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In this episode, Josh and co-host Annelle Barnett, talks about branding culture and recruiting. 

Episode 55 | Culture Branding in Recruiting

[00:00:01] Welcome to the Epic Company Culture podcast where your host, Josh Sweeney, will give you, the business leaders, HR professionals and company culture aficionados the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

Josh: [00:00:16] Hello and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. This is season two, which is all about hiring. My name’s Josh Sweeney and I am joined here by Annelle. Annelle, introduce yourself.

Annelle: [00:00:32] Annelle Barnett, I am the founder and CEO of Marketing Mob, which is a marketing recruiting and staffing firm.

Josh: [00:00:40] Thank you. Before we get started I’d like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcasting space. Here we are. The topic of today is branding culture and recruiting. What we want to do is just talk a little bit about the companies that are really going forth and providing an amazing brand, showing off their company culture. Why it’s amazing to work for places and how that translates into your recruiting and the work that you’re doing. You have one side I guess, which is people who aren’t doing anything as far as conveying their brand, their company culture, why to work there, and then you have the other side. On that other side, what is like the crème de la crème that you’re seeing in this space?

Annelle: [00:01:27] Well I think it depends on the type of organization and the size of organization. Of course some of the Fortune companies have very extensive Employer Branding programs. But as like an entrepreneur, or a smaller business is concerned, there are small things that are really important to candidates. Things like, one of my clients some Modo Modo Agency actually, they provide pet insurance for their employees, which I think is a really great perk that a lot of companies wouldn’t have thought of. And then they also do a community service day once every quarter where the entire company goes out and does a community service day. In external recruiting, which is what I do, my job is to find those really great things that companies do and get that information out to the candidate so that they understand what the culture is and what it’s like to actually work there in the recruiting process.

Josh: [00:02:41] In the Company Culture Check video series that we do, we go out and we interview companies with great company cultures or certain aspects of their cultures that are just completely different or unique or amazing, for what they’re doing, but what we’re also seeing is there isn’t always a lot of content coming out about it. So, we have to help them uncover what it is, verbalize their culture, their company culture, and then on top of that discuss how do we get that message out. How do we tell them all the cool things that you’re doing so that you can attract the talent that you need?

Annelle: [00:03:14] Yeah absolutely. And I mean things like your website matter. If you have a dated website that is from ten years ago, and—

Josh: [00:03:27] And blinking things, Myspace kind of style.

Annelle: [00:03:30] Right exactly. Then you’re likely not going to attract more of the innovative, creative types of talents. Millennials are very big on company culture, having open workspaces and standing desks and sitting desks, and things like that. Those are all things that they’re very big on, as well as time off and work-life balance and things like that. So getting that information out to the candidates and the community is very important. Having that shown and portrayed in your online presence is also very important. If you have a really cool workspace but a really dated and old website, then they just don’t align.

Josh: [00:04:36] You’re not conveying the message. It’s all about communicating company culture, putting it out there.

Annelle: [00:04:42] And if your website doesn’t represent it then nobody will ever see your cool workspace, because the people who are attracted to the cool workspaces won’t even get past the website in order to come interview with you.

Josh: [00:04:57] All right so I’m going to bring us back to what you said earlier around the pet policies and pet insurance right. Okay, we are shooting a Company Culture Check video over a Payscape the other day. Amazing place. Amazing group of folks. Great company culture. And they literally had to pull back on their dog policy and put some bounds around it because—bounds like almost homeward bound—they had to really put some things around it, some bounds, so that they could control the situation I guess; they had so many dogs coming. There was interesting dynamics that were happening. I think that’s one thing that they communicate though. They’re using the dogs and the photos to find dog lovers that also are in FinTech and might like working for the company and they’re able to leverage that. We all know that dogs and cats and stuff on Instagram are big hits so, what are some other things that you might have seen in conjunction with pet policies and insurance that people have posted out on social media as a benefit to working for that company in order to attract candidates?

Annelle: [00:06:05] Well I think that’s the key actually, is that companies do have really interesting cool things that they’re doing for their employees, but they aren’t necessarily communicating it out into the world. Making sure that you actually capture this by video, and post it online both to social and on your website, and get the word out that these things actually exist in your company. Actually, an example that I just watched recently is, there’s a technology company that does a Toys for Tots donation every year and they give a toy for every proposal that they submit to their clients basically. So last year they submitted a thousand proposals. And so they went on a companywide shopping spree at Toys R Us. Although I’m not sure where they’ll go now that Toys R Us on (07:10 inaudible). So anyway, they did a shopping spree at Toys R Us where the employees picked out the toys for the kids and they brought in Toys for Tots and the Marines were part of it, and they videotaped every bit of this, and they showed the different employees picking out the different toys and why they wanted to pick out these toys and things like that. I think that’s a very good representation of that company’s culture. They’re concerned about the community. They have fun doing it. They were all dressed in like crazy Christmas sweaters or holiday sweaters or whatever the case. So I think that’s a good example. The same company actually has done a bike drive. They went out and bought bikes for kids and they spent a day putting the bikes together, and gave those out for the holidays and videotaped that of course and promoted that. So I think those are good ways to really get your company culture out there without saying, “Hey, we’re cool!” which anytime you have to tell somebody that you’re cool, you’re probably not cool anymore.

Josh: [00:08:27] That’s the way it works? Darn. I love the idea of being able to socialize and convey the message around what you’re doing and how you’re giving back. Every study that’s come out is, that’s getting more and more important. You had Generation X, then you have millennials and now we’re starting to move into Generation Z, where that purpose is of paramount importance. They can work for a company that creates a great job for them and is a great place to work. Or they can go with the challenge for talent and the fight for talent. Nowadays they can work for a company that’s just as good but also that it gives back and has a purpose and makes them feel good in working for the company. But you’ve got to let them know that that’s a program and socialize it to get those candidates in.

Annelle: [00:09:15] Yeah for sure. More and more I’m hearing from candidates that the purpose of the company and that they feel like they’re doing good when they go to work is very important to them and that’s what they’re looking for in their next organization. And if that’s the missing element then a lot of times they’ll pass up on the opportunity. Especially the passive candidates that we’ve talked about in several of the other podcasts, because the passive candidates, they’re already at a position that they’re perfectly happy at. And so if you don’t have something exciting to offer them about your culture and about how you give back to the community, they probably aren’t going to make the move.

Josh: [00:10:01] Yeah definitely. I think that maybe that’s another episode for another day around that passion and purpose and really bringing it home when you’re going after the passive candidates, so hopefully we can cover that one.

[00:10:13] In closing, think about what you’re doing, the amazing things you’re doing in your company that you should be videotaping, socializing, recording, whatever it might be in order to get that message out about what you’re doing and utilizing that to attract people that align with your ideals, and that can help in a way that recruits the candidates that you’re looking for.

[00:10:36] Thank you for tuning in to today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoy this content, please subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit epicculture.co. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on Tweet us @epicculture1 or email at podcast@epicculture.co.