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How is your brand attracting (or not attracting) the right talent?

Posted by: Mark Nead

We know we can’t all be Nike or Coke or Apple. There are brands out there that just scream cool and the residual value of that brand “cool” is they seem like pretty cool places to work as well. There’s probably not much chance that an accounting firm or an industrial parts manufacturer can compete with that kind of brand equity, but we all still have work to do and jobs to fill. It’s important to know that just as we, the businesses, know and understand this reality, so too do the individuals looking to work either within your industry or looking to apply their knowledge and skills for the right company. So how is your company brand attracting the right talent? Is it possible that the external impressions of your company environment, your website’s ability to be found when searching Google, or the overall design of your digital presence impact your ability to hire the best talent? That’s a rhetorical question. OF COURSE your brand can positively or negatively impact these things. So how can you ensure your brand is sending the right message?

What’s in a website?

When was the last time you freshened up your site? Now, it doesn’t have to be a full-blown relaunch but ensuring your website is up to date, is well designed and content and is mobile friendly (as of 2016 60% of all website traffic is now from mobile) can go a long way to easing a potential candidates fears that they’ll be working for Don Draper himself.

It’s all in the process

Just as important as getting potential employee’s interest in working for your company is the ability to maintain their interest, and having a clearly defined process and effective communication strategy is a huge part of that. Make sure you’re hiring practices are in touch with the times, ensure you’re communicating with candidates you like or don’t like (you never know who’s a diamond in the rough or has the potential to be an influencer with your #1 draft pick) and be transparent about the process. Win or lose, no one likes to be left in the dark. That potential candidate can still have a good impression of your brand if you treat them like a human being — even if they don’t get the job. Word will get out either way.

Walk the walk

You know how much we believe in this one. It’s our tagline! So here’s the easy one. If you say you’re a fun, progressive company, then BE a fun progressive company. Don’t sugar coat the facts to make them easier to swallow either. If your COO is a button-down mandatory clock watcher, make your expectations clear for potential candidates. It can mean the difference between a door and a revolving door in your HR department. The CFO will thank you cause those things aren’t cheap!

What does your logo convey?

There is so much to be said for brand equity. We’re not suggesting you slash your Nike swoosh cause it’s 46 years old (that one made you feel old, didn’t it?!). We’re just saying it’s ok to have the dialog. Open up the conversation to a few trusted advisors and see what they say. The vote may be to stay just as you are and not change a thing. But if there’s the potential that your brand could be holding you back, it might be worth a conversation. You owe that to your company’s brand.

Like we said before, there are industries and lines of work out there that aren’t necessarily all shiny and new, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete with the big dogs for the best candidates. You need to know your company brand and be true to that brand. It’s like dating, no point in pretending to be someone you’re not, but a haircut and a new shirt never hurt anyone, right?