Don’t Be a Talent Brand Soloist. Be the Chorus Master

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 12.08.38 PMYour company’s talent brand ?most? influences whether candidates accept or decline your job offers, according to our ?Talent Trends 2014 ?survey of more than 18,000 professionals across 26 countries. Yet, according to our ?Global Recruiting Trends 2015 ?survey, merely half of talent-acquisition leaders say talent brand is a priority at their company. Half … Seriously? I don’t get it.

So I asked several recruiters why any recruiter would disregard the facts, and not make building a strong talent brand a priority. The most common responses were:

  • I don’t understand my company’s talent brand
  • I don’t know how to strengthen my company’s talent brand
  • I don’t have the resources to strengthen my company’s talent brand (that’s consistent with the results of our Global Recruiting Trends 2014 survey, which says only “42 percent of companies say they have the resources to do talent brand well”).

Fair enough. But every company has a talent brand — even if it’s not actively involved in shaping it.

Our Executive Editor ?Dan Roth? recently published an article in ?Fast Company ?about more and more companies encouraging their employees to share content (like articles, blog posts, and presentations) across social networks. Every recruiter should read it, especially the ones who work at companies that don’t prioritize talent brand. That’s because employees sharing content across social networks has a huge impact on a company’s talent brand, and overcomes the most common challenges recruiters shared with me.

  • I don’t understand my company’s talent brand?– Your employees embody what your company stands for. As Dan shared in his post, Dell Senior Social Media Strategist ?Nazli Yuzak encouraged employees to “talk about what was important to him or her.” Nazli told Dan that employees sharing content “gives potential customers and hires a sneak peek behind the company curtain, a front row look at what makes Dell, Dell.”
  • I don’t know how to strengthen my company’s talent brand? — Like Dan says, being part of the conversation is a good place to start. The good news is that your employees are already part of the conversation. So, as Bonnie Raitt says, “give them something to talk about.” Below are some tips to help get you started.
  • I don’t have the resources to strengthen my company’s talent brand ?– Your employees are your biggest resource. That’s because their combined connections on social networks are 10x larger than your followers on social networks. And according to our data, about 2 percent of them are already re-sharing the content your company shares on social networks. Yet they’re responsible for 20 percent of the overall engagement (views, likes, comments, and shares) that content receives.

We did some digging, and discovered that every six pieces of content an employee shares on LinkedIn influences six job views, three Company Page views, one Company Page follower, six profile views, and two new connections established.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “If I encourage employees to share more content on social networks, they’ll be more visible and poachable.” Absolutely. But you need to accept the fact that most — if not all — of your employees are already on social networks. Even if they’re passive, they’re poachable. It’s on your company to create a work culture that employees love. If you’re unwilling to accept that, then I’d like to thank you for making it easier for me and other recruiters to hire your best and brightest.

For everyone else, here’s how you can start encouraging employees to share content (?click here? to register for a more comprehensive ebook we’ll publish later this month):

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Establish your objective. Lots of recruiters use social media. Fewer set goals and measure outcomes. Ask yourself this: What am I trying to achieve? Hiring software engineers is a priority for almost every company — including LinkedIn. So one of our recruiting teams’ objectives is making LinkedIn more attractive to software engineers.

Rally your troops?. Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve, identify employees who can help you achieve your objective. Since hiring software engineers is one of my teams’ objectives, we identified employees who are connected to, and respected by, software engineers — like our software engineering and product leaders — and invited them to join a group that regularly receives content we think will attract software engineers to LinkedIn.

Emphasize the benefits. Employees are unlikely to share content that’s suggested to them across social networks unless they realize how they benefit. So be sure to underscore that sharing content is mutually beneficial to employees and employers. Like I said earlier, every six pieces of content a person shares on LinkedIn influences six ?profile views, and two new connections established.

Some of the Related Conference Sessions at the ERE Recruiting Conference in San Diego:

  • Tell Powerful Stories To Answer, “Why Should I Join Your Team?”, April 28, 8:30 a.m.
  • Build a Battle Plan That Will Win the War For Talent, April 29, 9:30 a.m.

Brendan Browne is LinkedIn's director of global talent acquisition. He has been recruiting for 15 years working in markets across the globe. Previously, he was the head of HR at Deem, and held senior recruiting roles at Microsoft, Northwestern Mutual, and Sapient. He graduated from Villanova University with a BA in Spanish Communications.

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