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Seeking Mr. Right: Using Employer Brand to Find the Ideal Employee

Manager of Talent and Perks at HNI

ideal_employee-853011-editedFinding the "right fit" talent for your organization is easier said than done. There's a lot more involved in strategically adding team members than simply posting a job on your website and waiting for applications to come pouring in.

Of course you need people who have the skills to do the work. But that's not enough. Your new hires need to share the values and attitudes of the rest of the organization. Without this alignment, there's little chance you'll find Mr. Right — right for the job, that is.

Here's a look at what's at stake when you don't find Mr. Right — and how you can spot him in a sea of Mr. Wrongs.

High Costs of Mr. Wrongs

Mr. Wrong (or the absence of Mr. Right) can be bad news for your organization. Without the right people, your business can't meet its goals — whether that's to grow, prepare for an acquisition or merger, discover untapped market space, or whatever other objectives you are pursuing.   

Hiring the wrong people is expensive. Think of all the costs that go into bringing talent on board: advertising a position, the time HR spends screening applicants, the time a hiring manager spends doing interviews, background checks, training, etc. That investment literally walks out the door when the wrong person is hired and eventually leaves for a better-suited position somewhere else.

Let's focus for a minute on the right people you already have in your organization. A person who is a bad fit can be disruptive for the folks who do align with your goals and culture. Bad interpersonal chemistry can poison productivity. What's more, your star performers could start to question what the heck is going on in the leadership ranks if too many bad hires turn over in your organization.

Leverage Your Employer Brand to Find Mr. Right, the Ideal Employee

The first step to restoring your foundation of talent is reflecting on your employer brand. To fill a pipeline with Mr. Rights, you've got to know how you stand against similar employers.

How are you perceived? Your brand isn't what you say it is  it's what they say it is ("they" being potential applicants, current and former employees, and anyone else who is vocalizing a perception about what it's like to work for your organization). Check out Glassdoor.com, LinkedIn, and other career sites to discover what people are saying about your company. It could be painful, but it definitely will be educational.

When you take a stand about your organizational values and where you want to go, identifying best-fit talent is a lot easier. The second step is moving your organization toward the brand you'd like to project and be known for. To make any kind of shift, you'll need buy-in at all levels of your firm, and it will take time.

The third step: Develop an ideal employee profile for each role that's deeper than the skills he brings to the table. At HNI, we've determined that we're bold, clear, different, and social in everything we do — and we hire people who act the same way. Answer this question: Based on your firm's values, how would an ideal employee "walk the talk" to deliver on the promises you're making to customers?

The final step is to target Mr. Right just like you'd target an ideal customer. Do your homework and figure out what Mr. Right likes to read, what social and digital media he uses, what interests him, etc. Your ideal new hire probably will be attracted to your organization because you share similar values, attitudes, and outlook. You just need to get in front of him and start the conversation.

Put as much into wooing Mr. Right as you do into wooing a top prospect. As it matures, a long-term career "love connection" with Mr. Right could be just as important to your business as landing this quarter's hottest client.

Over to you: How do you describe your Mr. Right (for the job)? How have you shaped your employer brand to attract Mr. Right?

CREATING A MAGNETIC   EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE:   Nurturing Talent From Recruit,  to New Hire, to Evangelist  June 23, 2015 | Live in Wisconsin

Related Posts:

Why HR Can't Afford to Ignore Employer Branding

Recruiting Drivers: Why Your Brand Matters

Worlds Collide: How Marketing and HR Can Join Forces in Recruiting

How to Lose a New Employee in 5 Days [Onboarding 101: The Series]

Photo by Dave Meier via StockSnap.io

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