Make Your Talent Brand Work for You

Posted by Richard Jacobson

Talent BrandingDoes your organization have a positive public persona, or does your company’s image fall short? In today’s increasingly competitive labor market, having a strong, public brand is critical to attracting young professionals. In fact, 75 percent of job seekers consider a company’s brand before they even submit an application. Conversely, 72 percent of recruiting leaders view branding as a critical driver of their ability to attract and hire top talent.

There is a clear correlation between a strong talent brand and the successful recruitment and engagement of top talent. Unfortunately, the insurance industry’s public persona is filled with misconceptions. Seen as outdated, behind-the-times, old-fashioned and boring, insurance ranks 18th out of 30 sectors in terms of its popularity as a career choice.

While recent industry efforts have begun to make headway in publicizing insurance as a great career choice—there is work to be done at the company level. In order to compete in today’s challenging labor market, insurance organizations must focus their attention on building and promoting their own unique employer brands.

What can your organization do to cultivate a talent brand that can cut through the industry stereotypes to attract today’s young talent? Here are five tips to get your employment brand to work for you.

  1. Branding and Young ProfessionalsTake Your Brand Temperature: Do you know how your organization is perceived in the public domain? What are your employees saying about you? What do job candidates think about your organizations as a place to work? The first step in developing a talent brand is to take stock of your current positioning. Your external position is a reflection of your organizational culture, which should support your mission and goals. Determine what your organizational values are and build a culture that supports and exemplifies these.
  1. Develop a Strategic Approach: While many organizations recognize that talent branding can provide a multitude of benefits, only 55 percent have a proactive branding strategy in place. If your company doesn’t currently have a talent brand strategy, now is the time to implement one. Maximize your public outreach by promoting across diverse channels—company website, word-of-mouth, social networks, job boards and more. Be engaged and ensure that your organizational profile on job boards and social networks is updated regularly. It is important that you don’t just set up a profile and move on. Engaging and interacting with followers and fans is critical to strategic branding. Take part in the dialogue and help build your online presence and reputation.
  1. Give Your Website a Makeover: Successful talent branding requires outreach across a variety of channels. At the top of the list, however, is your company website. Your website is often the first point of contact for potential employees, so make sure it is effectively promoting your company. Your About Us and Career sections are the perfect place to showcase your organization. Consider incorporating employee testimonials and company accomplishments throughout the site. Create opportunities to share employer branded content with your potential candidates. Incorporate photos into your web pages to increase engagement, liven things up and provide a visual definition of the organization and the workplace. Keep your content fresh and, whenever possible, interactive. In addition, optimize your career page for mobile. With most job candidates searching for their next opportunities during the working hours, being able to view your page on their mobile devices is a definite plus.
  1. Branding on Social MediaRethink Your Social Media: Don’t overlook the power of social media. Thirty-three percent of young professionals turn to social media to research prospective employers. Your organization’s active participation across social networks will go a long way in building your online presence and reputation. Update your company’s profilepublish posts regularly, and make an effort to engage and interact with your followers. Strike up conversations, respond to discussions and take part in ongoing dialogues. Promote company activities and share awards and successes. If it bolsters your organization’s image or highlights a key part of your culture, share it!
  1. Build Brand Ambassadors: No one is more influential in communicating your company personality than your current staff. In fact, they serve as representatives of your organization to those outside the company. Messaging provided by employees is considered credible and trustworthy, so make the most of it. They should be embraced as ambassadors and advocates for your organization. Make sure they are well versed in your organization’s activities and are able to provide a branded elevator pitch. Encourage them to publish content on thought leadership blogs, participate in industry organizations and communities, and post insights on discussion boards. Invite them to share their day-to-day experiences on your company blog or to add content to your publicly facing career page—including testimonials and videos. Encourage your employees to get involved with your social media pages, including adding photos, posting videos and sharing messages that showcase their involvement with your organization.

Talent branding matters. With the industry expected to face a shortfall of talent, it is critical  insurers focus on attracting and engaging young professionals—including Millennials and Generation Z. Projected to account for more than 80 percent of the national workforce by the year 2020, these generations are sure to have a lasting and important impact on the industry. Properly engaging and attracting these next generations is key—and having a successful talent brand will be an important differentiator. Developing a multi-faceted, employee-focused brand will go a long way in promoting your company as an employer of choice. Only those organizations that take the time to cultivate a positive talent brand will be able to ensure future success.