Revitalizing Legacy: How Traditional Companies Must Embrace Employer Branding in Today's Talent Market

Wednesday, 13 December 2023

Mid-December has arrived, and the year 2023 is nearing its end.

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, we've seen rapid changes in how workplaces operate and what employees expect.

Agile, modern companies have smoothly adjusted their strategies and actions, particularly in talent acquisition and employer branding activities.

This isn't as easy for traditional companies -- especially those over 30 years old companies with established (out of date) management styles, since they are facing a crucial challenge: to update their talent acquisition and employer branding strategies to appeal to the new generation.

This isn't just about making minor changes.

It involves deeply understanding the desires of younger professionals and truly embracing these values to incorporate them into their corporate culture.

Understanding the Generational Shift

The disconnect between traditional companies and the aspirations of younger talent is more than a simple gap in perception; it's a reflection of evolving priorities in the workforce.

Today’s emerging professionals prioritize purpose, flexibility, and innovation.

The latest publication from IDN Media titled, "Indonesia Gen Z Report 2024" mentioned the following:

"Gen Z seeks supportive work environments, positive company cultures, and career advancement opportunities, contrary to stereotypes of laziness or entitlement. Effective communication and mentorship are key to integrating them into workplace cultures.

They are drawn to employers who not only advocate progressive values but also actively encourage them to voice their ideas to contribute to the company's success."

For many traditional companies, this necessitates a significant shift in both internal culture and external messaging.

The Importance of Employer Branding Today

There are high risks for companies that failed to adapt to the rapid changes in the talent market.

Young talents, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, are not just seeking a workplace; they're looking for an environment that aligns with their personal and professional aspirations.

This generation is more likely to pursue opportunities with companies that demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility, offer flexible and dynamic work environments, and foster a culture of recognition and personal growth.

Companies that fail to communicate and embody these qualities may find themselves struggling to attract and retain these valuable talent.

Redefining Employer Branding with Authenticity

The journey towards redefining employer branding is not just about adopting new strategies; but it's also about embracing authenticity and transparency.

That was the reason why I created The F.I.R.E. Framework™ as a strategic analytical tool that can serve as a guide in this transition process for companies, emphasizing four important dimensions:
  • Financial
  • Intellectual
  • Reputational
  • Emotional
Each of the four dimensions consists of four elements, making a total of 16 elements. 

The framework will also serve not just as the company's roadmap, but can also serve as the diagnostic tool to know exactly how to create an effective employer branding strategy.

However, one thing that needs to be remembered, its successful implementation of the new employer branding strategy depends on genuine commitment at all organizational levels, especially from the top-level leaders. 

This means not just showcasing a progressive corporate culture but actually building one that prioritizes employee well-being, continuous improvements, and inclusive growth.

Cultivating a Brand that Speaks Across Generations

In my experience working with traditional companies as my clients, I've seen they have a chance to use their extensive histories to present themselves as modern organizations.

This means showing how their long-standing values match today's expectations. 

For example, a company known for its high-quality products can highlight this strength, linking it to contemporary practices like providing excellent learning opportunities for employees or fostering innovation from all levels within the organization.

This strategy will certainly attract younger generations and also reinforces the company's brand story, making it more unified and impactful.


For traditional companies, the evolution of employer branding is not just a marketing strategy but a fundamental business imperative. 

It's about building a bridge between the rich legacy of the past and the dynamic potential of the future.

When these companies truly adopt the values of today's workforce, they do more than just attract young talent. They enhance their company culture, leading to lasting growth and innovation.

Together, they are like pieces of a complex puzzle, where placing each piece correctly creates a complete and clear picture of the current condition within a company.