The importance of branding in talent acquisition

It’s no secret that companies everywhere are not only struggling with attrition, but with attracting and retaining new talent in their executive functions as well. So in the face of the great resignation, which is undeniably a global trend now, what’s the non-obvious solution?  

The journey of retaining high-quality talent begins a lot earlier than many businesses think it does. Attracting, hiring, and retention are all part of a looped process that doesn’t stop at any given point, but is rather a continual process that trickles down and comes back around.  

Candidates are increasingly likely to take a company’s reputation into considerations when making a career choice. This was true even before the pandemic and other extenuating political and social circumstances and movements placed employers in the spotlight, with increasing public scrutiny on ethical practices. Elevating your company’s branding and looking at it from an outsider’s perspective is a key component of talent acquisition and retention in today’s environment.  

Like it or not, your brand already has a reputation. Pinpointing exactly what that reputation is within the public sphere is key to determining how you can best make your company attractive for potential candidates.  

North America is facing an increasingly tight talent squeeze, with suitable candidates for C-level roles being few and far in between. This is confounded even further by the fact that the candidate experience in most hiring processes is less than wholly engaging. Approaches to candidates are dry, companies aren’t fully transparent about their shortcomings, there is no follow-up or aftercare for unsuccessful candidates, and a significant number of the tools and technology using in hiring processes is outdated or no longer relevant.  

For example, I recently spoke with a candidate who had progressed to the interview stage with a company. After the interview, he fed back to me with a few comments that are increasingly common. The candidate said, “The interview only took 15 minutes and solely consisted of the hiring manager discussing my salary expectations and compensation package, and nothing else.” 

This ultimately circles back to employer branding: conducting such a soulless process isn’t doing your company any favours on the publicity front. That’s not to say that this is on purpose – it’s easy to let such processes fall by the wayside when they might be in need of updating. Therefore, there are a number of things to consider when looking to hire in 2022 and beyond:  

  • The length of the process 
    • The days of 6-8 week-long hiring processes are long gone. With the world evolving at such a rapid pace and candidates being in such high demand, companies can’t really afford to be courting potential hires for so long when it’s increasingly likely that they are fielding multiple offers. 
  • Clear career development opportunities 
    • One of the biggest reasons for attrition is a promise of L&D when someone first starts in a job, only to see nothing of the sort several years down the line. It’s easy to forget about training and on-the-job learning during the day-to-day, but designating a team to ensure that your staff is consistently learning and growing is not only a great method of retention, but to boost visibility in the public sphere as well.  
  • ESG 
    • Climate change is a mounting concern and ethical supply chains are a business imperative. The time is now to evaluate your environmental social governance and see where you can improve your sustainability efforts.  
  • Transparency 
    • It is natural that large companies, especially established ones, may have received bits of bad press over the years. Attempting to hide this can potentially backfire; rather owning up to any indiscretions from your company and having answers as to what actionable change you have enacted since then puts you in a far more favourable light. For candidates who may have questions about your reputation, making sure you are prepared is crucial.  

Companies that strategically communicate their brand to all consumers will reap the spoils of the war for talent. Invest in training for your hiring managers on the importance of the candidate experience as well as company branding, so they are clear on how to deal with questions of public standing. Having answers to any questions about your company’s public reputation will greatly increase your chances of candidates continuing along the hiring process. Simply asking yourself, “Would I want to work for this company on paper?” is a great way to pinpoint where to start.  

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends and developments taking place across the end-to-end supply chain. Feel free to get in touch with me to discuss any of the ideas mentioned above and how we can help you set up your organisation for success. For more insights, visit 

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