Using Your Brand to Recruit Talent Part 2

By Brent Closs, AVP Marketing, CAA Club Group

In our last Marketing Minute, we discussed the importance of aligning your internal and external brand to create an internal culture that connects with your brand image. But how can your brand influence job seekers to consider joining your brokerage?

Carla Spina, VP Human Resources at Echelon Insurance notes, “People join an organization based on its reputation—what they hear about it, what it stands for and how they treat their customers. Having a simple vision for employees that is connected and aligned with your corporate brand creates authenticity and fosters loyalty. Both should be easy to explain, and part of your recruitment process.”

During the interview stage, assess a candidate’s behaviour. Beyond their work experience, you’ll want to know how they would handle a difficult situation. “Asking behavioural questions can provide insight into a person’s values, so you can determine if they’d be a good fit with your corporate brand personality,” says Carla. “Find out how they would handle various situations, such as dealing with an upset customer, and ask them to walk you through their thought process. If they are rigid in their response, they may not be open to feedback or suggestions on how to handle things differently.”

Demonstrating why people should work for you

The pandemic has influenced what people are looking for from an employer. “Flexibility, strong values and opportunities for development have become increasingly important. Salary and status aren’t always number one,” Carla explains. 

Having a strong employee value proposition that aligns with your brand can show prospects what you have to offer. Many tactics can attract talent, and not all come with a heavy price tag.

The opportunity for growth and advancement. Professional experience shouldn’t always be your top priority. If you find a candidate whose values align with your brand and who seems like the perfect fit, consider hiring and training them. 

Talk about the why behind your brand values. Many organizations may describe what they do for their staff and within their communities, but often miss the critical step of explaining why these things are important to them. For example, an organization that wants a brand that is valued as progressive will offer internal initiatives such as a wellness program, flexible working arrangements, and dedication to diversity and inclusion. Focus on sharing the things that make your workplace distinct and align to your brand personality, while taking the time to explain why they matter to your organization. Do not assume that your prospective employees, or even your current ones, will make that connection themselves.

Consider an internal referral program. Candidates referred by your current employees are often a good fit. A referral program not only helps you find talent, but contributes to employee retention. By making your brand really clear to your team, they will help you find others who fit those ideals. If you have happy employees who love your brand, chances are they’ll refer the same type of people.

How to find the right candidates

Consider how your organization is represented on recruitment sites. Job seekers research prospective employer’s employee testimonials, descriptions of company life, and for values that align with their own. Make sure your brand is well described – not only in terms of what you do, but what you stand for.

Brand plays a role in recruitment activities like job fairs and recruitment events. These let you seek out people who may be a good fit with your team and core values, while showcasing your brand success and a view of your internal culture. You likely have brand ambassadors within your organization, so have them participate in these discussions to share their experience. Your job fair doesn’t need to be big – host an open house and let people come to you, so they can see what life would be like at the office. 

“Most insurance brokers are steadfast members and contributors to their local communities, and this is likely part of their brand vision. So, demonstrate how you’re an important part of the area, because people want to work in the communities where they live,” Carla concludes.

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