If your company is currently, actively recruiting talent, chances are you’ve faced the harsh reality that the talent pool is very shallow right now – and in some cases, it’s completely dry. My recent conversations with clients across industries have all revealed the same thing: it’s an incredibly challenging time for employers to recruit new talent.
We are in the midst of the harshest labor shortage that most of us can remember, and it’s hard to see it going away any time soon. Because of that, there are going to be winners and losers in the recruiting game, and in order to be a winner, you have to address the issue head-on. A limited talent pool is something none of us can control, but there are things we can do to make our company more attractive than our competitors.
At C3, we’ve found the most impactful way to do that is by aligning our internal culture with our external brand. What does that mean? Most companies put a lot of time, effort and resources into building a very intentional internal culture. But the problem is, most companies don’t have an external brand that echoes that carefully curated internal culture.
The first thing prospective employees (as well as potential clients, customers, vendors and partners) will do when considering a company is Google it. You may have paid a lot of attention to building a great website, but what about your Facebook page and other social media platforms? Or your Indeed and Glassdoor company profiles? Those are the sites that will come up on the first page of a Google search, and those are the platforms your talent pool will use to read reviews of your company.
Time and again, we’ve seen that while a company’s current workforce may praise the corporate culture, the external brand demonstrated by the sites referenced above does not reflect on the company in such a positive way. When you have that kind of misalignment, you are going to miss out on opportunities to recruit to your culture.
So, once you are aware of it, how do you fix this misalignment? Two simple keys to your approach will be engagement and proactivity.
Let’s start with engagement. No one expects companies to have only five-star reviews on Indeed, Glassdoor or related sites. But what they do expect is engagement. Often, negative reviews go without response. Companies would rather ignore them and look the other way than interact with them. The message that sends is that your company either isn’t sophisticated or you don’t care. Neither is ideal. Taking the simple step to respond to and engage with your reviews will go a long way.
The next step is proactivity. Most reviews are left by employees who are no longer with your company. Your currently employed workforce is almost certainly going to be much more positive about your company than former employees. That’s why at C3, we ask our current employees to leave their own reviews on those sites. We talk a lot internally about the intentionality of our culture: how we build it, but also how we maintain it by screening for the right people. Our employees understand that in order to protect our culture and preserve our atmosphere, we have to show it off. The more our workforce takes an active role in that, the more likely we are to attract people who are seeing the culture and understand the expectation from the start. You can incentivize your employees to leave reviews (think: a Starbucks gift card), or you can simply help them understand why it matters, and ask them to do it.
By managing your external brand with the same intentionality you use to build your internal culture, you will be a step ahead of your competitors in recruiting.
This is risk management. That’s why, at C3, we not only practice this ourselves, but also help our clients see where their internal culture is out of alignment with their external brand, and course correct.
Companies seeking commercial insurance typically have their policies priced based on the exposure information they provide to the agent. All businesses go through this process to get quotes. What sets C3 apart is how thoroughly we audit our clients’ operations. Beyond that, we also bring a video crew out for each client, capturing its operations, as well as interviews with the owner, leadership team and employees. The video we put together allows an underwriter to see, hear and feel directly from the company, to better understand the risk they are thinking of taking on. On the back end, we look at clients’ Indeed and Glassdoor profiles and evaluate whether they match the internal culture of company. Because we have a great picture of the company’s culture on video from those interviews, it’s easy to identify misalignment and show it to our clients in no uncertain terms.
This is risk management because if you’re not telling people why you’re a special place, you aren’t going to recruit people who are aligned with your culture. We need to invest in this space because terming heads is one of the costliest things that can happen to a company.
In a talent drought, businesses that take the extra step of intentionally aligning their external brand with their internal culture are going to give themselves a leg up in recruiting. Little things in accumulation all fuel your culture, your employees’ experience, how you recruit, and as a result, how you manage risk.