People Follow People, Not Companies

Sofia and Petra sitting together and looking at a laptop

Why including your team in your employer branding strategy from day one is a no-brainer

“All employer communication needs to have a human touch: people follow people, not companies. Skilled people love to follow other skilled people, not empty corporate shells.”

 You will find me repeating the above in my employer branding work every day!

After all, your existing employees are often the best people to help you attract new talent. 

These are the sorts of questions that will probably run through your head when you’re contemplating a career move: who are the types of people you identify with? With whom do you want to work? Are you getting a realistic feel for the team at a prospective company (and how might this affect your eventual decision)? 

People will often ask themselves questions about people in order to figure out whether they’d fit in a company.

I truly believe that a people-centric approach is a basis for all good employer branding work. Makes sense, right? 😊

Whether we’re talking about new employees, customers, subcontractors, etc: people. follow. people.

Here are my five ideas on how to embrace the human approach and bring people to the forefront of your careers communication:

1. Include people pictures on your careers site

Not just corporate images, but genuine authentic images of your people in their ‘natural habitat’. Another good idea: link to your company’s Instagram account from your website so that people can get a realistic feel for the day-to-day at your company.

2. Make people part of software or product launches

Ask your marketing and communications team to really lift the lid on a launch’s backstory: tell the story of the actual people who made the launch happen. We all know it’s not just the business managers who made it happen! Why not include a quote from your software architect and other technical team members?

This strategy also underlines the fact that you appreciate the hard work that EVERYBODY puts in at your company. Put your people on a pedestal.

 3. Have clear guidelines – and permissions – on how to talk about work on social media (and lead by example)

Often, employees are not 100% sure what’s OK to talk about on social media and what’s not. This uncertainty often stops people from talking about their work to their networks (a.k.a. your key talent audience). After you’ve shared the guidelines with your team, make sure you practice what you preach!

4. Start an Employee Experience/Ambassador Board

I often hear the excuse that “our developers are not interested in all this…” and just as often I’ve proven people wrong by actually asking the software engineers themselves!

For obvious reasons, your team doesn’t want to get involved in sugar-coating sh*t. But when you open up about all the possible ways of being involved with employer branding (blogs, events, careers site development, internal employee experience enhancement…) people tend to get pretty excited about it.

Creating an employee experience board means setting up a dedicated group of employees to drive employer branding initiatives at your company. Start small with an informal monthly coffee meeting?

As the leader of the board, you are the enabler: consider what are the most natural ways for your employees to raise awareness about your organization? Build on those. Share best practices and give out clear guidance with practical tools and tips.

5. Upskill your recruiters and invest in their personal brands

Your recruiters are often the first people a candidate meets when they get in touch with your organization. 

What kind of impression do they make? Are they perceived as industry experts in their field? Who do they know? How large is their network? How have they treated their candidates in the past? 

Are they out there talking about you as an employer enough…and is it part of their job description?

Ensure you dedicate enough resources to your recruiters in order to build an engaging talent brand around them.

Candidates often connect with top recruiters when they start looking for new career opportunities. “I trust this recruiter; they must have some ideas on what I could do next in my career”. 

Once again, people follow people!

In an employer branding nutshell: always think about different ways that you can make the PEOPLE in your organization shine.

💡 What kind of best practices come to mind? Please, continue the discussion on social media (tag me there, so I can participate: Petra Erkkilä)!

👉 Or if you’re interested in finding out how to set up some of these activities in your company, we can surely help! Contact us: Petra Erkkilä ([email protected]) & Vivi Brooke ([email protected]).