Why employer branding matters in the town planning sector

Written by: Jennifer Jackson
Published on: 11 Jul 2019

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Employees in town planning are more likely than average to say their employer did not effectively communicate its brand, according to the 2019 Employer Branding Insights Report.

EBI Report

Click here to download the Employer Branding Insights Report 

Town planning organisations are failing to effectively communicate their brand to prospective employees, according to a new report.

The 2019 Employer Branding Insights Report, compiled by employer branding agency, Wonderful Workplaces, surveyed 841 candidates across multiple sectors. It aims to uncover insights about jobs and careers, gain an understanding around issues such as Brexit and automation, and to find out what makes a better job search and career experience. Of the respondents, 40 were drawn from the town planning sector.

Over half of town planners said their most recent employer did not effectively communicate their brand

93% of respondents from the town planning sector said they would consider an employer’s brand when applying for jobs versus 94% of overall respondents. Furthermore, 96% said a company's reputation is important to them (93% of town planners). However, 58% of town planners said their most recent employer did not effectively communicate their brand, compared with 46% of total participants.

Matt Fraser, team manager - planning, at Penguin Recruitment, commented: “There is clearly a lot of work to be done by employers, especially in the town planning sector, to ensure they’re communicating their values and culture effectively in order to attract the talent they desperately need. You have to be more creative about how you find this talent, it’s no longer a case of just slapping a job description up on a job board, you really have to go the extra mile.”

So what are candidates looking for?

75% of town planners would move for 'a better work/life balance' and 68% of town planners would consider applying for a vacancy even if they're not actively looking for a job, if it's a 'unique opportunity'. So you need to consider these factors when devising your HR policies and communicating your working culture to prospective employees.

Flexible working is more important to town planners than many other sectors, with 78% of town planners saying they would like working from home options in their next role (compared to 63% of overall respondents). And 63% are keen on alternative working hours to suit their needs (compared with 58% overall).

Search and apply for jobs in town planning

What can employers do to create a better workplace? Some comments from town planners who responded to the survey included:

  • Good communication goes a long way
  • Allow employees to work flexibly within reason 
  • Provide generous annual leave to help with overall work/life balance
  • Opportunities for career progression
  • An attractive work space
  • Good management and dealing robustly with poor management

Fraser added: “Flexible working is clearly a top priority for town planning professionals. Offering genuine flexible working options that enable staff to achieve a work/life balance makes a competitive package stand out, it shows you trust and value your employees and can play a big part in reducing their stress levels. While salary and bonuses are great, time is arguably priceless.”

Matt Fraser offers three top tips to help you build your employer brand:

  1. Be creative: Think about how you can use content, social media and marketing to communicate your values, benefits and culture to prospective employees in interesting ways. Don’t just post a job advert and hope for the best.
  2. Simplify the job application process: If you’re not making it easy enough for candidates to apply, many of your competitors may well be. Make it easy for people to find out about your company culture and make sure the application process is no longer than it really needs to be.
  3. Ask yourself: What does the candidate want to know? To cut through the noise, get to the heart of what candidates want to know before they apply to work at your company. What unique opportunity do you have to offer? What interesting projects will they be working on? Don’t just list all the requirements you’d like them to fulfil.

If you are looking for your next career opportunity in the planning sector, Penguin Recruitment is currently recruiting for a range of roles including:

Explore career opportunities with Penguin Recruitment