Nowadays leaders struggle with finding talents that are capable to ensure their teams’ growth. According to a BCG survey from 2018, 42% of top leaders at top 500 companies in US are reporting that their organizations are struggling to find and attract right talents to ensure company growth within the next 3-6 years.
In this situation, most of the leaders pass the responsibility and guilt for not having the most suitable talent to external recruitment agencies, HR departments, etc. Companies are investing in developing corporate centers of expertise focused on delivering best in class recruitment. Another area, that is widely discussed is employer branding. This term has become the mantra for investing in the people area. Companies having the shiniest employer brand strategies and investing more than a regular company are often recommended as good examples of how to invest more and more on building the best image you can, to attract the shiniest “diamonds in the rough”.
Employer branding has taken a central place in most companies’ strategies and budgets. Companies have started to generate more and more stress to their employees in HR and PR departments, demanding “more creative” approaches to ensure that they have gained their potential talents’ attention. Social perks lists are expanding within months, adding more and more perks that are there just in case someone from the organization thinks to use them. And still, after all these activities, annual strategies and budgets spent, companies still struggle with finding best talents for their teams. Best examples come from highest ranked companies as employer of choice. Even after investing 3 times more in employer branding initiatives then a decade ago, these companies still have fluctuations in the workforce between 4 and 11% on annual basis. According to the Gallup International survey form, the beginning of 2019 – companies in UK, Australia, and the USA have spent in total 362% more on employer branding compared to 2009. The total sum of investments is more than 11 billion US dollars.
And still, after all these efforts there is not much light in the tunnel to help companies attract and then retain best talents to help them grow sustainably in time.
This comes from the understanding that employer brand and talent attraction and retention are still seen as something that is the responsibility of an HR department and company leaders just take place in initiatives they don’t feel close to their individuality. This generates the gap between, plans and strategies and real results. And after failing leaders from all over organizations start blaming each other about lack of ability to deliver planned goals and results because not able to find, attract and retain the talents they need.
But what you need to understand that employer brand is not a function of the organization, but the function of the leadership behavior we show. Organizations just collect information from different teams across their structures to present it to the world. That all they call the employer brand. The real employer brand that is a magnet for talents comes from the leader. Here are some tips to help you build your team unique identity and sell it to the best in class talents:
Lead led by values
Nowadays it is very popular for organizations from different industries to describe what core values they have put in all behaviors at the workplace. Unfortunately, many leaders think about values like something that is there to help them manage others that is not necessary to follow. A successful leader is the example of values, distributed in the organization for all other members in and outside his team. The leader must be the engine that fuels behavior based on values in others.
Correct led by values
Have you tried to punish a non-productive or aggressive behavior at work? What did you use? How did you explain the resonation of this behavior to the others? Leaders from different organizations use legislation distributed practices with the words: “It is written in the legislation”. You must understand that what country legislation describes is the tool used to correct. Still, if the leader wants to build understanding why a particular behavior is not accepted it must be explained by the specifics for the company. These specifics are the values and behaviors they support or avoid.
Do not wait until the end
Some leaders wait until things go uncontrolled and are hard to be reversed. One major mistake is to wait “until the time comes”. This is usually the annual review or some sort of a mid or long term meeting between the leader and the person. Deviations must be addressed at the moment they happen.
Support led by values
People in organizations are more productive today than in the last century. A leader led by values, must be careful to support behaviors that are resonating with the values. There is nothing more wrong than that to admit something just to destroy it with your behavior after that.
These four steps build your leadership uniqueness and presens. Your leadership behavior must be based on them. After you have built on the four steps, you can now use them to attract best in class talents. You can do that by simply doing several simple things during the interview.
Explain the candidate your approach
You must stress in that part of what company values are and how they live in your team. Candidates must see that what you talk about is part of your team’s life.
Provide pieces of evidence
According to an INC material, published back in 2018, 61% of hiring managers and leaders provide irrelevant information on values and behaviors in their teams during an interview. To stronger your position and give more credibility to the information you share with the potential hire, you must provide an example, from your team’s life. The pieces of evidence must give an idea of behaviors you tolerate, what you want o to minimize or avoid as possible threat and how you will react if happens. As a leader, your strongest shreds of evidence must come from your experience and team, instead of organization as whole.
Focus on positive
We all have bad days or an employee that is like pain in the ass. Although, when you talk to a potential candidate for your team, you must focus on positive behavior and support. It will show the candidate that you carry about people as individuals and professionals. The positive approach to people shows the candidate that you are flexible and supportive as a leader, focusing on how to help team members to expand their potential.
Keep up with deadlines
Many leaders show unconscious disrespect to potential talents for their teams by living them in the dark after the meeting. If you agree on a deadline for feedback and information during the meeting with the candidate, keep your promise. 74% of the candidates report on Glassdoor that they haven’t got any information from the company after an agreement was made within the deadlines of that agreement. More than 80% of them report also that they will be careful next time when considering this same company as an option next time. To be different as a leader and ambassador of the company values, you must be able to keep your promises. Starting with the recruitment process builds trust and prolongs your potential talent connection with the company by creating positive candidate experience.
Employer branding is a hot topic these days. But best in class talents are often not attracted by fancy perks and shiny initiatives. Most of them search for togetherness. To ensure that you, as a leader will deliver results expected from you, you will need to attract and retain the talents, able to help you. And most important, there is not a corporate strategy that can help you find and retain best talents, it is your attitude and readiness to look at the potential talent as an equal partner, together with the example how you ensure company values, culture, and specifics that attract best talents and help you reach your results. Instead of waiting someone else to create an employer brand for you, create your own space for attracting and retaining talents and “sell” it to other parts of the organization you work for as a true leader…