Grassroots Recruiting Through Your Employer Brand

In the modern world of intrusive commercials, social media marketing, and product placements it’s easy to understand how customers can often feel inundated by advertisements.  Instead of succinctly communicating your brand message, the result of this oversaturation leaves the client’s feeling like they’ve been clubbed over the head by marketing strategies.  The result is that when approached by traditional advertisements, customer’s are increasingly likely to tune out, change the channel, or even be put off by your product, service or brand.  

This oversaturation can, and does, translate to your brand message when it comes to attracting, or turning off, prospective employees.  Instead, how about trying the grassroots approach where your current talent base passively promotes by example. Grassroots recruiting through your employer brand should be a staple of any hiring plan, and here we delve into how to use it effectively.

Your Employees Are Communicating Company Culture

Current employees often communicate a company’s culture through their everyday interactions with customers and the general public.  Savvy companies will capitalize on this free exposure by giving comprehensive training to all incoming employees on the message they should express in their interactions with guests.

Disney parks are well known for providing positive, outgoing, and customer-centered interactions.  Disney “cast members” are instructed to stay in character constantly while they are “on stage” or in the public eye.  This doesn’t just apply to the character actors, either. Everyone from janitors to ride operators are given a multi-day training, complete with their own individual group mentors, instructing new employees on the nuances of the Disney brand.

Smaller brands or establishments can also benefit from this approach.  Fast food companies can instruct their employees to always greet guests with a friendly smile and cheery disposition.  Hardware stores can be instructed to accommodate guests running just a few minutes past closing time. Not only will these small steps gain and retain cash-paying customers, but it also sets a precedent that your establishment must be a great place to work.

Oftentimes, employees express a company’s culture through trained speech, body language and through a specific type of customer service or affability. Below are some examples of how workers communicate and show the company culture on a daily basis.

Train Employees To Exhibit Your Brand Effectively

Telling an employee your company’s brand message is one thing, effectively demonstrating it is another entirely.  Start by adopting a comprehensive training regimen, ala Disney as we mentioned above. Disney, in fact, has been so successful with their hiring program that other major companies hire out the magic kingdom HR teams to present onsite training sessions for their own staff.

Any training program should offer both written guidance and real-world demonstrations.  Asking your incoming class to act out specific scenarios is a great way to provide constructive guidance while allowing you to talk through one-off scenarios.

In addition to training, be sure your current management is practicing what they preach when it comes to exhibiting the ideal company brand message.  Management should be held to the highest of standards to ensure that lower level employees mimic their behavior and follow suit in adopting the company messaging.

It’s Not That Complicated

Last but not least we need to stress the point that your brand message, and it’s effective communication, doesn’t need to involve a hundred steps or layers of factors.  In fact, the most authentic communication strategies utilized by companies often involve a simplified back to basics approach. Consider these criteria when developing and implementing your brand message with employees:

  • Identify the concerns and motivations of your customers and ensure your employees are knowledgeable in how to address these issues.
  • Trust your current employees and their real-world experience and allow them some flexibility in delivering or even improving upon your existing messaging.
  • Actively engage your current employees for their feedback and recommendations.  After all, if your goal is recruiting a strong workforce it only makes sense that you’d go to the current group for areas of improvement.

However you choose to address your employer brand, never underestimate the impact that the smallest of gestures can have on your overall business.  Whether it’s a friendly smile or a standard greeting, especially when it comes to recruiting it’s often these minute plus factors that allow you to attract the best of the best in the competitive talent pool.

Article Updated from the Original on April 18, 2019