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The Hiring Market Sucks. Your Brand is Your Secret Weapon

Refresh, refresh, refresh. 20 times in the past 5 minutes. Inbox (0) is staring you in the face, taunting you.

“Come on, they said they’d get back to me today.” 

10 minutes and a football field of anxious pacing later, you see it. Inbox (1).

You take a deep breath, keep your eyes just open enough to make out the subject line through your eyelashes, and click.

Exhale. “They accepted the offer!”

Between widespread labor shortages, COVID unemployment benefits, hefty stimulus checks, and evolving Millennial and Gen Z values, it’s safe to say employees are pretty much running the show right now. 

With so much leverage at their fingertips, job seekers are able to be especially choosy about the types of companies they work for. And boy are they.

As a branding agency, clients generally come to us looking to evolve their perception in the market from a consumer perspective. To position themselves as the most forward-thinking, knowledgeable, and desirable option for every single prospect with the goal of driving conversions, encouraging loyalty, and prompting business growth. Don’t get me wrong, a strong brand can help you accomplish all that and more. At some point in the Brand Workshop process though, something funny happens. The focus turns inward. 

“We need new faces, some fresh perspective to keep our brand on the cutting edge. But we just can’t seem to land the perfect fit.”

Growing businesses mean growing to-do lists. Growing to-do lists need more humans to tick the boxes. Assuming you don’t want to burn out every loyal employee you have only to be left with a collection of angry LinkedIn rants and scathing Glassdoor reviews, you need a brand that not only shows your consumer what you have to offer, but your prospective (and existing) employees too.

It’s not all about the numbers anymore. Employee culture has always mattered, but its importance is now underscored in a market where people will settle for nothing less than a workplace that complements their values, appreciates them beyond their output, and nurtures their professional and personal growth. 

Why Internal Branding Matters

  1. Set proper expectations. Between sifting through resumes, multiple rounds of interviews, negotiations, and training, onboarding a new employee is no small feat. When your new hire turns out to be the antithesis of your company culture and quits after a week, you’re back to square one. Honing in on your values, business goals, and workplace culture helps to set the right expectations with your applicants, creating a clear vision of what they’d get out of a career with you and expediting the hiring process along the way.
  1. Unite your employees under a common goal. Growth creates clutter. Mergers, acquisitions, internal shifts, and external forces can put even the strongest of businesses in an identity crisis, leading to overwhelmed, confused, and sometimes bitter employees. By establishing a clear, unified vision of your company’s future, you create your team’s rallying cry.
  1. Motivated employees perform better. We can talk ROIs and conversions all day long, but creating a lasting impact starts far earlier than that. Your employees are the ones responsible for carrying your new brand out into the world. How can you expect them to convey the passion and fervor behind your business if they aren’t bought in themselves? Branding ties everything your company does to a higher purpose, inviting your employees to grow as part of your story. By giving them a reason (other than a paycheck) to show up, you create brand advocates that are not only loyal to your brand but that relay that same excitement to every single client, prospect, and new hire.
  1. Make your brand human. Going to sound like a broken record here, but people do business with people. That includes your employees. No one wants to live the stodgy corporate archetype where it’s all numbers, numbers, numbers. The more you can (authentically) connect your brand to something human and relatable, the more bought in your employees (and soon-to-be ones) will be.

How to Make it Count

  1. Live into your purpose. Words on a wall can only get you so far. It only works if it’s authentic. Why do you show up to work every day? 
  2. Highlight your people. Your brand touchpoints shouldn’t exclusively highlight your products and services (humanity, remember?). Whether it’s your Instagram feed, a page on your website, or in your office decor, give your audience a peek into the people that bring your brand to life. 
  3. And when all else fails, bribe them (kidding, kind of). No, I’m not talking about compensation or a fancy benefits package. And if there’s anything this article should teach you, it’s that culture is much more than an office ping pong table or a cheesy mug. But your brand should delight your employees just as much as it does your consumers. Sometimes a thoughtful gift can be just the thing to make a new hire feel like part of the team, or incentivize a tenured one to go the extra mile.  

Want your brand to shine from the inside out? We’ve got your back. Contact us today!

By Lauren Carr-Gasso Nov 12, 2021
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