What is Talent Brand, Why Do I Need It, and How Do I Build It?

There’s high demand for top talent in the tech industry, but a fairly low supply. With more people retiring and not enough workers to fill the pipeline that means in general candidates have their pick of the litter for potential employers. So how does a business stand out from the rest?

What is talent brand?

It’s the brand you use for employment and recruiting. Brand is more than a logo and a tagline — it’s the reputation your company has with employees and with the outside world, like candidates. It’s not separate from your company’s brand, it’s complementary.

Portrait of two happy business colleagues standing together in the office

Why does talent brand matter?

People are attracted to brands. Period. And people want to work for brands that match their core values. If volunteering is important, you’ll want to work for a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR). Maybe you love sports and everything sports-related, maybe Nike or Adidas is your company.

Talent brand does more than just build a shiny reputation and attract new employees, though. According to LinkedIn, effective talent branding can increase engagement in current employees, cut hiring cost by 50%, and reduce turnover by 28%.

How to build a talent brand

Every employee plays an integral part in developing an engaging and rewarding workplace, and letting people see that could mean a world of difference for our hiring. Also, in HR it’s important to think like a salesperson or someone in marketing.

Build awareness. Build perception for passive job searchers. “Before they’re even looking for a job, we want people to think, ‘I could see myself working at ReadyTalk,’” says Caroline Scott, talent acquisition manager. Instead of promoting a specific engineering position, for example, focus more on the brand of the company.

Build and leverage partnerships. We’ve found partners who can help us showcase our culture, like The Muse. The Muse hosts and designs company-specific pages, which are well-designed and appealing. The resulting network of featured companies attracts huge numbers of workers, 60% of whom are passive job seekers. Our page enables potential hires to see job postings and gain a better understanding of the “real” ReadyTalk through content like video profiles, worker testimonials and written information on perks and more.

Conduct targeted marketing. We also built our own landing pages to specifically target certain seekers: one page for engineers, one page for other searchers. We can promote those pages through social, email or a variety of other methods … all while maintaining a direct relationship to the brand we’ve built. For the most part they serve a similar function as our page on the Muse, but feature slightly different content — targeted for the positions we’re hiring for, including the perks we think they’re most likely to enjoy.

Advertise what’s special — the secret sauce of your company. More often than not, our most memorable perks are our intangible ones. The PTO, remote work and endless supply of habanero almonds are all fantastic, but lots of other companies have those in some form or fashion. What’s special at ReadyTalk is our culture of innovation that promotes free continuing education programs, our opportunities to volunteer, our return-to-work internships for caregivers to re-enter the workforce and development opportunities like our leader camps. We even have breakfasts and happy hours with the executive team. More than that, we focus on pushing down decision making because we trust our employees. That’s ReadyTalk’s secret sauce, but each company has something that may appeal to people who align to that brand. In our case, we get enthusiastic, typically healthy people who like to volunteer and innovate.

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