You’ve done it. You have a stellar consumer brand. Your career website tells the story you need to—about your culture, the talent you are seeking and the opportunities you have for those that are more than a culture fit, and are a “culture add.” You’re getting resumes from the right candidates for the right jobs. Things couldn’t be better. But aren’t you forgetting something?
Once your exciting new candidates are new employees, is your talent brand holding up internally? And just as importantly, do your existing employees feel like they are a part of the story?
Now’s the time to take the principles of your talent brand and make sure it applies internally across all your communications touch points from your intranet to your training programs. Here are some tips on where to begin.
Create Internal Awareness of Your Talent Brand
As you developed the brand architecture for your talent brand, you likely shared it with and sought input from your senior leaders, key HR stakeholders, your communications teams, and hopefully some influential hiring managers. Now it is time to go further. Consider creating an eye-catching, one-page overview of your talent brand and what it is trying to achieve related to your culture and working at the company. Share it with all your people managers and give them key points to share with their employees—an appropriate time to launch might be in conjunction with a milestone of your performance management cycle, merit increases or bonus payouts, or when the company releases its yearly goals or strategy.
Once you have communicated your talent to employees, get them involved. And I don’t mean just in your employee referral program. Consider tactics such as employees creating personal statements (with photos) like “I’m proud to work for my company because…” or “I enjoy coming to work every day because…” and having them share on your intranet or internal social media channels, such as Yammer. Consider partnering with your external communications teams to share the best ones on your corporate social media channels to furthering our your corporate reputation and employment brand.
Take Stock of Internal Touch Points
Are various touch points across the employee life cycle telling the same story as your talent brand? Is your talent brand coming through in your internal communications?
Take the time to look at some of your internal processes to ensure that they are reinforcing your talent brand and that your new hires and existing employees hear the story that is being told externally living up on the inside.
Some key areas to look at that may need updating or refreshing to match your talent brand include:
• New hiring onboarding and orientation
• Learning and development programs/training (especially training for new people managers, inclusion and diversity seminars, rollouts of the code of conduct, etc.)
• Performance management process (Did you promise ongoing feedback during the hiring process and are you living up to it? Are your people managers equipped to do it?)
• Talent management and succession planning (Are you honoring the tenants of your talent brand as you evaluate the future talent plans of the organization?)
Review all your internal materials from top to bottom—from new hire paperwork to benefits brochures, to your intranet platform, to signage around the office. Does everything support the talent you want to keep today and the talent you want to inspire tomorrow? Each piece of your internal communications should support the story you want to tell about who you are as an employer—from attracting new talent to keep your best talent. Now may be the time to embark on that communications audit you’ve been avoiding.
Need help reinforcing your talent brand internally? Let us help.
A positive employment brand can help attract top candidates, making recruiting for your top positions easier. But, candidates don’t come to us in a vacuum. Before they even apply for a position or speak to a recruiter, they’ve been exposed to advertising, the experience of family members or friends, and the power of social media to shape what they know, or think they know, about our business. In fact, according to a recent Roper survey, over 60% of the respondents listed word-of-mouth as their best source of information.
And that’s what has brought about a great attention to Employer Branding. Companies are looking to have more control on the impression of their company in the mind of an applicant. And according to a variety of Employer Branding surveys, including early data from one we have in progress (you can share your employer branding experiences here,) those who have succeeded have been guided by the same methods and techniques used by consumer branding agencies. Moving beyond simple brainstorming sessions between Talent Acquisition teams and/or Internal Communications, the research methods used to glean employee information and create employer brands have now expanded to commonly include employee surveys, focus groups and executive in-depth interviews. But, in today’s highly social world, with unemployment at 10 year lows, and the competition for talent a top concern for CEOs everywhere, that still might not be enough.
Talent branding considers that employer branding has become a two-way street, as the employee and candidate experience is sharable (almost viral) and transparency and authenticity are the table stakes.
Talent Branding can be considered the evolution of Employer Branding. At its best, it is the art of making a strong emotional connection from your organization and its culture, to the talent it needs to attract and engage to drive the business forward. And while the visible output of the efforts may be the same- a redesigned or enhanced website, recruiting booths, brochures or website banners, the research and development process has been refined to be collaborative and as inclusive as possible of all audiences and all available information.
We are seeing a greater emphasis placed both on the employee experience, the candidate experience and the development of personalized messages that can speak to the wants and needs of each of our audiences at every phase of the hiring process including candidate rejection and employee termination.
What salaries are you paying? What interview questions are you asking and how do people rate the talents and abilities of your CEO? The answers to these questions are so easily obtained that we take it for granted, yet it might not be that we have given enough thought to the implications and responsibility it places on recruiters, hiring managers and even our employees themselves.
If you are about to embark on an Employer Branding initiative, here’s how you can build a bullet-proof talent brand and take things to the next level.