Talent tends to pool at certain companies because people want to work where they can grow through collaboration with their peers. Being the smartest one in your department can be deadly for your career in the long run. That’s one of the big reasons that talent tends to be attracted to companies that have already attracted other talent.
Although gaining the reputation of an attractive employer takes time, it is certainly an attainable goal for companies of all sizes. Global enterprises can offer the big salaries, benefit packages and plenty of room for advancement. Smaller organizations can highlight that talent will have wider areas of responsibility, a relaxed work environment and quality time with the CEO. There are really four stages to becoming an attractive employer and it all begins with an honest look at what specific segments are really saying about your brand.
Perception is reality for talented candidates who have to choose from among many different employers. They don’t have time to fully investigate every company in the market, so they look for the clear leaders based on advice within their networks. The first step in becoming more attractive is to forget all of your assumptions and preconceived notions about how your company is perceived. Only precision testing can give a current and reliable picture of how your brand looks from the candidate’s point of view.
Your attractiveness depends on comparing your brand image to that of your closest competition. Collecting insights and in-depth knowledge in that area begins with data. Some of it you will have to invest in, others are free. Both are essential to figuring out where you stand in relation to those companies who want the same talent as you. Starting with a list of attributes for top performers, you can decide what will be your brand’s competitive advantages. From there you will project how those advantages related to the specific company details that your ideal candidates find most desirable.
Recruiting effectiveness is greatly enhanced by studying the next generation of workers. By looking to the preferences and behaviors of the next 2-5 years, you can create opportunity for your employer brand when these traits and preferences hit the main stream. Remember that Facebook wasn’t the first social network. They were the one that did it right at the right time. Students’ collective vision of what makes an employer attractive for the near future establishes a framework that companies can use for reshaping their brand image.
Understanding is one thing but remaking your brand can be an even bigger challenge. Implementing the necessary changes and communicating the new brand messaging requires a new employer value proposition (EVP). Your unique EVP contains all of the attributes that that prospective talent will find most attractive in their new employer. Wages and benefit packages are much less important to candidates when the company’s EVP is high.
Hiring does not have to be as time intensive and expensive as it has become recently. Securing early access to talent pools with unique qualifications eliminates the necessity for weeding thorough piles of irrelevant resumes. Branding your company as an attractive employer has long-term financial benefits as well in terms of retention rates and greater productivity. The companies with the best knowledge and communication will find that the more talent they attract, the easier the entire employer branding process becomes.