It’s a competitive world out there and what you do or don’t do to stand out can make all the difference. But I’m not just talking about the pools of talented applicants fighting tooth and nail over a handful of job postings, I’m talking about your company and what it’s doing to attract and retain the best talent out there.
Very often, leaders believe a company’s brand is just a marketing tool, and that it doesn’t have anything to do with the people working for the company. That’s a very limited way of thinking about “brand”. 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 the workplace culture you build around your brand.
The big tech companies understood this very early: The talent war is rampant in the tech industry, and engineers are now attracted not only by financial prospects, but also because of a brand’s name and reputation. When they join these companies, the workplace culture is so strong that every little detail embodies what the company stands for. This is what makes all the employees feel like they belong to a family, not just a business.
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, a symbiotic combination to attract and retain top talent.
My second tip? Appealing to talent with your brand is one thing, having it truly reflect “what it’s like” to work at your company is the other half of this equation. If you have both the appeal and the accurate depiction, that’s a win. If you only have the appeal but your culture and practises fall short, after a few months or weeks, new 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 do we avoid these misconceptions? As a company, build a brand that is true to you and know what the company is really all about, nothing more. Then, simply, LIVE your brand.
What does living your brand mean exactly?
Take for example the story of a pet store that wouldn’t allow employees to bring their dogs in. Not very authentic, right? 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 a contest for employee dogs, free treats and gifts and so on. This is what it means to live the brand.
If what your business stands for is a genuine reflection of your own core beliefs as an owner and leader, this will be easily displayed in workplace culture and everyday life at work.
To attract the talent you need to create a successful environment and business, stick with your gut instincts. Be true to who you are and build your brand accordingly. However you portray yourself to attract customers, make sure the same values seep through to the core of your workplace culture. Win on both sides of the “register” with happy customers and fulfilled employees.
About the Author
Meghan M. Biro is a talent strategist, practitioner, speaker and author who operates as CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group. She’s also a social media community catalyst who co-founded TalentCulture World of Work, as well as #TChat forums on Twitter and BlogTalkRadio. She’s passionate about helping leaders recruit and retain stellar talent.
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