Many business leaders are concerned about the labour shortage in certain sectors. How can you be sure to attract future employees, and to retain them so you don’t have to keep starting over?
In a world where we are surrounded by freely accessible information and rating systems have become the norm, if you are not working on your employer brand, you are essentially neglecting your reputation. And the stakes are high in terms of recruitment, because candidates won’t want to work for a company with a poor reputation.
Employer branding is a priority for little-known companies, and a way for them to differentiate themselves from their competitors. These days, candidates generally turn to the Internet to find information on a company’s reputation. And like any consumer, they pay more attention to the opinions of current and former employees than to official corporate communications. They find the information they need on company rating platforms, like Glassdoor, as well as on social networks like LinkedIn.
People love stories and remember them. Stories are a narrative technique aimed at clients, but also at employees. They are a way to convey a company’s culture and promote shared values.
Storytelling will enable you to set yourselves apart from other companies, build your reputation, foster trust, support sales and raise your profile, things that are especially important when you are entering a new market.
To have a sense of belonging, employees need to be able to identify with the company and its values. Values must therefore be shared and evident in the company’s actions, and not be limited to empty catch-phrases.
Let me tell you a story about President Kennedy and a NASA janitor. Touring a facility, the President reportedly asked a janitor with a broom in his hand what he did. The man replied,
“Well, Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon”.
In order for employees to identify with their organization and have a sense of belonging, the organization must have a clear purpose. It does not have to be something achievable, but more of a goal toward which the company strives, something that provides the “why” for the its existence. To define a company’s purpose, you must start with the client’s need (which is not met, or poorly met, by the competition), then find what makes you unique.
The purpose should not change, but it should inspire change to achieve it. For example, Disney’s purpose is to “make people happy”. That is what brings in clients and gets employees involved. If the employees believe in it, they will be proud to be a part of it.
All too often, companies’ missions are oriented towards major initiatives whose main goal is to add value to their business. Striving to become an industry leader, for instance. But a company needs a greater purpose to unite its employees behind its mission. The purpose has to be meaningful for them, and inspire them to participate.
To improve the employee experience, it is not enough for an organization to have a mission and values. These must be real and be evident every day in the company’s strategy and decisions, as well as reflected in offers made to candidates. Why should they work for the company? The EVP sets out what the company offers its employees in terms of benefits, like professional development or a life-work balance.
Many companies present their mission and values to candidates and then launch straight into their expectations some even only present their expectations.
It is important to invest in the company’s image and to reach beyond the consumer. Employees have become the voice of the company and that voice is important, especially for recruitment, which is 70% “word of mouth”.*