In a tight labor market, job candidates can hold out for the position and company they truly want. And that means you need to work harder than ever to make your business more appealing.
Competitive salaries and benefits will always be key to attracting top talent—but they’re not everything. To be a company people want to work for, you should define and nurture your “talent brand.”
A talent brand is the reputation your company has in the market. It is driven by the experiences your employees have with company leadership and managers. It helps candidates understand why they want to work for you and whether they’ll fit in and belong.
Most importantly, your talent brand is something that you either intentionally create or it will just happen on its own without your control.
How to create your talent brand
Getting intentional about your talent brand requires some forethought—determining what your organization and culture represent and stand for. Once you’ve crafted your talent brand, you then must “tell and sell.”
The “tell” answers what you do, how you do it and who you do it for. The “sell” is the way you demonstrate how you live those core values. In other words, you tell job candidates your company is family friendly, but do you demonstrate that value by giving employees the flexibility to leave an hour early for their child’s soccer game?
The way you sell your talent brand isn’t always directed at current candidates. For example, your community involvement demonstrates your values as well. If your business is sponsoring Habitat for Humanity or the local softball team, you’re landing on the radar of those who find these values important.
How to incorporate the ‘WIIFM’ factor
Above all, when telling and selling your brand, remember that most candidates are looking at everything through the lens of “what's in it for me?” The WIIFM factor means they’re looking at the environment, culture, compensation, benefits, perks and coworkers.
Making a job or career change is a big decision. Candidates have options, and they will be considering more than just salary. Look at your company and your offer with a WIIFM filter, and you'll position yourself to better sell your organization and opportunities.
How to use your core values to make great hires
Your core values don’t just attract great candidates—they’re part of the criteria you should use to hire employees who will fit in with your company culture.
To do this, you need to apply your core values to your interview process. “Situational questions,” which require job seekers to respond to a specific hypothetical situation they may face on the job, are an ideal way to ascertain how the candidate might fit in with your talent brand.
Here’s an example of a situational question for a new salesperson and how their response might determine how they’ll fit in:
“How would you go about building your book of business in the first 90 days?”
We’re not looking for them to give the exact answer they would if they had already gone through our training. What we are looking for is their ability to think on their feet and show how they would solve the challenge. Questions like this also set you up to ask follow-up questions and create a deeper dialog about the work they'll be doing and how they would approach it. These responses and the nuances within can help you ascertain whether they are a fit for your company and needs.
Your talent brand is an important tool for recruiting and retaining employees. It’s how you attract great candidates—and it’s how you ensure they’re a fit that lasts.
Rikka Brandon is a nationally recognized building industry recruiting and hiring expert, and best-selling author. She helps building industry business owners and leaders solve their recruiting and retention challenges with strategy, best practices and access to experts. Whether or not you’re looking for in-house training and coaching for your team or an expert to provide consulting, you can learn more at www.BuildingGurus.com/Informa.