working at night

In the strengthening economic climate, UK companies are looking to expand their workforce to support growth, creating a new spin on the ‘war for talent’ of yesteryear. With an increase in positions to fill, candidates are now affording the luxury to be more selective about where they work, making it more important than ever for organisations to equip themselves with comprehensive talent management strategies to not only deliver, but retain, top tier talent.

A key element is ensuring a business’ employer brand is clear to both current and future employees – a tactic which will help set the company apart from its competition. Here, I will discuss three ways organisations can make sure they are successfully reaching best-fit talent through the creation of a robust brand identity.

  1. Recruit innovatively: The manner in which an organisation handles recruitment can attract or repel critical talent, having a lasting effect on a company’s reputation. Moving away from the same old tried-and-tested methods by perfecting creative interview techniques, implementing new ‘assessment for selection’ approaches or advanced recruitment tools is an effective way for organisations to champion the innovative practices that candidates value highly as part of their employer brand. This attitude towards recruitment is particularly crucial when targeting millennials. Expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, this generation is attracted to tech-savvy and forward thinking businesses. Candidates entering the jobs market for the first time are digital natives that are always on the move and recruiters should be too. Video interviewing lends itself perfectly to this talent pool, or the use of mobile engagement adds flexibility to the recruitment process to keep candidates connected to recruiters wherever they are.
  1. Get social: As the use of technology continues to grow rapidly, digital continues to become an intrinsic part of our lives. Social media in particular has revolutionised the way businesses attract top talent and is one of the fastest, most direct and open methods for a company to communicate its brand and culture with potential candidates. Not the brand of 18 or 12 months ago – but the version of today. Sharing internal news and posting photos, articles, blogs or films on team projects to highlight great work will offer insight into the company’s culture, helping to engage candidates and present the business as a desirable place to work. Doing this effectively encourages prospective employees to find out more about the organisation by visiting its website, making it crucial for this platform to have a strong employer value proposition that enables candidates to self-filter an organisation as a desirable destination or not.
  1. Create your own advocates: Employers need to consider how the workforce can take on the role of brand ambassador. ‘Word of mouth’ is fast becoming an ever more impactful tool - and if existing employees express how their company is a great place to work, it will have more weight to a brands reputation. Equally, frustrated and unengaged staff can also have a negative impact on a company’s overall reputation – a factor which has become particularly significant in the highly connected world we live in, with candidates often turning to social media to share their experiences. Unfortunately, it is bad personal experiences that are most likely to be shared among both personal and professional networks and word can spread fast, undermining a company’s employer brand. Organisations must ensure that if they are to validate themselves as a great place to work, they need to offer a counter argument - and utilise their ambassadors to drive home the value proposition.
In addition, it is the C-suite’s responsibility to add clarity to the company’s employer brand and make it work harder to stand-out in a competitive job market. Whether through analyst briefings, or on boarding programmes – the role of the senior executive as an ambassador is becoming equally as important as the vital many. Those organisations that recognise the need to engage ambassadors at all levels to broadcast the reality behind the logo will benefit from attracting and retaining talent that not only has the appropriate skills for the job - but is also a perfect match with the organisation’s culture.

By Neil Griffiths, Global Practice Leader, Talent Communications & Employer Brand at Futurestep