Why is The Engineering Sector The Best in Employer Branding?

According to the Global Employer Brand Research 2022 report, engineering is the top-ranked sector in 2022 when it comes to Employer Branding. Surprisingly, second place goes to the automotive industry, while IT dropped to fifth place. Why are some sectors rapidly improving, and what are others neglecting when it comes to employer branding? Find out in the article.

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Employer Branding

Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

IT is no longer a favorite of Employer Branding 

Over the past four years, the Information Technology and Communications (ITC) sector has been the absolute favorite regarding Employer Branding. This year, however, the engineering sector came first. This was a bit of a shocker, considering that automotive hasn’t even been in the top five in previous years. How come they’ve gained such success now? 

Namely, about 60% of the 163,000 respondents in the Randstad survey indicated that it would gladly work in this sector. The authors cite as a possible reason for the automotive industry to jump to second place: the growing popularity of electric vehicles. In third place is IT, while in fourth is agriculture, which also fell two places compared to the previous year. 

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While engineering has been rated as the most attractive sector in 2022, it is hampered by the fact that much of the workforce feels like it lacks the necessary skills to work in this sector. That subjective sense of incompetence should be taken into account when building an Employer Branding strategy in any industry.

These changes in the ranking were characterized by another important item – the percentage of voluntary resignation jumped from 12% to 16%. Younger employees of all education levels are among those who most often change employers. 

Let’s try to understand the cause of this. 

What do the top-ranked sectors have that the competition doesn’t? 

The fact that an employer is interested at all in improving Employer Branding is already an excellent starting point. Traditional business models do not prioritize the personal feelings of employees, they even treat them as easily replaceable. As Kafka would say, an employee is “just another screw” in the system. 

Everyone has heard about poor working conditions both in public enterprises and in the largest companies like Amazon. In fact, the example of Amazon shows that one lousy rumor spread online is enough to ruin the reputation that a brand has built for years.  Internet users still trust employee testimonials the most, and almost all of them have at least one bad experience with employers, so they usually relate to those stories. 

Now, let’s take a look at what employees around the world have highlighted as priorities when deciding to become part of a company: 

  • 61% Salary and benefits; 
  • 57% Work-life balance; 
  • 55% Security for long-term employment; 
  • 54% Atmosphere at work; 
  • 49% Career advancement opportunity. 

What all the top-ranked sectors have in common is that they are highly rated in all of the above categories. 

Employer Branding Trends in 2022 

In 2020, employees saw the benefits of working from home or a hybrid model. Although most of us are back in the offices, many still fantasize about occasional work from the comfort of their home. However, the aforementioned research shows that this type of flexibility has decreased from 54% to 42% within a year. This trend certainly negatively affects the overall satisfaction of employees, and therefore employer branding. 

In addition, this year’s inflation has caused a decline in satisfaction with salary, work-life balance, but also an atmosphere at work across Europe and North America. On the other side, the Asia-Pacific region is growing in these categories. 

Engineering Sector

This study showed additional parameters that need to be improved: 

  • Opportunities for advancement – Employees want to acquire new skills and improve existing ones. That is why employers who nurture this principle within their companies or have some sort of an academy are particularly attractive. If this is impossible, the occasional exchange of knowledge and experience is equally important. 
  • Caring for the environment – A good salary and a nice office are attributes that can be found in other workplaces. Employees want to see the employer’s sense for societal problems, and find it ignorant or repulsive if their boss dismisses people living in poor conditions. 

In relation to this, as many as 75% of respondents consider it very important that the employer provides them with the opportunity to acquire additional skills.  More than 70% of them guarantee that they would stay with their employer if they got the opportunity to improve.  However, only 61% state this is the case in their work environment. 

Data from 2022 also showed the most common job search channels, which is an important factor for a good Employer Branding strategy: 

  1. Job search portals (33%) 
  2. Employment agencies (29%) 
  3. Google (26%) 
  4. Social media (25%) 
  5. Personal acquaintances (25%) 

In addition, it’s important to combine multiple channels, because 2/3 of the people who have changed jobs in the past year have not found it through the job portals. 

What is EVP and why is it important? 

Your brand brings people with the same values and a common goal under one roof. However, their priorities are not the same. Some have children, others live far from work, others find it difficult to get up in the morning. And you need to keep this in mind when creating an Employer Branding strategy. 

A pleasant work environment means that people are not judged for their different ways of life. On the contrary, it is precisely the differences that make your team richer for the entire range of interests, skills and areas in which your brand can develop. 

If you’re not convinced and all of the above sounds cliché, let’s try it this way. All your life for every holiday or trip, you were probably sticking to the “It doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you’re in good company” slogan. This golden rule applies in the workplace as well. 

In fact, when you think about it, you spend a lot more time at work, especially if you include commute time. Isn’t it logical then to be comfortable in this environment? 

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Regardless of which sector is most admired around the world, one thing is clear: employers still need to offer a compelling employee value proposition (EVP) to win the competition for talent.

Our parents lived in the belief that it is impossible to live from what you love. Fortunately, this narrative has changed a lot today – precisely because employers care about employees being satisfied with the environment and working conditions. And that’s what we briefly call Employer Branding. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.

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