For growing small and medium sized companies, attracting, hiring and retaining talent is one the biggest challenges faced by the management team. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet and recruiting is becoming tougher with a shortage of talented people, particularly in the tech and digital sectors. Companies are often too reactive in their hiring; they just want to fill a seat. Recruitment agencies, job boards or any of the myriad options available are all suboptimal compared to having a talent pipeline, built over time, through the attraction of a great employer brand.
Authenticity and awareness
Building a great employer brand requires a level of transparency that gives outsiders a look inside your company. It should invite people to imagine, “what would life be like for me working here?”
Two elements are essential to this. The first is reach to appropriate candidates: you need to raise awareness amongst people who could become future employees. The second is authenticity. Your employer brand should give an accurate insight into the company culture, which often proves polarising: it helps attract people who are a good fit and repel those that aren’t. But for most SMEs, the former remains the biggest challenge: prospective applicants just don’t know they exist.
While at university, my now business partner and I started to think about this. We became aware of a range of exciting SMEs that were hiring – but these companies were previously unknown to us, and it felt like they were completely unknown to everyone else too. They weren’t getting the exposure to talent they deserved. There had to be a better way.
Winning brand advocates
We started up Zealify to solve this problem. A career discovery platform, Zealify showcases the culture, environment and career opportunities in high-growth companies. Prospective applicants get to see photos of the office, videos of the employees as well as information about the company’s values: important details that can help them decide whether or not an opportunity is of interest.
Every piece of communication during the recruitment process, from the job description to the careers pages on your website, is an opportunity to win a brand advocate. A great candidate and employee experience leads to word of mouth referrals. Management need to be asking themselves “what does my team say about their work life?” and “what do people find if they’re looking for a job with us?”: the answers will form the foundations on which to build a strong employer brand that will reap rewards in the future for your talent acquisition.