what your job applications tell you about your social relevance

05 jul 2019, dimitri barbe

A few weeks ago, I sat down with a large, international PR agency. “Do you find good employees easy to come by?” They asked. “It’s quite difficult, isn’t it?” A high-tech company in the Kempen region also told us how hard it was to find new colleagues. “Do you also devise creative employer branding campaigns? And how do you go about it?” Another example: in the West Flemish Waregem-Kortrijk-Roeselare triangle, they have been fighting over promising technical profiles and engineers for years. “The more appealing you can present our company, the better. We can’t find the right people anymore!”


a barometer of social relevance

1, 5, 10, 100 ... The number of speculative job application letters you receive says more about your company than you think. They serve as a barometer of your social relevance. When people send in speculative job application letters, this means your company is being noticed and approved of. Your company seems to be so attractive, others want to be part of it. Each job application is a vote. A vote for your culture, your vision and values, your impact on society.


wellbeing and happiness first, profits after

Our agency receives two or three speculative job application letters each month, both from students looking for an internship or holiday job, and from experienced candidates who want to make sense of their career. Not that other jobs don’t make sense, rather we live in a purpose economy now – an economy where happiness and wellbeing are as important as profits. For those who want to find out more about this: Etion is organising a conference about the purpose economy together with the American author Aaron Hurst on 16 September. And make sure you note 10 October in your agenda, we’re inviting you to join our social entrepreneurship event.

Striving for a positive impact inspires people

employer branding with impact

Whenever I enter a company, I can already tell whether they are receiving any speculative job applications, or none at all. And yes, they always talk to me about how hard it is to find new people. Striving for a positive impact inspires people, it unites them, it creates communities. Companies who make a contribution to society thanks to their corporate policy, projects or initiatives are noticed, get followers, have ambassadors. Their impact is contagious.

Sustainability lies at the heart of your employer branding strategy. By creatively translating this strategy and communicating it to your target group (i.e. potential colleagues), you tug at people’s heartstrings. Keep an eye on your mailbox, because they will be voting for you.