By Simon Conington, MD of BPS World

When looking at your company brand the first thing to consider is who are you trying to target? This will vary by industry but across the board we all need to target millennials. Barry Salzburg, CEO of Deloitte believes millennials “are emerging as leaders in technology and other industries and will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025.”

So the big question is – what will attract millennials to your organisation? A recent survey from Global Tolerance identified that millennials are looking for employers that have clear cultures, values and ethos and are not just being profit centric. “44% thought meaningful work that helped others was more important than a high salary and 36% would work harder if their company benefitted society. 62% want to work for a company that makes a positive impact, half prefer purposeful work to a high salary, and 53% would work harder if they were making a difference to others.”

In order to embrace this trend Marketing and HR departments must be intrinsically aligned. You must have a clear set of values which are ingrained throughout your organisation from your training right up to your management style. Having these clear values creates a transparency within your organisation allowing potential employees to get a deep insight into what you stand for. It also strengthens your current employees’ engagement as it ensures that they have defined values guiding their decision making process. Therefore when looking to attract and retain employees the first place to look is at your own brand, does it engage? Is it memorable? Can people resonate with your message? Is it an accurate representation of your organisation?

Your brand is ever evolving and for it to be effective the external message needs to match what happens in your organisation on a day-to-day basis. The explosion of social media coupled with websites such as Glassdoor means that external recruits can get a very real understanding of your organisation whether you want them to or not. Therefore, if you say that you are an innovative brand, this needs to be lived internally by having the latest technologies, embracing modern working practices and always looking to improve the way things are done. As always, your actions will speak far louder than a carefully worded vision statement.

The key to retaining good people is to ensure that they feel valued. An important aspect of that is helping them to develop their skills. If they can’t develop them with you they’ll go elsewhere, or worse they’ll stay with you and their skills will go out-of-date. “Millennials want to experience as much training as possible. Historically, career advancement was built upon seniority and time of service. Millennials don’t think that way. They value results over tenure and are sometimes frustrated with the amount of time it takes to work up the career ladder. They want career advancement much quicker than older generations are accustomed to.”

To create a successful brand that attracts and retains employees the most important thing to ensure is that your values and message are ingrained within your company culture, so that your brand is more than just an idea, but is real and lived at all levels of your organisation.