The seismic events of 2020 caused many people to reevaluate the direction of their careers, companies, lives and so much more. As a result, recruiting top talent to your team has become even more heavily nuanced. Talent Branding plays a major part in how organizations and their brands are perceived and deeply impacts your ability to recruit and retain well.
This “new” idea of Talent Branding has been kicked around for years. Some say it’s the overall look and feel of the company (including on-line); others say it’s the internal pulse on how people like or dislike the organization, and some even say it is complete nonsense.
Our findings in the most recent season of Talent+Talks Podcasts are that it is so important, your company’s livelihood likely depends on it. People can dictate the success or failure of an organization, so it’s safe to say the attraction of the right talent to an organization is the catalyst for the final outcome, whatever that may be, for the overall company.
The best recruitment, then, marries talent to brand.
Talent Branding is the overall encapsulation of all things that attract or repel your future employees to your company. These things include: job boards, landing pages, advertisements (print and online), employee reviews, candidate reviews, career pages, application software, application processes, interview processes, interview teams, communications, feedback and employee engagement.
Since this list is not exhaustive, one can see that Talent Branding should be taken very seriously.
Remember, your company’s future depends on it.
First and foremost, what gets measured gets managed, so you have to start measuring everything in order to improve your Talent Branding. Areas to focus on can differ by client, but we start by measuring information about your Brand Reputation, Careers Page and Applications Rates (drops, incompletes, etc.).
We then try to define what the ideal candidate is for your organization. Remember that the “soft” skills or experience are just as important as their previous employment and education. If we don’t know exactly who our ideal candidate is by way of attitudes, values, etc, it’s extremely hard to segment your Talent Brand to attract this type of person.
We work with our clients to help them identify who that person is by building a persona around who is the perfect candidate / employee for your team. Sound strange? So did the name Google, but today is readily understood in every language around the world as a Proper Noun, Noun, Verb and Adjective. Is this Google worthy? Not yet, but as more and more companies align their Talent Brands around those people who thrive in their corporate environment, the business world as we know it today is going to change.
Growing Importance of Employer Brand
An organization no longer has the luxury of singularly focusing on “how good is our product or service?” Now, it’s equally as important to ask, “How good a company are we to work for…?”
Left to chance, you will discover your talent is on the move. While people were staying put for the duration of what they thought would be a short economic blip, they now are willing to consider once again taking on new roles at new companies.
That is a good sign for the economy, one of many indicators used to signal improvement, and also signals it is time to focus on your talent or employer brand.
The companies who always rank high in retention and engagement all have two things in common. They focus on the importance of their employer brand and invest in the happiness and well-being of their employees.
According to Harvard Business Review, employer branding is becoming strategically more important to CEOs, HR and marketing leaders, with a third looking to build their global employer brand through 2021. In addition, many leaders now believe the responsibility for the employer brand rests with the CEO and are a part of the marketing function rather than leaning on recruiters or HR, with 60% of CEOs saying it is their responsibility.
What is “Employer Branding”?
Universumglobal.com defines Employer Branding as the process of promoting a company, or an organization, as the employer of choice for a desired target group — one which a company needs and wants to recruit and retain.
In a post by colleague Marty Caldwell, he starts with the idea, “Successful sales organizations begin at the top and execute at all levels.” He also says that that Vision, Mission, Values, Strategies and Tactics are the guidelines to sales success. I would suggest that same philosophy applies to how you attract, recruit and retain people for your organization. Today, really focus on how your mission, vision and values contribute to attracting and recruiting the right talent.
Nothing new about hiring A-Players? Think Again.
Everyone wants to hire “A-players”. But how do you define A-players? How do you define A-players for your organization? Do you have the ideal profile for A+ players?
If you don’t, then how do you ensure your hiring the right team? Some people say it’s just a gut feeling, others would say they have contracted the best we could find at the time. I would say, that’s all garbage!
In our eBook, The ART of Hiring A-Players Today, we posit the cost of mis-hiring and mis-promoting is 5X-24X the individual’s salary. DO THE MATH! For a $50,000 a year employee, that means you are losing $250,000 to $1,200,000 for each bad hire! A company we are working with just completed a sensitivity analysis indicating for them it was about $850,000 on an $80,000 average base. That’s scary, real world data.
Our book also asks why so many people and companies are just plain bad at hiring? The reasons for mis-hires are many, but the top seven are:
- No clear definition of the hiring requirements. What are the MUST HAVE talents
- No clear ownership of the hiring process. Who is ultimately responsible for the hire?
- Reliance on one person to make the decision for the hire. Who else interviews?
- Hiring for functional attributes ONLY. Do they fit in with the team or group?
- Hiring based on interview only. Are they really who they say they are?
- Lack of thoroughness in the process. Who validated their claims? References?
- Poor on-boarding. How do we acclimate them to our team / company / products?
Attracting, Recruiting and Retaining – Starts at the Top
No need to panic; we all have had to fine tune this process, and many have even stunk at it in the past. How can we make sure we learn the lessons and begin attracting, recruiting and retaining those A+ Players?
Define what an A-B-C player looks like within your organization and communicate throughout the ENTIRE organization. State what having the right players on your team means to the success of your organization, and what the wrong players mean to your detriment. Think in terms of $$$ and overall morale. Make it a part of your dialogue, both internally and externally. It must become a part of your culture, who you are and march your vision.
In a recent podcast with Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link, she makes it clear that their passion must show through. Clearly important right now, as the future success, rising out of pandemic, means you must have folks who are “all in”. In her mind, if you have a high enough IQ, EQ and passion quotient, you can learn and do just about anything.
Determine who is responsible for the process. How it will be implemented and communicated throughout the ENTIRE organization. Also, develop a training protocol for success. Define expected outcomes, and make sure they match your mission.
Discuss expectations with everyone on the team and what attributes or skills are critical to measure for recruiting and retaining the correct people within the organization. This includes your recruitment firm. Also, define metrics that will measure the success of the organization and marry them to your values.
“I want to see impact beyond responsibility,” says Tillman. Others we talk to feel the same. A clear expectation of hires must be that they brought incredible value to their organization, not just have a list of responsibilities they may or may not have performed against admirably.
Decide how you will find these candidates. Choose whether you are using internal or external sources…or both. If using external sources, they must also be on board and understand how you define your hiring strategy for A+ players. Also create tools, that make it easy for those interviewing and hiring so everyone becomes clear on how candidates will best compliment and execute team strategies.
Brynne also covered the critical aspect of depending on recommendations, and not just those you seek out from references. Brynne says, “Look at recommendations on LinkedIN. Where are they coming from…? Are they clients; are they from coworkers? Does their boss love them?”
Train on the message and implement the tools. Measure your success using well defined metrics. Also, make sure you are getting feedback from your organization on a regular basis. If you think once a year is enough, you’re wrong. Ensure everyone is executing well on employer branding tactics.
There is so much more to be shared around this topic. If you would be interested in the eBook, “The ART of Hiring A-Players Today”, drop me a message, and I will make sure you get a FREE copy.
And share your ideas below on how a company can become the employer of choice through a well-executed talent branding strategy.
At Cerca, we are professionals working with professionals to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then we would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been pros ourselves in the fields where we focus, we know the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers.
Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Let’s figure out what is going to help you in your quest to select those “A” players that will provide you a 10X return on your money. Just email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will begin the process of connecting you to Allstars that will help you set records
Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Oncology, Genetics and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Equipment and Device, Genomics and BioInformatics. His team manages recruitment for businesses focused on these areas in all roles.
As a leader who has worked at every level of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who partners with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside.