Good Employer Branding is key to Closing Skills Shortages Gap

A new Employer Branding course launched today in Northern Ireland will aim to help companies tackle skills shortages and attract key talent.

The Employer Branding Academy, run by global employ branding leaders Universum in partnership with, aims to give recruiters the practical skills, knowledge and expertise to help companies improve their brand attractiveness to employees.

Universum has entered the Northern Ireland marketplace providing valuable insight through technology and data to assist companies tackle key recruitment challenges, including skills shortages. They take a data-led approach to assess what makes a company top of candidate’s employer wish list when job seeking and share these valuable learnings with recruiters.

The company currently works with 1700 brands in 40 markets across the world and counts KPMG, Ikea, Dell, Ericsson and Bosch as clients who have cracked the employer branding challenge successfully.

The Employer Branding Academy is a fully certified nine-week programme offering blended learning that targets HR, talent and marketing professionals. Recruiters can choose from an online training or a blended option which includes face to face workshops in Belfast with industry experts.  The training offers a mix of unique insights, flexible study around existing commitments, an international alumni network to share experience and a unique certificate accreditation once complete.

Claes Peyron, MD of Universum for Nordics, UK and Ireland says: “It’s essential for companies to assess how they are viewed within the marketplace so that they can develop an attractive employer brand identity. At the moment, skills shortages are an ongoing issue for businesses in Northern Ireland so investing in the right tools will ensure that companies can begin to develop their employment value proposition, which ultimately makes them more attractive to employees and more sustainable long-term.

“A strong employer brand identity will help inform business growth, retain skilled workers and stand out from the competition. Many companies are too modest about telling their own story so if they want to survive challenging conditions, now is the time to be bold when competing for talent.”

The programme offers five modules through an interactive eLearning platform featuring theory, interactive exercise tools, templates and case studies. On completion, students will be confident in strategising, building and measuring the impact of an organisation’s employer brand.

Sam McIlVeen, General Manager at, welcomed the new Academy to the NI marketplace: “A successful business is built by its people, so a company’s ability to attract, recruit and retain talent is absolutely fundamental if it is to thrive. Our mission at is to make sure our customers enjoy their unfair share of talent. Every day we help companies across Northern Ireland recruit the talented professionals they need to achieve their businesses goals.  However, the ongoing skills gaps in the NI labour market have resulted in a fierce competition for candidates with in-demand skills and employers are challenged, now more than ever, to go the extra mile in their recruitment efforts.

“It’s why we are delighted to be partnering with Universum to launch this exceptional Employer Branding Academy to Northern Ireland.  The training will deliver a unique and highly in-demand skillset to participants, enabling companies to engage and attract talent, whilst aligning to their overarching business objectives. A strong employer brand will provide valuable insight into all aspects of company culture that will encourage job applications in this competitive marketplace for talent.”

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