By | Keith Coppersmith | Business Journalist | Bizzmarkblog.com
For so many business owners, improving their professional presence starts and unfortunately ends with company branding. Although that aspect of your presence does matter to a great extent, and it does greatly shape how your employees and potential recruits look at your business, you should also take a closer look at how your personal brand affects your professional image. At this point, some of you may roll their eyes. Well, this one’s for you, because the rest most likely already have a well-developed personal brand and use it to bring more, better-qualified candidates to grow their business, not to mention the perks of having a well-established presence in their industry.
You are a business leader, and as such, you should use your presence in your industry and your role in your community to achieve certain goals, one of them being building your own reputation. Branding is one crucial step in that direction, but there are other, equally relevant elements at play. To help you build and protect your employer reputation, here are a few key factors to consider and ways to ensure your presence grows stronger every day.
Establish your company culture
Although the title of this article may insinuate otherwise, building your reputation as an employer is not about you. It’s about how you treat your employees and what kind of behavior models and communication you encourage in your offices. You alone cannot possibly dictate the bonds that form in your teams, and certain levels of discontent can either be perceived as threats or as opportunities to grow and change. The key issue here is to foster a culture in your organization that will attract top talent and people who genuinely recognize and share what your brand stands for.
Depending on your industry and your desired results, you can tailor your company culture to reflect certain values. For instance, flexibility and enhanced collaboration are often found in innovative companies that deliver cutting-edge solutions. If you’re aiming for a global presence, then diversity and inclusivity are qualities you should consider developing under your roof.
Evolve your brand in this role
In addition to focusing on your personal brand to strengthen your reputation as an employer, keep in mind that this is only possible if your company’s brand is in line with everything you stand for. In more than one way, you should reflect your business values much like your business should reflect your personal values. When you present your brand to the world, don’t neglect to showcase what you do in the role of an employer: share videos, interviews with employees, behind-the-scenes snippets, and infographics showing how your company grows.
Keep in mind that focusing on brand development means devoting your time and creativity to evolving your customer-facing brand, but also your presence meant to attract employees. Actively crafting strategies that blend these two images allows you to actually strengthen your reputation as a whole, and thus effectively empower your brand in the role of an employer.
Empower employee recommendations
Reviews have become the contemporary replacement for the old-but-gold word of mouth, and it serves your brand both to attract customers that will benefit from your business, but also to bring more employees who will find your brand a good match for their skills. In the spirit of those very same reviews, you should actually utilize your employees as your best hiring source.
In fact, this puts the power into the hands of your employees to become your finest brand advocates and to lead by example. They are the ones to show other candidates why they find working with you so rewarding, and if they feel valued, they will be happy to bring the finest candidates they know to work with you. At this point, your employer brand will absolutely become a self-evolving hiring strategy that can grow with your continuous investment and education.
Make feedback essential
Being in the role of a business owner and a leader doesn’t mean that you’ve reached a plateau in your career, on the contrary. This is the moment when you need to step up to the many challenges such a role comes with, and embrace the learning curve of being a leader. The main quality of learning as a leader involves being an active listener, and someone who seeks out regular feedback from employees if you truly want them to grow under your wing and continuously build a work environment where the best of the best will flock and develop.
Feedback is not just a form to be filled so that your HR will be satisfied. It’s a mindset and a way of running a business that includes growing transparency, honesty, and open communication on a regular basis. Instead of run-of-the-mill meetings on Monday, you can set up a feedback loop that will help your employees make suggestions and share their ideas with you to improve the workplace.
You should always do your best to build and evolve your company’s brand, but don’t forget that the process includes your own personal reputation, too. Taking a strategic approach to developing your reputation in the role of the employer means that you will become a more prominent presence in your industry and ultimately attract the kind of talent that will skyrocket your success.