You have your ideal in mind - a picture perfect employer brand, sharing your employees' experience and culture, supported by real stories and driven by talent attraction and hiring goals. You're just now setting out on the road to get there. It's a road full of detours and potholes, packed with other travelers who are all trying to get to the same place.
'How do I get to a place I've never been?'
"In three miles, your destination is on the right."
Now imagine a voice chimes in to share that the most direct path - the one you were prepared to take - is not the shortest one to reach your destination. It's a calming voice with options that you weren't expecting, and it tells you to take roads that are new to you. Along this route, you learn from your fellow travelers, spotting hazards and delays; benefitting from their mistakes and observations that they willingly share.
"Warning: internal roadblocks for your career site video spotted ahead."
Those who have the Waze navigation app on your phone, know exactly what this feels like. It uses Google traffic patterns, your geo-location and user defined data, to crowd-source the shortest distance to your destination. There's a feeling of understanding, and camaraderie when you see other 'insiders' on this special path.
The Human Resource Open Source movement (see HROS, founded by Lars Schmidt and Ambrosia Vertesi) has set the precedent for human resources sharing across roles, companies and industries. Learning about an organization's creative solutions to common HR problems is no longer a zero-sum game. Just because one person, one department, or one company wins, doesn't mean that another loses. We can share our approaches, our problems and our mistakes for the advancement of the community as a whole.
When you share, you need to define terminology, standards and how you measure success. The term employer branding was first coined by Simon Barrow, chairman of People in Business, and Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow of London Business School, in the Journal of Brand Management in December 1996. This is how a company wishes to be perceived by the people it needs to hire. When we say talent branding, it refers to the validated stories and experiences that only employees can share. Lifting up this transparent message is the purpose of our profession.
You also need to define standards of education and expectations of service. The Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals has recently launched with the goal of establishing minimum standards and ethics, advocating for the recruiting profession with governmental entities, as well as within the business community. We look forward to partnering with ATAP and other organizations, in the development of learning and empowerment tools and testing for talent branding excellence.
Speed traps are for suckers.
As talent brand practitioners, we are hungry for knowledge in this niche, the ability to learn from each other and ask questions of our peers. The ability to discover the right path for what we want to achieve in talent attraction. To follow people who have seen the shortcuts, learned from the pitfalls (by falling in the pit) and can warn you of roadblocks. By sharing what we learn, we also grow in our understanding.
The road less traveled comes with great benefits but also uncertainty. Not everyone takes this way. Many people take the well worn road, the safe path. Sometimes it's the unusual route with the quickest journey or the least tolls. It's the one we find when we trust our community. This is our goal for TalentBrand.Org.
If you're looking to learn and willing to share, join the movement today.