How to Get Ahead in the Talent War
I’ve frequently talked not only about the necessity of creating a personal, humanized brand statement for job seekers and employees in general, but also about how a company’s employer brand becomes key in the talent acquisition and retention process.
NOTE this post is mine from 2010. I’m still here talking about this topic I’m passionate about. Why – You ask? Because we have more work to do. Our next Social Talent Show is tomorrow with the one and only Libby Sartain, former HR executive for Yahoo and Southwest, who will focus on these topics and share tips on how to align employee and company brand. One of my very favorite topics for many reasons.
Very often, leaders believe a company’s brand is just a marketing tool, and that it doesn’t have to do with the people working for the company. That’s exactly the opposite. The best talent will be attracted to your business because of its appealing brand, the image it conveys to the public, and your employees will want to stay and give their best because of your workplace culture.
The big tech companies understood that very early: The talent war is rampant in technology, and engineers are now attracted not only by financial aspects, but mostly because of a brand’s name, and when they do join these companies, the workplace culture is so strong, every little detail embodies what the company stands for – that employees all feel part of a kind of family.
Now I’m not saying you need to build a cult or anything like that, but workplace culture and the employer’s brand go hand in hand, becoming the best ways to attract and retain talent that is slipping away.
And that leads me to my second tip: If you have both, great, but it’s incredibly important for the employer’s brand benot only to be appealing, but also to genuinely reflect “what it’s like” to work there; otherwise, after a few months or weeks, employees will feel fooled and start looking elsewhere.
In the same manner, when a company “oversells” their employer brand in the recruiting process, leaders run the risk of losing talent in the long run due to poor communication in the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process.
So how to avoid that? As a company, build a brand that is true to you, to what the company is really about, nothing more, and then LIVE your brand. It will be that much easier if it’s genuine, and workplace culture will get reflected in everyday life at work.
It’s a little bit like the story of a pet store that wouldn’t allow employees to bring their dogs in. Not very authentic. But if the pet store’s brand promise is the love of dogs, then everybody working there should feel that love: The company can even have a dog sitting system, or employees’ dog contests, to truly live the brand.
Build a workplace culture that is consistent with the brand displayed to the public. You can win!