Through her company, Lee Ann helps clients develop and implement employer branding strategies that help companies attract people who share their mission, values and purpose. In this article, previously published on TalentLumen’s website, Lee Ann discusses finding the best job matches through an employer’s brand.
Our ancestral DNA taught us how to search. Our ancestors hunted for the best sources of food and shelter. Now we search for the best job opportunities that will nourish body (food and shelter), mind (engaging work), and professional soul (bigger purpose)!
As a member of Gen X, I remember anxiously waiting for the paper to arrive on Sunday morning in 1990. Equipped with a red BIC® marker, I was ready to take on the job hunt. My arsenal of weapons included my resume and my word processor to customize cover letters and mailing envelopes. It was pretty much the only way to find a job ad and a job.
OK Generation Y and Z, you can’t even relate to the first paragraph! Let’s just agree there have been a lot of changes in 25 years! Enter applicant tracking systems, social media, professional networking sites, niche job boards, career websites, and talent communities. Job seekers have information available 24/7/365. With talent shortages and generational shifts, the next 5 – 10 years will see more changes as talent markets continue to tighten.
Our DNA Was Meant To Search
Beyond job information, another aspect of change is the publicly available information on a company. Unless a company was also mentioned in the newspaper or on TV in 1990 not much was to be considered when applying for a job.
Today, smart job seekers are spending time researching companies of interest. Why? We are curious beings! Our ancestral DNA taught us how to search. Our ancestors hunted for the best sources of food and shelter. Now we search for the best job opportunities that will nourish body (food and shelter), mind (engaging work), and professional soul (bigger purpose)!
Companies Want To Be Found For Their Jobs
In the past, companies wanted to be found by the consumer for the products or services they delivered. Companies are now addressing that people are searching from the candidate perspective for the career opportunities they offer. Employer branding,recruitment branding, or talent branding are new industry terms for the approach companies are taking to express their unique brand as an employer and to draw in right-fit talent.
Companies who are sharing their employer brand go beyond the basics of sharing compensation and benefits (food and shelter). They explain their culture, career opportunities, and the purpose of their organization. Companies such as Google have shared their employer brand for years, but now smaller organization are sharing their inside story.
3 Tips For Seeing Through An Employer’s Brand
It’s important for candidates and job seekers to know what to look for when seeking a company who is authentic and transparent with their employer brand.
- The Good, Bad & Ugly – Look for companies that are utopian societies, painting pictures of rainbows and ponies. STOP…RIGHT THERE! No company is perfect! Why? Companies are comprised of people. People are not perfect. Business markets are not perfect. Think of any real relationship. There is transparency and authenticity; something you should look for in a company. A company may have a bad review on GlassDoor® from the occasional disgruntled worker but they may have 10 good ones. Did they address the complaint? If a company has the ugly scar of a layoff, take into consideration the business climate or the help they gave to displaced workers.
- Peer Testimonials – You’ve seen the 2 minute video of the CEO saying how great it is to work for his/her company. The CEO is the person in charge of maintaining a company’s mission and value in the marketplace and should be leading the charge. However, as the candidate you must look beyond the CEO’s message for video or content from workers who might be your peers. Get a feel for what it’s like from their perspective.
- Mutual Promise – In the employer brand world, companies create an “EMPLOYER VALUE PROPOSITION” or EVP. It is an employer’s promise of what it is like to work at the company, but it also has a flip slide. It should also convey what the company values and expects in people who would be successful members of their team. Not only look at what a company can do for you, but what you can do for a company. Does the company’s EVP match your personal and career goals?
Since you don’t have to wait until next Sunday’s paper to work on your job search, start now to tap into your hunter DNA with these tips!
Lee Ann Cimperman PC, SHRM-CP is an Employer Brand Strategist and President of Talent Lumen, LLC