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Corporate branding and organizational story telling are big business. Just look at BP and the $211 million they spent for their logo design alone. Crazy? Maybe not. After all, powerful logos and messaging evoke emotion and influence.
Not all organizations are this extreme when it comes to their branding spend, but those successful and sought-after employers have a few things in common.
- They are real.
- They are bold.
- They are more than their service/product.
Like big name companies, smart HR leaders who have built strong employer brands don’t just understand these three statements, they incorporate them into building their organizations social footprint and unique cultural brand every day. These individuals and the companies that they represent are more than words and accomplishments on a career site. They are driven executives, employees and empowered teams with passions that go beyond the walls of their office. They have virtual career pages that are as big as their personalities are and benefit because of this. They’re the individuals and the companies who are at the top of their game that top talent seek. There is nothing beige about them. Care to join them? Read on.
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If you are looking to be relevant you need more than a simple career page highlighting sections like “Why You Should Work For Us” and “Join A Winning Team”. You need an extension of what it really means to work for you in a social format that leaves an impression and has folks wanting to learn more. Why? People are going further than surface level when researching potential opportunities. I’m not just talking recent college grads here either. It is now about all levels of the corporate ladder looking up other employees/executives and where they work. Think about it…. 94% of organizations are using social media as a way to peer into a would-be employee’s professional background and likelihood of being a cultural fit. With this in mind, doesn’t it naturally make sense that candidates are doing the same thing? Simply put, it matters.
Who your organization is online should be an accurate representation of who your company is in the world every day. It shouldn’t be a slick marketing façade of what you think the world should know about you. Rather, it should be real, bold and make the connection between your employees personal life and what drives them professionally. After all, people are drawn to others they share common bonds with, those who have hobbies and passions outside of the world of work. Think of it as speed networking. Is your career site human enough for someone to be drawn to it? If not, change that.
Case in point. I recently had a conversation with a good friend who just happens to be the Chief Human Resource Officer of a mid-sized growing company. He was looking to relocate due to his spouse’s job and was exploring companies and cultures in Seattle, WA. Before making the decision to move forward with any interview he turned to the internet. He was looking for who a company was outside of their career page (charitable events, team outings, inner-office downtime, etc.).
Does this practice sound odd to you? It shouldn’t. This is the norm. This is how the world of recruitment works these days. His thought process, much like many other candidates today, “why waste time and resources on an interview process that won’t fit my own personality and cultural needs.”
At the end of the day my friend ended up with 2 stellar offers. Although, he had a gut feeling from that simple search which one was the right fit for him and his family. It was the company who used their social media outlets to give a glimpse into who they were as people not just professionals (i.e. they encourage daily hikes as a way to clear their employees heads and energize their creativity during brainstorming sessions). The company who was lucky enough to land him was smart. They were real. They were bold. They had an authentic brand.
There is a lesson to be learned here. When shaping your company’s employer brand it is important to remember that your social brand is your logo. Be diligent in the creation of your story. And remember, something as small as a memorable phrase in your groups LinkedIn overview can be the single piece of you that sets you apart from the sea of similar opportunities.