Serving as the CEO of a company that has nearly doubled its employee base over the past five years, I have found that the ability to recruit and retain talent is essential in today’s corporate landscape. Strategy is more about execution than ever before. To execute, it requires top-end talent, not only with the skills to succeed, but cultivated in a collaborative environment and as unencumbered as possible. Through several years after the 2008 recession, companies became depleted of staff and began to rebuild as revenue and growth improved. Now, we have reached record-low unemployment levels. Interviews have changed from “Why should we hire you?” to “Why should I work for you?”
Let’s not make recruiting any more difficult. It’s time to start branding your recruitment in 2020 if you haven’t already. To this, there are three critical areas to address: social evangelism, inbound professional leadership and embedded cultural pillars.
Be a great place to work because your employees say so. Have you ever visited Glassdoor to look up a company and found many disgruntled employees? Manage this channel as if it were a marketing channel. Reputation management in the social sphere is of utmost importance. For the most part, only a very small percentage of employees evangelize previous employers. Mostly, they leave for a reason. It is critical to get ahead of this current. If tides swing in the wrong direction, they could pull your brand out to sea. Here are a few ways to become proactive about social evangelism:
- Create a quarterly employee satisfaction survey. Publish the results to the company along with ways to address any concerns.
- Create an MVP program. Award MVPs to employees every month. Ask that employees share board their thoughts on the company culture on an internal MVP. Where appropriate, ask them to share comments on social media and Glassdoor.
- Create a culture committee. Ask the committee to collect anonymous feedback from employees, and discuss it. The committee can then share the summary of anonymous feedback with the executive team.
Inbound Professional Leadership
Be a great place to work because you are a leader when it comes to developing employees professionally. Just like with inbound marketing, try to develop content that could market to prospective employees. Of course, this is a directed effort and requires tracking and measurement of its success, or else time and dollar investment can be wasted. For example, if you develop a content campaign, make sure to track visits, shares, etc. related to that content. Here are a few examples of inbound professional leadership:
- Publish an annual report related to professional development in your industry.
- Submit your company for employer-related awards like best place to work, most innovative, fastest-growing, etc.
- Create a webinar with a panel of managers at your company that discusses ways to develop employees professionally based on job position.
Embedded Cultural Pillars
To recruit new employees, probably the most important of all company branding would be the ability to demonstrate an embedded culture with identifiable and proven brand pillars. That is, what the company represents and demonstrates is the cultural norm. In my company, we work hard to reinforce data-driven decisions, agile workflow and innovation. Those three brand pillars for our culture are no longer just words; they have truly been adopted. They are now the expectation and the norm. They are not challenged, politicized or debated. We now look ahead to further improving each element. A culture with both defined and adopted tenets will have a better chance of perpetuating employee satisfaction.
Overall, if you are not thinking about how you brand your company to attract and retain new employees, you will face ever-increasing recruiting costs, reputation management and turnover strain. 2020 will continue to shift employee recruitment to branding the employee experience.