Sadly, when it comes to talent branding, many companies still don’t understand just how much it’s become a must-have strategy for recruiting the right talent. I get it. All of a sudden, you’re being told you must learn and invest resources into a new way of recruiting. That can feel frustrating. Thus, I hear a lot of excuses as to why a company can’t afford to spend time and money on talent branding. However, these are myths – and every day you and your team keep believing them, you’re putting your company at risk of becoming a less attractive employer. [Here’s a SlideShare video that explains the 6 signs you’re being viewed as a poor employer.]
To prove talent branding isn’t as hard to incorporate in to your recruiting strategy as you might think, I’m going to dispel the five most common objections (a/k/a myths) I hear:
1. Too expensive.
Just like there’s every model and price level of car on the market to meet the individual needs of consumers (i.e. Kia to Rolls Royce), talent brands can be implemented at varying levels and price points to suit the needs of companies. It’s a simple case of prioritization. In fact, talent branding can be low-cost, and even no-cost. If you can snap a photo on a smartphone, crowdsource a caption amongst teammates, and post on a social feed, you can start revealing your talent brand to the world. A talent brand is a look inside at what it’s like to work at your company. You don’t need an expensive marketing agency to tell you what makes you a great place to work. Which leads to the next myth…
2. It’s marketing’s job.
Yes, your Marketing Department is trained to create materials that best represent your corporate brand, but that doesn’t mean their team should be in charge of your talent brand.
Think of it this way:
Every great movie has a director (the visionary who knows how to draw the audience in), and a producer (the project manager who makes sure the film gets created properly). Every great talent brand has a Recruiting Team (the visionaries who know how to draw in the candidates), and a Marketing Team (the specialists that create the right branding tools per the needs of recruiting). Don’t let the stories you need to attract top talent be directed by the wrong people!
3. Too time-consuming.
When social media first came on the scene, companies felt it was too time consuming and couldn’t understand the value of incorporating it into their marketing efforts. Fast forward to today, and EVERY company, big and small, has implemented some form of social media for attracting and retaining customers. The same will soon be said for talent branding as a way to attract and retain top talent. The sooner you learn to do it, the easier it gets. Talent branding is like brushing your teeth. Do it daily, for a short amount of time, and the benefits will add up. Case in point: Posting on LinkedIn Company Page 1X/week (which takes less than 5 minutes to do), results in 49% increase in page views and 25% more applications to job postings.
4. There’s no easy way to get started.
Wrong – your talent brand already exists. You don’t need to create it, you simply need to reveal it. An easy way to get started is by working backwards. Start with a great recent hire. Map out the process you took to get her on board. Then, interview her and get her perspective on how she felt connected to the company. This is how you connect the dots to find the Tribal Story that can be used to create your first piece of talent brand material. [For more on getting started, this article on LinkedIn explains in detail why your company’s Tribal Story is a vital tool for recruiting success.]
5. There’s a good chance we’ll fail.
Honestly, I think this is the real reason most companies avoid talent branding. Deep down, they worry they will make a mistake and hurt the company’s reputation. I suggest you keep two quotes in mind. First,”We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take,” by Hall of Fame Hockey Player, Wayne Gretzky. Not revealing and promoting your talent brand might keep you from making a mistake, but it will also ensure you don’t get the best talent. Today’s ‘sophisticated job seekers’ are savvy consumers of your talent brand. Fail to impress them, and they’ll go to your competitor.
Second, “Experiments never fail,” by leadership author, Dale Dauten. Follow the Experience = Learn = Grow Model of success. Start small and analyze the results of each step. Leveraging talent branding is like riding a bike – a little challenging in the beginning, but soon you’ll be riding hands free. More quickly than you expect, you’ll find your creative confidence and feel more comfortable revealing more and more about your talent brand.
Excuses today = regrets tomorrow.
Companies and their recruiting teams are so busy, it’s easy to make excuses and dismiss the need to take on new projects – like talent branding. But, wouldn’t you rather get started now, then regret it later when your competitors have talent brands that are attracting all the best talent? And, as this article on LinkedIn points out, they could end up stealing your top employees too!
Disclaimer: This is a contributed post. The statements, opinions and data contained are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of People Matters and the editor(s).