MONDAY 3 OCT 2022 3:50 PM


Lizzie Barrett, group brand strategy director at Symphony Talent, talks attracting (and retaining) talent during a period of uncertainty and turbulence.

I can’t help but feel that we are all really tired, aren’t we? Even in our professional lives, there's almost constant change. First Covid-19 and lockdowns, and then returning to the office. However, it turned out that people didn’t want to return to offices, or they just needed some form of new start, and so we went into the Great Resignation (which was actually the ‘Great Job Switcheroo’, considering how unemployment actually went down).

While all of that was going on, we also had greater focus on inclusion, diversity and the rights of marginalised groups, with a lot of companies going through significant changes from the top-down. And now we have another epidemic, a potential global recession on the way, and apparently polio’s coming back? Just… wow. 

It is A LOT.

Which means it’s super understandable that companies are seeking to hire quality talent: talent acquisition teams, HR directors and employer brand managers are all looking at their current talent plans and wondering ‘what the hell do I do?’ and ‘How can I make a plan for our future needs, execute that plan and then make sure I get good ROI on my marketing when everything seems to be constantly changing?’

This is where employer brand reputation management really shines - more than recruitment marketing, if you’re managing the reputation your company has as an employer, you’ll be able to weather whatever storm is coming your way. 

If you can define your employer promise - the emotional reason people would choose to work and then stay working for you - then you need to articulate it, repeatedly. You have to build a connection between your company logo and that emotion you want candidates and employees to associate with you. It’s going to last longer than a lockdown, it will be there whether talent is in the office or working from home, and it will still be the emotional reason to choose you after the recession ends. Employer brand awareness is going to save you money in the long run by making the decision to choose to apply to your company - or not, and thereby saving your recruiters time - far easier. 

And that’s because while promoting specific jobs and recruiting for hard-to-reach or volume positions is always going to take an immediate budget, if you’re setting aside a regular sum for continuous employer brand awareness and management, you’ll be growing your passive audience. This is the talent who might not be ready to move jobs yet or that are in a skilled role that you don’t have a vacancy open for yet, but who will thrive in your company because they share the behaviours, attitudes and mindset that will create mutual success.

It’s this audience that is going to be signing up for your talent communities and following you on LinkedIn, interested in positions and news because they want to contribute to your company’s vision. And it’s this audience that you need to keep if you’re going to come out the other side of every ‘what’s next’ still smiling. 

So, with all this change going on around you, if you want to make sure you’re going to get and keep the talent your company needs for the future, it’s time to invest in an always-on employer brand approach.