creating a great talent brand

As we head toward awards season, I’ve been thinking: Hollywood really should consider making a big-budget blockbuster about talent brand. It’s got all the ingredients of an epic movie. Our fearless protagonist, the head of employer branding, faces the daunting challenge of reining in a hairy runaway talent brand. After a lot of sleepless nights, surviving on a meager budget and an epic battle with marketing, she somehow manages to control the uncontrollable, measure the immeasurable. She (played by Sandra Bullock in my head) succeeds against all odds.

(I would go see that movie. I really would.)

If you feel managing your talent brand is an epic and insurmountable challenge, don’t despair. The way in which your company is publically perceived as a place to work is much easier to gauge and change today than it was just 5 years ago, thanks to the help of social media channels.

And it’s worth the effort. For those of you new to the field who may be wondering, “talent brand,” is indeed very different from “company brand.” Let’s use Starbucks to illustrate the distinction.

I’ll wager my wife’s cinnamon dolce latte that when you think of Starbucks, the first word that comes to mind is “coffee”.  Starbucks has worked very hard to make their company brand synonymous with great coffee and they’ve clearly achieved their goal.

Now, if I asked: “What is Starbuck’s talent brand?”, you probably wouldn’t have an answer cold. By looking at Starbucks’ Career Page on LinkedIn, you’d see that they want employees to feel like partners in the company, not just baristas. This is a message they likely carry throughout all of their recruitment efforts. But that probably isn’t evident to you unless you know someone who works there.

So having established they’re different, how do you overcome the challenges of our Hollywood movie protagonist via LinkedIn? There are two sides to this equation, which I’ll explore in a webinar next Tuesday at 11am PT:

Controlling the Uncontrollable: How to Change or Promote the Public Perception of your Talent Brand

Your Company Page on LinkedIn likely has hundreds or thousands of followers. These individuals are an extremely important asset and talking to them will allow you to boost the public perception of your talent brand.

One way to engage your followers is by using Company Status Updates to share interesting content. If done correctly, over time these messages will encourage member engagement and ultimately, even translate to hires (given 71% of people who follow companies on LinkedIn are interested in careers at the firms they follow). You can even target your updates just to your employees or to specific segments of followers you are interested in recruiting. For further information on how to use Company Status Updates check out this video:

Another great way to improve how people think of your talent brand is to have your employees promote how great it is to work for your company. Encourage your employees to share their experiences publically. We’ll explore some winning ways to do that in the upcoming webinar.

Measuring the Unmeasurable: How to Gauge the Strength of your Talent Brand

As every good leader knows, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This is where LinkedIn’s Talent Brand Index (“TBI”) comes in to play. We designed this metric specifically to help leaders understand how their talent brand is faring relative to key competitors in key segments, so they can adjust their recruitment marketing strategies accordingly.

Want to go deeper on these two topics? Join me next Tuesday at 11am PT for the “Improve Your Talent Brand And Recruit More Efficiently” webinar.

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