A strong talent brand is the by-product of great leadership, positive employer branding and a thriving company culture. What your employees (both past and present) say about your brand affects all areas of your business, from recruitment to sales.
Ensure everyone’s on the same page
How your brand is perceived is extremely important in business, it’s also a crucial factor when trying to attract the right talent in order to grow and strengthen your brand.
Mixed messages or a confusing, ever-changing brand vision will make it more difficult for employees to share and relay the values of the business, and how this aligns to their own beliefs and reasons for why they enjoy working for the business.
If employees are confused about the brand messaging then they won’t be able to speak passionately about it within their networks.
You should also be publicising a strong and definitive brand message externally. This messaging will not only help to improve a cultural fit, where talent searching for a role within your business is concerned, but it will also position you as an aligned and ambitious organisation.
Create (and nurture) advocates
Your strongest assets are your employees, not just where workload is concerned, but also due to the potential marketing power which they possess.
If your employees are happy in what they do, love working for your business and want to tell their friends and family about it, then that’s all free advertising and word of mouth (referral) recruiting.
According to a recent LinkedIn article, friend referrals are the number one source of acquiring a new job. If your happy, engaged and contented staff are busy recommending the people they know towards your open positions, then you don’t have to pay those costly recruitment agency fees.
Advocates are also a sign that you’ve created a culture that people are comfortable and happy to be a part of. The by-product of this is productive and engaged workers.
Recognise and reward
There’s nothing worse than going the extra mile and not being recognised for your efforts.
Bad news travels fast. Employees are more than happy to share their dissatisfaction about an employer with their networks both on and offline.
If you’re trying to build and maintain a positive talent brand, then there’s nothing more damaging than individuals sharing details of how they never get praised or rewarded for the work they do.
Recognising an individual doesn’t need to involve a raise or bonus, it can be as simple as a ‘thank you’ or mention on the company intranet or social page. The return on investment of this can be huge and totally warrants the short time it takes to action.
360° Advocacy (care of Buffer)
In a recent article on the Buffer blog, it was suggested that 360 degree advocacy could be the way forward. As well as employees sharing great stories and updates about their brand, it would be as beneficial for the business to share interesting news about its employees.
Extra curricular achievements, relevant personal blog articles and volunteer work could all be topics publicised by a company on behalf of its employees, to build their personal brand and share what they’re up to.
As well as showcasing the diverse talents of its employees, the business also advertises a culture of collaboration, engagement and sharing of information – not just on a professional level, but where personal interests are concerned too.
By reciprocating this type of publicity it begins a cycle of mutual advocacy between employer and employee that benefits everyone.
Know where to be
Sharing great stories about your employees is most effective when it’s targeted at the right audiences.
Knowing where your fans, followers, customers and prospective talent are is an important part of your talent brand strategy.
Where are your employees sharing their positive messaging about your brand?
Where are those individuals, who may well be future applicants, spending their time online?
These and other similar questions will help you to build a picture and plan of where to concentrate your efforts when sharing content, engaging with followers and promoting your talent and employer branding.
A survey conducted by Universum showed that employers consider social media as the most important digital channel for promoting employer branding. The by-product of this is that those followers who engage with the business will likely have similar views and be a good fit for the company culture, strengthening the talent brand too through their own social and professional networks.
Hire for your culture
Past experience is just one factor to look for in an applicant. Another equally (if not more) important factor is that they’re a good fit your your brand culturally.
If a new employee simply doesn’t fit in with the way things are done, the people they’re working with and the values of the business, then they’ll soon look for alternative employment and leave with a less than positive message about their time with your company.
A cultural fit is reported to result in employees being 87% less likely to leave their employer when compared to their less engaged colleagues and happy employees are 12% more productive.
There are similar statistics which state that “64% of all employees do not feel they have a strong work culture”. If this is true of your brand then imagine the positive effects on productivity and talent attraction efforts that increasing this percentage would have!
Social media can be used to research applicants and assess whether they are indeed likely be a good fit culturally within the business.
These platforms have opened up a new level of pre-screening for both businesses and applicants alike.
If both parties have a strong brand with similar values, then the chances of a successful pairing are vastly increased and the significant costs associated with a bad hire avoided.