In addition to the fact that job seekers compete with each other for jobs and employer’s attention, the competition between employers has also intensified in recent years. Employers have to think more carefully about how they can stand out and what are their most important competitive advantages in the labor market.

Of course, each job seeker values different things – one is motivated by a high salary, while another put more value in free time. However, as an employer, it is good to think what kind of competitive advantages you have that can be used to arouse the interest of a potential employee. Read here why you too should start employer branding now.

Since we at Tuudo are experts in student recruitment, we have highlighted four competitive advantages of the employer, especially from the student’s point of view. Of course, the same themes also apply to other target groups.

1. Positive employer image

The application decision is strongly influenced by the employer’s reputation. Positive, and especially negative, stories spread quickly and friends’ experiences paint a certain image of the employer. Employer branding is talked about a lot these days, and the truth is that building a good employer image also requires thought and resources from companies. However, successful employer branding work will be a significant competitive advantage in the future.

Employer image can be improved, for example, by focusing on organizational culture and well-being at work. The employer brand is not only built by marketing or HR department but involves a wide range of stakeholders both inside and outside the organization. The consumer brand is linked to the employer brand, so customers’ thoughts and experiences also shape the employer image.

In addition, it is good to remember that working in a reputable workplace is a source of pride, which produces social value. In this case, the employee is happy to talk about their work outside the workplace as well, and positive stories spread.

2. Career development opportunities

Students often work in wide variety of jobs during their studies, which do not necessarily correspond directly to their own education field. However, when applying for a new job, students are interested in what kind of opportunities they have to proceed and build a career within the organization, for example after a summer job or an internship. As skills develop and experience grows, it is natural to aim for more responsibility and more versatile tasks.

The meaningfulness of work tasks is of course always a subjective and it is influenced by the individual’s own interests and personality. Consequently, students are often more interested in how much they themselves can influence the content of work and career development in the organization. The most important thing is that the student would be able to, at least on some level, use the knowledge they have already acquired from their studies and develop into an expert in their field.

3. The organization’s values are in order

When looking for a job, students are mainly very interested in what kind of values the company has and whether these are in line with their own values. In Tuudo’s work life survey in 2022, equality, meaningfulness, cooperation, honesty and trust emerged as the most important values in working life. Nowadays, many employers also emphasize a relaxed work atmosphere and the importance of humor in the workplace. The fact that you don’t have to work with a frown on your face day after day is of course a bonus for most job seekers.

In addition to the fact that the company’s values are listed on the wall of the break room or on the company website, they must guide the organization’s everyday operations. So it would be good for the company to think about what, for example, equality means in practice in the workplace and how it is realized. Open and, above all, truthful communication inspires trust and helps to find the most suitable employees for the company.

4. Flexibility

During the global pandemic, remote working has become more common, and many have gotten used to studying and working from home. From the 2022 work life survey, it appears that approximately one in two students prefers companies that offer remote work opportunities. Remote work gives the employee freedom and enables, for example, cabin visits in the middle of the week, but many also miss live meetings with colleagues. Hybrid work is a common concept these days and it means combining remote and in-person work.

Freedom and flexibility are not only related to place but also time. In many workplaces, flexible working hours are used, which gives the employee the opportunity to influence his own working time. It is good to consider that some are most effective before the sunrise, while for others early mornings are difficult. Flexibility in terms of working hours is especially important if you work alongside your studies.

Do you want to hear more about recruiting university students? Contact us, and we will help you increase your visibility in universities and universities of applied sciences around Finland.