Why your brand needs to be a talent-magnet

Azadeh Williams

Aussie job seekers are attracted to brand and reputation more than ever before, so it’s time to be serious about what it really takes to make your business a true talent-magnet.

New research from recruitment outsourcing provider Manpower Group recently found half of Australian job seekers believe an employer’s brand and reputation is more important today than it was five years ago, with millennials proving the most brand-driven candidates.

Brand Detectives: The New generation of Global Candidates, surveyed 4500 global job seekers including over 750 Australians, and found candidates are now more likely to be attracted to a company’s internal culture, core values and level of authenticity. Great brand reputation also has a potential to hire young talent, with the research revealing millennials between 25-34 years old are most likely to be motivated by brand.

“Increased transparency and greater access to information is better enabling millennials to gauge an organisation’s brand and culture more quickly and more thoroughly than ever before,” says Sue Howse, General Manager at ManpowerGroupSolutions, Australia and New Zealand. “If organisations aren’t proactively engaging with individuals in a positive way via various channels, candidates will make their own assumptions and decisions based on the information they do have.” 

Get your social media and online reviews right, and you’re even more likely to attract the right talent pool, the report found. In fact, brand driven candidates in Australia are eight per cent more likely to actively source company brand information prior to an interview, including your website, employer review sites and social media, while, human interaction also plays a crucial role in their information gathering process.

“Trust and reputation is built on what an organisation says it does, versus what it actually does.”

Have a trusted brand, and you can also up your chances to attract and retain the right people. The survey found more than eight in ten Aussie job seekers thought employer-employee trust was the most important aspect of company brand and also rated a business’ reputation as an employer higher than the average of other job seekers globally.

“Trust and reputation is built on what an organisation says it does, versus what it actually does,” Howse explains. “Building a culture of mutual trust internally and externally starts at the top. Leaders must “practice what they preach” and align their actions and behaviours to what they advocate.”

Howse suggested businesses serious about attracting the right talent should encourag and enable an environment that allows employees to be positioned as company brand ambassadors, which she says is vital to building a culture of mutual trust.

“Further, employers must recognise that employees today want to embrace the concept of “one life” – one that blends work and home life - hence remaining flexible and agile is vital to building mutual trust,” she adds. “And the practice of publishing job ads and waiting for individuals to apply is archaic.

“Employers must tap into current employees – being the most credible and influential sources of information for candidates and potential new hires - to actively tell the brand’s story and live its culture both in real life and through social media platforms. Those who choose not to utilise these important resources, or fail to recognise their direct impact on company brand, risk being left behind.”

Moving forward, human resources and marketing both play pivotal roles in an organisation’s success in attracting the right talent, says global talent management software company Acendre’s Asia-Pacific managing director, Karen Evans.

“Companies that join marketing’s focus on brand with HR’s understanding of the company structure and culture, will ensure they are attracting the best talent in the market and, most importantly, the right talent for their business,” she says.

“A more collaborative approach will lead to a strong understanding of the company’s brand both internally and externally."

She suggests an organisation’s HR team could incorporate strategies and messaging agreed upon with marketing in talent content avenues such as job descriptions, job advertisements and employee handbooks.

“Conversely, marketing could be looking at how HR is impacting the workplace environment and culture, enabling learning and growth opportunities, and addressing skills gaps and talent needs to develop external messages,” she explained. “This will also develop a brand that reflects exactly how the business functions and what is driving its success from a people perspective.”

While HR and marketing serve different functions and have separate KPIs, Evans highlights it’s important to recognise which business goals like attracting and retaining the right talent they have in common and work collaboratively to reach those goals.

“This could include improving the customer experience, driving sales and supporting the sales teams, and contributing to an innovative company culture,” she says. “A more collaborative approach will lead to a strong understanding of the company’s brand both internally and externally, meaning potential recruits will be hearing aligned messages from people they talk to at the company, customers of that business, and their external advertisements and sales materials. And ultimately, a stronger brand and company image will lead to a better understanding of what the business does and what they stand for.”

Azadeh Williams

Azadeh Williams is a former business and finance news editor at Thomson Reuters, Azadeh Williams has written over 3,000 articles in her 15-year international career on business, technology, marketing and innovation for the likes of The Times, CMO Magazine and Fast Business. She has also lectured in business journalism and media law at Macleay College. 

Check out a number inspiring stories from businesses who have cracked the perfect company culture in the quest to attract the top talent, as well as learn how to recruit right,  incentivise your employees to be top performers and of course, retain them once they’re on board.