Is your brand image scaring away talent?

If your company’s vision of culture is at odds with reality, candidates – and employees – will look elsewhere

Is your brand image scaring away talent?
Your company has probably invested heavily in developing a brand that appeals to customers – but your appeal to prospective talent may have been overlooked.

In Canada’s tight job market, appearance is everything, and businesses that fail to put forth a clear identity that appeals to job seekers are getting left behind.

Cissy Pau, principal consultant at Clear HR Consulting, says it’s an issue that’s increasingly confronting employers who are struggling to attract or retain staff.

Smaller employers, in particular, are finding it hard to stand out from the pack.

“What we talk to them about a lot is: what is their employer brand? How do they put themselves out there as a really attractive place to work? What do they offer? What’s their story?” Pau says.

It goes beyond pay and benefits: “There’s a story there about what makes [them] unique and nimble and different. You want to be able to paint that story in a way that’s so attractive that a person says ‘yeah, I want to join you, I don’t want to join the multinational’.”

Clear HR, a finalist for External HR Advisor/Consultancy of the Year at the 2016 HR Awards, is spending more and more time with smaller clients helping them define their values and culture.

Pau will typically meet with a company’s management team, and survey them on why staff want to work there – and why they leave – as well as asking employees for feedback. She also delves into the company’s existing values, and checking whether those are true to the reality of the workplace.

From there, Pau comes up with “pillars” for the company’s message: “What’s the story that needs to be woven into your job postings, your website, your career page, what your recruiters are saying when they’re going out and talking to people, and the orientation and onboarding that happens? How do we make sure that story is kept alive?”

Her advice for other HR professionals is to talk to their employees about what their experience is really like, to ensure their branding is authentic – instead of leaving it to the leadership team or marketing department.

“A lot of companies spend billions of dollars creating their brand for the consumer. The employer brand is the same thing, but it’s looking internally: what kind of employer are we, so we can hire and attract people who will then deliver on that customer brand?”

Related stories:
How you can compete with blue chip firms
Why HR must lead ‘the people side of change’

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