Editor’s Note: This post is by Paul Slezak, Cofounder and CEO of RecruitLoop – the World’s largest marketplace of expert Recruiters and Sourcers available on-demand.
The concepts of employer branding and attracting top talent go hand in hand. If you want to attract the best candidates, you need to create an employer brand that resonates with the best talent.
What often happens, though, is that business owners, founders and others responsible for building a team often get confused with the terms ‘company values’, ‘company culture’, ‘company mission’, and ’employer brand’.
Have you thought about how you would define each of those terms? If you’re not 100% sure, you’re not alone. That’s exactly why we ran a webinar last week around how to create a magnetic force to attract top talent.
Our presenter was Lauren Hodgson, an expert in the employer branding space. Since graduating, Lauren has been passionately involved in helping companies (including LuLu Lemon, Apple and Infusionsoft) build better workplaces.
In fact in her role as Senior Talent Manger for Infusionsoft’s Talent Tractor Beam team (it sounds a little bit too ‘Trekkie’ doesn’t it!) she helped take the company from 200 to 650 employees in 3 years … thanks to the power of the employer brand she helped build.
As the webinar moderator I learned a great deal from Lauren, and really enjoyed hearing her stories, so I thought I would share a few of her stand-out pieces of advice.
1. Get crystal clear on who you need
You need to be 100% clear on what you’re solving for. Once you are clear on that you can build a talent branding strategy that is relevant to solving that need.
It may seem quite simple, but your first activity is to get clear on why you are hiring someone – or at least why you think you need to hire someone.
Sit down with any other decision makers and get explicit. What are the results you expect from this person? How will you define their success in the role? What are their core competencies?
Lauren then suggested you should literally make up the person you are hiring for. What excites them? Where would they hang out? This will help you visualise who you want in the role.
You then need to define 5 competencies / traits they must have, and assess for that. You may even want to develop projects for potential candidates to complete that will help you evaluate if they’re a good fit. Think about creating a visual job description (hint: there’s a lot more about that in the recording of the webinar below).
2. Treat hiring like it’s marketing
This is a concept we’ve posted about previously. Ensure you define your value proposition for each role. What makes you different from any other organisation? Get that message out there!
What is the impression a potential candidate would get looking at your company’s LinkedIn page?
Highlight current employees in your messaging. You want to build a relationship with potential candidates and showcase why they should want to work with you. Your messaging needs to clearly demonstrate who you are as a company and who you are as an employer.
Share your philosophy; not just the perks. You may even want to include videos (fun, hey!) so potential candidates can really get a look inside the company and at the people behind the brand.
3. Remember that your people are your brand ambassadors
I have always looked up to Sir Richard Branson. I remember seeing him interviewed once and he said, “Treat your people like your ambassadors. They will help propel your brand to excellence“.
Your greatest marketers are your employees.
They know who would make a successful employee just as much as the leadership or recruiting team. Encourage social sharing. Encourage employee referrals. Leverage your people.
After all, their networks spread way past your company network. Remember to say thank you to anyone that referred a successful candidate to your business. It might be a financial recognition, or it might be a cupcake.
You know how hard it is to find that diamond in the rough. So if an existing team member helps you out, they deserve to feel appreciated.
These have been my key take aways. To hear more from an expert employer brand strategist, why not listen to the whole webinar? It’s worth it!