Building a compelling employer brand for talent acquisition

With quality talent being scarce, and demand outstripping supply, how can organisations position themselves to attract the best talent instead of struggling to seek them?

Without a doubt, a compelling employer branding is the magic gateway. It is neither elusive nor unrealistic. In simple terms, it is all about presenting your organisation in an authentic manner that resonates with prospective talent looking for the right employer.

A matter of perception

When an organisation is seen as a fair and good employer and as a great place to work, it enjoys positive branding. It is about how the company communicates their values, beliefs and culture. Employer branding encompasses all the touch points of the employees with their organisation throughout their lifecycle. From applying for a job, to being hired and on-boarded, learning, career progression, compensation, rewards and even exits – every day, something is always added to or removed from the employer brand. On its strength rests on how strongly it can attract talent, how deeply existing employees are engaged, and how sticky will the relationship be with them.

Branding for talent acquisition needs to be compelling

From a talent acquisition point of view, a compelling brand boils down to the clarity of what the company stands for as an employer. This includes what it offers to the prospective talent in terms of job satisfaction, work environment and how fairly they will be compensated for their work excellence. It also hinges on how comfortable the company culture will make them feel in the midst of their managers and team members, and how well it respects their professional aspirations and personal space.

The right information sets the branding tone

It is not surprising that Boeing is ranked as the company with the top employer brand index in the technology domain. As part of their talent acquisition process, they clearly define their job requirements, set out their leadership development program, and articulate their range of benefits. Google also provides a well-detailed articulation of their teams and their specific roles.

An impactful job description is but the first step. The better employers go beyond. They show how the candidate can actually make a difference in their teams and their prospective organisation. They also provide the reverse view – of how the company can bring satisfaction and happiness to their work. Boeing once again scores high on this front. Their YouTube channel presents the innovations in their products, so that applicants can see themselves being part of the Boeing philosophy, culture and success. Xerox showcases the impact they have on their communities to lend meaning beyond business and profits.

Employees, the true brand advocates

In the talent acquisition process, nothing speaks louder than the views and perceptions of employees inside the organisation. Letting genuinely motivated employees tell their stories can have a profound effect on applicants. This is what Lockheed Martin does so well. Employees discuss their day-to-day work experiences, points of happiness and career progression through videos on their career site. Apple does this very effectively too.

Hiring and on-boarding processes – experiential reinforcements

Companies can create compelling branding messages but if the actual hiring and on-boarding experiences do not walk the talk, it can lead to a debilitating loss of credibility. It is therefore critical that the candidate experience reinforces the employer brand promise. It calls for interviewers to live the proclaimed values, and for HR to deliver an induction experience that cements the candidate’s conviction of having made the right choice.

The employer brand evolves with time and requires careful attention and nurturing. To recognise the changing requirements and adapting to them with empathy will not only determine how compellingly the organisation can tell its story, but how willingly internal and external talent will advocate it.

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