Employer branding is no longer a nice-to-do, it’s become a must-do in order to attract the game-changing talent we all need in this fiercely competitive market. Talent branding like a rock star requires fearless courage, great stage presence, and a powerful voice – and the yield makes it well worth your while.

In fact, research shows organizations that prioritize employer brand are:

  • 250% more likely to rate their overall talent acquisition efforts as highly effective
  • 185% more likely to have at least a high-level talent acquisition strategy in place
  • 130% more likely to see increases in employee engagement

More than ever, job seekers are sophisticated consumers of content and do their research. Investing in your employer brand strategy helps build a consistent yet distinct message, unity amongst your existing employees, and brand advocacy to help attract your future talent needs.

So how do you make your employer brand sing?

“All I can do is be me, whoever that is… – Bob Dylan

In other words, authenticity matters.

Branding yourself as some bland vanilla organization with the intention of not making waves leaves little to be desired or remembered by job seekers.

On the other of the spectrum of poor branding practices is creating a false impression of your organization and “faking it until you make it.” This depletes brand trust and creates a revolving door for new hires.

Taking the time to go through a brand strategy process pays dividends in the long run. You need to determine who you are, how you wish to communicate your aspirational culture in a manner that is honest, yet inspires your target talent population to hop on for the ride.

Got to build our love on one foundation. – Bob Marley

In other words, don’t build your brand in a vacuum.

Your brand needs to be built on one foundation or “there will never be, no love at all.” The fusion of one’s commercial/consumer brand with its talent brand is critical for building brand equity on both sides. Look for ways the brands intermingle and highlight this marriage in how you articulate your mission.

A great talent brand is founded upon the organizational mission as well as the “why” around joining the journey. This is where meaningful storytelling comes to life. Ensuring the talent brand is not built in a vacuum further enriches the commercial brand and supports longevity for both.

If you plant ice, you’re gonna harvest wind. – Grateful Dead

In other words, the employee and candidate experience matter.

Your brand has a spirit to it. It’s your employee and candidate experience each and every day. Living the brand promise requires an organization to look at each and every touchpoint and evaluate if it lives up to the talent brand that you created.

As famously stated by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Simply put, you reap what you sow. Embody a people first culture and your brand flourishes through employee advocacy. Fail to focus on this critical element and you run the risk of your brand efforts being wasted, not to mention the reputational impact.

According to the CEB, 33% of candidates share their poor experience with friends, and 12% will share it via social media.

You say you want a revolution. Well, you know, we all want to change the world. – The Beatles

In other words, a purpose-driven brand matters more than ever.

Purpose at work matters more than ever. What is your “why”? Embedding purpose into your employee value proposition (EVP) is vital to satisfying this human driver.

From Deloitte’s 2017 Survey, we can see the relationship between organizations with opportunities for social good, and millennials having a more positive opinion of business behavior and improved loyalty.

Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel. – The Doors

To sum it up, talent branding like a rock star requires leadership. Are you the captain of your own reputation, or is your organization allowing external factors alone to shape perception?

The talent attraction landscape is changing everyday and there is a war out there. Post and pray as a strategy will no longer suffice.

Welcome to the jungle…

Article originally published in Glassdoor