More than half of Belgian employers (65%) have difficulty finding employees. Belgium is even having the most difficult time compared to other European countries such as The Netherlands (54%) or Ireland (53%). These figures are significantly higher than the European average of 42%. Some employers turn to increased employer branding efforts to attract the best candidates and retain their employees. In doing so, they might also turn to certification labels such as Great Place to Work®, to identify their company as a great workplace. But can we really prove that certifications have a positive effect on employer branding and employee engagement?
Good news! Research by Guillot-Soulez, Saint-Onge & Soulez (2019) confirms that communicating a Great Place to Work label improves organisational attractiveness to potential candidates. On the one hand, we find a direct effect on organisational attractiveness, on the other hand, this relationship is also mediated by the idea of organisational prestige and the idea of being a ‘match’ with this organisation you will apply for:
- A Great Place to Work label is associated with company prestige and being employed by a prestigious organisation can promote a candidate’s self-esteem and social approval.
- Candidates also seek a match between their personal and organisational characteristics. Candidates prefer to join organisations that offer rewards and working conditions that match their personal characteristics. Earning a high ranking in the Best Workplaces list gives a clear recruitment advantage, because candidates interpret this qualification as a message that the employer cares about well-being and offers great working conditions.
So, what about employee turnover? Does a certificate or a higher position in our Best Workplaces list lead to a lower level of employee turnover?
Now that the war for talent is raging, Belgian organisations are trying hard assuring current employees that they are working in the greatest of all places. Employees may doubt the credibility of internal branding efforts, but third-party employment branding such as Great Place to Work may be more credible in persuading them that the organisation is indeed a great place to work. After all, by measuring employee experience, it is the voice of its employees that decide whether this third party can grant such a label to the company. Employees who work for a certified organisation may be reluctant to consider moving to a non-certified company.
Researchers Dineen & Allen (2016) investigated the certification effects on staff turnover rates over a three-year period while controlling for lagged outcomes and investments in HR practices that might otherwise affect these outcomes. Their results showed a negative relationship between certifications and turnover, meaning that being certified as Great Place to Work leads to lower collective employee turnover rates independent of firm size or industry job openings.
These findings also relate to what we call an ‘identity effect’: Certifications may strengthen an employee’s identification with the organisation, further embedding employees by sharpening the many advantages of remaining compared with leaving to another organisation for seemingly less.
In short, research clearly confirms that using a Great Place to Work certificate in recruitment advertisements is positively linked with organisational attractiveness, regardless of whether the organisation is listed on a stock exchange or functions as a cooperative. Great Place to Work labels also help in retaining top talent since there is a clear link with a lower staff turnover level in the years after obtaining such label.
On average, 87% of employees at the World’s Best Workplaces said they would recommend their workplace to friends and family. Additionally, 85% of employees on average want to work for their organizations long-term and 88% of employees say they “give extra” to support their organization.
Are you inspired to become a Best Workplace yourself and recruit top talent? Join one of our information sessions and start your journey HERE!
- Guillot-Soulez, C., Saint-Onge, S., & Soulez, S. (2019). Linking employer labels in recruitment advertising, governance mode and organizational attractiveness. Recherche et Applications en Marketing (English Edition), 34(3), 5-26.
- Dineen, B. R., & Allen, D. G. (2016). Third party employment branding: Human capital inflows and outflows following “best places to work” certifications. Academy of Management Journal, 59(1), 90-112.
- Europese ‘war for talent’ woedt het hevigst in België, Lisa De Bode, 25 augustus 2022, https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20220825_94765209
- SD Worx: 'België hardst getroffen door war for talent', MARIE VAN OOST, 25 augustus 2022, https://www.tijd.be/politiek-economie/belgie/economie/sd-worx-belgie-hardst-getroffen-door-war-for-talent/10409204.html