Family-friendly certifications: a useful Employer Branding tool?

Qualified experts and very searched professionals are not easy to find. That is why having a competitive advantage as an employer becomes important. Being family-friendly as a business can be one such example and is certainly a well spent investment, especially when a high percentage of the personnel is female. But what does it mean to be family-friendly for a company?

We live in an era where in most countries gender equality plays a big role. More and more parents are both busy with their jobs when having children. While overcrowded daycare infrastructure struggles to satisfy demand, parents try their best to make work-family life compatible. Among other measures, undoubtedly by choosing or changing to a compromising workplace.

In order to promote the efforts for a family-friendly company, only few companies decide to include them in big ads. Most companies mention them on the career site of their website or publish them in a press release. Others let candidates know only once they obtain a job interview. A tool with rather high visibility, credibility and trustfulness can thus be a certification. Not only does it give a guideline on what can be implemented, but the company can also benefit of the certifying institution’s marketing.

Typical benefits that are audited for a certification and in this case, that are promoted by the European Institution of Gender Equality, are (not exhaustive):

  • the possibility to work from home
  • the reduction of the core working time so as to give some more flexibility to the parents
  • a company daycare or/and kindergarden
  • taking account school holidays and partner’s annual leave
  • reference person for the issue of work-family reconciliation
  • option of taking more unpaid leave a year
  • Events for the employees’ families
  • Newborn gift

Certifications for family-friendly companies are usually granted from private firms, but increasingly the public sector promotes and subsidizes such initiatives. The final aim could be to enter some “most family-friendly companies” ranking, which is for sure another big reason to talk about it. For example, the business magazine “Fortune” selects the 50 best workplaces for working parents every year again. In 2018, among the TOP 10 were the leading global hospitality company Hilton (ranked 1st), PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and American Express.

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