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According to recent reports, one in five workers are ‘ashamed’ of their organisation

A survey in the UK has stated that jobseekers increasingly consider the brand of the employer before applying for a position. This trend has also made its way to Ireland; a company’s brand is now an extremely important factor for potential employees.

Results from a survey conducted by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) report that a fifth of workers in the UK have been embarrassed and ashamed about the company they are working for or the industry that their company is a part of.

The main reason for employees feeling this sense of shame is that the company treats its employees poorly (35%). Another problem recognised is that one of out five people claim that their company is not trustworthy.

Opinium Research conducted this survey on behalf of PRCA involving over 2,000 adults. The results imply that a negative perception of an organisation can potentially have a detrimental impact on recruitment success for the company.

The three most important factors in seeking new employment include pay, the level of stimulating work available, and lastly, employer brand. This fact proves just how important it is for adults to be hired at reputable companies nowadays. One third of those involved in the survey rank employer reputation higher than flexibility at work, benefits, culture, or location in terms of importance.

Survey respondents claims that they would not be willing to work for a company if it had a negative reputation in the media, was known for ripping off customers, or was a part of legal or political scrutiny.

Organisations with excellent employer brands include, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Virgin and Apple.

Tony Langham, chairman of the PRCA, commented on the survey, explaining: “The reputation of an industry or an organisation is integral to those who work within it, and to some people it is crucial to who they are prepared to work for.

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“Organisations with strong reputations are more able to recruit and retain the best talent and to get the most from their workforce. A positive workforce can also act as a powerful army of ambassadors for a company and individually help maintain and protect reputation,” he stated.

10 per cent of UK workers rated their current employer’s reputation as ‘poor,’ while almost two-thirds claimed it was ‘good.’

Even though the technology sector was deemed to have the best reputation, 67% stated this claim, 33% of people actually employed in the industry said that they were embarrassed to work there. This is one of the highest recorded percentages.

The conclusion made is that the image of an organisation that is promoted outwardly to customers and jobseekers differs compared to the internal perceptions of those same organisations.

Statistically, 63 per cent of workers claim that it is the responsibility of all staff to ensure and maintain the reputation of an organisation. Over 25% of workers place the responsibility on the leaders of the organisations, while 11% believe that it is the responsibility of HR.

The survey results came out of the UK, but have the same impact on industry in Ireland. It is more important than ever for companies to be aware of their personal brand and reputation. If a company ignores issues that reflect badly on itself or its industry then less employees will be willing to work there and members of the labour force will not want to apply for a job, resulting in potential deterioration of the company.

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