• Strategies for Effective Branding: Part 1

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    July 23, 2014

    Creating effective branding is a challenge for many organizations looking to attract top college talent. Here are several tips from Sue Keever Watts, founder and president of the Keever Group, to help strengthen your organization’s marketing and branding efforts:

    • Your employer brand must appeal to the spirit of its intended viewer—A successful brand appeals to a deep-seated need or a long-held value. It isn’t simply informational in nature. As you go about developing or refining your employer brand, use beauty, drama, emotion, and the desire for human connection to inspire action from our intended audience.
    • Be aware of and nurture human needs—Companies that nurture the human need for autonomy, mastery, and purpose have seen remarkable results. Use this information to influence how your company designs compensation and benefits for the new wave of talent. New thinking, new strategies, and new ways of attracting and retaining talent are of utmost importance to the success of your company. Make certain to address each of the three needs as you present your company’s offerings to students:
      • Autonomy—In what ways does your company give employees the freedom to determine how they get work done and with whom they work?
      • Mastery—In what ways does your company help its employees continue to master their areas of expertise?
      • Purpose—In what ways does working for your company provide employees with a sense of meaning, purpose, or connection to something greater than themselves?

    • Share a personal story about your organization—Accepting a job is an emotional decision, so don’t be afraid to share the emotions of a personal story when presenting your company. You and your recruiting team are the face of the company. The heartbeat is the personal story you tell about your experience at the company. It’s one thing to tell students that your company has “excellent benefits.” It’s another to talk about how through your company’s tuition reimbursement program, along with the support of your supervisor, you were able to pursue a master’s degree. A story doesn’t need to be longer than two or three minutes; it just has to be real and honest. However, what you can accomplish in story form versus what you can accomplish in bullet points in a PowerPoint presentation are worlds apart.
    • Consult others when developing your employer brand—An employer brand has to answer the question, “Why would a successful professional want to work for your company?” Don’t create your mission statement, employer brand statement, or values statement in isolation. Conduct focus groups and interviews throughout the company to understand from leaders, experienced hires, and new hires what the company stands for, what it values, what it aspires to be, what it is good at, and how it treats its people.