December 3, 2018

Refine Your Brand. Retain Your Talent.

After 18 years, the unemployment scales have finally tipped, and we’re seeing more available jobs than unemployed individuals. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Morath, “U.S. job openings rose to 6.7 million at the end of April [2018], compared with the 6.3 million Americans who were unemployed.” It’s the first time this has happened since the U.S. Department of Labor began keeping records of such statistics in 2000.

This abundance of available talent should be a good thing for employers, but as the vacancies continue to go unfilled, the employment market is responding as if there were a scarcity of candidates. During these times, employers tend to do one of two things:

  • Increase compensation and signing bonuses in order to stimulate applications and compete.
  • Begin accepting less qualified individuals to fill vacancies in order to compete.

Neither option is ideal for recruiters and employers who are concerned with workplace productivity and morale, as well as the bottom line for the company and consumer. Another concern that recruiters may face is the very real possibility of talent migration; that is, people leaving their jobs for more lucrative positions. With more jobs available and a market that is pushing pay increases and accepting less, there is a real risk that unengaged employees will leave their current job for “greener pastures.”

So, what should the savvy employer and hiring manager do during these times? Should they create enticing new packages to attract individuals? Rewrite their job requirements to open jobs up to less qualified candidates? Invest heavily in training and advancing their current employees so that they don’t seek employment elsewhere? Sure, you could go those routes, but the best way to stave off talent migration is to look internally at who you are as a company, and take stock of your brand’s strength in the marketplace.

You see, the secret to successful recruiting isn’t in the job offer as much as it is in the trust a candidate has in your brand. Your company’s brand already tells a candidate what you stand for. It reveals your values, highlights your culture and lets people know that you’re a credible employer. Glassdoor and Harris Polls indicate that 84 percent of job seekers say the reputation of a company is important. And 92 percent of currently employed individuals would consider leaving their job if they were offered a role with a company that has an excellent corporate reputation (Corporate Responsibility Magazine, Sept. 2015). Your company’s brand is already working for you. It’s time to embrace it and begin the process of altering your existing recruitment messaging to echo the corporate brand and the employment culture of your organization.

An established employer brand will lead to less turnover, as you enjoy a continual flow of candidates who are aware, engaged and interested in your company. The basis for your employment brand is already out there in the form of a consumer brand. With a little marketing know-how, you can turn that public brand into a recruitment brand that accurately defines your culture and your purpose—as well as the attributes that make you different from or better than other employers. When you do that, you won’t have to throw money at recruitment incentives, nor will you have to lower your standards. You can begin attracting people who fit with your organization’s goals and culture.

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