Why Your Employer Brand Needs to Be Magnetic
April 11, 2018 by Shannon Smedstad, Principal Employer Brand Strategist, exaqueo
What makes a magnet attract? It’s magnetism, defined as “a physical phenomenon produced by the motion of electric charge, resulting in attractive and repulsive forces between objects.” Take any magnet and a paperclip from your desk, and it will stick. What makes magnets equally interesting is not everything sticks -- consider aluminum, brass, copper, and lead. Magnets are only attracted to atomically strong metals.
In order for your organization to shape its future, you need to attract individuals who will thrive in your culture. Your employer brand needs to be magnetic. It does not need to attract everyone. It needs to attract people who have the potential to thrive in your culture, and be motivated and productive by the way work gets done.
How to Be Employer Brand Magnetic
Ground it in research
When you start with research, you can begin to understand what’s inside the hearts and minds of your employees. You can take a closer look at why some people choose you and why others decline; why some people thrive and others fail to perform. This research uncovers the truth behind the employment experience and culture.
Research ensures authentic outcomes and builds trust amongst executives, employees, and job seekers. It allows you to build an employer brand foundation with intention and a strategy that has purpose. Candidates and employees can then assess the promised and actual employment experience against their own set of values, interests, and motivations, and it will either attract or repel them.
Endure the long game
Building and managing your employer brand is not a ‘flash in the pan’ campaign. To truly come to life, your employer brand needs an unfading commitment across the employer brand lifecycle -- from talent attraction to talent retention. To be effective, the employer brand must be consistent and communicate:
- How your organization is different from your competitors
- What it is like to get work done in your organization
- The kind of employee who will be motivated to thrive in your organization
Find your employer brand advocates
Inside nearly every organization are employees who are living the brand. They show discretionary effort by going above in their work and for their teams. They submit employee referrals. They take active roles in employee resource groups. They want to represent you during campus and alumni events. And guess what? Great people attract great people. They are corporate magnets. You can harness the power of your brand advocates to attract higher quality referrals.
Learn to deal with negativity
With magnets, attraction requires a negative and a positive. With employer brands, negativity can often repel. Chances are there will be negativity connected with your employer brand (e.g. Glassdoor or Comparably reviews, Indeed.com ratings, negative press, etc.). What if this negativity is repelling the talent you actually want to attract? One of the most foolproof ways to address negativity is to create positive, personalized experiences for candidates and employees.
Not everyone will appreciate what your organization does or stands for. They may not want to work in the environment you’ve created or perform in the way your culture requires. And that’s okay!
In reality, your recruiters don’t want tens of thousands of unqualified or underprepared applicants. And your leaders don’t want a revolving door because people didn’t realize what they were signing up for. They do want qualified candidates who are excited about the realities of the organization, are inspired by what you stand for, and have the potential to stay and make an impact.
About the Author
Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is a Principal Employer Brand Strategist for exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm, and has nearly 20 years of experience in talent acquisition, employer brand, and employee communications. She enjoys writing and volunteering with Girl Scouts, and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two daughters, and a dog named Taco.