Recruit Key Talent By Building Your Brand
If asked which company you’d most like to work for, which would come to mind? Facebook? Zappos? Google, with its well-known culture and attractive perks?
These companies are popular because of their corporate and employer brands that showcase what it’s like to work for them via media. Branding, a valuable strategy, conveys a uniform experience to clients and employees that set it apart from the competition. Brands are more complex than a company name, logo or website. Rather, a powerful brand communicates purpose within the needs of a community.
Regardless of company size or age, a brand is a reflection of what an organization stands for. Ample evidence backs employer branding during the recruiting process. LinkedIn’s Ultimate List of Employer Brand Statistics suggests that 55% of global business leaders have proactive branding strategies. In addition, organizations that have incorporated a brand strategy have seen a 28% decrease in employee turnover overall. LinkedIn’s statistics also prove that 52% of candidates seek out company websites and social media beforehand to learn about employer values.
To build a strong employer brand you must first define it: What is your mission? What are your products or services? What qualities do you want people to associate with your company? These core values will transfer to recruiting and will ease finding the right cultural fits for your brand.
Building a brand to authentically recruit top candidates begins internally, so why not dive into your own network when building a brand strategy? At Jive PR + Digital, we are firm believers that those in your network have similar backgrounds and interests and are therefore likely to make quality referrals. We have an all female staff of 22 women across three offices, and we recruit within the networks of our existing employees because they know our culture best. When our employees embody our culture, we know their recommendations often will, too. Since our employees participate in the recruitment process, they only recruit people they would want to work with themselves. This creates a knock-on effect to hiring that consistently recruits better people than we could find on our own or with a headhunter.
Personal networks serve as external links to people with whom we have things in common. They are powerful due to their referral potential and trustworthiness, and they help us reach, in as few connections as possible, far-off people who possess necessary information. When we draw on our networks during recruitment, we also harness the potential to impact other goals like effective internal communication and business development.
When we expanded internationally, our first hire in Los Angeles was our vice president of film and entertainment, Jenny Bloom. In order to grow our Los Angeles team effectively, she leaned on past relationships and tapped into her network to bring in one of our best account executives to date, Jacki St. Thomas.
Building a network – a gradual process that takes months and sometimes years to pay off – consists of continually providing support and value in two-way relationships. When we attend relevant industry events and then follow-up with contacts, we are able to later leverage them when the time is right. In doing so, we plug into a set of relationships and information sources that embody the power to build corporate and employer brands. Take advantage of one-on-one conversations with those in your network and schedule in-person meetings with key influencers, creators and connectors in your circle. At a time when media has given employers and corporate brands limitless recruiting potential, there has never been greater opportunity for personal networks and existing employees to shape your brand and recruiting practices for the greater good.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com.