The Power of Social Media- Talent Brand

By: David Smelson, Sr. Sales Manager

What LinkedIn Taught Me About the Power of Social Media – Talent Brand

Last week I was invited to a LinkedIn seminar by a high school friend of mine who is currently an Enterprise Account Executive with LinkedIn in the Search and Staffing department.  I enjoy hearing experts speak on subject matter that may be outside my area of expertise or responsibility as I often learn things I would never have the opportunity to learn otherwise, so I accepted the invitation on the hopes of a new experience and seeing a friend that I haven’t seen in person in 25 years.

What I learned is that the subject matter WAS pertinent to my position, but more importantly, it is important to yours as a business manager/owner. You wear all the hats at your company, or if you don’t wear them, you certainly are in close contact with the people who do. Being the best recruiter you can be will help your business. Having good staff can make or break your business as these are the people you’re paying to deal with all of your customers, vendors, and other employees every day. The subject of the seminar dealt directly with this: The Power of Talent Brand. Some of the concepts are focused towards larger businesses, but they definitely translate to the microcosm that is your restaurant.

Talent Brand is the idea of applying branding concepts to talent acquisition.

It’s about attracting the talent that is going to support your brand. You want your business to be known as a great place to work. Talent is one of your company’s most important brands.  It is a highly social, totally public commercial for your company that incorporates what your talent; past, present, and potential thinks, feels, and shares about your organization and workplace.

For larger operations, people are using Google, Glassdoor, and other websites to see what other people have to say about the hiring process and what it means to work for you. For the smaller operation, it’s as simple as what your employees say to the employees of other restaurants when they’re grabbing an après-shift cocktail at the local watering hole.

The Talent Brand is how you’re known overall.  Your business might have a reputation in one area that is inconsistent with the reputation it has in another. You may need to work on that.

What do you gain by having a consistent, positive, attractive, engaging Talent Brand?

1. Cost savings: You reduce your recruiting expenses because people are coming to you because they want to, not because some recruiter is pushing them to.

2. Lower Turn-over: Also a cost saving as it can take a lot of time to train someone to do something the way you want it done. The stronger your Talent Brand is the lower your turnover rate will be.

3. Customer Experience Management: Your customers will more fully experience your vision if you have employees on your team that want to be there because of what you and your business stand for. We’ve all seen what that can do to a dining experience. Some places have it, some don’t, and you may not be able to put your finger on it exactly, but it’s there.

How do you build your Talent Brand?

Have a clear message about what you stand for, what you offer and why your company is good to work for.

Who are you? How do you connect? What is your role in the bigger picture? Do you have one?

It’s not just about the conversation you have with the people you’re hiring, it’s the conversation that your employees are having with their friends and with your guests.  It has to be real.  It has to be authentic. Honest. Honest about where you’re at and what you’re offering.  Not where you THINK you’re at and what you’re offering.

Think about the stories you tell when you’re celebrating an event in your organization or an employee.  What are you celebrating? How do you tell it? THAT is a key to finding your Talent Brand and building on it.

Your Talent Brand has to be:

• Consistent – it must build trust. It cannot be subject to whim. It has to happen 100% of the time.

• Credible – it must deliver on its promises. Anything less will come back to haunt you and chip away at what you’re building.

• Inspirational – it must connect with everyone on an emotional level. If it doesn’t, no one will fight to protect it.

• Unique – It is what separates you from your competition. What is it that you do/feel/think/engender differently?

How do you get it into the marketplace?

Use free or minimal cost tools that are available to you. Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter, etc. are all resources that prospective employees are actively using. It’s not all about B to C…it’s about B to E….everyone.

• Make your employees ambassadors for your brand as well. Link to them, friend them.

• Give them good stories to tell in word and example.  Mostly in example.

• Empower them to be everything they can be.

There is no end to this once you start. It is a continuous circle as using your Talent Brand will beget more business, more excellent employees, better customer experience, and more Talent Brand.





One thought on “The Power of Social Media- Talent Brand

  1. Lisa Shapiro
    April 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Very informative, Dave!

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