The stakes are high when it comes to attracting and retaining the right team, in terms of skills and the right fit for the team. Post covid, not only do we have the challenge of regional competition, but we now face the challenge of national (and even international) opportunities. With 50% of candidates claiming that they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a higher salary – it’s time to work harder to sell ourselves. And that doesn’t mean putting bigger salaries on the table.
Here are our main 3 take-outs to help ensure your brand works on a commercial level – and an attraction and retention level. Because, the fact is, the two are more connected than ever before. There are no great brands without great people behind them.
1. Clarity and relevance to your vision, purpose, and values.
Ask yourself: Are they fit for purpose? Are they clear? Does everyone ‘get’ them and relate to them? Or were they written on a scrap of paper when the founder had the business idea… and have never really evolved since. Are they used as an integral part of your recruitment, retention and team development – are they at the core of everything you do, day in, day out? For many, it’s there, but it hasn’t been codified. So, consequently, as time goes on and new people enter the business, it all becomes diluted.
Take action: Defining your purpose, vision and values – put it on the list of things to do. Put them at the core of the brand; it’s how you bind, attract and retain every member of the team. So, if it isn’t clear, make that clarity your priority. Your DNA can’t be copied when products and services can. That differentiator, that investment in your employer brand, can reduce employee turnover by 28% (Office Vibe). So, not only will it offer you commercial advantages – it will be the USP that attracts and retains like-minded people, as well as reminding your team what great work is being done.
2. Review your talent attraction and recruitment process.
Ask yourself: How do we stand out; how do we use our purpose and values to educate and excite people to want to come and join us? You want people to be interested in your quest, to be attracted to what you are doing and why you are doing it – and then look to see what the roles are, oh, and what the salary is. This review allows you to confidently know that you are recruiting on fit as well as function, changing the game for many fast-growing businesses that need a team with the same determination and energy.
Take action: 80% of talent acquisition managers believe that employer branding has a significant impact on the ability to hire great talent. (LinkedIn) So, review your candidate journey and touchpoints – social channels, website, meet the team, candidate packs, interview & feedback process, communication, and your onboarding process. They need to be consistent, creative and make people smile. It’s important to leave a lasting impression that reflects the vision, purpose, and values you have as a business and as people.
3. Don’t stop at talent attraction.
Ask yourself: According to Microsoft 2021 research, 41% of workers are considering quitting their jobs. So, what are our retention levels like? How engaged and motivated are the teams? The key things that lead to quitting are often that people don’t feel valued and lack a sense of belonging. This shows us that people do not leave roles, they leave businesses. Working without purpose and vision creates frustration. Losing great people comes down to a lack of clarity, direction, constant direction changing, feeling undervalued and limited personal development.
Take action: What are our attrition rates? Recruitment is a costly process, not just from a sourcing point of view, but from a contribution point of view. What are we doing to ensure that our people are engaged and listened to, that they feel trusted, and empowered, and that they have the opportunity to constantly learn and develop – not just in line with the business, but for themselves.
Where to begin and how to get moving.
Not every business has the resource or even the capacity to look at these key areas. So, it might just be that you need to consider external support. Working with an agency or consultant that understands the power of brand and people would be the priority. Allow them to help you to define, sense check, and codify your vision and values. Allow them to meet your teams, live and breathe your world and involve employees in the journey, building out the purpose together. It will be all there, within your teams, it just needs bringing to life. This kind of exercise, alongside helping to engage teams (they might be crying out for this), will remind them what they are all working towards.