Companies typically use a number of techniques to attract quality talent including referral bonuses, sign-on bonuses and higher remuneration. While these work in the short-term, they don’t go very far in terms of retention or building a talent pipeline if the company is a terrible place to work at or if people are not aware of how great it is.
To build a thriving talent pipeline, you need to build a robust employer brand, both internally and externally. Here’s how you can get started:
1. Listen to your Current Employees
Shouting about how great you are is not good enough. You have to be actually great in order to build a truly successful employer brand. State your values and live by them in all your interactions with employees. Ensure that employee feedback is sought and taken into account on a regular basis. Every effort should be made to ensure engagement and happiness at work.
We’re not suggesting you fulfil every employee request. After all, we can’t all get what we want, when we want it and employees need to come to terms with this. But the company must do its part by honestly explaining why certain things are not possible. The key is to ensure that employees feel heard and know that the company is doing everything it can to be a great place for talent.
Great Place to Work research shows that employees who like their company are almost 150 times more likely to recommend their employer to others.
2. Nurture Authentic Internal Brand Advocates and Showcase Them
You might think this is a no-brainer, but so many companies get it wrong. Employee testimonials are indeed a dime a dozen. Unfortunately, these tend to constitute a lot of corporate jargon lifted directly from the company’s stated values, vision and mission, or statements drafted by the corporate communications department. Often, employees look as if they’ve been strong-armed into speaking in employer branding videos posted on career and social media pages.
Human resources departments need to work closely with marketing and communications teams to elicit personal and authentic testimonials. For example, you can ask employees questions that enable them to share stories of specific experiences they’ve had at the company.
Questions could include: What’s your most memorable workplace experience so far? What do you love most about your job? What do you dislike about your job? How do you overcome it?
Yes, don’t shy away from asking about less positive experiences. This will make the testimonial more authentic since we all know that no job or company is perfect.
However, always ask the individual to conclude with an empowering thought about how they deal with negative experiences or less positive aspects of their job. They could also talk about how the company helps them cope. This serves to further burnish your employer brand.
Ensure that employee testimonials are on all relevant platforms, not just on your website and career page. Don’t force, but certainly encourage employees to write reviews on sites such as Glassdoor.
Be confident of your company’s identity even the bits that might put off some candidates. For instance, if the work is fast-paced and in a high-pressure environment, just say so even if some candidates are likely to be put off by that description. After all, you want to attract only candidates who can thrive in such an environment. Being honest will ensure that the right candidates apply. Remember that you can’t please everyone.
Make it easy for your current employees to post open positions on their own social media pages. Some applicant tracking systems allow employees to set up their own LinkedIn and Facebook pages to simultaneously reflect company job posts. This not only serves as an implicit testimonial, but also ensures that the information is more widely disseminated.
3. Ensure Consistent Branding
Often, HR departments end up projecting disparate brand identities across platforms. This could confuse potential candidates.
Focus on consistency in everything from the tonality of job descriptions to the company bio, graphics or photos.
4. Create a Talent Network
Candidates should be able to easily search and apply for jobs on your career site. But this isn’t enough. They should also be able to join your talent network for future job openings.
Communicate consistently with those who sign up. Don’t just send them a list of job openings every few weeks. Go a step further. If they consent to receiving information from you, send them content centred on developments such as employee or company achievements and even newly-created employee testimonials.
5. Create Relevant and Compelling Content, Be a Key Opinion Leader
Create content that is relevant to your stakeholders (customers, clients, talent, etc.) and aligned with your value proposition. Content marketing in the form of engaging op-eds and posts on earned and owned media could elevate your status as a Key Opinion Leader in your industry.
Your employees should feel proud to share such content as well, increasing brand awareness and credibility.
Positioning yourself in this manner would certainly get you noticed by talented individuals and hopefully, make them want to join your team.