What your brand voice communicates to potential employees
By Elsbeth McSorley
Solidifying a strong brand voice is the key to attracting top talent
Finding the perfect talent for your organization is tough. If you’re having difficulty finding candidates who are a good fit in terms of required skills, company culture and values, and other criteria for employment, consider the role that your brand voice plays when candidates are looking at your organization.
Your brand voice is the consistent expression of your brand through words (both in print and video) that engage and motivate the reader or viewer. Marketers tend to only think of brand voice in how it is communicated to potential customers and clients, but your human resources department should also think about what your brand voice is communicating to candidates. Here are the areas where your brand voice will be seen:
- Website copy
- Blog posts
- Promotional materials- brochures, leaflets, etc.
- Email campaigns
- Social media
Your brand voice encompasses virtually anywhere where your words will be seen and heard. If you’ve got a content strategy that’s getting your organization noticed, then your content will be seen across multiple channels. When you’re scoping out a candidate by reading their resume and reviewing their online presence, remember that they’re also doing the same thing to you. With opinions from current and former employees on review sites like Glassdoor and Yelp notwithstanding, candidates will also be looking at the message communicated on your website and the way you face the public through your content and social media.
Here’s what potential employees will look at — and look for — in your brand voice when considering if they should work for you.
Consistency is key for potential employees to have a positive impression of your brand voice. You should be able to break down your brand voice into a few words and keep your copy, content, and other text consistent. Take a look at some of your blog posts and see if they read like they belong to different companies; Does the voice sound like a different organization? You need to fix that inconsistency because it may give candidates the impression that they will also be treated inconsistently.
You may have a fantastic brand voice that is consistent while also consistently getting you lucrative leads and loyal customers. But at the end of the day, candidates are still people and while they may have the exact skillset you are looking for to fill a position, they may decide that your brand voice is not communicating the values they look for in an employer. Your quirky and fun brand voice for your killer app could initially attract a highly qualified coder, but that voice might not be communicating that you offer great benefits and work-life balance because you list free beer and ping pong on the top of the benefits list before things like health insurance and maternity/paternity leave.
There’s no better resource for how a candidate views your organization than one of your employees. They know how the culture is from the inside and they were also more recently in the candidate’s shoes at one time. Candidates want to know what working for these current employees really is like. Social media and blog posts from HR and management may read to them as advertising and propaganda. Words from people in junior roles and unrelated departments will get the candidates’ attention and give them a more positive impression that you ensure everyone in the hierarchy is involved in a healthy and cohesive workplace culture.
Now that you’ve solidified a strong brand voice for your organization and the job ad is up, look to these 5 ways to go beyond the ad to discover top talent.