The battle for the perfect talent has gone from being an impending threat to a harsh reality. While organisations used to set up their stand, advertise their offer and wait for the best talents to queue up with them, in today's age of the employee market, it is the talents who choose the stand that is most attractive to them from a variety of options. To attract and retain the best talent in this environment, you need to know who you are as an organisation and have the courage to stand out from the crowd. And being a great employer is the foundation for that.
The war for talents has to be tackled from the inside
When we talk about employer branding, organisations often find themselves trying to fulfill the needs of the ideal candidate. They promise some or many of the common criteria talents seemingly are looking for. For instance, when you google the qualities of a good employer, keywords like flexibility, international career opportunities and openness towards innovation stand out.
However, if you as an employer address mostly external wants and needs instead of your unique culture benefits, you will inevitably recruit talent that does not fit your workplace culture. So before throwing around empty phrases, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you actually know, who you really are as an employer and what makes you unique?
Do you know, why your employees enjoy working for your organisation? Or why some of them leave after just a short while?
Have you ever wondered, what your organisation's icing on the cake is? What is your USP that makes you stand out from your competitors on the talent market?
Why do your best talents stay with you, are motivated, committed and proud to work for your organisation?
Take the time to look inside to analyse your workplace culture and driving values. Otherwise, you will inevitably attract talent that cannot reach their full potential in an environment that is not made and meant for them. Simply because they do not ft the company culture. And please don't get the idea of cultural fit wrong at this point - taking cultural fit into account is not at all about recruiting more of the same to eventually end up with a league of robots that all are very alike. Rather, it is about finding those individuals who will fuel your culture, finding the talent that will spark your culture to the next level so that you as an organisation are fit for the future.
Hire for attitude - train for skills
I am often asked, whether to hire for performance or for culture. And the answer is – ideally both. But if both is not possible – always go for culture. Individual performance is usually easier to improve through coaching or by reassignment to a more suitable position. On the other hand, our individual cultural mindset is acquired and consolidated very early in life, making changes to our value system difficult. Thus, a high performer will become unhappy in the long run in a culture that does not match his or her values, which in turn could be reflected in the performance shown or even become counterproductive for the whole organisational culture.
By defining the cultural values within your organisation and communicating them to the outside world, such a development can be anticipated. One of the foundations for successful employer branding is the development of the EVP, the Employer Value Proposition.
All begins with an authentic Employer Value Proposition
Thus, to attract the right talent, you first need an authentic EVP. For us, this encompasses three areas that enable you to stand out from the crowd in your employer branding efforts.
Find out who you really are – assess your workplace culture as it is today. The most valuable source to tap into this knowledge are your employees. Ask and involve your employees in the analysis of your workplace culture. We at Great Place to Work® use our Trust Index™ employee survey as well as focus groups to dive deep into the internal perspective.
Learn more about your competitors in the talent market – but do not overdo it. A simple web search will usually do, to find out, what your competitors promise and will give you an idea on how you can differentiate as an employer. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you need to promise the same – here the word courage gets its real meaning. Many companies fear that potential applicants will no longer be interested if they appear too different. But in fact, it is the unique mix of qualities that will attract the right talent and also greatly support you in committing and retaining your internal talents.
Last but not least, every EVP should have an aspirational component. After all, we all know that we live in a world of constant change. Therefore, selecting your workplace's traits that will truly drive your organisations’ development, will in turn attract the talent that will be the right fit to accelerate this.
Thus, to make the development of your EVP a journey worth travelling, the core component is to authentically communicate to the outside what you already live inside or what you truly are committed to live in the near future. Take into consideration, how different our individual values are. Employees and we as humans are multifaceted - today's talents are looking for an employer where they can truly be themselves and see their qualities reflected. Where they are empowered to be part of the change.
You want to find out more about on how you can develop a unique and attractive employer brand that is driven by strategy, rooted in your organisational culture and clearly differentiates you from competitors?