There’s a good chance if you’re in Talent Acquisition that you’re working on your Employment Brand (EB). EB has been probably the hottest priority for TA leaders over the past five years or more, and it doesn’t look like this trend will end anytime soon.
It makes sense. In the world today we need to attract great talent. As such, we want our organizations to look the most attractive to potential candidates as we can possibly make them. To do this, most organizations start at the top and feel their ’employment brand’ is the place to start.
There’s one big problem with this philosophy: candidates, in real life, actually don’t think about your company first when they think about coming to work for you. In fact, your organization might be at best third on the list of their priorities, and potentially lower than that! I can feel your disbelieving thoughts already!
So, what does a candidate think about first when looking for a potential place to work?
The Job, Dummy!
The single most important part of a candidate wanting to come to work for you has nothing to do with your employment brand for about 99.5% of organizations. It has everything to do with the type of job you have to offer the person, and then the second most important part I will say is the type of boss the candidate will be working for. I could also argue location, salary, etc. are all more important factors than your EB.
Here’s how a candidate sees organizations:
Bucket 1 – This is a very tiny bucket. You’re talking organizations like Facebook, Google, Nike, Zappos, etc. About .5% of organizations fall into this category as unicorns when it comes to EB. Almost everyone, if asked, would pick them out as a dream employer. Of course, dreams change from person to person, so for this example, we’ll consider these universally accepted dreams.
Bucket 2 – This is almost every employer on the planet. Your organization is here. So is mine. Nothing wrong with these employers. Candidates would be more than happy to listen to what you have to say, and might even love working for you. But, really, nothing unique or special amongst any of us. We all offer basically a similar EB and Employee Value Prop, in a broad sense.
Bucket 3 – Another tiny bucket. These are the employers who for the most part are universally hated (Enron, Walmart when they were locking employees in overnight, etc.). These employers will try desperately to increase their EB, but for the most part, they’ll always get B and C level candidates, unless they extremely overpay for talent.
This is a problem for a lot of organizations because we spend so much time and resources on EB, but hardly any time improving the brand of our jobs. This goes beyond better job descriptions. That will help, but from a marketing perspective it’s really focusing first on why this ‘job’ is the one for you, not why our ‘organization’ is the one for you.
Most candidates think job first, not organization. What do you think?
FOT Note: We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask SmashFly to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to recruitment marketing and how it helps organizations find, attract, engage, nurture and convert talent. To learn more about SmashFly’s Recruitment Marketing Automation Software for modern recruiting organizations, please visit the SmashFly website.
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.