Gratitude: The Secret Ingredient to Help Your Employer Brand Stand Out
Want to attract top candidates who’ll stay loyal to your company through thick and thin? You need a dynamic employer brand that immediately stands out to potential employees — the kind of employer brand that not only attracts the right people for the job but gets them excited and keeps them around longer.
Talent sourcing is an increasingly complex undertaking due to advances in technology and access to big data, as recent Bersin by Deloitte research shows.
But there’s one aspect of attracting great employees that will never go out of style: great communication.
“Today’s companies must market their brand not just to consumers but to potential hires, too,” according to TalentCulture.
The magic ingredient in any employer brand communication plan? Gratitude. Potential employees need to know how much your company values and appreciates its workers.
“Recruiting today needs to move from the ‘transactional’ to the ‘creative,’ and that means employers must ‘rethink how they can stand out to draw talent,'” according to a HR Dive brief on the Tech.Co article, “Storytelling Needs to Take Center Stage in Recruiting.”
Storytelling is an effective, budget-friendly way make your employer brand memorable. Be sure you’re using it to communicate how much your company values workplace gratitude.
How Recruitment Is Changing to Meet New Demands
“Today’s recruiting is not your mother or father’s recruiting. The emergence of global markets, social media and analytic tools is transforming the business of hiring and retaining employees,” writes Meghan M. Biro in her TalentCulture article “The Old Ways of Working Are Not Working.”
“Companies need to out-smart, out-innovate and out-hustle the competition if they want to have the inside track when it comes to attracting the highest quality candidates,” Biro writes.
Hiring a new employee “is only the beginning of an extended process,” according to Biro. Companies need to live up to their employer brand to maintain a motivated workforce. That means developing:
- a connected and collaborative workplace environment
- open lines of communication
- team-building tools
- frequent, positive, useful feedback
Next, these elements need to be communicated back out to potential hires. In this way, recruitment is a continuous process. The work of building an employer brand is never done. And it’s grounded in vibrant internal and external communication where “Thank You” and other words of appreciation are shared often.
Love Your Employees? Let the World Know!
Industries like technology and media were early adapters to employer brand storytelling. Now companies in a broad range of industries are discovering its power, particularly via social media.
“Companies in hospitality, scientific research and beauty are all now turning to storytelling to help candidates get a more intimate view of working in their organization,” Amplify Talent founder Lars Schmidt writes for Tech.Co.
Across all industries, social media recruitment has a come along way. It used to be “a sea of the same stock photos, boilerplate text and career sites with slogans like, ‘A world of opportunity,'” Schmidt writes.
Of course, stock photos and generic slogans don’t let potential employees know what it’s really like to work for your company. And they don’t communicate authentic gratitude.
Oracle is one company Schmidt points to for an example of an employer brand turnaround. He quotes Celinda Appleby, Oracle’s Head of Global Employer Brand:
“When I joined Oracle, almost two years ago all of our content for talent attraction featured stock photography or graphics of robots. Our employees couldn’t identify with the personas we created. Enter a shift towards storytelling. We tapped into our employees and asked them what they loved about working at Oracle.
We learned the common thread was the ability to pursue outside passions, as we foster a flexible, inclusive environment. These stories started out as quotes and over the past year have grown to videos. We learned by using their voices and images; they felt rewarded and acknowledged. Our external audiences started to see the passion come to life, as our #lifeatOracle hashtag grew organically. Now it reaches over 500 million people monthly.”
What’s the common thread in this turnaround? Gratitude. It goes both ways. Oracle empowers employees to share their gratitude for the company and lets them — in their own words — express how they feel rewarded and acknowledged by the company.
“Storytelling allows companies to humanize their culture,” Schmidt writes.
The Cost of Gratitude: $0
The success of a gratitude-rich employer brand isn’t driven by how much you spend on developing it. That makes it “a great equalizer for smaller companies in competitive markets,” according to Schmidt.
For example, San Francisco-based recruiting tech platform Lever used storytelling to get an edge in a highly competitive hiring environment.
The company invested in storytelling workshops and training for employees and encouraged employees to share their work experience on blogs and social media.
The results were dramatic, a company analysis found. Employees started blogging more and self-identifying as brand advocates, and 80 percent rewrote their LinkedIn profiles “to support internal narratives and added personalization so prospects researching them could get to know them beyond their resumes.” In addition, gender diversity — a challenge in the tech sector — increased directly because of blog posts from female staff members.
Investment in building a gratitude-rich culture and employer brand has big payoffs — and the cost of investment often costs nothing beyond saying “Thank You” and expressing appreciation for employee excellence.
Download Your FREE 2017 Employee Recognition Calendar
“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day — or to celebrate each special day.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru, coach and author
Download the gThankYou 2017 Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar for resources and advice to help your organization thrive this year. Our calendar guide gives you the tools and inspiration to build a culture of appreciation every day of the year. Download yours today, absolutely free!
Here’s to a happier workplace in 2017!
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