Your company has a story to tell. It’s your story. It’s the story of your culture, your vision, and the reason for your existence. Your story will set you apart from your competition, and, if told well, will act as a magnet for top talent. Those you interview are asking, “Why would I want to work here?” Give them a compelling reason!
How do you do that?
First, refine your story. Your story must be more than “We were founded fifty years ago by immigrants from Europe. Here’s what we build. Here’s how we’ve grown.” That’s your history … and perhaps it is appropriate to be told at an on-boarding session. But this is the story of why you exist now and what you offer to candidates who are interested in joining your team. You may need to clarify your vision. It must be a compelling vision that will attract top women and men to your cause.
Second, make sure your leadership team buys in to this story. Leaders lead. They set direction. They develop and mentor those under them. If they are going to represent you, they must be on board – not only with the development of leaders, but also the recruitment of those leaders. One company I worked with was not sure what their leaders “knew” and how they would articulate the company’s vision. I sat down with 4-5 of their key people and asked, “Tell me about what you do and what your company does. What sets you apart?” You can find out a lot by questions like that. In this case, what the company found out was not all that encouraging … so we took those leaders through some training on what were the key identifiers and how they could effectively communicate those to interested recruits.
Third, get the word out. How do you do that? Let me give you a couple of no-cost possibilities. First, use social media … it’s free and effective. Develop a strategy to highlight your company’s story through social media. Second, create a platform for your leaders to get the word out. Get them to speak at seminars and conferences, as well as recruiting events. Train them to effectively tell the story in a way that will grab the interest of high performers. Finally, work with them on developing their “likeability factor.” It’s true that top performers will be attracted to environments where other top performers reside … but only if they are likeable. Can they relate well?
How to get started: Begin by asking your leadership team, “Why would people want to work here?” How compelling are the answers? That should show you where you need to begin.