How Promoting Your Authentic Brand Image Can Attract Talent

Not long ago, several former Away employees began to unpack their workforce experiences—and their stories didn’t paint the globally recognized luggage company in the best light. They told reporters that when they took jobs with Away, they imagined every day would feel like a vacation. Instead, they found themselves struggling to keep up in a demanding, regimented startup atmosphere.Brand

The high-paced, competitive office environment didn’t match the brand’s laidback, healthy image. As a result, they wound up feeling stressed and fearful instead of psyched to bring a phenomenal product to eager customers.

This type of disconnect between team members and employers doesn’t only happen at big-name companies, either. Businesses of all sizes can fall into the trap of misrepresenting company culture when working to attract top talent.

Too often, job descriptions promote false values to garner interest from jobseeking superstars. Unsurprisingly, those A-players don’t stick around long, and that can lead to costly turnover that deflates morale and profits.

Aligning Brand Experience with What Really Happens on the Job

If you’ve ever wondered why good people leave your companies, you may want to evaluate the way you advertise your culture and corporate brand image to new employees.

Brands that aren’t authentic to their company vision, culture, and values in job listings create misalignment for new hires, who are expecting one kind of environment and get another. In one survey, 91% of U.S. managers said a candidate’s culture fit is just as important as his or her skills and experience.

Companies must follow certain strategies to ensure they’re upfront and marketing an accurate brand image to prospects from the beginning. Here are three ways to do just that.

1. Know Your Company’s Vision, Mission, and Core Values

Do you know your brand’s intrinsic values? If you’re not sure about them, you can’t accurately pass along the message to other staff members and those applying to your company.

Ask leadership to share mission and vision statements, and ensure you fully understand them. This will reduce the likelihood of a corporate disconnect between working expectations and reality. You’ll also have a guidepost if things start to move off course.

If necessary, ask your Human Resources and marketing departments to put their heads together and generate a brand campaign. The campaign can include both internal and external components, allowing your business to solidify what matters most.

Incoming job candidates will immediately understand the “why” of your organization, allowing them to proactively decide whether your company is a good fit.

2. Measure Your Current Culture Against Your Core Statements

Put a mirror against what your core statements say about your brand versus what actually happens in your workplace. Does the climate match up? Or are you inadvertently saying one thing and doing another?

For example, are you promoting your company as a cutting-edge work environment, even though your company has slow, outdated technology? New hires won’t be pleased, and you’ll have to replace them far too soon.

Of course, not everyone heads for the door immediately. Some just disengage. According to Gallup, 34% of workers report being highly engaged at work, while 13% report being actively disengaged.

The remaining 53%? They’re merely going through the motions, which isn’t conducive to excellent service. The fastest way to rectify this situation is to make sure everyone, from the CEO to the temporary employees, knows and exhibits brand values and behaviors.

3. Directly Source Talent Based on the Attributes of Your Best Employees

At this point, you should have an accurate understanding of your brand’s culture and the types of workers who succeed in your environment. Use this knowledge to source future talent internally rather than relying on outside partners to do it for you.

For instance, offer current employees cash or other rewards if they refer workers who stay on the team for a minimal period of time. They already know your culture, so they’ll be apt to bring in people they think can succeed.

Another option is to put out feelers for contract or temporary workers. Temporary positions provide terrific entry points into your company because you’ll quickly see which talented workers could fill permanent positions.

Attracting top talent means being true to your corporate brand image. Don’t worry about what you think jobseekers want to see or hear. Follow a strategy of authenticity and transparency. You’ll be amazed at how promoting your true company values garners attention from talented players who are a good fit for your company.

Sara Jensen is the vice president of business development at Innovative Employee Solutions (IES), a global employer of record that specializes in payrolling and contractor management services for today’s contingent workforce. Founded in 1974 in San Diego, IES has grown into one of the city’s largest women-owned businesses and been named one of its “Best Places to Work” for 10 years in a row.

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