For your company to grow you need smart people to work for you. I'm sure that comes as no surprise. But there's a lot of smart people out there, so how do you attract them to join your business rather than your competitor? Talented candidates are able to pick and choose their career path like never before. They hold all the cards. They can research your business from any number of angles before deciding if they want to join your team.

So your employer brand game needs to be strong, to make sure you're catching the eye of the candidates you need to apply to join you. And the good news is that a strong employer brand positively impacts your consumer brand, too. Companies are starting to realise that employer brand is worthy of their investment, and I'd argue that it is increasingly more valuable than the consumer brand.

That's because a strong employer brand is often more human than a consumer brand. The perception that a company is a good employer with a happy team that is contributing to its success and are rewarded for it sends out a really positive message that influences buying decisions. Simply put, if we like how a company treats its staff we are more likely to buy their stuff. People buy people.

That's a view shared by Ed Nathanson. He runs Red Pill Talent and has been blazing a trail for employer brand for twenty years. I spent some time with him recently and we discussed how the people in a business can often be the best recruiters. They're a secret weapon, and here's how they can help bring the best people to your door.

1. Harness your team's connections.

Be honest, is your LinkedIn company channel working for you, and full of content that's shared? Or is it more of an echo chamber, with content that's only liked and shared by your staff? Nathanson suggests the latter is true of many companies and I absolutely agree. Getting people to follow a company online is difficult. But the people in that company have followers galore. So why not encourage your team to share your content on their own channels instead?

Your people are way more connected than your company. Amongst their connections will be an abundance of people just like them. Similar interests, similar skill sets. If you encourage your people to share your content and tell the world how much they love the cool work they get to do for you, that's way more powerful than anything you put out in the company name.

Too many businesses impose restrictions on their people when it comes to what they can say on social media. Instead, encourage them to share. They will give an authentic picture of what its like to work for you that will reach and resonate with the people you need to recruit.

2. Share the love far and wide.

You may well have an "employee of the month" or similar internal recognition process to award someone in your team for a job well done. So they get their name in the staff newsletter, they get a round of applause at the team meeting and a cheque or a bottle of something fizzy. Nothing wrong with that.

But what if you tell the world instead? Put that person front and centre. Tell the story of the great job they did across your social channels. Tell the world how grateful you are for that person's input and hard work. Your member of staff is going to feel loved, recognized and wanted, and is highly likely to stay working with you. So your staff retention gets a boost. 

Plus, those you want to attract get a really positive impression of how well you value your staff. Your employee will likely share your praise on their channels, and people just like them get interested in your company. That's a simple win-win.

3. Give them plenty to talk about

I've written before about the goldmine of content that exists in any business if we just take the time to look for it. When it comes to talent attraction, the stories your people can share about the culture at your business, their experiences and their job satisfaction, are hugely powerful. But don't just set up a camera and get three or four staff to read out a few words. Think creatively.

Decide on a theme or format that will get noticed by the people you want to attract. Take a risk. Do something different that your team will love being part of and can't wait to share. Make people laugh or stir up an emotion. Work with your team to come up with a concept that will attract people like them to join you. It may be that your content reaches a smaller audience as a result, but if the right people see it and respond, that's the best result of all.

Published on: Feb 22, 2018