I can see clearly now!
As is the case with many of our clients, Company X hit the brick wall for the last time, realizing that blunt force trauma isn’t something they’re interested in any longer. For years, they’ve participated in the war on talent, to no avail, continuously left scratching their heads. However, with a bit of trust, and armed with research to back up their organizational adjustments, Company X was ready for the next step. Control their talent brand through the construction of core values that, when made visible throughout the organization, would align everyone to their new mission and vision statements.
Prior to the creation of these “North Star” statements, we found the need to relate this exercise back to the innovative talent strategies we had previously embarked on.
The end goal: Build a talent brand that would spotlight the tough work Company X had put forth in their talent initiative process.
What is a talent brand?
Like many new concepts that came before, our client truly wanted to understand what a talent brand was, and what kind of effect it had on organizational development. A talent brand is what talent (job seekers, candidates and employees) thinks, feels, and shares about your company. It’s a brand just like what you would have for your external client or customer, but focused on your very own internal customers… or your employees. Many companies still rely on their HR departments to be the force in establishing this brand, while all other departments focus on the external. However, it’s very difficult for this particular department to be solely responsible for an aspect of a business that touches every single moving part. Much like the case of Company X, it must be a company wide effort if stronger identification, retention, and development is desired.
Special note: All “best places to work” prescribe to this concept naturally in their war on talent.
What to focus on
Many ask the same question that Company X posed, “why is it important to us?” The answer is very simple. Every company has a talent brand. In today’s world of connectivity, it’s easy for the employee population to share information about working at an organization. If not managed, this can become the official representation of your internal brand to the rest of the world. As their consultants, this work provided a real opportunity to control the conversation, versus it controlling our client.
Since day one, Company X has allowed their employee population to guide the talent brand narrative, completely unsupervised by the executive team. In ignoring this, they enabled their employees to send a message that may, or may not be desirable. It was an exciting time for them to take control, construct their own narrative, and get everyone thinking the same way.
Contrary to what employers believe, less than 30 percent of the working population cares about their company’s product brand. What they are concerned with is how employers approach caring for their people and addressing their needs, all of which is reflected in the company talent brand. Most organizations are not coming to terms with the reality that talented employees, and active job seekers, have options.
Luckily, our relationship with Company X provided an opportunity to discuss efforts needed to complete their core value statements. Successful companies are using their unified internal brand to gain a competitive advantage in business throughout every part of the organization. Company X now understands that a concrete and transparent internal brand directly influences recruiting, onboarding, and training methods, which effectively aids in their war on talent. However, the first step is identifying your talent brand, then aligning core values to it.
If a company is solely focused on the sale of their product/service, instead of who is doing the selling, then becoming an “employer of choice” and tapping into the passive talent pool is impossible. After guiding our client through most of the above human capital plan, it was time to begin the creation of their core values, which are the true cornerstone of a talent brand.
Curious what your talent brand is saying about your organization? Email me and we’ll put yours to the test!