5 Lessons Learned From Employment Branding Clients in 2015

2015 has come and gone. And now that it’s over, it’s a good time to reflect on the lessons learned throughout the year. As someone who has worked with clients in multiple industries with very different organizational cultures, there are several overarching truths that can be garnered from a cultural perspective—and I want to share them with you here. So, here are the top five lessons I’ve uncovered from working with some pretty amazing companies during 2015:

1. Culture defines how companies work. Don’t forget to use that knowledge.

We help companies define their culture and convey that message in order to attract top talent. So working with unique organizations, particularly in the employment branding arena, requires that you understand the very nature of the company in order to most effectively achieve the goals you’ve established. This means, if you’re working with a Hero organization, for example, try to cater to that specific archetype in your interactions. Frame things in terms that the company—and its people—can relate to by focusing on creating a winning project where energetic, confident and motivated people can succeed together. Or if you’re interacting with a Jester organization, think in terms of maximizing creativity and innovation through a playful attitude and cleverness. Understanding that each company has a unique culture, values, strengths and weaknesses is the very essence of what organizational culture is all about.

2. You have to start somewhere.

While an organization’s employment brand has many facets, most clients often start off by focusing on one aspect of their employment brand. Need a separate career site? Start there. Want to focus on finding the right talent through recruitment advertising? That’s a great place. Need to define your authentic organizational culture? Begin with research. Remember, managing your employment brand is a journey, not a destination . And the passion for doing so is contagious. We saw several clients in 2015 who started with a small scope, but their desire and passion for expanding their efforts grew like wild fire. Make sure to set expectations upfront on what you want to accomplish and succeed in it. Then expand and grow over time.

3. Make your story the star.

No matter the size, no matter the industry, not matter the location, every organization has something to say. Throughout 2015, we worked with companies large and small who sought to attract the right talent for their business. And at the heart of this effort was ensuring that each company told its authentic organizational story. Tell your story again and again in the talent marketplace. Reinforce it across the outlets that make the most sense for your business. But don’t ever forget that the right message matters and should be the shining star in your employment brand.

4. Cultural change requires conscious effort.

In 2015, we worked with a number of companies seeking to use their organizational culture to impact their own diversity and inclusion initiatives. These organizations took seriously the role of attracting diverse talent and using their internal brand as a mechanism for doing so. They understood that their employment brand should attract people with diverse backgrounds and ideas, and that actively managing their culture played a central role in attracting a diverse workforce. For other organizations, establishing employee resource groups that tied into their organizational culture was the leverage needed to promote diverse ideas. The bottom line was that organizations who wanted to see a change in their culture first believed in it and then actively managed it. And they recognized that change is never easy, nor would it happen overnight.

5. Amazing things can happen when the true strengths of an organization shine through.

It may sound cliché, but we’ve seen it time after time. And we saw it repeatedly in 2015. When a committed group of people represent the essence of an organization—and seek to move their employment brand forward, the results pay dividends. One client in particular comes to mind where the timeline seemed completely impossible and the project scope too big. But together, we stayed true to the objective. We pulled together to represent their employment brand and helped them attract top talent for their organization. Yes, it’s important to remember the pitfalls that can happen from cutting corners, but when you do things right, some pretty amazing things can happen.

Learn how we can help uncover and express your authentic organizational culture.