The success of a direct-sourcing initiative depends greatly on the company’s talent brand. In fact it is one of the most important factors that organizations need to consider when building their direct-sourcing program. Without a strong talent brand, companies may have an uphill battle in attracting candidates.
A talent brand, however, is not to be confused with the brand that is controlled by your marketing team. Marketing determines what the company’s logo looks like and designs campaigns to promote an ideal company image. This brand is less complicated to manage than a company’s talent brand, which is not easily controlled.
Candidate experience. An organization’s talent brand is not just a reflection of what people think of the organization, but also what people think about the work culture and experience of those employed or engaged by a company. It is an index of their overall satisfaction with the experience. In today’s digital world, candidates easily have the ability to research companies through platforms like Glassdoor or even social media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. As the talent marketplace continues to tighten, a company’s talent brand may be a deciding factor for top in-demand resources.
Harnessing your brand. When first exploring your program’s talent brand and how to harness it, a great place to start is with a group that historically has been responsible for owning it: talent acquisition. While the concept of a talent brand may be foreign to some contingent labor programs, the recruiters and TA leaders will likely know this brand well and how to best market it to candidates. It is important to create alignment with this group to ensure both teams have high brand awareness.
The contingent card. As organizations focus on their talent brand, the conversation often sways toward full-time employees and excludes the contingent population. While many programs intentionally separate employee and contingent populations for potential co-employment concerns, many forward-thinking companies recognize how large of a population contingent workers are and how impactful their engagement is. One key to successfully managing your talent brand is considering how to extend your company’s culture to the contingent workforce and think more openly to the inclusion of this workforce.
A great starting point in including contingent workers in your talent brand management can be as simple as asking for their feedback to identify challenges. In the same way you may solicit quality feedback from your engagement managers about contingent workers, direct-sourcing programs should be giving advocacy to the workers, measuring their satisfaction and actively looking to create a highly satisfied workforce that refers others and would be eager to return after their engagement is complete.
Regardless of the maturity of your direct-sourcing program, harnessing and managing your talent brand should part of the strategy. Remember to think not just about how you message your talent brand to prospective candidates, but how you create an environment that reinforces a positive brand experience throughout the engagement lifecycle.
In my next article, I will take a closer look at talent pipelines and what populations to focus on to get the best value.