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Talent brand for recruitment

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As the world continues on its path of rapid globalization, an increasingly connected planet means that employees have much more choice when it comes to where they work. This places the onus of appealing to skilled workers onto the employer. Organizations now more than ever face an ever increasing challenge of how to attract and retain the best talent.

Various surveys report that in 2014, 36% of global employers face talent shortages, the highest it has been since 2007. More, 73% of organizational executives report concern over the availability of skilled talent in the labour market.

How, then, can organizations compete for great candidates? Beyond just perks, organizations must focus on developing and continuously improving their talent brand.

How to build a strong talent brand

According to a LinkedIn report, talent brand is defined as “the highly social, totally public face of an organization that incorporates what talent thinks, feels, and shares about a company as a place to work.” What is salient about this definition is that it places the voice of the employee as the cornerstone for an organization’s reputation. No longer is an organization what it says it is. Organizations are now what their employees say. As a result, it becomes the organization’s responsibility to become a place where people are attracted to work.

One of the key qualities of a resilient talent brand is the unifying power of a strong mission statement. Deloitte‘s research shows that organizations with a clearly defined purpose have a 30% higher level of innovation and a 40% higher level of retention. For millennials in particular, this is great news. The same report states that 70% of all millennials need the organizations they work for to be committed to a higher calling.

For nonprofit and charitable organizations alike, mission-centred work is at the core of their work — a leg up, usually, on their for-profit counterparts. But be aware: potential employees are not just attracted to mission alone. As Daniel Pink points out in his famous book on motivation, Drive, employees must also explicitly know how their skills specifically advance the organization’s mission and how these skills can continuously be mastered. Additionally, they must also feel a sense of autonomy in how they execute their jobs and feel connected to the people they work with.

What, then, can employers do to improve their talent brand if mission alone is not enough?

1. Create an Employee Value Proposition (EVP). In simple terms, an EVP is what employees receive, above and beyond payment, for working for your organization. In today’s competitive landscape, an EVP should be developed by employees currently working at your organization (not HR or executives). An EVP ought to include such topics as rewards, opportunities for professional development, work-life balance, and most importantly, the reality (not the marketing) of what it is actually like to work for your organization.

2. Once an EVP has been created it must be shared. This is your talent brand. Include your EVP on career pages, job descriptions, press releases and LinkedIn. Share it on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else you engage in social media. Let your EVP become who you are, and share it with as much fervour and dedication as you do your organization’s mission.

3. Live your EVP. An EVP is more than just words on paper. It is a living, breathing experience shared and created by everyone at your organization. As an executive, your job is to make sure that your workplace is indeed a place where people naturally come inspired to work. To do this, a strong, psychologically safe organizational culture must be developed and carefully cultivated. A unique blend of purpose, transparency, trust, healthy conflict and evolved emotional intelligence must be at the core of not only what you believe as an organization, but how you behave. And when it is, your employees will not only feel it, they will share it. And in turn, your current employees will become your best talent brand ambassadors and the biggest advocates for working at your organization.

Casey A. Miller, President of 6 ½ Consulting (MPA and MTS, Harvard University), has 15+ years of business experience including roles of CEO, VP Business Development, and VP Strategy. And he is on a mission: to help organizations create teams that thrive on healthy conflict, emotionally intelligent leadership, and shared purpose. For more information on how to create workplaces where employees are intrinsically motivated to come to work, and on topics of leadership and organizational design, feel free to contact Casey Miller, President of Six and a Half Consulting at or visit:

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