Discover why (and how) employer branding can help you recruit and retain data talent at every level of your organization this year.

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Having first addressed the topic of employer branding and data talent over a year ago, we wanted to take a look in the context of 2022.

It's certainly a remarkable year thus far, seeing as:

Yes, a lot has happened in the first months of 2022. 

But what, if anything, has changed for tech talent, businesses, and employer branding? Let’s take a dive into the topic.

Good Employer Branding: What It Can Do for You

In defining “employer branding,” SHRM puts it succinctly:

“A positive employer brand communicates that the organization is a good employer and a great place to work.”

Unpacking that idea further, we can think of good employer branding as a combination of organizational behaviors and messaging that:

  • Influences whether job candidates apply to positions and accept offers
  • Shapes your workplace culture so that people want to stick around (as well as their willingness to invite similarly talented colleagues to come aboard)
  • Enhances your company’s brand reputation and overall appeal to clients and customers

To build a strong employer brand today, business leaders and hiring managers must think critically about:

  • What attracts data talent, especially younger workers
  • What company values are being signaled to prospective and current employees
  • Whether they've got the right, inclusive culture to attract and retain staff

Compensation, Diversity, and Data Talent

Successful hiring managers, HR pros, and talent alike all know that data skills are in high demand at every organizational level, thanks to unprecedented online access to employment data, including salary information for data analysts, scientists, and engineers.

But salary benchmarks aren't the only thing job-hunting data talent are researching. Candidates continue to actively seek out what current employees have to say about their employers on review websites like Glassdoor.

And part of that research — especially for younger Millennials and Gen Z  — includes  continued close scrutiny of how companies are approaching DEI.

Yes, in 2022, employees and job candidates expect companies to continue addressing workplace gender and racial inequities.

According to SHRM:

“The modern corporate move to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion was spawned by the murder of George Floyd and the rise of Black Lives Matter in 2020, but it is on its way to becoming institutionalized across the American business landscape and beyond …  The routinization of remote work and the career shuffle set off by the Great Resignation also have intensified DEI issues, as employees now in the driver's seat survey their career options and evaluate softer factors than compensation and location.” [Emphasis ours]

Furthermore, if one looks at the top 10 employers in 2022 ranked by employee Glassdoor reviews as "a best place to work for underrepresented minorities," connections between employer branding, workplace culture, DEI, and employee loyalty begin to emerge.

For instance:

  • At Microsoft48% of employees of color would recommend their workplace to others, while 69% of employees of color feel they’re paid fairly.
  • Google’s reviews showed that 58% of employees of color would recommend their workplace, with 79% of employees of color feel they’re paid fairly.
  • At Zoom, 90% of employees of color would recommend their workplace, while 88% of employees of color feel they’re paid fairly.

>> Did you know? Microsoft and Google also both scored at the top of Correlation One’s list of “dream employers” identified by rising data talent.

Employer Branding: Where to From Here

According to a late 2021 Harvard Business Review article, knowledge workers most eagerly seek employment in places where three key factors are present:

  1. A strong, visible corporate commitment to DEI - In a survey of 1,000 employed adults, 48% said they’d consider switching to another company if it had a well-built DEI strategy.
  2. A management team that is accessible and accountable - The best talent will choose to work where they feel their work has meaning and impact. If employees feel leadership is inflexible and unaccountable, they’re more likely to leave for a competitor. (Note: This is especially true for Gen Z tech talent.)
  3. Meaningful coaching and mentoring for employees - Younger knowledge workers tend to place a premium on employee development opportunities. Moreover, for rising talent from historically underrepresented groups, mentoring can be especially critical for success and retention. That's because it can help offset workplace biases and prejudices individuals may encounter. Mentoring also helps nurture professional confidence and decrease feelings of isolation.

In light of the above, employers hoping to improve their employer branding to attract data talent may want to:

  1. Openly promote company values that reflect their commitment to data and AI alongside their DEI and corporate social responsibility objectives. Microsoft’s company values section on their website is a good example of this idea in action.
  2. Be transparent about their “getting better” mindset by identifying and living those company values throughout their organization, including product development. Google, for example, recently used a Super Bowl ad featuring singer and musician Lizzo to tell the story of Real Tone, part of a long-term effort to “ensure all [Google] camera and imaging products accurately represent all skin tones.”
  3. Demonstrate a visible commitment to DEI in their companies and the wider data field through intentional recruitment and upskilling of talent from underrepresented groups. In nurturing rising talent from underrepresented groups (e.g., Black, Women, LGBTQ+, Hispanic / Latinx, Veterans, etc.), companies can enhance their employer brands for hiring and retention purposes today while also working to diversify tomorrow's data workforces.

Ultimately, these DEI-centered actions may have an added benefit, beyond making recruiting easier. They may help drive better financial outcomes, too.

As McKinsey & Company’s pre-pandemic research into the business case for DEI revealed regarding gender diversity:

“Our 2019 analysis finds that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile — up from 21% in 2017 and 15% in 2014.” 

Yes,  the "bonus diversity dividend" has the potential to be a win-win situation.

The Takeaway

As 2022 moves along, recruiting and retaining talent will remain top-of-mind concerns for forward-thinking, data-driven companies.

That's because good employer branding can help overcome job market changes and challenges — especially in those companies making real, tangible moves to advance workplace DEI.

Explore More

Discover how we help companies build diverse, high-performing data and analytics organizations through our innovative training and mentoring initiatives.