Employer brand – An authentic tool to engage passive talent

What makes passive talent such a high-quality asset and so attractive to hire? With ‘quality of hire’ emerging as a top objective of talent acquisition in almost all organisations, the value of passive talent lies in two important facts. The first is that they can almost immediately move top performance gear. The second is that they can be retained for all the right reasons of company culture and belonging.

Understanding how they perceive organisations can go a long way in developing the employer brand in a manner that this segment of top talent feel equally compelled to explore opportunities with the company.

The right employer branding for passive talent

With greater information available to candidates than before, it becomes critical for companies to truly own their brand in the public and social domain. Kindling the interest of the passive talent requires relevance, purpose and authenticity.

A fundamental point to remember and practise is not to showcase the company as much to passive candidates as giving them an honest picture of who applies for and works in the organisation. Why do talented candidates apply to their company in the first place? And when they are in, what they do every day? How do they feel fulfilled? Not being pushy or prescriptive is the magic password – being told what is best for them is the ultimately anathema for passive candidates.

Choose the right channel and medium

Determining the social network that works best for specific messages is important. Will video on Youtube reach the right talent audience with the right message? Or will Facebook posts achieve that? Will it be a tweet on Twitter or an upload in Instagram? The choice should be an authentic representation of the specific content about organisational culture. More than one social network may be used - or more than one presentation in the same channel too.

Channels that rank as the prime source for passive talent lend themselves very well to promote the employer brand (social networks, online communities, etc.). This helps to reach passive candidates faster and better. The cinch lies in how you communicate to them. Remember they must feel compelled to experience the environment you create with your content, and must want to be a part of the culture. Involving current employees can lend strong authenticity in this effort.

A longer employee lifetime value takes longer to achieve

Passive candidates do not look to immediately change. The employer branding should recognise and celebrate this. It thus makes good reasoning to treat the recruitment strategy for passive talent as a marketing program rather than a recruitment exercise.

The reason it takes time to make passive talent consider another opportunity is a reflection of how an organisation can create satisfaction with the right role, team and learning opportunities. Employer branding should therefore be designed to reinforce these attributes. By attracting the right passive talent, more passive talent may feel inclined to join. This boosts your organisation’s reputation and brand value, and consequently the top and bottom lines.

Turn analytics into a branding advantage

Analytics is a good tool to extract meaningful insights for successful employer branding. It can show the pages that passive candidates take interest in (including how long they spent in them), what do not interest them, and the efficacy of individual channels. Based on such insights, talent acquisition teams can add, remove or amend content, and deliver it through the right channels for maximum effect.

Analytics enable intelligent segmentation of talent pools to whom personalised and branded communications can be sent. They could include company updates and newsletters, industry news and professional development ideas. This makes it easy for potential talent, especially the passive kind, to know your organisation better.

Passive talent voluntarily set higher standards of performance to make a greater impact. Employer branding must rise up to their levels of excellence to engage their interest, build relationships and inspire them to make your organisation the one of their choice.

A well-articulated brand integrated with an engaging value proposition may be just the right pull factor for such quality hires.

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