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How Your Employer Brand Can Change the Recruiting Game

One second, one shot, one chance … Those “ones” add up to sport moments that many will never forget. For some, it will be the one moment they remember for the rest of their lives.

Employers see something similar: You may only get one shot at reaching top talent and persuading them to join your workforce. It’s crucial for HR and recruiting to ensure their company’s employer brand is top-notch to compete for the best prospects in today’s workforce.

Here are three aspects to focus on when creating and promoting your brand.

Remember the name

Annie Hanson, assistant athletics director of recruiting strategy and administrative engagement at the University of Oklahoma, continually asks her employees and coaches, “What do we want to be known for?”

For OU football, this is a no-brainer. With seven national titles, seven Heisman trophy winners (two in a row) and 47 conference championships, this Sooners program drips with excellence.

Hanson capitalizes on this success to create an OU football brand that excels at recruiting and retaining student-athletes in their program.

“We ask not what our recruits can do for us, but what we can do for our recruits,” Hanson said. “It’s that customer service quality of achieving expectations; not just achieving, but exceeding them.”

Employers must ask this same question, and HR and recruiting should be prepared to answer with an employer brand that engages and retains current employees and attracts future hires.

As you develop this brand, ask your current employees what they want out of your organization regarding development and fulfillment. When appropriate, an anonymous survey tool is a great way to gain insight into your employees’ opinions and needs. And understanding those needs and creating programs to address them is crucial when creating a brand that attracts the best employees.

The real storytellers

OU football establishes its continued dominance year-to-year through spectacular recruiting classes. In fact, the Sooners’ 2019 recruiting class is ranked fourth.

Though Hanson generates much of the hype through accomplished recruiting, she allows her athletes to tell the story of OU football.

“We want our student-athletes to be our biggest storytellers,” she said. “You talk about the power of that individual prospect once they signed with us, what that meant for the next signing class and the signing class after that. People want to be affiliated with that, and the culture around that starts with those people. From there, the rest yields itself.”

In the same way, a company’s employer brand is the story your employees convey to potential talent. Sought-after benefits, including professional development, up-to-date technology, and flexibility are a few ways to build an employer brand your workforce wants to share with others.

Allowing your current employees and recruiters to be the storytellers of your organization can help you attract more of the same high-caliber individuals, as it does for OU football.

Promise, delivered

As your new hires arrive on campus, the employer brand should echo the actual work climate. Your brand should be a “promise delivered,” allowing employees to achieve their professional and personal goals through your organization’s HR programs and ensuring the employer brand conveyed through recruitment is consistent throughout the organization.

“The employer brand is critical to making people feel part of something bigger,” notes Jennifer Kraszewski, Paycom’s vice president of HR. “That becomes your best billboard for recruiting. If they’re engaged, feel like they’re winning in their career and working for a great company, they’re going to recruit for you. And typically, they bring in winning people to the organization, which benefits both the company and existing employees.”