audited the career sites of over 215 organizations and found that information on flexible working and work/life balance is mentioned just over half the time.

Help candidates experience this authentically by profiling employees who are embracing flexible work patterns. This helps them see how a role can fit into their own life. By understanding life outside work directly fuels innovative excellence within it, organizations can architect roles that let people show up as their best and truest selves every day.

4. Well-Being & Psychological Safety

What Candidates Want:

If this past era has taught us anything, it’s that employees require our care as much as any business strategy. The Great Resignation was fueled by individuals reprioritizing their well-being over their next promotion or paycheck. And Quiet Quitting is often the result of employees losing psychological safety and no longer seeing a return on their engagement.

Why Leaders Think Employees Quit:
Looking for better jobs
Compensation
Work-life balance

Why Employees Actually Quit:
Not feeling valued by their organization of by their individual managers
Not feeling a sense of belonging at work
(Source: McKinsey)

What Employers Show:

To keep employees healthy and productive, employers must start constructing safe spaces for people to bring their whole selves to work. That means prioritizing both physical and mental health, with an emphasis on creating environments where employees feel safe to both express ideas and dissent and even discuss failures without fear of backlash. It also means creating a culture of gratitude in which employees are given the opportunity to recognize and reward their peers for a job well done.

To communicate to candidates that your focus on well-being is more than lip service, include information on specific actions your organization is taking to support employees whether that’s wellness benefits or financial support programs. Don’t just state you have work-life balance programs—showcase how you empower people to utilize them through things like extra PTO days around major life events and even showing leaders modeling using your well-being perks to set the tone.

5. Diverse & Inclusive Environments

What Candidates Want:

Employees want to be a part of an organizations that celebrates true diversity, promotes cultural intelligence and fosters a workplace where multiple traditions, rituals and ways of thinking lead to innovation. These conscious cultures go beyond attracting candidates from underrepresented groups. They amplify their voices and put them into positions to reshape industry norms altogether. When asked how hearing from actual employees would influence their job search 86% of job seekers said they value stories from employees.

What Employers Show:

We found that 35% of organizations don’t feature a diverse group of real employees on their career sites. In addition, 60% of career sites don’t contain any video content in which employees share their personal journeys and stories. Often, we see that organizations mention their employee resource groups (ERGs) but fail to share the work these groups are doing and the impact they make within the organization and community. Employees want to see action, not virtue signalling.

Candidates find the voice of an average employee more credible than what companies say about themselves, so featuring real employee stories throughout the candidate experience is a proven way to engage candidates on an emotional level, building authenticity and brand trust.

35% of organizations don’t feature real employees on their career site

6. Community Engagement & Purpose Over Paycheck

What Candidates Want:

Employees are becoming more socially conscious and looking for employers that provide avenues for engagement with environment social governance (ESG) issues, with as many as 80% of workers in some industries saying that community and sustainability concerns play a role in whether they will resign from or remain at certain organizations. Two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search, and they will look to your posts to see how your organization is backing up its promises.

74% of employees say their job is more fulfilling when they’re given the chance to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues

What Employers Show:

Employers must take purpose beyond platitudes. Yet, we found that a one in three organizations are not posting employer brand related content to their social channels at least on a week.

A great example is Ben & Jerry’s. The company actively engages in social justice campaigns like Advancement Project, including on their social media channels, and gives employees time off to volunteer in community projects.

Include social media posts of photos and videos of corporate volunteer activities or ERG-sponsored events. Seeing images of real employees giving back makes your purpose-driven culture tangible for candidates. Even a corporate post of an individual employee who ran a marathon in support a charity close to their heart can show what purposeful empowerment looks like at the individual level.

The Power of Storytelling for an Authentic Employer Brand

Injecting authenticity into your employer brand is about moving past broad statements of intent, to the actions that back it up. Follow the old adage—show, don’t tell.

Your brand should remain as dynamic as your people. Don’t shy away from evolution when new priorities emerge. So be bold, stay real, and let your employer brand reflect what truly makes your organization shine.

Employer Brand Hacks: 10 Tactics to Steal from Consumer Marketing 

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting 

Consumer marketers have honed their brand strategies through decades of tracking detailed customer analytics, optimizing digital experiences and crafting emotionally compelling messages. When it comes to leveraging data and analytics, consumer marketing is ahead of employer branding. But it doesn’t have to be that way!  

Talent acquisition pros can adapt these same tactics to understand candidates, polish touchpoints and build strong employer brands. Your employer brand can steal a page from the consumer brand playbook to step up talent attraction and retention. 

Hacking the Employer Brand: 10 Tricks from Consumer Marketing 

To help you think outside the recruitment box, we’ve outlined 10 employer brand hacks below to infuse your candidate attraction strategy with consumer-savvy flair. From mystery shoppers to NPS surveys, these creative approaches will revolutionize your talent attraction strategy.  

1. Engagement Analytics 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Measure engagement metrics on ecommerce and social platforms to gauge product resonance. 

Employer Brand Hack: Consumer marketing is as much science as it is art these days. Take page from your marketing peers and leverage analytics tools to monitor engagement levels with your content across digital platforms and third-party sites. You can gain valuable insights into how potential candidates perceive your employee value proposition (EVP) by monitoring the types of content that talent interacts with on sites like LinkedIn and your career pages. 

For example, heavy traffic and shares of content spotlighting your company’s flexible work options, learning and development programs or commitment to DE&I indicates these subjects are important to candidates. Likewise, you can identify red flags where pieces of your EVP are falling flat or even turning candidates away. 

By analyzing these engagement metrics, talent acquisition teams can refine outward-facing messaging to better reflect and emphasize the cultural elements already igniting passions. 

2. Sentiment Analysis 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Analyze customer conversations on social media to gauge sentiment around products. 

Employer Brand Hack: Job forums and social media channels have become backchannel focus groups, where in-the-know candidates exchange intel and impressions of potential employers. The everyday dialogue happening online shapes perceptions of your organization and EVP outside your control. Are you listening? 

Immerse yourself in these dynamic discussions by using social listening tools to assess the narratives being woven about your company culture and their sentiment. Pay special attention to the emotional tone. What feelings are sparked at the mention of your organization? Is it warmth, intrigue and affinity? Or perhaps skepticism, frustration or even antagonism? 

These unfiltered insights should inform your talent marketing strategy in real-time. Where positivity and praise emerge, double down on those messages. When you uncover misconceptions, course correct. Talent will continue to chatter, but plugged-in talent leaders can help guide the tone. 

3. Feedback and Review Platforms 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Closely monitor customer reviews on sites like Amazon or Trustpilot. 

Employer Brand Hack: Employer review platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed or kununu have become gold mines for candid insights directly from current and former employees. Monitoring these key sites should be a standard pulse-check for talent acquisition leaders and CHROs alike. But be warned—this is where you’ll find the unvarnished truth. 

One way to improve your employer brand is through employer review sites. We recommend a quarterly audit digging into themes and analyzing sentiment over time. Are certain departments or practices called out repeatedly? Do some locations have better scores than others?  

Used strategically, these insights provide CEOs, talent acquisition leaders and hiring managers at every level with an unfiltered mirror into the inner workings of company culture as employees are actively experiencing it. With this invaluable intelligence in hand, you can address problem spots through policy change or manager coaching. You can also double down on what’s working—the perks, flexibility, and cultural elements making employees stay. 

4. Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Use NPS to gauge product loyalty and word-of-mouth potential. 

Employer Brand Hack: Implementing employee NPS (eNPS) and candidate NPS (cNPS) surveys offers a valuable pulse check for recruitment and retention alike.  

With existing employees, these surveys quantify the likelihood of recommending your organization as a workplace. Low scores signal disengagement. Likewise, surveying candidates during the recruitment journey provides an understanding where expectations aren’t matching up with realities, helping you to refine your talent screening practices. Candidate NPS surveys can be sent post-interview and again post-onboarding for insights into both the recruitment and induction process. 

Your employer brand health hinges on aligning the candidate experience with the employee experience and delivering on your brand promises throughout the talent lifecycle. Both eNPS and cNPS metrics offer evidence-based insights to inform your talent program strategy. 

5. Focus Group Discussions 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Dive deep into consumer preferences using focus groups. 

Employer Brand Hack: When was the last time you picked the brains of candidates who have recently been through your recruitment process? As you refine your employer branding strategy and before you evolve your candidate experience, these individuals offer invaluable, straight-from-the-source insights. 

In addition to surveys, organize quarterly listening sessions with a mix of talent segments: recent new hires, employees in their first year, candidates who made it to advanced stages but ultimately declined offers, and even short-listers you opted not to hire. In a judgment-free environment, empower them to share candid impressions about their journey with your organization pre- and post-hire. 

Use this time to dig deep. What excited or deterred them about your employer brand initially? How did the interview or communication style align with their expectations of company culture? What workplace elements inspire their loyalty or doubts now as employees? Are perceptions consistent or disparate across genders, generations and ethnic groups? 

These focus groups go beyond what a survey can fully capture. As a result, you can pinpoint what’s resonating or missing the mark in talent attraction, selection and retention. Bonus—it also demonstrates that employee input spurs action. 

6. Mystery Shopping 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Deploy individuals to assess the customer experience—incognito. 

Employer Brand Hack: Another way to get the insider perspective on your candidate experience is to use an old trick from consumer marketing—mystery shoppers. This involves engaging individuals to navigate the recruitment process undercover, reporting on their experience from start to finish. 

Equip your “mystery shopper” to navigate the application, screening and interviews as authentically as possible, jotting detailed notes along the way. Instruct them to assess logistics around communication cadence, process efficiency and technology glitches. But more importantly, they should capture the emotional highs and lows they felt when interacting with your employees, content and brand at each step. 

When you debrief, try to uncover interactions where your employer brand deviates from the actual experience across key variables like location, department, seniority level and demographic background. These behind-the-scenes findings will prove invaluable as you seek to optimize recruitment ROI and evolve the candidate journey. 

7. Competitive Analysis 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Assess the brand vis-à-vis competitors. 

Employer Brand Hack: Benchmark your employer brand against competitors to grasp areas of strength and improvement. 

In today’s transparent talent marketplace, candidates have unprecedented visibility into everything from compensation to culture at your organization as well as your closest rivals. They are comparing you on everything from your work environment to DE&I commitments. 

This means your employer brand strategy can no longer happen in a silo. Formal competitive intelligence monitoring can help you benchmark your employer brand against competitors to understand strengths and opportunities. 

Audit the career sites, social media channels, job boards, industry reports and review site profiles of competitors to understand what messages and claims they’re leaning into with their employer brand. The goal here is not copying others’ employer brands but to understand how you can stand out and where you can bring sharper focus to what makes your culture uniquely attractive.  

8. Deep Dives into Unstructured Feedback 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Sift through customer service calls and chats to identify common themes. 

Employer Brand Hack: In their focus on surveys, employer review sites and focus groups, talent acquisition leaders often overlook the wealth of qualitative feedback hiding in plain sight internally.  

Sources like exit interviews, town hall meetings and other internal platforms can offer genuine glimpses into how employees view your employer brand. You’ll uncover grounded narratives around things like which leaders inspire employee pride or skepticism, or real-talk on workloads affecting mental health and work-life balance. 

This intelligence takes your employer brand strategy from reactive to proactive. It empowers you to intervene early before issues become viral Glassdoor threads. But just as importantly, you can also double down on what’s working, giving you an informed perspective to guide messaging, policy and experience in sync with employee values and expectations. 

9. Audience Segmentation 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Segment the customer base to tailor messaging and understand perception among different audiences. 

Employer Brand Hack: Employee perceptions within departments, roles, locations and tenure lengths often vary more than we realize. What engages your engineers may disengage your creatives. What excites recent college hires may fall flat for senior leaders. 

In today’s fragmented but transparent talent marketplace, one-size-fits all employer branding is no longer effective. By investing time and effort into audience segmentation, CHROs take big step in evolving their EVP to PVP, personal value proposition.  

Like customer personas, developing talent personas are a great way to engage in a targeted, personalized approach to talent attraction. These nuanced profiles allow you to sharpen your employer brand and talent attraction content for niche talent pools beyond one generic EVP message. Plus, you can tailor by regional expectations, whether in different cities in the same country or across continents.  

Getting segmentation right ensures candidates see your employer brand as a match for people like them from the start.  

10. User Behavior Analytics 

Consumer Brand Best Practice: Understand how customers interact with their website or app by using user analytics tools like heatmaps. 

Employer Brand Hack: Consumer marketing teams are increasingly adopting digital analytics tools to better understand customer preferences and behavior. Talent acquisition leaders can borrow this tactic too. Tools like heatmaps and click maps offer visual snapshots tracking precisely how users navigate and scroll career pages. These visual activity maps identify which content generates the most interest or engagement on your career site.  

Lingering on the mission statement? Scrolling past office photos? Double-tapping into stories on career mobility but glossing over benefits? These granular insights reveal which candidate attraction content holds the greatest appeal for your candidates. 

By understanding where your high-traffic areas and natural user flows are, you can guide candidates with attention-grabbing messages or entry points to more in-depth information. Likewise, you can weave in more stories around topics that are proving popular to leverage that momentum. These tools can also flag areas of friction, like errors or “rage clicks,” that could lead to candidates abandoning their application or leaving your career site.  

Employer Brand Strategy: The Value of Data 

Data and insights should always be the bedrock beneath an employer brand. Take time to gather feedback, analyze findings and track the impact of new initiatives. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new perspectives and unconventional approaches to stand out from the crowd. 

With the right balance of boldness and research, you can craft a magnetic employer brand that both resonates with candidates and drives critical recruitment metrics. So, take a cue from your marketing peers—be brave, think big, and transform employer branding into a discipline as sophisticated as consumer marketing.  

Don’t Make These 10 Employer Brand Mistakes

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory 

Let’s be real—crafting an authentic, compelling employer brand in today’s dynamic talent marketplace is no easy feat. With diverse candidate expectations and rapid digital disruption, even the most seasoned talent acquisition and HR leaders can slip up. Don’t fret if you’ve made some employer branding missteps along the way. To help you diagnose potential gaps, I’ve put together this handy list of 10 common employer brand mistakes.  

These pitfalls can erode candidate trust, diminish your employer value proposition, and even cost you top talent. Learn from other companies’ miscues to refine your brand messaging and employee experience. The key is course-correcting before your employer brand perception deteriorates further. Let’s dive in! 

1. A One-Size-Fits-All Approach  

Companies often craft a single, broad message, expecting it to resonate with everyone. In our diverse world, nuanced tailoring to different demographics, cultures and backgrounds is far more impactful.  

By evolving your employee value proposition (EVP) into a dynamic, human-centric personal value proposition (PVP) you embrace a flexible approach that addresses employees’ diverse needs and aspirations as unique individuals, not just workers. The PVP does not replace the EVP; rather, it evolves it. It’s not just about being an attractive employer. It’s about enabling each individual to realize their full potential, and in doing so, empowering your organization to thrive in an increasingly competitive and complex landscape.  

Learn how to evolve your EVP to a human-centric PVP and increase productivity 23%.  

2. Overlooking Employee Voices 

Employers sometimes mistake professional aesthetics for authenticity, sharing polished, yet hollow messages. In today’s world of TikTok and Instagram, your talent craves real talk and real storytelling. At the end of the day, facts and stats don’t connect like stories do—whether it’s through videos, podcasts, blogs or social media posts. 

One of the most effective ways to manage perception and shift views is through showcasing real-life employee experiences, achievements and testimonials to highlight the positive aspects of your workplace. PeopleScout’s recent research, Inside the Candidate Experience, found that 35% of organizations don’t feature their real employees on their career site. Yet, 86% of candidates say they value stories from employees and that it helps to influence their job search. 

Employee testimonials can provide the most candid and compelling insights about a company and are one of the best ways to inject authenticity into your employer brand. So, put your people first, and let their journeys within your organization take center stage. Leveraging employee advocates in your employer brand and candidate attraction content will help you grab hearts and stand out from the competition.  

3. Static Branding in a Dynamic World  

The pandemic was a major shift that changed people’s perspectives on work. The Great Resignation shook things up even more, with workers now expecting a lot more from employers when it comes to meaningful work, development opportunities, work-life balance and flexibility. However, many organizations are still relying on the same old pay and perks-focused EVPs that just don’t inspire today’s talent anymore, leading to low engagement and high turnover. 

Companies that define their employer brand—but don’t revisit and revise it periodically—risk appearing out of touch or stagnant. If your organization hasn’t updated its employer in the last three years, you’re overdue. 

4. Overemphasis on Perks, Under-Emphasis on Purpose  

Modern employees, especially younger generations, often prioritize purpose and impact over perks. Our research shows that half (50%) of candidates say an organization’s mission and purpose are key influences on their decision to apply. Yet, less than half of employers show information about the organization’s mission, purpose or values on the career site. Companies that solely highlight surface-level benefits may miss attracting deeply committed talent. 

Top Considerations When Looking for a new Job by Generation

Candidates want fulfilling employment and a company that upholds their values. By not featuring this information on your career site, you’re passing up an opportunity to create an emotional connection with your talent audiences. 

I know what you’re thinking—why not just direct candidates to where this information is on our corporate site? Here’s the thing: the second you send applicants somewhere else, you risk losing them. They may never make it back to actually submit an application. Instead, make things seamless by keeping the candidate journey in one place. The more you immerse talent in an experience right on your career site, the more likely they’ll envision themselves at your organization and apply for a job.  

5. Over-Promising, Under-Delivering 

Brands sometimes craft a compelling and aspirational image, but if the day-to-day reality doesn’t match, it can lead to disillusionment and distrust among employees. 

The number one obstacle for candidates when it comes to applying is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization. So, brands that can show candidates what their day-to-day tasks will look like in a role will see more applications and higher-quality candidates. Consider creating videos that show a diverse range of your employees in their real work environment so candidates can see themselves in the role and at your organization.  

6. Neglecting Feedback Loops 

Not establishing mechanisms to gauge how the employer brand is perceived internally and externally leaves companies blind to misalignments or areas of improvement. Different workforce segments—full-time workers, contingent workers, working parents, employees just starting their careers and those considering retirement—all have diverse needs. So, involving employees in the EVP development process is a great way to ensure their voices are heard and their perspectives are considered.  

Conducting focus groups, workshops or surveys to gather employee input and insights will help you understand how to tailor your EVP to these unique segments. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of ownership and buy-in among employees, increasing their engagement with the EVP and creating a crucial step toward achieving a PVP. 

7. Not Addressing Negative Perceptions  

Ignoring negative reviews on platforms like Glassdoor can further erode trust. A proactive, open approach of responding to reviews is one of the most important ways to create a strong brand presence on employer review sites.  

Leaving thoughtful replies demonstrates maturity and commitment to growth and is guaranteed to show candidates and employees that you care—regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative. In fact, according to a Glassdoor survey, 62% of job candidates agree their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. 

8. Lacking Cultural Competence 

Global brands must recognize and respect the cultural nuances of the regions they operate in. A message that resonates in one culture might misfire or even offend in another. A lack of cultural literacy in your employer brand can lead to confusion among your talent audiences, making it more difficult to recruit top talent.  

When it comes to your global talent strategy, it is important to work with local employees to build an employment brand that is effective across the world. Plus, you want to ensure that your recruitment marketing campaigns are culturally appropriate in each region. This could even include leveraging different social media sites which can have varied relevance for employer brand recognition and job searches from country to country. 

9. Failure to Integrate Your Employer Brand Across Touchpoints  

An employer brand isn’t just about recruitment ads or company websites. It should be integrated into every employee touchpoint, from onboarding to training to exit interviews. 

Every aspect of your employer brand—from voice to visuals—should capture the essence of life at your company. When candidates see your brand personality reflected everywhere, it builds trust. They don’t just hear you boast about culture fit and experience—they feel it through every interaction. So, let your employer brand shine through in big and small ways on your career site, social posts, job descriptions and more. Candidates will gain confidence that your employer value proposition rings true if you walk the walk at every step. 

10. Ignoring the Role of Middle Management 

While top leadership plays a role in defining the brand, it’s often middle management that has the most face time with employees. They translate your employer branding into daily reality. If they aren’t aligned with the brand message or don’t embody its values, the EVP can quickly fall apart as employees recognize the inconsistencies between branding and behavior. 

Managers should undergo employer branding training. When the entire management chain fully buys into the brand promise, managers can activate it for both employees and candidates. With alignment from executives to front-line supervisors, your employer brand transforms from buzzwords into actual company culture. 

PeopleScout Can Help You Avoid Employer Brand Mistakes 

Avoiding common employer brand mistakes takes dedication, but the rewards are well worth the effort. By sidestepping these pitfalls, you’ll craft authentic and human value propositions, strengthen candidate connections and build an employer brand that is flexible enough to speak to a variety of talent audiences.  

PeopleScout’s award-winning in-house Talent Advisory team has fresh ideas to help you evolve your employer brand. Contact us today to get help with your toughest challenges. 

Menopause in the Workplace: Creating a Supportive Environment for Women

Once a taboo topic, menopause in the workplace is having a moment. And it’s about time. Globally, 657 million women are in their menopausal years (aged 45–59) and around half contribute to the labor force. According to CIPD, three out of five (59%) working women between the ages of 45 and 55 who are experiencing menopause symptoms say it has a negative impact on them at work.  

With stereotypes and embarrassment persisting, some women try to push through the challenges on their own. But at an age when many women are stepping into leadership roles, employers must do more to support employees who are experiencing symptoms of menopause in the workplace. 

What is Menopause? 

Menopause signals a natural transition in a woman’s life, marking the end of menstruation and fertility. It typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 as hormone levels fluctuate and decline. While a normal part of aging, menopause can usher in a variety of symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, memory lapses, mood swings—no two women experience it the same.  

How Menopause Impacts Women at Work 

In the same CIPD report, nearly two-thirds (65%) of women said they were less able to concentrate. More than half (58%) experienced more stress, which led to less patience with clients and colleagues.  

Not only do menopause symptoms disrupt focus, but they can also impact morale and attendance. In fact, 30% of impacted women have taken sick leave because of their symptoms. However, only a quarter of them felt able to tell their manager the real reason for their absence with some citing embarrassment (34%) and concerns about privacy (45%). Even more concerning is that another 32% said an unsupportive manager was the reason for not disclosing. In some cases, women have even left their jobs due to these challenges.  

The decrease in engagement and loss of productivity shouldn’t be overlooked by employers. A report from the Mayo Clinic revealed the U.S. economy loses $26.6 billion (USD) each year due to lost productivity and health expenses resulting from employees who are managing menopause symptoms.   

With the right support, women can shine through menopause without missing a beat in their careers. Enlightened leaders can create a culture where women openly discuss their experiences and get the flexibility they need.  

How to Create a Supportive Environment for Menopause in the Workplace 

HR leaders have real power to destigmatize menopause and help women thrive. By treating this transition as you would any other employee wellbeing topic and regularly evaluating policies, you can set the tone for women in your organization. Menopause isn’t just about managing symptoms. It’s about supporting employee growth. 

So, how can CHROs foster a supportive environment for menopausal staff? Here are some recommendations: 

1. Encourage open dialogue and self-advocacy. Make space for open, judgment-free conversations about menopause and let women know assistance is available. Breaking the stigma through dialogue and education is key. 

2. Review policies through a menopause lens. Is time off sufficient? Are you penalizing women unfairly? Consider putting a dedicated menopause policy in place. Ensure that work schedules, remote work options, and time off allowances give women managing menopause the flexibility they need to manage their symptoms.  

3. Make accommodations. Give leeway on start times for sleep struggles. Allow remote work flexibility. Simple adjustments like cooling fans, access to cold water and relaxed dress codes can go a long way to help ease hot flashes. 

99% of women don’t get any menopause benefits at work 

4. Provide education. Make educational resources readily available including FAQs, support groups, webinars, workshops. Consider offering menopause-specific training for managers so they feel more comfortable initiating menopause discussions. Plus, ensure they understand your policies to ensure women are not penalized or sidelined in performance reviews and career advancement unfairly due to menopause difficulties. 

It’s time to move past minimizing women’s symptoms or whispering about “the change.” Companies that support women experiencing menopause in the workplace are better at holding on to experienced female talent and avoiding costly turnover. With the right policies and culture, women can feel empowered and valued during this transition. When women feel their company has their backs through this transition, that loyalty and trust lasts. They’ll repay it with their talent and dedication. 

The Multigenerational Workforce: Bridging the Gap So Everyone Can Thrive [Infographic]

It’s a new era in the workforce as we speed towards 2030 with four powerhouse generations in the mix: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. Understanding what makes your employees of all ages tick is the key to unlocking a culture where everyone thrives.

Check out this infographic on the multigenerational workforce and pave the way for an inclusive workplace that’s all about motivation and growth.

Get more on the multigenerational workforce in our guide, Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work.

Reinventing Your EVP: The Secret to Hacking Your Productivity and Performance

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting

CHROs are a facing a tough balancing act. Employees want flexibility, purpose and belonging. The C-suite wants innovation, productivity and profit. How can you satisfy both without compromising? The answer lies in evolving your employee value proposition (EVP) into a dynamic, human-centric personal value proposition (PVP).

I know, I know, your EVP seemed pretty solid just a few years ago. But let’s face it, times have changed. The pandemic shifted mindsets, the Great Resignation shook things up, and workers now expect a whole lot more from employers when it comes to meaningful work, development opportunities, work-life balance and flexibility. Yet despite these changes, many organizations are still relying on the same transactional EVPs focused on compensation and benefits, leading to low engagement levels and high turnover.

This article delves into the profound changes happening in our workplaces, the shift in employee expectations and how a more human-centric approach to your EVP can help you keep up.

The Productivity Vacuum

One-third of new hires begin looking for a new job within the first six months. It takes approximately eight months for an employee to reach their full productivity. So, if a third of employees leave their job before they’ve become fully productive, organizations experience a productivity vacuum that not only disrupts continuity and knowledge transfer but impedes innovation and business performance.

This productivity vacuum is costing the global economy $8.8 trillion (USD) every year, or 9% of global GDP, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report. To put this into perspective, $8.8 trillion is the combined market capitalization of the top 10 companies in the world or the third wealthiest country based on GDP.

(Sources: Gallup | Mercer | Microsoft | Gartner)

The connection between employee retention and productivity—and in turn revenue growth—is a compelling driver for organizations to prioritize engagement and retention efforts. Retaining top talent through a compelling EVP is crucial to mitigate disruption, knowledge loss and financial costs caused by attrition. According to Gartner, companies with a strong EVP can decrease annual employee turnover by 69%. Plus, these organizations are four times more likely to have highly engaged employees and two times more likely to have high performers.

Your EVP captures the essence of your uniqueness as an employer and the give-and-get between your organization and your employees.

However, today’s employees are demanding more, and the one-size-fits-all EVP approach must evolve to keep up. Rethinking your EVP with a more human-centric approach that recognizes employees as people, not just workers, can help achieve the balance between empathy and economics. By focusing on shifting the EVP to a Personal Value Proposition, or PVP—so each employee feels it’s personalized to them—organizations can go beyond traditional offerings and provide exceptional life experiences that match employee needs and deliver a positive emotional connection.

Introducing the Personal Value Proposition (PVP)

Lucky for you, we’re sharing how forward-thinking companies are effectively shifting from a generic EVP to human-centric strategy that shapes the individual employee experience. The Personal Value Proposition (PVP) is a personalized, flexible approach tailored to address employees’ diverse needs and aspirations as unique individuals, not just workers.

Think of the PVP like building your own custom sports car versus buying one off the factory lot. You get to select each component to match your preferences—convertible or hardtop, leather or cloth seats, high-powered V8 or fuel-efficient hybrid engine—tailoring a one-of-a-kind vehicle personalized just for you. Similarly, organizations embracing a PVP approach offer employees personal growth opportunities, flexibility in their work arrangements and customized career paths that align to what motivates them.

The result? A 18% increase in productivity and a 23% increase in profitability, according to Gallup.

Getting More Personal to Boost Productivity

The PVP does not replace the EVP; rather, it evolves it. It’s not just about being an attractive employer. It’s about enabling each individual to realize their full potential, and in doing so, empowering your organization to thrive in an increasingly competitive and complex landscape. Give your EVP a fresh new flavor that will leave employees smiling and revenue growing. Because keeping your workforce happy and driving performance doesn’t have to be impossible. A PVP makes it possible.

Intrigued to learn more? Get the inside scoop on evolving to a PVP along with stats on the productivity vacuum crisis and the steps for scaling your PVP strategy in our new ebook, The Human Advantage: Redefining EVP to Fuel Organizational Performance.

Dig Deeper

The Human Advantage: Redefining EVP to Fuel Organizational Performance.

The Human Advantage: Redefining Your EVP to Fuel Organizational Performance

The Human Advantage: Redefining Your EVP to Fuel Organizational Performance

Engaged and empowered employees are the key to unlocking productivity and profitability. Employees now prioritize meaningful work, development opportunities, work-life balance, and a sense of belonging over job security and loyalty.

Complete the form to download our ebook, The Human Advantage: Redefining Your EVP to Fuel Organizational Performance, to learn how evolving your employee value proposition (EVP) to a personal value proposition—what we call a PVP—can help you attract, engage and retain top talent.

This ebook provides data-backed insights on:

  • The cost of disengaged and unsatisfied employees in terms of productivity loss and turnover
  • How emphasizing employee well-being and purpose can boost engagement, innovation and performance
  • Shifting from a generic EVP to a tailored Personal Value Proposition (PVP) focused on each individual

Plus, you’ll get actionable steps to implement a human-centric and dynamic PVP strategy.

The Future of HR: Insights from Our EMEA Team

September 26 marks Human Resource (HR) Professional Day, where we recognize the dedication of HR experts. HR plays a vital role in organizations, serving as the bridge between management and the workforce. HR professionals are involved in all stages of an employee’s journey, from talent sourcing to overseeing the departure process.

The pandemic has changed forever the way we work, creating new norms in the workplace. HR have faced several challenges, including flexible work and the wellbeing of employees. As the workplace evolves with four generations—Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z—in the workplace paired with the acceleration of generative AI impacting various job roles, HR will continue to be challenged.

We sat down with our EMEA HR team to ask them about what they’d like to see happen in the future for HR.

Trisha Gajjar, Head of HR EMEA

I work closely with leaders across EMEA and our global organization to lead people programmes and create strategies that drive employee engagement and performance. My role focuses on advising leaders across PeopleScout on organizational design, leadership development and succession programmes, all in alignment with our overall business priorities. As Head of HR, my strategic vision entails cultivating an environment where exceptional talent thrives, while working closely with EMEA leadership and supporting APAC. We strategically champion a culture of inclusivity, growth and employee well-being.

I would like to see HR embracing AI-driven solutions to enhance efficiency in routine tasks. AI-powered tools can mitigate recruitment and promotion bias, moving us closer to inclusion and diversity aims. Additionally, HR should harness AI for predictive analytics to anticipate workforce trends and address issues before they become significant challenges. However, it is important to note that while AI integration is crucial, maintaining a human-centric approach in areas like employee well-being, complex conflict resolution and personalized career development requires emotional intelligence and compassion. The future HR function that I envision artfully balances AI efficiency with human empathy.

Lara Hawkins, UK Lead Business Partner

I operate across a true HR generalist spectrum, and day to day I work on anything from compenzation and benefits to employee relations. Much of my core focus includes working closely with our Head of HR to support shaping the people agenda within the business. I have the absolute pleasure of working in close partnership with our wider EMEA HR teams to align our goals, projects and priorities to achieve our shared employee experience vision. A key and much-loved part of my role is to deeply connect with our people at all levels to identify opportunities and present solutions, initiatives and processes that are mutually beneficial to the wider organization and the people that make up PeopleScout.  

I can’t wait to see, and continue to be part of the continued evolution of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Regulation will get us so far, but we are so fortunate to be surrounded by forward thinking and creative minds within this field, and those that we partner with, to make such an impact.

Laura Lovelock, HR Advisor

Day to day I am an operational point of contact for employees and managers within the business, and I am responsible for providing appropriate guidance and support. I work in partnership with managers when it comes to employee relations, ensuring accurate advice is given so matters are handled in line with company policy and procedures. I also support in the continuous learning and development of our managers through e-learning and live sessions covering a variety of topics from onboarding and reasonable adjustments to flexible working. I also provide support to wider teams and organizational projects.

What would you like to see happen within HR in the future?

I am keen to see what (if any) significant changes are made under the Revocation & Reform Act 2023. EU-related legislation will be revoked, so it will be interesting to see if the government implement any significant changes going forward.

Martyna Lizakowska, HR Administrator

In this role, I have the pleasure of working with both the Polish and UK HR departments. I find answers to various employee questions, support new joiners to the business and prepare reports and presentations for our wider teams.

What would you like to see happen within HR in the future?

Personally, I would like to see HR using technology as effectively as possible, so that we can automate more processes, without generating unnecessary paperwork. I would like to see more creative initiatives in HR-related fields like employee engagement, employer branding and corporate social responsibility.

But what will the world look like for talent acquisition leaders in the next 10 years? Read our whitepaper, Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s Next in the World of Work, to explore the latest research and global workforce trends, and their potential impact on the future of work.  

The Multigenerational Workforce: Has Gen X Been Overlooked in the Workplace?

There’s a new generation moving into leadership roles that’s poised to change how things are done in the workplace. You may not hear as much about them as Baby Boomers or millennials, but Generation X is the silent workhorse that makes up over third of the workforce and over half of managers.  

So, who is Gen X and what exactly are they bringing to the workforce? Grab your flannel shirt, and let’s find out! The last in our series on the multigenerational workforce, this article explores what makes Gen X tick and how they’re stepping up to lead organizations into the future.  

Who are Gen Xers? 

Born between the early 1960s and 1980, this cohort came of age and entered the workforce in the shadow of the larger Baby Boomer generation. Now, as they move into management and leadership roles, Gen X is ready to put their own stamp on workplace culture. 

Growing up as latchkey kids in an era of change, Gen X professionals are more independent and adaptable than previous generations. Gen X entered the workforce during the rise of Silicon Valley and the dot com era, making them comfortable with the pace of technological advancement. For them, adopting new technology feels natural, and they are driving digital transformation across sectors. 

When it comes to the workplace, Gen X values authenticity, work-life balance and professional development. They respond better to flexible schedules that allow for caring for aging parents and children and prefer managers that empathize with those priorities.  

According to a study by Stanford University, Gen X prefers to work from home 50% of the time, compared to Boomers at 35% and Gen Z at 45%. Make no mistake, Gen Xers are focused on results, they just believe there are many valid ways to achieve success beyond face time at the office.  

Having watched their parents climb the corporate ladder, Xers are focused on carving their own path at their own pace. This cohort is extremely hardworking with an innate sense of independence. If you want something done, hand it off to a Gen Xer and let them run with it. 

Gen Xers don’t pay much attention to rank and hierarchy. They prefer direct communication and are more likely to casually ping you on Slack than set up a formal meeting. But don’t mistake their informal style for a lack of drive. Generation X is extremely entrepreneurial and forge their own career paths rather than expect opportunities handed to them.  

Are Gen X Overlooked at Work? 

Gen X may be overlooked in the workplace due to their easy-going approach. In fact, 79% of Gen X says they’re forgotten in the workplace, overshadowed by younger and older workers. It’s hard to blame them, when Gen Xers are promoted at rates 20% to 30% slower than millennials, despite being strong candidates for leadership roles.  

As employers have paid a lot of attention to nurturing millennial talent in recent years, Gen X has gone underappreciated for their contributions to the workforce. With Gen X leading the Great Resignation as 37% more left their company in early 2022 compared to the year before, employers should concentrate on retaining and engaging this valuable cohort as they enter the second half of their careers.  

Move Over, Boomers: Here Comes Gen X 

As Gen X moves into boardrooms and leadership roles, we are starting to see their impact on workplace culture. Transparency and direct communication are in. Bureaucracy and hierarchy are out. Gone are the days of formal business attire and rigid top-down management. Today’s workplaces are more casual, flexible and egalitarian.  

Gen X leaders prefer to mentor and develop talent rather than micromanage. They lead by example and earn respect by rolling up their sleeves alongside their employees. Gen Xers believe the best way to achieve success is by empowering their team.  

How to Keep Gen Xers Happy in the Workplace 

Here’s how to help your Generation X colleagues gain success at work as they move into leadership positions: 

  • Offer flexibility: Gen Xers appreciate flexibility in their work hours and locations. Consider options like remote work, flexible schedules and job sharing. Plus, autonomy over their time is key. Don’t expect 24/7 availability from Gen X employees. They value their personal responsibilities outside of work and crave work-life balance. 
  • Provide opportunities for career development: Gen X is highly self-sufficient but still values feeling appreciated. Provide both informal and formal recognition—including promotions and leadership opportunities. Invest in professional training, mentoring programs and clear paths for career progression. 
  • Limit bureaucracy: Gen X resists rigid corporate structures and prefers collaborating in relaxed settings. Eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy that can hamper productivity and innovation. Empower Gen Xers to accomplish tasks independently. Provide opportunities to work on new initiatives and pilot programs. 

The Future of Work with Gen X at the Helm 

While perhaps overlooked when sandwiched between two larger generations, they bring a perfect blend of independence and adaptability to evolve workplace culture for the better. Talent leaders should take notice of Gen X’s entrepreneurial spirit and prioritization of work-life balance and career progression.  

The skateboards may be gone, but Generation X is still the same pragmatic, diverse and ambitious cohort. Only now they are grown up and calling the shots.  

Read the rest of our Multigenerational Workforce series: