The right people can fast track your success as an employer. But the best talent – the staff that will bring all their skills, potential and motivation and pour it into their work – are going to be picky about who they work for.
And even if you do manage to find the perfect recruit, you need to be running a tight ship and keeping them challenged and incentivised if you want them to stick around.
Your employer brand is very similar to your general marketing brand, with one crucial difference: it’s staff facing, instead of client facing.
“Always keep up a dialogue with staff to find the sweet spot“
In the same way that you need a remarkable and credible brand to attract the best clients, you also need to have a well thought-out, compelling brand for your staff. This isn’t just about attracting candidates to recruit; it’s also about creating a workplace that your staff really enjoy spending time in.
The best business models focus on retention, not just conversions – and your people strategy follows this rule.
So how do you create an employer brand that attracts the best talent, and keeps it?
Build something great
The first step is to get your business in order. A well-run, successful operation will naturally earn itself a good reputation over time, both with potential clients in your area, and with professionals in your industry.
Ensure you’re ticking the boxes for all three areas of remuneration to keep your staff fulfilled and invested in the commercial success of the business.
Personal remuneration means offering people a job that allows them to still have a life outside work.
Your rota design, your holiday allowance, the degree of flexibility you give people, and the humanity you show regarding their personal lives. If you make it very hard for them to do what they need to do with their family and friends, and for their own wellbeing, then the job will be more taxing than it is rewarding. Your particular setup will determine what good looks like here, but keep up a dialogue with staff, both potential and current, to find the sweet spot.
“If you want the best people, you need to pay them well“
The professional incentives should be made transparent from the outset. A structured development pathway gives the recruit a timeline for profession and growth; and a framework for performance management (both formal and informal) ensures that you’re on the same page, pulling in the right direction.
In short, people want to feel that the level of challenge and progress that you offer them meets both their capability and their potential. Think of their whole career path, and how you can help them stay fulfilled whilst in your employ.
This one goes without saying. If you want the best people, you need to pay them well. You don’t necessarily need to be the highest paying employer in your sector – what you lack in financial reward, you may make up for in the other two categories. But you do need to give people decent pay that measures favourably against industry average and reflects their status as an important asset of the business.
Laying out a wage framework alongside your development pathway makes it clear to new recruits what they’re heading for, even if the pay is low when they start out at an intern or junior level.