- Talent Management
Everyone in your company probably has a good understanding of just how important its brand is in the marketplace. After all, it’s your branding efforts that define your company’s product or service in ways that set it apart from your competitors, outlining the competitive advantage you have over them that draws people in. But when you think about it, is your company’s brand any less important when it comes to recruiting, hiring, and retaining the top talent your company needs? I believe it is every bit as important, and you need to put as much energy and care into your talent brand as you do your consumer brand.
The proof is simple: It’s no coincidence that the companies rated as best places to work also tend to be the ones that dominate their market. In fact, one study by LinkedIn and Lippincott found that those companies obtaining a strong alignment between their consumer and talent brands achieved five-year cumulative growth rates in shareholder value of 36% (source). Also keep in mind that another survey on LinkedIn found that 56% of professionals rank a company’s talent brand among the top factors considered in a job search (source).
Taking the time to create, project, and maintain a robust talent brand should be one of your most urgent priorities if it isn’t already. It will help you not only recruit the best new talent you need, but also retain your existing talent. The first key, however, is to understand the difference between employer brand and employer branding. The employer brand is the identity itself your company has as an employer. It’s possible that you already have a great employer brand. If people love working at your company, then you probably have a good employer brand. If that brand, however, is not driving your recruitment and hiring efforts, then what you’re lacking is process part of the equation – an employer branding strategy. Having a great employer brand is half the battle, but if you’re not deploying that brand out in the labor marketplace to get results, then you’re losing the other half the talent battle.
First Half of Battle: Your Talent Brand’s Value Proposition
If you’re new to the whole concept of a talent brand, you need a starting point. Your talent brand, just like your consumer brand, is based on your talent value proposition. This defines your company’s aspirations as an employer, what makes you different from other employers, and clarifies the balance between the value employees are expected to contribute versus the value they receive from their employment. To get a handle on this at your company, ask yourself the following questions:
When answering these questions, don’t go it alone. You need input from an array of internal stakeholders, from top-level executives to HR, IT, Marketing, Communications, all the way down through rank-and-file employees.
As you move forward in defining your talent brand and its value proposition, don’t forget to establish ways to measure it. After all, as the old saying goes, what gets measured gets managed (and hopefully improved). Also consider benchmarking your talent brand both internally against your aspirations and externally against your competitors (consider using LinkedIn’s Talent Brand Index for this).
Stay tuned for another article about your company’s talent brand – specifically addressing the other half of this battle, which is the talent branding process.
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