Talent branding: A tool to attract & retain talent

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Published: August 10, 2015 12:02:45 AM

Talent branding also assists organisations in crucial aspects such as retention of workforce; conducting influential discussions with stakeholders; alignment between employees and organisational objectives; and increased employee commitment

One of the most critical exercises of employee lifecycle management—the appraisal season—has ended. Typically, the season is followed by a lot of people moving on for better opportunities and organisations across industries experiencing increase in attrition (15-20%). As employees look out for new jobs, a reputable employer brand plays a significant role in their decision-making. In fact, about 36% employees look out for an employer brand while considering a job change.

So, what is the difference between ‘employer brand’ and ‘talent brand’? An employer brand is nothing but an organisation’s reputation as an employer—how good is the work culture at that particular company. However, lately, people have been talking about talent brand. A talent brand is the public version of employer brand, i.e. what the talent thinks, feels and shares about the organisation. Apart from the people working at the organisation, it also includes what people are buzzing about the organisation on social media platforms.

About 83% employers on one of the largest social media networking websites believe their brand has an impact on their ability to hire great talent. But only 33% of those employers measure the same. In order to assist the employers, the social media giant made it simple by introducing ‘talent brand index’. It has emerged as a tool to analyse how attractive the organisation is to potential candidates/employees. The higher the index, the easier it becomes to attract professionals for different roles. It also helps understand how the brand stacks up against peer organisations.

At the macro level, the role of talent branding and industry image are important in attracting human capital that is required to contribute to the strategic aims and financial performance of the organisation. Not only does talent branding provide an organisation with a framework to simplify priorities and increase productivity, it is also important for improving recruitment, retention and commitment of employees.

At the micro level, potential recruits rely on talent branding developed through marketing, personal experience, word of mouth and their perceptions of the brand to assist their decision making while evaluating potential employers. Every employee projects the organisation’s image and brand to customers and other stakeholders. A weak talent brand image and reputation as an employer can lead to poorer candidates, disengaged and resentful employees, higher attrition and ultimately reduced organisational performance.

A company’s talent brand is a direct result of its talent value proposition or the actual set of experiences of people who work for the organisation. This entails taking a deep dive into how the company addresses the needs of the different talent segments within the organisation, the involvement of leadership in this aspect, and how it’s communicated to candidates, among other factors.

Talent branding also assists organisations in crucial aspects such as retention of workforce; conducting influential discussions with stakeholders; alignment between employees and organisational objectives; increased employee commitment, etc.

In order to create a talent brand, an organisation needs to factor in sponsorship from top leadership; voice of stakeholders; accept negatives and mistakes it has made as that leads to development of trust; promote and engage talent brand ambassadors; and improvise on a periodic basis.

Every organisation has a talent brand—be it big or small. Thus, it is crucial that organisations should know what makes them special. Therefore, an organisation must prioritise its talent brand, or else it might grossly under or overestimate how it impacts their talent strategy or lose control of it altogether. Today’s best career sites feature employee stories of what it is like to work at a particular organisation. It is essential to have a constant scan of the viral content present in blogs or online communities and judiciously manage the crisis communication, if any.

Clearly, talent branding and its effects are applicable across industries and at all levels of hiring.

The author is practice head, Transitions & Consulting, PeopleStrong HR Services Pvt Ltd

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