Is Your Brand Attractive to Top Executive Talent?

You already market your business to customers, but if you don’t build a great image in the minds of potential employees' you’ll never attract top talent.
Headshot of author Michael Ruiz
Michael Ruiz
Expert Contributor
October 12, 2021
Headshot of author Michael Ruiz
Michael Ruiz
Expert Contributor

Today, there are more leadership openings than candidates to fill them, and recruiting top talent is extremely challenging. Whether you’re running a startup or an established company, hiring is no longer about a company choosing the best candidate, but rather a candidate choosing the company and opportunity that’s best for themselves. Most companies already develop strong brand identities to attract customers but don’t realize that they also need to strategically use brand marketing efforts to draw in top talent as well.

The United States government recently reported that there were 9.2 million jobs available. Due to the acute shortage of skilled and experienced talent, companies must compete fiercely for top personnel. Usually, companies will pour a lot of effort into benefits packages, bonuses and perks to attract candidates. What they completely overlook, however, is developing and marketing their brands such that they’re strategically tailored to inspire top industry professionals to want to work for them. Is your ideal candidate intrigued by your company’s story, vision, impact and future? Does your mission statement resonate with your targeted candidate? Is your online presence leaving potential candidates enthusiastic or wary about working for you?

As with any challenging situation, you often need to step back and take stock of what kinds of strategies and messages your organization has used for the past several years. Are you differentiating yourself? The first step in standing out in a sea of similar organizations is to create a recognizable and memorable brand. Employer branding doesn’t happen overnight, though. It’s a long-term process designed to demonstrate your value to both your consumers and potential employees.

3 Brand Marketing Strategies to Find Top Talent

  1. Exclusive Meet-and-Greet Events.
  2. Social Media Campaigns.
  3. Leverage Recruitment Firms.

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Put Your Best Foot Forward

One of the first things to evaluate is your website. According to a survey by LinkedIn, 75 percent of candidates research the companies they’re thinking about joining and consider their online reputations. In other words, your website is the first impression you make on people before they even meet a representative of your company. The information on your website needs to be accurate, up-to-date and compelling.

Besides avoiding obvious grammatical mistakes and having an aesthetically pleasing layout, your website should also have consistent and well-thought-out messaging that speaks directly to both your customers and your ideal candidates. For example, you can communicate your organization’s core values, such as celebrating curiosity, prioritizing leadership traits or fostering teamwork, through selective keywords and phrases throughout your website. The clearer and more consistent a company is in communicating its values, the more attractive it appears to the right-fit candidate.

Additionally, it’s important to use high-quality photos of employees in the workplace. Short, engaging videos of your employees sharing why your company is a great place to work or why there chose you is a great tool as well. Then, if a potential candidate identifies with these values, they’ll be more inclined to apply.

You should consider approaching your website through the eyes of future C-level executives who are keeping an eye out for their next challenge. Make sure the site’s architecture gives this hypothetical target candidate a positive impression of your business.

 

Burnish Your Reputation

Besides your website, you should also monitor all other digital platforms like search engines, social media and online review sites to ensure your organization projects a cohesive brand message across multiple channels. You should also use your company’s press releases and public relations outreach to develop a cohesive image.

Invest in cultivating your organization’s online reputation well in advance of trying to attract top talent to the company. In an ideal world, when potential candidates hear about your company and conduct a quick Google search, they will immediately see positive reviews, news coverage and social media posts. But this isn’t always the case. Therefore, every company should monitor how people view it online.

When a potential candidate researches your company and reads poor reviews, their motivation to join you plummets, potentially halting them from moving forward at all. If a problem arises, existing employees should encourage each other to publicly express why they enjoy working for the company and share success stories about how the work environment boosts individual growth. If you find that employees aren’t motivated to celebrate their workplace as one of the best, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on and address the larger issue at hand.

 

Celebrate Your Wins

Avoiding negative information or just creating a neutral image for your company online isn’t enough, though. In order to differentiate yourself from competing employers in your industry, your organization must regularly and publicly demonstrate accomplishments that are relevant to the ideal executive you want to attract. Consider doing so a necessary investment in your company’s future growth: It will capture the attention of a potential perfect-match candidate and position your organization as an employer of choice.

In other words, developing and marketing a successful employer brand means cultivating a positive reputation among your current employees as well as your target executive’s perception of you as an employer. Employer branding is simply marketing your company as a whole, rather than marketing your products and services, in a way that resonates with the type of industry professionals you want to recruit.

Remember that, unlike entry-level employees, executive candidates aren’t attracted to a company just because it claims to make great products or because it offers bonuses and office perks. Senior-level candidates are far more interested in understanding your company values, workplace culture and the larger purpose it serves. The better you are at marketing these aspects of your company, the more likely you are to attract and retain top talent.

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Marketing Your Brand to Talent

You can employ a few strategies to market your company’s brand. For example, consider creating exclusive meet-and-greet events and gatherings digitally. Having regular virtual or in-person events can introduce you to candidates well in advance of your hiring needs. In order to create such events, you’ll need to analyze the needs and desires of your ideal executive candidate and work toward fulfilling that demand. Hosting virtual gatherings on Clubhouse, for instance, can give many talented executives who are currently working for your competitors a glimpse into what makes your organization and its mission different.   

Another strategy is to create social media campaigns that showcase the positive aspects of working with your company. Try to curate topics that will interest your targeted candidate. For example, executive testimonials both in written and video formats can have a major, long-term impact. Don’t limit recruitment marketing to just LinkedIn either; YouTube and Instagram are also powerful social media channels to show why your organization is an ideal employer. Overall, you should regard cultivating a sterling online image as a long-term investment in recruitment efforts.

When it comes to discussing new opportunities with executives, both the company and the candidate may have many reasons for not moving forward. Usually, there are more factors on an executive candidate’s end: their desired location, professional and personal circumstances and goals may all prevent them from moving forward with a new opportunity. Despite this, removing contact with these folks completely is a missed chance to reengage them in the future. Instead, connect with them on social media and offer them an opportunity to opt in to receiving your company’s news. This way, they can stay up-to-date with your accomplishments as an organization and as an employer. Not only can this digital interaction help further solidify their interest in working with you, but they will also remain in your database of potential candidates to keep tabs on for future openings.

Another way to expand your reach to find highly qualified candidates beyond your organization’s limited network is by partnering with a specialized executive search firm. Recruiters not only bring access to a much larger pool of experienced candidates, but they also offer industry insight and, in many cases, have long-time, trusted relationships with their clients. They also know how to tailor the opportunity in a compelling way, positioning you as an employer of choice in your industry.

Remember, the goal of recruiting top talent is to further your organization’s growth and accelerate its success. This is impossible without having smart and experienced leadership steering your ship. If you can’t find the right candidates within the necessary timeframe using your company’s internal resources, consider using a professional recruitment firm to collapse the hiring timeline.

 

Find the Best Talent to Thrive

The days of relying on individual outreach and the networks of a few internal employees are over. Companies need to plan ahead and create strong recruitment marketing programs that can reach a larger pool of candidates. And remember that familiarity breeds trust! Think of developing long-term relationships with potential candidates as opposed to only contacting them for a one-off conversation.

A company may believe it has done a fantastic job in developing a brand from the lens of its outstanding products and services. But having a great brand for products and services will not automatically translate into a great brand as an employer. When it comes to marketing your company in this way, communicate the unique aspects of your company’s leadership, values and culture.

Building a strong company story and brand is essential to build a robust recruitment marketing strategy. The positive image of the company, both through its online reputation and glowing feedback from its employees, gives a company the chance to optimize its recruitment efforts, attract top talent and grow with a solid foundation.

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