Your Brand Is Your Recruiting Tool

I’ve built some super slick recruiting brochures in my career, and I’m talking exciting shapes, folds and die cuts with compelling copy on every page. But while a well-designed brochure full of powerful messaging is an attractive recruiting tool, it’s just one small tactic to make your company stand out. 

When it comes to wooing and retaining top talent, you need to find potential hires where they’re at, know what it is they want in an employer, and make sure your brand image is as impressive as your brochure. 

It’s about how a potential candidate or a current employee views your organization in relation to their own needs, interests and values. And they’re evaluating you from non-traditional angles. They’re looking at your social media feeds and reading news articles about you. They’re studying your leadership. They’re evaluating your benefits offerings and flexible work policies more than ever before. So, the question is: Are you telling an authentic, comprehensive and consistent story across all engagement platforms? And is it the right story to help your organization build a talent pipeline for the future? 

Attracting talent has become increasingly competitive. The reason? People are looking for more than a job and a reliable paycheck. They’re looking to be a part of something that matters. 

The LaSalle Network recently published a study called “What the Class of 2022 Wants and How It Will Influence the Future of Work.” Here are some of the top findings from their research on graduating seniors. 

72% say a business’ culture and values are a make-or-break factor. How are you showcasing your organization’s culture? Engaging social media content is an obvious choice, but LaSalle also suggests applying for culture-based awards or hosting free in-person or virtual events. Another way to showcase culture is through your leaders. What do your leaders’ LinkedIn profiles look like? Are they speaking out in an authentic, human way on issues and topics that highlight your company’s values? Executive presence is one of our favorite things to develop, so if you need help, reach out! 

More than 60% report starting their job search at least three months before graduation. In general, graduates are starting their job searches earlier, and nearly 50% have multiple offers to choose from. How do you get them to choose you? Get in front of them sooner. Consider a paid internship program if you don’t already have one. Bonus: This can help with the point above because it allows candidates to experience your culture and become brand ambassadors for you when they return to campus. 

Personal networks are their third most popular job search tool. In communications and marketing, we love career fairs, digital ads, sponsored posts and sparkly careers websites, but we often overlook our most valuable recruiting tool: our people. How are you sharing open roles within your company? Create a communications strategy that engages your employees when new positions become available and encourage them to reach out to their networks. 

40% expect their first promotion within the first year on the job. How are you highlighting career progression on your website or social media feeds? Consider sharing stories from early-career employees externally or even bringing early-career team members into the interview process to share their experiences with the company. The latter accomplishes two things. First, it makes the company culture feel more relatable to your applicant. Second, it provides developmental opportunities for young employees by involving them in the hiring process. 

Flexible work and perks are important. 60% of graduates said they prefer to work from home two or three days a week. If you have an attractive, flexible work policy, communicate it on job postings and share how it’s helping your culture thrive through authentic storytelling. If you’re not able to offer hybrid work (which just isn’t possible for some companies and some roles) then highlight your in-office perks, such as onsite cafes, childcare facilities or fitness centers. 

Building your organization for the future is an ongoing journey, and staying on top of your talent pool’s wants and needs will help you tailor your company’s story in a human-centric way. 

by Nellie Betzen