Your Employment Brand: Addressing Today’s Recruiting Challenges

With the pandemic almost under control and with a gradually recovering economy, many employers see a paradox: lots of job openings posted but not enough job applications in return.

In fact, the number of job openings was up 597,000 to 8.1 million from February 2021 to March 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (the highest level since the BLS started tracking job openings in December 2000).

In addition, a National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) survey last March found 42% of business owners had job openings they were struggling to fill, representing a record high from past NFIB surveys.

The current tight labor market may ease into this fall, but what can employers do now to accelerate their recruiting and hiring? How can they hire the workers needed to take advantage of an expected strong business recovery this year?

Here are a set of steps to consider:

Build your employment brand: Company leaders should work to build and protect their employment brand by talking to employees to uncover the company’s great attributes and learn the ways to build a better work environment aligned with the company’s values.

Communicate your brand: These positive company attributes can be communicated internally and externally to reinforce and disseminate the company’s culture and brand. If you don’t have the right employment brand in place, it will be harder to attract good people to your organization.

Consider “Total Rewards”: We’re in a new era in which employees are evaluating their employers beyond just pay and benefits. To attract qualified candidates who would accept job offers, consider putting in place a concept called “total rewards” – a model that typically combines compensation, benefits, well-being plus career development.

Total rewards is about the entire lifecycle of the employee experience and all the things that matter to help employees stay engaged. A total rewards program, for example, engenders a focus on work-life effectiveness, recognition, performance management and talent development into one package to help companies attract, retain, motivate and engage their employees.

Social media matters: Social media, to be sure, impacts the dynamics around employee recruitment and retention. Recent data, for example, shows 62% of candidates research a company’s brand and reputation on social media, such as via Glassdoor and LinkedIn, before committing to an interview. It’s now all about protecting your employment brand.

All told, companies can take proactive steps to maintain and build their reputation as a great place to work. Companies can raise their positive visibility by encouraging employees to represent their companies at venues like industry conferences, professional panel participation and related networking events (whether virtual or in-person).

Every employee is a potential brand ambassador for the company and can help spread positive reviews about their ongoing professional experiences and work life.

impactAction: If you have questions about your recruiting strategy, especially around Total Rewards, contact us at or 443-741-3900.

Employers: Key Deadline (May 31) for Former Employees and COBRA

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law last March, contains an important provision for employers to be aware of in regard to COBRA coverage for employees who have been laid off or whose hours were significantly reduced over the last 18 months.

Under ARPA, a 100% subsidy was created for COBRA premiums from April 1, 2021 through Sept. 30, 2021. ARPA also opened up the ability to enroll in COBRA coverage even if a person declined coverage (or unenrolled) earlier or if their enrollment window closed.

To this end, employers must send notices to these former employees by May 31, 2021 alerting them that they have “another chance to choose COBRA benefits with the benefit of the subsidy,” according to Laura L. Rubenstein and Melissa M. McGuire with Wright, Constable & Skeen law firm.

Under ARPA Employers are required to pay the full cost of the former employee’s COBRA premiums and then obtain reimbursement through payroll tax credits. In addition, note that former employees cannot join in coverage if their COBRA coverage window (either 18 or 36 months from their qualifying event) has passed.

COBRA generally applies to all private-sector group health plans maintained by employers that have at least 20 employees on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year. Learn more.

impactAction: If you have questions about COBRA compliance, contact us at or 443-741-3900.

impactHR Client Focus: Maryland TEDCO

Congratulations to our client, Maryland TEDCO, for recently launching its dynamic online portal, the Maryland Entrepreneur Hub, to help fuel new business formation, plus drive economic and job growth across the state.

TEDCO’s portal aims to connect all parts of Maryland’s entrepreneurial community to create a robust ecosystem of growing businesses.

The Hub, built in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Commerce and the University System of Maryland, enables innovators, startup founders and small business owners to find and connect with the right resources for their business, including investors, universities, mentoring programs, networking groups, training programs and more.

TEDCO is Maryland’s leading source of funding for early-stage, technology-based businesses and provides other business assistance to entrepreneurs throughout the State. TEDCO also works to foster technology transfer and commercialization from Maryland universities and federal labs. Learn more.

Our congratulations again to the TEDCO team and its state partners for this great achievement!

Virginia Enacts Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Virginia recently enacted into law a complex measure that allows adults to legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis (without intent to distribute) beginning July 1, 2021.

The new law stipulates public safety measures, including prohibitions on: smoking marijuana while driving; while driving a school bus; and possession on school grounds.

In addition, the law allows for the expungement and sealing of criminal records on marijuana to begin as soon as state agencies are prepared to do so in a move to bring more equity to the state’s justice system. Read more.

Register for the Women’s Leadership Conference, July 13

Don’t miss the chance to participate in the Howard County Chamber’s virtual Women’s Leadership Conference 2021 this July 13 (9:00am-3:00pm)!

And we’re proud to be a “Product Sponsor” along side our client, Edwards Performance Solutions, of this dynamic leadership-focused event.

The 2021 Women’s Leadership Conference theme is “Herstory: Leading To New Heights – S.O.A.R. Together”) including keynote presenters: Lisa Cregan, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley, and Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley. Register today.


In case you missed these impactnews articles . . .

Key Steps Organizations Can Take to Address Pay Equity

Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering a Tolerant and Productive Workplace

Reopening Planning Resources and Tips from the impactHR Team