Written by: Nikki Poe
When it comes to attracting talent, the game is changing. When Millennials enter the workforce they’re looking for a company that fits their lifestyle and ambitions. Gone are the days when prospective employees seek out the biggest name company and stay there for their entire career. Today, they’re looking for specific attributes in an organization, and many high-growth firms are adapting to these needs and desires. But how are they doing it?
First, High-growth firms tend to have strong brands.
Firms talk about brand in different ways, but at Hinge we think of brand as a combination of a firm’s reputation and visibility. A brand is not only what people say about you when you’re not around, it’s how well known your firm is in your target market, as well. So the better a firm’s reputation and visibility, the stronger its brand. Not surprisingly, a well-known, well-respected firm has an easier time attracting talent.
How do you build that brand recognition? I’d suggest you start with some research. Research will reveal what really matters to your prospective employees, so you can adjust your firm’s culture and benefits accordingly. High-growth firms also research their marketplace, which gives them exceptional insights into their target audiences. Many of today’s top recruits want to be able to make a tangible difference in the world, so they are looking for firms that have the drive and knowledge to affect real change.
Second, top recruits want to be associated with a leader in the industry.
Many high-growth firms have one or more high-profile experts on staff. We call these individuals Visible Experts. Because Visible Experts are recognized authorities in their industries they can be great assets when it comes to attracting talent. Many of the best and the brightest want to work with such a thought leader, or at least be associated with a Visible Expert’s firm. Even if your firm doesn’t have a Visible Expert yet, you can cultivate them. In fact, it’s not as hard as it sounds, though it will require firm commitments from both the individual expert and your firm. I encourage you to download the book, The Visible Expert®, and find out exactly how it’s done.
Third, be visible in social media.
Today’s top talent is super social media savvy. If your firm isn’t active on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, you risk being perceived as being passé and out of touch. Many firms use LinkedIn and Twitter for corporate communications and business development, reserving Facebook to convey their culture. This is a sound strategy, but you do have to post regularly. A Twitter account or Facebook page that goes into months-long dormancy is going to hurt you more than it helps.
At the very least, use LinkedIn to interact with your peers, promote new content, and post news about your company. If you have any time and resources left, build a robust Facebook page that features the human side of your business. Don’t be afraid to post photos of your staff — and make it clear that your team knows how to have fun! Twitter is a powerful tool, too, but it requires daily attention. So if you have to save one of these platforms for later, make it Twitter. When you are ready for it, however, it’s an ideal tool to promote blog posts and other content, as well as make important announcements.
It’s an old chestnut, but it’s true: a professional services firm is only as good as its people. By building a strong brand presence, showcasing your expertise, and increasing your visibility, you set yourself up to attract a steady stream of highly qualified professionals who want to work at your firm.
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