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From Employer Brand to Talent Brand:

“We need to hire someone for that position, today.”

End of meeting.

With that statement dancing in the air, the CEO abruptly leaves your office and heads to another meeting. You already knew you needed to fill that position. You knew that yesterday.

Your struggle? Finding the right people with the right skill sets for the role in a competitive job market. And, among other things, your business is in a mature industry and your executive team hasn’t exactly blazed the trail on 21st century leadership strategies.

Nevertheless, it’s your job to get creative in finding the best possible candidates for this, and other, unfilled positions. Where do you begin?

Start with rereading our post on what your employer brand is and how to build it. Have you done that yet? Don’t have time? Think again. You will need to make time to, at least, build a framework.

Now that you’ve worked on your employer brand, consider your talent brand. According to LinkedIn, your talent brand is the highly social, totally public version of your employer brand that incorporates what talent thinks, feels, and shares about your company as a place to work.

The operative phrase here may be “highly social.” Yes, that means that others outside and unaffiliated with your company can speculate about what it may be like to work there and then decide whether or not it’s place where they would want to work.

So many businesses neglect some of the most basic tenets of attracting talent. Let’s outline seven steps to developing your talent  brand, below:

1. Add a Career or Job Opportunities page to your website; communicate the available positions and your benefits package. Additionally, provide insight into your culture, values and mission. Don’t have those? Read our employer brand post again. Make sure you have social icons on your website so people can see what you are doing via social media.

2. Create content that reflects your company and why someone would want to work there. Let them know about your community service projects, supported charities, professional development and learning opportunities, remote work guidelines, benefits, opportunities for recognition and advancement, special projects, leadership style, industry perks, testimonials, internal mentorship opportunities, employee snapshots, cross training and health/wellness initiatives.

3. Develop these topics authentically as video, blog posts, testimonials, signage, posts for LinkedIn and other relevant social media channels.

4. Make sure your current employees understand you are looking to fill particular positions. Ask them who they know and if they would recommend someone. Give them a post or link they can send or share with their networks on behalf of the organization.

5. Ensure the leadership team has a line or two about recruiting in their LinkedIn profiles (and maybe even their email signature). Encourage them to think about who they know. Who doesn’t want to get a message from someone on the leadership team about a potential position?

6. Post consistently on your LinkedIn Company Page, Facebook, Twitter, and other channels. Ask your employees to share the posts with their professional networks. Turn them into recruiting ambassadors. Every employee feels good about their company when someone good joins the team. It makes everyone feel like they are winning.

7. Don’t stop when you fill the position. Your network should be filled to the brim with the right people who know you and your company and might either be an excellent candidate or referral source. Your network should be considered one of your most valuable career assets. No one ever got fired for having too large of a network. They have, however, lost their job for not being able to provide the leads they need to complete their job.

Bonus: Go online and look at the companies that are known for their culture (Zappos, Google, Facebook). Yes, all the big guys. You can still find some takeaways. Then look at those in your industry and even some small companies. What are they doing? Can you take some of those ideas and make them your own? Do they spur some additional ideas?

Next time your CEO comes into your office, you should be prepared.


This post was originally published on Intero Advisory’s website in August 2017. Please note that LinkedIn is constantly changing. While it’s current now, it may not be in the coming weeks or months.