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Employer Branding: Attract Talent That Aligns with Your Purpose and Values

Strategic Comms
Employer branding strategies

Medium and large-sized organizations are currently dealing with a complex talent acquisition and employer branding landscape. It is marked by significant transformation not only in how hiring is done but also in how prospective and current employees perceive their employer. There is a need for organizations to rewire their employer branding strategies and hiring practices. The Mercer Global Trends Report for 2024, stresses that ‘we are at a cusp of a revolution’. 

Organizations need to invest in employee communication and employer branding programs that help to better articulate their purpose and show that they are committed to living their values. When every employee is aligned with the organization’s purpose, it leads to a more resilient, innovative, and cohesive workforce capable of propelling it forward.

The Talent Acquisition Landscape Is Getting Complex

Recruitment and Hiring teams are facing complex challenges in attracting talent in 2024. Some of these challenges may not be new, but the way they need to be handled and addressed must evolve. 

Companies are finding it challenging to fill roles with the right talent, particularly in tech-driven sectors where the demand for skilled professionals outpaces supply. The emphasis is on not just attracting candidates, but finding those who align with the company’s culture and values.

Companies are facing higher attrition rates, exacerbated by the “Great Resignation” trend that began in the wake of the pandemic. Workers are prioritizing personal values, work-life balance, and job satisfaction over traditional loyalty to employers. McKinsey’s insights reveal that employees seek roles that offer more than financial rewards, prompting a shift towards jobs that provide a sense of purpose and alignment with personal values​​.

The hybrid work environment, while offering flexibility, also presents challenges in maintaining employee engagement levels. Organizations are experimenting with different models to find a balance that maximizes productivity without compromising employee well-being or company culture.

Global events, including the ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, continue to influence talent acquisition strategies. These events have led to economic uncertainties and shifts in the global job market, affecting how and where organizations recruit and retain talent.

Technological advancements, particularly in AI and machine learning, are reshaping the recruitment process. While AI helps recruiters to sift through resumes faster. It also helps candidates create resumes that are designed for AI scanning. Recruiters must use their intuition and experience to shortlist and interview the right candidates. 

Why Purpose and Values Matter?

Employees, particularly from younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z, seek more than just a paycheck from their jobs. They want to work for organizations whose purpose and values resonate with their personal beliefs and aspirations. They are looking for meaningful work, but also employers that value their inputs. 

Deloitte’s Insights’ research on millennial and Gen Z workers shows a strong preference for workplaces with a clear commitment to social and environmental responsibility, highlighting the importance of aligning organizational values with broader societal concerns to attract younger talent.

A strong sense of purpose and shared values fosters loyalty among employees, reducing turnover rates and building a stable, committed workforce. Employees aligned with their organization’s purpose and values are more engaged, exhibit higher levels of job satisfaction, and are more committed to their work and the company.

Companies that effectively communicate and live by their purpose and values tend to perform better financially and have a stronger brand reputation, as they can attract and retain motivated employees who are invested in the organization’s success. They are most likely to have a stronger employer brand in the long run. 

A Strategic Framework for Attracting Purpose-Aligned Talent

Here are some tactics to help attract talent who align with your organization’s purpose and values. 

Clearly Define and Communicate Your Purpose and Values

Having a well-articulated purpose and set of values is essential for any organization seeking to attract talent that aligns with its mission. A clear purpose and values act as a guiding star, helping employees understand their role within the larger picture and how their work contributes to the organization’s goals.

Companies like Patagonia have successfully embedded their purpose and values into their corporate identity, emphasizing environmental sustainability and social justice, respectively. This clear articulation attracts individuals who share these passions and want to contribute to a larger cause through their work.

Develop a Purpose-Driven Employer Brand

Employer branding plays a critical role in attracting talent. A purpose-driven employer brand communicates not only what the company does but also why it does it, appealing to candidates seeking meaningful work.
To integrate purpose and values into the employer brand, companies can showcase real employee stories, community involvement, and sustainability initiatives, demonstrating their commitment to these values in action.

Leverage Inclusive and Value-Based Hiring Practices

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are crucial in the recruitment process, ensuring that hiring practices are fair and attract a diverse range of candidates who align with the organization’s values.
Google has implemented DEI-focused hiring practices, including structured interviews and unconscious bias training, to ensure that its talent acquisition process aligns with its organizational values of building an inclusive and diverse workforce.

Foster a Coaching Culture

Continuous learning and development opportunities allow employees to grow alongside the organization, aligning personal career goals with the evolving needs and values of the company. By promoting a culture of coaching, organizations can retain talent and ensure that employees’ skills and knowledge remain aligned with the company’s strategic objectives and values. The BetterUp Insights Report for 2023 highlights that a Coaching Culture leads to ‘a workforce that feels safe to take risks, push themselves, and stay the course even through bouts of uncertainty and change’.

Implement Engagement and Retention Strategies That Reflect Organizational Values

Engagement and retention strategies that reflect an organization’s values help in maintaining a motivated workforce that is deeply connected to the company’s mission. Leaders play a key role in modelling and reinforcing these values, creating an environment where employees feel valued, understood, and aligned with the company’s purpose.

Utilize Data and Technology to Enhance Alignment Efforts

Data analytics and technology can provide insights into how well employees’ values align with the organization, allowing for targeted strategies to enhance this alignment. Through employee engagement surveys and performance data, companies can gauge the effectiveness of their efforts to align talent with organizational values and make informed decisions to improve their strategies.

Attracting talent that aligns with an organization’s purpose and values requires clear communication, inclusive hiring practices, continuous learning, engagement and retention strategies, and the use of data and technology. 

Some Examples

Both Salesforce and Google demonstrate that aligning organizational purpose and values with talent attraction and retention strategies leads to a motivated, loyal workforce that is committed to the company’s success. These companies have established themselves as desirable employers by embedding their core values into their corporate identity and operations, creating a work environment that attracts and retains talent who share their vision and values.

Salesforce, a giant in cloud-based CRM solutions, places a strong emphasis on its core values of trust, customer success, innovation, and equality.

  • Purpose-Driven Culture: Salesforce integrates its purpose and values into every aspect of its operations, from employee onboarding to daily business activities, ensuring that its workforce is continually engaged with the company’s mission.
  • Employee Empowerment and Philanthropy: The company’s 1-1-1 model of philanthropy, which dedicates 1% of Salesforce’s product, equity, and employee time to community initiatives, aligns with employees’ desires to contribute to societal good, enhancing job satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Inclusive Leadership and DEI Initiatives: Salesforce is also known for its leadership in DEI, actively promoting an inclusive culture and diverse leadership team, which resonates with employees and potential candidates looking for a workplace that values diversity and equality.

Google, renowned for its innovation in the tech industry, has successfully attracted and retained talent by focusing on its purpose and values, emphasizing creativity, freedom, and impact.

  • Innovative Work Environment: Google’s open and innovative work culture encourages creativity and freedom, aligning with its core values and attracting talent who value autonomy and innovation.
  • Employee Well-being and Growth: The company provides extensive learning opportunities, career development programs, and wellness resources, which reflect its commitment to employee well-being and professional growth, leading to high levels of employee engagement and retention.
  • Social Impact and Sustainability: Google’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainability is evident in its operations and corporate initiatives, attracting individuals who want to work for a company that makes a positive impact on the world.

 

Invest in Proven Employer Branding Strategies

Organizations need to invest in employer branding strategies that have employees at the centre. They must adapt old yet proven approaches to a newer hybrid working environment. 

Build a great employee experience:

As the competition for top talent intensifies, the emphasis on creating a positive and engaging employee experience from the recruitment phase onwards will become a key differentiator for organizations. This includes everything from the initial job posting and application process to onboarding and long-term career development.

Investing in Employer Branding:

Building a strong employer brand that resonates with potential candidates and reflects the company’s purpose and values will be crucial. This requires consistent communication and engagement strategies that showcase the organization’s commitment to its employees and the broader community.

Invest in Manager training:

Organizations must accept that in a hybrid work set-up, the team manager is an important link in the communication chain. However, most managers have not undergone sufficient training in how to communicate effectively in a hybrid environment. Even thought the amount of communication has increased, the overall effectiveness has come down. This needs to change. 

Read about how to create communication strategies to improve employee engagement and connection.

In Conclusion

As the business landscape continues to evolve, medium and large-sized organizations must be proactive in adapting their strategies to attract and retain talent that resonates with their core mission. The Mercer Global Trends Report for 2024 emphasizes the revolutionary shift in talent management, highlighting the importance of clear communication and living out organizational values.

The key to success lies in crafting a compelling employer brand, fostering an inclusive and dynamic workplace culture, and embracing a coaching culture. By doing so, organizations can create a work environment that attracts, nurtures, and retains top talent, ensuring long-term business resilience and success.

As we look to the future, it’s clear that the organizations that invest in understanding and integrating their purpose and values into every facet of their talent strategy will be the ones that thrive. They will not only enhance their competitive edge in the talent market but also build a legacy of meaningful work and sustained organizational growth.

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