The importance of employer branding & business as a force for good

19th July 2019
Simon Walton
Partner & Head of Practice

The UK job market remains resilient despite rising Brexit uncertainty, with faster than expected earnings growth and the lowest unemployment rate in decades. ONS has the current UK unemployment rate at 3.8 per cent, the lowest since 1974, while the share of those in employment remained close to a record high. Simon Walton, Head of Berwick Partners’ Consumer Practice, explains how the importance of strong, attractive and relevant ‘Employer Brand’ is more essential than ever before; especially within the talent scarce UK marketplace, where high calibre individuals are assessing potential future employers on much more than their offer of an attractive salary and remuneration package.

At our most recent Consumer Sector Leaders’ dinner Douglas Lamont, Chief Executive of innocent Drinks, kindly spoke on the topics of purpose and sustainability. At the heart of his speech were his observations and experiences of how businesses can be profitable and a force for good. Further, he discussed the positive impact of a strong ethical agenda upon employee engagement and talent attraction.

Becoming ‘B Corp Certified’

Douglas joined innocent Drinks in 2006 and has been leading the business as CEO for the past six years. He has been instrumental to innocent’s success, championing a way of doing business that balances the need for profit with the needs of people and the planet. Last year, innocent officially became B Corp certified; an independent certification which rigorously assesses social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. This acknowledges that innocent is making a genuine and positive contribution to its workforce, customers, suppliers, community and environment.

Such initiatives and intent are not just for ‘smaller’ brands; larger organisations such as Coca Cola are also implementing innovative initiatives to ensure they too are acting as a force for good.  In a recent interview with Berwick Partners, Leendert den Hollander, VP & GM of Coca Cola European Partners, discussed the creation of a more inclusive and gender diverse culture, coupled with the development of a new company-wide philosophy titled ‘Be Yourself, Be Valued, Belong’.  The multi-national soft drinks manufacturer has also cut its gender pay gap, seen an increase in engagement scores and built an inclusive ambassador network called #JustBe.

Creating a positive employer brand

For all the talk about improving the culture within the office and a ‘Positive Employer Brand’, the quality of time employees spend away from their desks can have an equally significant impact upon employee engagement and employer branding. As a result, businesses are increasingly looking for ways to help staff find a better work-life balance.

Molson Coors has recently introduced a significant employee benefit. The Burton-based, UK arm of the global Canadian brewing group now offers staff two extra weeks of paid leave a year on top of their standard 31 days of annual leave. Rather than simply being an extension of their holiday allowance, ‘Life Leave’ can be taken either in instalments or as multiple days and is intended to be used for significant moments that often crop up at short notice, such as going to see the school play, taking the dog to the vet, or moving house.

Adam Firby, Molson Coors’ UK and Ireland HR director, stated in a recent interview that the aim is to boost well-being and overall staff productivity.  “Holiday is about resting, it’s about relaxing, it’s about switching off from work, and we recognise that outside of that, other things in life happen,” he says. “This is about balance.”

It should come as no surprise to employers that, if they wish to consistently attract the best talent, they will need to be pro-active and imaginative in their future recruitment campaigns. To do this, they require a positive Employer Brand, a commitment towards sustainability and a genuine purpose within their business. Businesses need to have a strong, transparent and candid relationship with a leading recruiter in the specific functional area or sector, giving them greater access to future talent.

Berwick Partners can add invaluable expertise and access to a variety of networks to ensure we find the best person for the role. We lead the way in recruiting senior leadership positions across both the Private and Public sectors regionally, nationally and internationally. We support organisations in making key appointments which have a critical impact upon their businesses’ future and success.

For more information, please contact Simon Walton,  Partner and Head of the Consumer Practice at Berwick Partners.