Q&A: Ryan Carroll: “Employer branding is the culmination of everything that makes up the organisation”

Author: Carolyn Hong | Date: 5 Oct 2016

Randstad Malaysia’s country manager on the importance of good branding to compete for the best talent in a candidate-driven market

Ryan CarrollRyan Carroll’s role focuses on matching the best people to the best organisations in Malaysia – but that goes beyond just finding the right employees. Increasingly, it’s also about getting employers to create a good brand to stand out in the competition for talent. He speaks about why organisations should take employer branding seriously.
What makes an employer attractive to talent?
That would depend purely on the type of organisation, industry, culture and the kind of people who work there. Is it a high performance culture or one that is relaxed and encourages creativity and innovation? A company needs to first have a better understanding of its nature, and then guide its employer brand to focus on the wants and needs of specific types of candidates targeted. They also need to know the job market. For example, at this point in time, Malaysian millennials prefer roles with job security compared to millennials in the region who prefer a work-life balance.
In terms of branding, how can smaller employers compete with brand-name organisations?
Well-known multinational corporations clearly have a strong advantage when it comes to the overall awareness of their brand name. However, an employer brand is not just about that; it is also about how people view a particular organisation and whether they would like to work for it. It is, therefore, possible for a smaller company to have stronger employer brand than a large multinational. By targeting the employer brand towards the right talent, smaller organisations can attract and retain talent at a rate larger ones may have difficulty doing.
Why is employer branding important for the Malaysian market?
Despite the slower economic conditions here, the Malaysian market is still a candidate-driven one. This means employers are in fierce competition with each other for the best talent. In addition to attracting the best, retention is more important than ever. Whether they regard it as important or not, all organisations do have their own employer brand. It’s just a matter of whether they want to take the branding into their own hands to gain an advantage in their efforts in attraction and retention.
How can employers brand themselves effectively?
An employer brand cannot simply be put together with a single programme, as it is the culmination of everything that makes up the organisation – the people, culture and work. It is the image that people have of the organisation, from an external point of view as well as an internal one. It is about the role the organisation plays within the community in which it operates, and the partnerships that it has with its stakeholders.