How to Leverage the Most Powerful Employer Branding and Talent Attraction Shifts used by Top Global Brands to Attract and Retain High-Performing Talent – Even if you are not a Fortune 500 organization.
Whether you are a decision-maker or an influencer, the ideas presented have the power to create a huge paradigm shift that best can be characterized as moving from RECRUITING TALENT to ATTRACTING TALENT.
At the end of the day, it’s about creating a 100% unique and powerful EMPLOYER BRAND and TALENT ATTRACTION MODEL that gives your organization competitive edge over others competing for the same talent – and it is achievable. Here’s how:
We can very clearly see five critical paradigm shifts that organization must make to enable their business to attract high-performing talent and create a powerful Talent Supply Chain with no weak links.
Shift #1: Create Experiential Constancy
CREATE means purposeful, intentional action.
EXPERIENTIAL is the Candidate Experience; generally, what they see, read, hear, feel through the complete life cycle, from the beginning to the end – EVERYTHING that they are exposed to.
CONSTANCY is the consistent integrity between ALL the experiences and messages, through ALL the channels, in ALL the interactions, which matters a lot.
The typical business model can be seen as a formula:
Different People + Different Departments + Different Parts of the Process + Different Software + Different Process Owners + Different Performance Measures = COMPLETE INCONSISTENCY
This model causes High Performers – who have high expectations of their future employer – to disengage. The higher performing the candidate, the more critical they are and the more due diligence they conduct. Meaning, if you’re failing to deliver Experiential Constancy, you probably don’t have high performers in your applicant pool.
Looking at it another way, like a recruiter is looking for Consistent Confirmation of a top applicant’s eligibility, the candidate is looking for Experiential Constancy from the employer – through the whole process. Naturally, high performers have high expectations. If your goal is to hire high-performing people, their complete experience must be consistent. When a candidate experiences this Experiential Constancy, they feel that the employer is trustworthy, believable, and genuine – critical characteristics that the best candidates are looking for.
Shift #2: Lead With Two-Way Authentic Communication
As employers, we want candidates to be authentic and transparent with us. We want all the real deal details. However, 90% of companies violating this commitment to authenticity and transparency themselves. We have a cultural norm as employers to not be authentic or very transparent with our candidates. The problem goes both ways. Candidates lie on their resumes and in their communication with potential employers. And employers also have online resumes that are inconsistent and incomplete.
That's not Two-Way Authentic Communication. It only attracts people that are interested in a job or work of some sort. It won’t attract the higher-performing people who are looking for a career aligned to their mission or purpose.
True Two-Way Authentic Communication is perceived as authentic – not transactional – THIS IS HUGE. But many recruiters cannot deliver authentic communication because they lack belief themselves.
When we Lead With Two-Way Authentic Communication, it is immediately perceived as authentic and transparent and produces significant results. The companies that get this right build a very high level of trust, right from the very beginning. And they see extraordinary commitment from new hires. This works both ways. If you are not transparent, you are going to repel people that you want to hire. And if you are being transparent and authentic, you will attract people and build trust – from the very beginning.
Shift #3: Use the Secret Weapon (Candidate Persona Marketing)
The next shift is what I call the secret weapon. This is the one thing that does all the heavy lifting: Using Candidate Persona Marketing. This is the most powerful talent attraction model tool currently being used today.
Candidate Persona Marketing tailors messaging to the ideal audience to attract the right high-performing candidates who are also the right cultural fit. It delivers an exclusive invitation that is tailored to the right person. This creates huge differentiation from all the other noise the candidates get exposed to in the market.
It Works Because High Performers are not looking for a JOB.
They’re looking for an OPPORTUNITY.
Candidate Persona Marketing is a shift that influences what and how to communicate. It influences everything. We use Candidate Persona Marketing because it creates incredible resonance with the right people. It's like chemistry in dating – when it clicks, you know it's there.
This is the stuff that makes people accept a job and take a pay cut. Jobseeker surveys show that up to 67% of job seekers would accept a lower salary to work for a company with an exceptional reputation.
Another reason this is the secret weapon is because only 10 to 15% of companies are using this very powerful strategy to deeply connect with their ideal candidate.
Candidate Persona Marketing is critical in filtering out the wrong people just as much as getting the right people who want to come to work for the right reasons. Candidate Persona Marketing is absolutely the ultimate secret competitive weapon of all the five shifts because it is so differentiating in the market.
Shift #4: Implement Control and Containment
Control and Containment protects your online brand and reputation.
This is based on a Lean Operations Principle that says, “We need to ensure that we identify any problem that could negatively impact a customer. And we need to have a strategy to execute mitigation efforts; to prevent any negative impact.” In this case, the candidate is the customer.
This is a POWERFUL application of an Operational Excellence Principle to a Marketing Strategy in a Recruitment Application.
That's why it is so unique! Most companies do not have these skill sets – much less this type of thinking on the same team.
To better understand this shift, consider how we shop for goods and services on the internet. When we are looking for something, we immediately go online to look for social proof, comments, stars, and customer reviews. A candidate does the same thing when looking for a job – they are shopping for employers. They look online for social proof, social commentary, complaints, and anything that will help them validate whether they have a legitimate concern – or if it is a great company.
Consider also that highly qualified candidates always do their due diligence. So, if you're not actively controlling and containing everything that is online, it can hurt your corporate reputation. It will backfire on you, and it will impact candidates’ perception of you as an employer. If high-performing people are not in your applicant pool, the online information about your organization could be the key influencing factor. This is why your company’s reputation is such a big deal.
On the other hand, if you’re the company with excellent reviews and online reputation, you’re in position to steal anyone you want!
You can implement the first three shifts perfectly; but if you get this one wrong, it won't matter. It's like messing up the recipe. The payoff is huge, but you have to commit to Implement Control and Containment of anything that impacts your online reputation. That means monitoring and containing negative or damaging events; and the opposite -cultivating and creating positive events. This is a very surreal thing once you get this under control because it changes your public perception in your target niche and top-performing candidates will actually start wanting to come to work for you. It's an amazing
thing to experience.
Shift #5: Leverage the Right Expertise
If you are committed to growing your business, you already know you have got to find the best people because, the quality of the talent in your business is the biggest factor influencing your success.
And it always will. But if you keep on doing what you're doing now, the Cost of Inaction could be a lot greater than investing in implementing these 5 Most Powerful Employer Brand Shifts.
It’s probably safe to say that if you had the right internal expertise today, these shifts would already be implemented. But, most likely, they are not and there is symptoms of talent related issues in many places. The talent acquisition and recruiting paradigm has remained virtually the same for 30 years. However, the market has shifted in many ways leaving most organizations behind.
When you leverage the RIGHT expertise, it ensures you can stay focused on your core business while attracting the strongest talent.
So, what are the ways an organization can implement these five critical shifts to leverage the impact they have in their competition for talent?
OPTION A. Hire a full-time employee, with the right background and experience and expertise to come in as a subject matter expert full-time for the long haul.
OPTION B. Hire an external consultant – somebody from a consulting firm with expertise and most importantly, prior experience that can be leveraged to reduce cost and avoid blind spots.
OPTION C. Leverage your internal team, even though they may not have the right experience. If you've got somebody that can lead the charge and be a project lead, they could probably marshal the troops.
OPTION D. A hybrid model.
Regardless of what you do and how you choose to move forward, it is worth it. It's worth every dime to have the right people lead these strategies because the cost of doing it wrong is going to be even more expensive. But over time, the cost savings, the additional contributions, and the new opportunities that come from fixing all these issues and bringing in stronger people will be worth it. The ROI is orders of magnitude over the cost.
Timing is Everything
The top 10-15% of organizations - mostly global brands - have implemented these strategic shifts and now are winning at ATTRACTING TALENT.
But the majority remain in a vicious cycle of trying to RECRUIT TALENT resulting in escalating costs and slowly deteriorating culture, operational metrics, and financial performance.
This means there remains a window of opportunity to leverage these strategic shifts to create competitive advantage for your organization. If you are ready, ask us how we can help.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Galvan is the founder and Managing Partner at ProForce Innovations. Mark has 15 years of Fortune 500 experience in outsourcing, offshoring, consulting, Lean Six Sigma and operational excellence. He has served in executive, strategy and operational leadership roles – nine at Accenture including time as the North American Lead for HR Outsourcing operations.
Today, Mark is focused on Talent Acquisition Strategy and Innovation which is enhanced from consulting with organizations in over 30 industries over the past 20+ years – making him the guy who is most out of the box in every conversation. Mark studied Criminal Justice at California State University in San Marcos but is committed to extensive on-going executive education. He also received his Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt while at Accenture.