Recruitment brands Featured

7:00pm EDT January 26, 2009

Your business is branded to communicate benefits to customers about your products or services.

But do your prospective employees know what it is like to work for your company? Do they know why it is better to work for your business rather than your competitor?

If your job applicants are in the dark about the culture of your company, you need an effective recruiting brand, says Ruth McCurdy, vice president of corporate connections with Talent Tree, a Houston-based staffing company.

“The result of having a good recruitment brand is that prospective employees will seek you out rather than you doing all the seeking,” says McCurdy.

Smart Business spoke with McCurdy about why a recruitment brand is important and steps to take to develop a successful one.

Could you give an example of a successful recruitment brand?

The most successful recruitment campaigns have actual employees doing the promoting for the company. For example, we all know that Google is a great place to work. Why? Because there have been a number of stories in the press about what it is like to work for Google. Google Jobs, a section of its Web site, is dedicated to showing pictures of employees who give testimonials about what it is like to work for the company. Google’s recruitment brand emphasizes that it encourages creativity and fun in the workplace.

Not every company has the same recruitment brand and will attract different kinds of employees. Other companies that do a good job with recruitment include The Container Store and Macy’s. These businesses have an entirely different culture than Google, but they do have a recruitment brand that is designed to attract precisely the type of employee that will fit in with the culture.

What is important is that a company clearly communicates to employees and prospects what it stands for; the company needs to create a compelling picture of what it is like to work for the organization that attracts and retains employees.

Is attracting and retaining employees the main goal of creating a strong recruitment brand?

Yes. It has the added benefit of saving the company time and money. Businesses that have strong recruitment brands don’t have to recruit very much since prospective employers seek the company out.

The byproduct of creating a recruitment brand is tenure, loyalty, increased productivity and happy employees.

What are the steps to creating a good recruitment brand?

  • Build an appealing brand. Make sure you know exactly the people you are targeting and what they want in an employer. You don’t want to create a brand that does not appeal to your target audience.

  • Talk to employers to help draw a picture of your company’s culture. Engage employees from all segments of your company, not only executives, in the process of recruitment.

  • Select a few people to tell their story. Make sure you hand pick a wide range of employees who are successful and happy working for your company. Do not use actors or models for your Web content or print ads. Have them tell their story about why they like working for your firm; make sure you use this information in all your recruiting materials. It is your employees’ stories that will make it real. People believe other people, particularly if the stories are sincere.

What are the disadvantages of not having a recruitment brand?

When a business does not have a recruitment brand, it will not attract the type of employees that will be happy working at the company. Recruiting can also be more expensive and time-consuming since, without branding the work environment, a business might get applicants are not a right fit for the company.

Many companies don’t understand why this is so important. Company owners and executives may believe that they can effectively compete for employees by offering a job position with a bulleted list of responsibilities and a competitive salary. This will not get you the best selection and the right fit of applicants.

Remember, in addition to the details of the job, employees want to know what it is like to work for a company, if they will be happy there, and if others are happy working there.

RUTH MCCURDY is vice president, corporate connections for Talent Tree, a staffing company based in Houston. Contact McCurdy at (713) 361-7555 or