Why branding is essential in attracting and keeping the right employees
Successful business owners surround themselves with strong teams, and without the support of the right people, growth can stall. While qualifications and experience are clearly important, the key question most business owners ask themselves during an interview is: “Is this person the right fit?”. That is, will they gel with the rest of the team? Do they ‘get’ us?
So what’s that got to do with branding?
The fact is, the candidate sitting in front of you can find out anything about you and your business with a few clicks of a mouse. You might say, ‘well I don’t use Twitter and our website is just a one-pager’. Believe us, that says more than you might think.
A strong brand position, coupled with a cohesive marketing plan, shouldn’t just help you attract clients, it should also attract the right kind of employees too. Your branding is a beacon, a sign of who you are. Positioning yourself in a certain way attracts, and retains, a certain kind of candidate. If your brand positioning and marketing resonates with them, if they like who you are, they’re much more likely to join your team rather than a competitor.
This isn’t to say that all your employees should be the same kind of person—it’s unlikely that your accountant and sales manager will have similar temperaments—but excellent branding and marketing communications can go a long way to finding, and building, the right team. Here’s how.
Put yourselves in the shoes of a potential employee for a moment. You see an advert on a job site, a recruitment company or you’ve searched through LinkedIn. Whatever the method, the first thing you’ll do is head over to that business’ website. You may do a company search to find out what people are saying about them . From there you’ll likely explore their LinkedIn or Twitter feeds, ascertaining who does what, what the company is all about. You will research, and all that research will be done online.
Digging for information: Potential employees will be researching your firm online
Now, if you’re looking for work, it’s likely you’ll be looking at a few jobs. That dream employee of yours is going to have their interest piqued by a number of different suitors.
Now, think about all those touch points for your business. Is there consistency across the board? A strong and consistent brand shows professionalism and that you know who you are as a company. Your website and social networks should be well-presented, informative and concise with clear company messaging, both written and visual, throughout.
Blogging shows you care about what you do, social media presents a public mouthpiece for your brand to trumpet your industry and your specific work, case studies are proof of companies you’ve helped.The way you respond and interact with your followers can also have a huge impact: social media is the new word of mouth and what people say about you matters. Communicate with people whether they’re being complimentary or not.
Getting personal: Great branding can attract, and keep, a great team
The more positive information you can have out there, the better. Are you a company who communicates, or one that keeps itself to itself? Today, a lot of these conversations happen in the public domain. Prospective employees can see enough at a few clicks of a mouse to ascertain whether they want to work with you or not.
The internal view
We’ve discussed the power of internal marketing in a previous article and how, when implemented properly, it can serve to create a fantastic company culture. It’s this culture that prospective employees will buy into. And it’s this culture, informed by your brand, that will filter through to your communications with prospective employees.
A few simple examples: If your brand positions the business as open, honest and transparent but there’s no space on your website for a meet the team page, you’re not being honest to your values. If you say you respect autonomy and a can-do attitude but none of your employees are allowed LinkedIn profiles for fear of them being poached, this flies in the face of your ethos. If you communicate the importance of happiness and work/life balance but you only give employees 15 days holiday a year and no benefits, those values ring hollow. Again, consistency of message is key. And it all starts with your brand.
For advice on how to strengthen your brand so that you attract the best people for your company please contact us. Or why not take a look at our case studies and see how we have been helping businesses to build their brand and accelerate growth.