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5 tips on how communications can help your company attract top talent

The national unemployment rate in July was 4.3 percent. That’s good news unless you are responsible for recruiting top talent to your company. Then the labor market is probably feeling a bit tight.

Clearly, the temperature is rising within Corporate America’s talent attraction arena. Finding and retaining employees is the top concern of human resource managers in Northeast Ohio, according to an Employers Resource Council survey.

America’s got talent, but convincing it to sign on the bottom line can be a headache.

Media coverage plays a significant role in whether recruiters are successful in their hiring efforts, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

“Negative publicity not only damages a company's brand, but also its ability to recruit talent,” CareerBuilder said in a release. The survey found that “71 percent of U.S. workers would not apply to a company experiencing negative press.”

Further, if your company is struggling under the burden of negative media coverage, hiring women may be problematic.

“Female workers are much more likely not to apply to a company experiencing negative press than their male counterparts,” CareerBuilder said.

It stands to reason that if negative coverage discourages applicants, then positive coverage attracts talented people. CareerBuilder came to the same conclusion.

Nearly four in five employers who have experienced positive press have seen beneficial impacts, the survey found.

Nearly a third of survey respondents experienced a greater number of applicants than before the coverage, and more than a fifth experienced more job candidate referrals from their employees. Perhaps more importantly, more than a fifth also experienced a higher rate of job offers being accepted.

These numbers are useful. But how to generate the sustainable positive coverage needed to help with talent attraction? Here are five factors to ponder:

  1. The story you tell must be authentic, compelling and unusual. Identifying a theme that is one-dimensional and shared by any number of competitors won’t get you very far. Try communicating your story to a family member. If they tune you out after two minutes, you haven’t yet identified your story.
  2. The executives communicating your story should understand why it is compelling. If your leaders aren’t passionate about telling their story, the resulting coverage will be similarly pro forma.
  3. Your story is likely more interesting and textured than you realize. Consider a variety of angles. Intentionally construct your story with layers that you can build upon over time.
  4. Identify the lessons your story offers others. People enjoy stories that entertain, motivate and teach. Consider: Would you want to work for an organization that has nothing to teach you?
  5. Plan the various chapters of your story and how you will tell them. Communication is like a road map. If you can’t envision how you are going to get to your destination, you likely will never get there.

Do you consider other issues when creating a communications strategy to tell your corporate story? Please send them along or post them in this blog’s comment section. I look forward to discussing them with you.

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