At #hrtechconf this week and if there's one sector that continues to get a lot of buzz, it's all things employment branding. Lots of solutions on the expo floor designed to help you look better than you really are as a company.
And that may be the problem, right? Maybe you shouldn't look better than you are. Maybe you should just broadcast to the outside world exactly who you are, and then focus on finding the best match for that, as well as occasionally up-selling (or down-selling) the right candidate to take a chance on your brand.
Take Vegas for example. When you talk to Vegas insiders, the people that come here 2 or more times a year, one thing is painfully evident - they have opinions on every hotel up and down the strip. The hotels really have a natural pecking order that goes something like this:
High End - Wynn, Venetian, Bellagio, Aria, Vdara, etc.
Mid Range - Trump, Mandalay, MGM, Cosmopolitan, Paris
Lower End - New York/New York, Luxor, Monte Carlo, Polo Towers, etc.
If you're a Vegas junkie, you'll tear apart that list. But the point is that in Vegas, there's a hotel brand for everyone.
The key? Walk for 5 minutes on the Vegas strip and you'll learn that Vegas is the new Ellis Island. It's not just for rich people, everyone comes here.
The key if you're a VP of Marketing at a Vegas hotel and you find yourself in the midrange or lower end - is not to try to sell people who like higher end brands that they should try you. The key is to make sure that everyone that would enjoy your hotel based on their life experiences and relative pocketbook knows who you are and wants to stay in your hotel.
The same is true with your employment brand and what it means for recruiting. You've got a rough and tumble company in comparison to others? Own it, and start finding the people who think your brand is pretty good. There's a whole bunch of people in Iowa who think the Monte Carlo in Vegas rocks. There's a whole bunch of people who think your company, challenged in many ways, is a great option for their career. But they may not be wearing Hugo Boss or a $200 hoodie.
But there they are - and the higher end brands intimidate them. That's your opportunity from an employment branding and recruiting perspective.
When it comes to your employment brand, don't try to be the Bellagio if you're the New York/New York. Go find the crowd that will love you for who you are and work with them.