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The importance of brand in a changing talent landscape

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This article originally appeared in Media Post

A brand is more than a logo — it’s a promise. In today’s talent landscape, organizations must use the power of their internal brand champions to remain relevant in a competitive job marketplace.

Today’s talent pool is different than previous generations, but what accounts for this transformation? Three major shifts have changed the way top talent navigates corporate America, leading to a rise in new demands on company culture, growth development and purpose.

Shift 1: The Mindset Shift

It’s no longer just about a paycheck, but, instead, a holistic employee experience that encourages people to bring their whole selves to work. Traditional benefits are now table-stakes, giving rise to a new normal in which employees seek dynamic work environments, creative company culture, and inclusive work communities. How this experience comes to life across an organization is critical to a brand’s reputation and its ability to retain top talent.

Shift 2: The Technology Shift

Digital channels have fundamentally changed the recruitment process. The new status quo resembles a virtual employment shopping mall where talent can peruse, consider and shop for their next gig. While you may have once found job inquiries in the local newspaper, it won’t be long until we see talent swiping right for their next big break.

 Shift 3: The Generational Shift

While past generations were steadfast in their loyalty to companies, newer generations’ loyalty to their craft supersedes loyalty to employers. This shift creates a macro climate in which employees are willing to change companies for better growth opportunities where they have the ability to create impact. Engaged employees who reap these benefits are more likely to become brand champions, who are 35% more likely to feel productive on a typical workday and 40% more likely to look for ways to improve their work. 

Companies that embrace these shifts leapfrog the competition to retain top talent. Case in point: Google which prioritizes culture, growth, and purpose to attract top talent.

Culture: Google has fostered a clear and distinct company culture that champions uniqueness and rallies behind those who break barriers and defy the status quo. This further reinforces Google’s brand promise to be the world’s number-one source of information for its customers, employees and stakeholders.

Growth: Google reinforces its information for everyone mission through personalized employee growth plans. With an emphasis on personal development, Google exemplifies its brand promise to enable knowledge expansion.

Purpose: By empowering team members to solve the world’s most pressing problems, Google provides its employees an opportunity to have a global impact.  This opportunity to make a difference gives deeper meaning to work and aligns team members toward a higher purpose that ignites innovation and unites team members toward a common goal.

By aligning team member initiatives with brand strategy, Google has changed the conversation about talent. Employees are Googlers, each celebrated for their unique googliness. If you’re a programmer and loyal to your craft, you can be a programmer anywhere. But, if you’re a programmer at Google, you’re a Googler first and a programmer second. And you can only be a Googler at Google.

Cultivating Brand Ambassadors

Brand experience is cultivated from within an organization. Creating and living up to an employee value proposition that empowers, entices, and invigorates team members is critical to a brand’s success. By cultivating a strong culture, companies can empower ambassadors that will excite and delight customers, in turn, driving business performance and positive brand perceptions.

Joanna Komvopoulos is a senior brand strategist at Siegel+Gale

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