The Myth of the Talent Shortage: Why You Need To Strengthen Your Employment Brand

Recruiting and retaining top talent has become one of the biggest challenges in the marketplace, and here’s why:

Let’s use fishing as an example. When you cast bait into a pond, your goal is to trick the fish into thinking they’re getting a delicious snack. But instead of finding something safe to eat, they’re being reeled in by a disguised hook, something that will cause them harm.

Too often, large companies approach their recruiting process this way, ignoring what their employment brand looks like to prospective employees. If you haven’t heard of this concept before, here’s how I see it. Just as your company brands itself to potential customers, your employment brand communicates your identity to prospective and current employees.

If you position jobs as juicy worms, only for potential candidates to find out the offer is bait with no real meal on the other side, they will leave and keep swimming until they find a habitat that has everything they need.

One of the biggest complaints amongst leaders today is the inability to find (and retain) good talent. Whether their current staff aren’t living up to expectations or they can’t seem to find quality candidates, I often hear the logic, “it’s not us, it’s them.”

It’s this kind of thinking that gets leaders into trouble, assuming that employees would be “lucky” to work for their large, successful company. But the reality is that the new generation of employees don’t want to work for an old school company who doesn’t share their values, lacks social responsibility and fails to provide future benefits beyond income.

So, unless you’re offering potential candidates what they truly want, good talent will keep swimming until they find a company that does.

It’s Not A Talent Shortage, It’s A People Shortage

When I hear leaders comment on the “labor shortage” happening in the US right now, I shake my head. Many companies are struggling to fill roles with good talent, and I’ll get to another reason for this in a minute. But here’s the thing: this is a “perceived” shortage. In fact, it’s not a shortage of talent, but one of people.

While there are still plenty of prospects in the job market, many have been taken out due to external factors. Since the pool of potential candidates is more limited, companies are struggling to fill their positions.

If you find yourself saying, “It’s hard to find good help these days,” you’re likely accepting two false realities:

  1. That your company portrays the right story, image and brand to attract the right people, and
  2. You believe that due to the “labor shortage,” there is not enough talent in the market to fill your positions.

Both of these statements are false, and The Great Resignation is one reason why you may believe number two.

What Is The Great Resignation?

Throughout 2021, approximately 33 million Americans quit their jobs. This is referred to as “The Great Resignation,” and a large number of employees were removed from the market. Among the many reasons for this shift are: lack of childcare, early retirement, wage stagnation, job dissatisfaction and safety concerns. While we may not have direct control over general inflation or a global pandemic, one factor companies can respond to is job dissatisfaction.

Recognizing that your company is only as successful as the people you employ will help you start to attract the best of the best. The tables have turned, and employees are now the customers. Finding quality help has become a sales job in itself — just ask all the new recruiting firms that popped up seemingly overnight.

Just as companies are interviewing candidates, candidates are now interviewing companies to understand their values, story, mission and offering. Potential employees want to ensure your employment brand aligns with their vision and values, as well as offers opportunities for personal growth, a positive work environment and overall true fulfillment in life.

So let’s take a deeper look at how improving your employment brand can impact your company.

Why Your Employment Brand Deserves Attention

While this may sound like bad news for your company, let me assure you this is not the case. This is a wake up call for all companies to take a hard look at their company culture to see if it aligns with the people of today.

Many organizations are managing — even coasting — through this Great Resignation, and they all have one thing in common: a strong, appealing employment brand.

If you can’t find quality talent, this is your opportunity to reimagine your brand and position it to attract the right kind of people. Your employment brand directly impacts the success of employee recruitment, retention of your current employees, and your organization’s reputation as a whole. An appealing employment brand will show employees that your company is a positive place to work, providing value to each and every staff member.

By building a solid and appealing brand, your newly attracted talent will help serve your customers better. People will WANT to work for your company and will be more motivated to work effectively, directly impacting your bottom line.

How To Build An Appealing Employment Brand

In the past, a good benefits package, two weeks of holidays and a box of chocolates at Christmas was seen as “enough” to keep employees happy and fulfilled — but jobs are no longer just about the ‘perks.’ People spend eight hours a day, five days a week, at work, and they want to enjoy it! Breaking your back for a job simply to enjoy a two-week vacation in Mexico once a year is no longer cutting it — finding daily fulfillment has become the #1 priority for the new generation of employees.

So when someone accepts a job with your company nowadays, the employment brand is a major consideration. It could be the answer to, “Why did you pick this company?” To build an attractive employment brand, you first need to identify where your company currently ranks on the employee satisfaction spectrum. Surveying your staff, asking for feedback and implementing their suggestions is a great place to start. You could even start surveying your applicants to ask what they are looking for in a company.

Once you start to collect and pay attention to this valuable data, you can develop a clear understanding of what the people of today want in a company, and start to create an employee value proposition that will position your company as somewhere everyone wants to work.

Start Attracting Top-Tier Talent

So as you can see, the line between recruitment and marketing your company is blurring. You need to position your employment brand the same way you would your product or service — by highlighting the benefits, telling your story, sharing your values and creating a positive work environment. Start building an appealing employment brand that will attract top-tier talent and help you retain them for the long run so you can solidify your company’s spot in the “Top Companies To Work For” column.

If your company is struggling in this department and you’d like to bring in an expert, book a call with me today!