or why “talent” make quick decisions about moving to specific companies.
Renee Zellweger’s great line in Jerry Maguire illustrates when the right motivation and circumstances are in place, people will make snap judgements. The same goes for the challenge that organisations have in attracting talent on the Gold Coast. And interestingly, the theories that apply to clever brand management and sales and marketing, were never more critical to assist organisations become more competitive in the crowded and fast growing region of the Gold Coast.
Marketing and Brand managers often talk about identifying the ‘sweet spot’ of a potential customer’s marketing and, yet very few organisations realise that the first step to attracting and retaining talent is creating an employer brand that will immediately resonate with a potential new employee coming into this competitive market.
“very few organisations realise that the first step to attracting and retaining talent is creating an employer brand that will immediately resonate with a potential new employee”
The key issue around attraction and retention of talent in any discipline then, and at any level, is about “employee engagement” which is: “does the name of the organisation I am thinking of joining, supported by its reputation, its website and the dealings I have with it, make me want to approach them, or, if approached by them, say yes I’d love to work for that company”. So, there is a huge opportunity for marketing professionals to help their HR managers and CEOs get the employer branding correct so that you get to see more candidate than your competition.
The next steps all revolve around what happens when you get there and there are no shortcuts here and there never were. It’s all about how, from the CEO down it creates the right culture, provides the necessary training and support (the second most important reason people stay with a company is because they want to learn and grow), and line-up rewards and recognition. Whatever your current work force agrees that your company’s good at in all those areas, will feed into what becomes your Employer Branding and Proposition.
Incidentally, while most organisations have a decent marketing budget, HR departments are rarely given much to position the company as a whole to create an employer brand that leads to an increase in unsolicited CVs and enquiries for work. That last factor is the measure and smart companies around the world now all know exactly how many job enquiries and CVs they receive on an unsolicited basis versus specific advertising or search.
Indeed these smart companies often use some of the product and service marketing budgets to support Employer Branding by remembering that those who see that product literature are potentially employees as well.
So, coming back to Renee’s line, the most desired companies in the world, and on the Gold Coast, attract more than their fair share of people (even though they still find it hard to get the ones they want) by creating an initial positive impression through branding. And, in a competitive region like the Gold Coast with a lot of new companies starting up every day, this is even more important and falls right into the heartland of clever marketing.
Even though the predicted economic slowdown may have some impact on growth rates in our region and Asia, it is my firm view that having observed the last three downturns, the labour market won’t get much easier at all because, for the last 15 years, the growth rate of jobs has vastly exceeded the supply of labour and, in the executive area, the ageing demographic of industrialised counties means there’s more people retiring than joining the workforce.
So the bottom line is this: It is going to be hard to attract good people anyway and at lower and middle levels where you can’t afford competent executive search, you need to make sure that your employee proposition is thought through and easy to say ‘yes’ to. The rest is then up to good leadership, supported by clever and creative HR strategies.