In today’s highly competitive public transport market, coherent ‘employer branding’ is playing an increasingly important role in the long-term sustainability of public transport organisations.
This branding is a central part in the service delivered to customers: only when employees are fully committed to their company’s vision, mission and values can they genuinely deliver them to customers, according to UITP’s latest Knowledge Brief, ‘Brand alignment matters in public transport!’
In the context of ever-increasing urbanisation, demand for mobility is only set to increase and expanding public transport will be vital. This growth in demand will require the sector to attract and recruit even more talented people to provide the high-quality services that customers are increasingly expecting.
Accordingly, the public transport sector will need to create a reputable employer brand for itself that inspires people to consider a career in the industry. This brand is often closely associated with local societal pride in public transport, which is influenced by many factors such as funding or political support for public transport, but also by well-known personalities or politicians who are willing to actually use it.
The quality and perception of services, job satisfaction for existing staff and being an attractive employer in a crowded labour market all come into play as well. All of which then feeds into customers’ and potential employees’ subconscious perception of public transport.
Strong commercial and fully-aligned employer branding is fundamental to the wider success and development of public transport
It goes without saying then that strong commercial and fully-aligned employer branding is fundamental to the wider success and development of public transport. As a customer-facing industry, brand strength is first and foremost determined by the way in which public transport companies and their representatives behave in their relationship with customers and staff.
Attracting new talent
In order to attract new talent to the sector, there needs to be a connection between the image the company projects to the external world, the way employees perceive the company and how the company acts in reality. Accordingly, public transport companies must ensure the functions and policies of marketing and HR management are aligned with corporate policies and best practice business culture.
Advertising campaigns play an important role in the perception of the public transport sector by customers and potential employees.
Just as important is retention: HR practices to keep talent on board include the degree of flexibility in jobs offered to diverse segments of the population (including young people, women, people from ethnic minority backgrounds or senior employees), career development opportunities, levers to motivate and retain employees and tools to combat stress and illness.
Public transport companies need to pay increasingly close attention to aligning employer, commercial and corporate brands in order to boost the attractiveness of the sector. A strong relationship with both passengers and talented (potential) staff as well as aligned strong commercial and employer branding will lead to the long-term success and development of public transport.
UITP members can download ‘Brand alignment matters in public transport!' from Mobi+, UITP’s e-library: