German company counts on brand to lure top people

Updated: 2015-01-26 08:03

By Tang Zhihao in Shanghai(China Daily)

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Evonik Industries, a leader in specialty chemicals, says it will continue to strengthen its employer brand and offer unique attractions to top talent in China.

The German company, which has carried out employer brand-building projects for more than a decade, has maintained a 7 to 8 percent staff turnover rate annually, which is 3 or 4 percentage points lower than the industry average.

It is also seeing an increasing number of new graduates and experienced professionals submitting job applications, amid the growing popularity among top talent in recent years of jobs in state-owned companies and government.

"Internally, if you have a strong employer brand, people will stay with the company for the long term because they feel proud, engaged and motivated. Externally, if you are good, you can attract more top talent," said David Li, the company's vice-president for human resources for China.

Evonik has been called one of the best employers in China for its culture, benefits and growing opportunities in the past decade. It was lauded as one of China's top 50 employers in December by international publishing company Top Employers Institute. This is the eighth time Evonik received the award.

To ensure that Evonik can recruit and retain qualified staff to meet future requirements, the company offers attractive compensation and a wide range of opportunities to enhance employees' professional abilities.

At Evonik, self-motivated employees have opportunities for access to many international and cross-function projects. "In the past, we have had a lot of colleagues from all over the world working in China. Since 2011, we've invested a lot in efforts to send Chinese colleagues to Germany, the US and other Asian countries to work, either short-term for months or long-term for two to three years," Li said.

Evonik's management has long believed that a strong employer brand will support its business growth in the long run. To this end, Evonik began communicating in 2013 a new branding concept - "Exploring opportunities, growing together" - to sharpen its profile as an employer.

The campaign underlines a variety of global development and career opportunities at Evonik, but also focuses on international collaboration and team spirit.

"The pledge to our employees - 'Exploring opportunities, growing together' - defines our claim of continuously developing ourselves further and working together to grow, that is, in every aspect, both individually and as a company," Li said.

A successful employer should offer something unique in its human resources management, such as long-term growth opportunities and challenging tasks, or helping employees to find a balance between career and family, Li said. An employer also should deliver on what has been promised, on a day-to-day basis, he added.

"Branding is something people can feel. For internal employees, they believe it; for external colleagues, it is something they perceive."

In the long run, Li said, Evonik will continue to build its employer brand to establish a good foundation for development.