To compete for talent, engage employees and retain them.
In any job market, small business owners need top talent.
“Little guys are
competing for talent against the big guys,” says Jim Ice, founder and managing
director of Jim Ice & Associates in Pittsburgh.
What can help small
business owners attract those skilled workers is a rock-solid employer brand, the
way you present your company externally to potential hires and internally to
employees. According to a November 2013 report from
CareerBuilder, 68 percent of candidates
would accept a lower salary if the employer created a great impression through
the hiring process.
Here are three
benefits of a strong employer brand.
1. A Strong Brand Attracts the Right Candidates
An employer brand helps a small business define the kinds of employees he or she wants.
Julia Gometz, author of The
Brandful Workforce and founder of a consultancy of the same name in New
York, says she has often heard hiring managers fear that listing a specific type
of employee they want on a job posting will lower the number of applicants.
Such companies want to attract everyone with a particular skill set and then
weed through the results later—an ineffectual and outdated strategy for hiring talent,
Rather than simply
posting a list of desired skills, explain your brand’s mission in the job
posting. An employer brand does attract a smaller pool of candidates—but it’s
filled with applicants who have not only the skills you need, but who also
possess similar values to your small business.
For HEROfarm, a marketing,
public relations and design agency in New Orleans, Louisiana, a strong brand showcasing
philanthropy and social justice, two of the owners’ passions, has helped their
recruiting. “We get solicited all the time by people who love our mission and
want to work for us,” says Shaun Walker, the company’s creative director and
2. Values and Vision Keep Employees Engaged
Being upfront with new hires about the values and vision behind your brand leads to happy and engaged employees. “When you hire people who really believe in what you’re doing, you see people who make a daily difference at work,” Gometz says.
engagement can boost your bottom line. According to a 2013 Gallup State of the
American Workplace Report,
companies with the highest level of engagement reported 37 percent less
absenteeism and 22 percent higher profitability than those with the lowest
3. Fulfilling Your Brand Promise Minimizes
If the employer brand you advertise doesn’t match what your business is truly about, you risk losing the talent you fought so hard to gain—often at a cost. A bad hire can cost your small business more than $25,000, according to the National Business Research Institute.
Ensure the day-to-day operation of your business follows
through on the promises your brand offers employees and customers. If you
position your brand as one that offers excellent customer service, for example,
Gometz recommends integrating at least one company value into daily briefings by
asking your employees for feedback on the following questions: How well are we
taking care of our customers today? Why are we able to or not? How can we
continue to fulfill our brand promise today and every day?
When employees see that you’re following through on your promises,
they’re more likely to stay because it’s what they signed up for.