The phone is ringing and the voice on the other end says “Hello?” I say, “Hi, this is Diane and I am calling from LightBox.” Immediately the voice responds, “Who?”
If you too have gotten this “Who?” response to your company name, you’re not alone. For most unknown companies, this comes up in the process of sourcing talent. But when your company name and brand is so new that the sign on the building still has it’s fresh-out-of-the-box luster, you may need to give your employment brand a high-dose of activity.
As I first took over the Head of Talent role for our new and fast-growing company, the “Who are you?” question was a common response to our recruiting and sourcing efforts. Now that our company is part of a larger company – born from a merger of other highly-successful companies within our vertical – we find ourselves spending a bit more time introducing our company rather than diving into the specific role and team. This isn’t to say we are totally unknown, in fact within our industry we have a remarkably strong brand given the amount of time we’ve been a unified entity. But for those who don’t live and breathe commercial real estate, we are an unknown. This is where the fun really starts: the opportunity to build our employment brand from the ground up with fresh expertise and insight.
There are a few keys that I have found in overcoming our lower brand awareness among candidates:
- Find opportunities to sell your values
Stand out from other companies and speak about your values when talking to potential employees. It is important to be honest about where you are succeeding, and where you still have work to do. For example, I make sure to communicate that LightBox has a stellar company culture because we’re made up of smaller companies that already had great established cultures. We have a little more work to fully unite our brands, but we’re better and stronger together.
Even better, find out what one value matters most to your candidate, and connect that back to your company. Show them how working for your company aligns with what they value most. For example, maybe you identified a candidate with years of volunteer experience. You could let them know about your company’s giving or volunteer programs.
Focusing on your values can help you find the right candidates that will excel in their roles; 95% of employees are 2-4x more likely to produce more for the organization if they love their workplace, according to the Best Practices Institute. You can build a team of the “right” candidates, which could lead to more engaged employees and increased productivity because employees feel connected to the work they are doing.
- Don’t try to fight the giants in the battle they designed
Most companies simply cannot afford the same level of perks as the Googles and Facebooks, but we can offer visibility, executive mentoring, less bureaucracy, and high-level work opportunities. These unique benefits will appeal to a wide range of candidates looking to grow their careers and to work for a company they believe in.
At LightBox, it can be difficult to stand out from the major tech companies vying for the attention of top tech candidates. However, we can overcome that by communicating our unique values and company attributes. We are a smart team, backed by 25+ years of experience from the companies we’ve acquired. We offer an environment that fosters creativity and provides unique opportunities for growth.
Compared to the larger, tech giant companies, working for other companies provides many benefits that candidates might not realize. Your job is to communicate those to them.
- Sell your people
Who do you have on the team that is extraordinary at what they do? Who is a champion for your company’s culture and exemplifies your company’s values? We all likely have at least one person that comes to mind as being both impressive on paper and on the job. We can use those individuals’ experiences to both learn from and to use for outreach.
We can learn from these team members by asking them what about the company appealed to them most during their hiring process. What specifically set your company apart from other companies the individual was considering at the time? Use their responses to authentically play to your strengths when speaking to potential candidates during the hiring process.
Alternatively, you can use those individuals in any marketing or employer branding materials you produce. Consider asking them for a quote or testimonial to use on the careers page on your website. If you have the resources, consider producing a video of testimonials from these company rockstars.
With these tips, attracting top talent and building a strong employer brand can work together. At LightBox, we are growing our company and working to establish our brand. We are also hiring! Look at our open opportunities here.