Attracting, selecting, and retaining top talent is a challenge for many businesses. Join long-time executive search professional Scott Peterson, alongside Steve Yakesh, President of Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search at one of the leading executive search firms, to discuss insights and techniques to assist companies to achieve their best results. If you’re an executive leader looking for advice on hiring the best talent for your company, you’ll want to hear this advice from these industry experts.
Steve Yakesh | President, Direct Hire & Executive Leadership Search
As President of Direct Hire & Executive Search, Steve Yakesh leads Versique’s award-winning permanent placement division with more than 20 years of experience. Additionally, he guides strategy for Versique’s twelve practice areas, including IT, HR, Finance & Accounting, Engineering & Operations, Sales, CPG, Digital Marketing, Executive Retained Search, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Family Owned and Demand Generation.
Scott Peterson | Vice President, Executive Leadership Search
Scott Peterson leads the Retained Executive Search division at Versique as the Senior Practice Director. In his role, Scott fills critically-important senior level positions such as CEO, CFO, CIO, COO. Scott has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting. Additionally, Scott has also served on the Board of Directors the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, Medina Golf and Country Club, as well as several youth sports organizations.
|Get ready for your weekly dose of talent strategies and tactics from industry leaders to help you attract, select and retain your top talent. You are listening to Versique’s inside executive search with Steve Yakesh and Scott Peterson.
|Hello and welcome to the Inside Executive Search podcast. My name is Steve Yakesh and this show is for business owners, board members and executives exploring strategies and tactics to attract, select and retain top executive talent. If you’re challenged in not feeling 100% confident that you have a plan to recruit the very best for your key roles, this podcast will help you get there. Last week we covered the key components in selecting the right executive search firm, but today we’re going to be focused on our last element on the attraction phase finishing up attraction. Yeah, so the last one we’re going to talk about is employment brand. What is it, why it’s important and how to fix it if you don’t have a good one. All right, that’s very true. All right, so that said, we’ll bring in Scott. For our first-time listeners, Scott is a 20 year veteran in the executive search industry and leads Versique’s Executive Leadership Practice. All right Scott, so we’re going to talk employment bra
|Yeah, it is topic that a lot of people don’t really recognize that is really an important piece to recruiting and attracting talent. Let me give you an example. If someone would ask you, Steve, what it’s like to work for Google, what would you say?
|Hip. Cool, trendy, relaxed, flexible, innovative.
|Right! How do you know that without ever working there? Just what I hear. Right, it’s what you hear. So that’s the amazing thing about employment branding, just like a corporate brand, the reputation proceeds the experience, right? So, we don’t need to really work for a company to have an understanding of their employment brand somehow we just know. Absolutely.
|Building an employment brand, so let’s say a company has been around for, maybe it’s 20, 25, 30 years, or it’s a startup. How do you build your employment brand?
|Yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s important to kind of step back and say what, what is an employment brand as well? Um, it’s really the market perception of what it’s like to work at your company. Sure. Um, in other words, it’s the image that your perspective current and past employees have their minds about the employment experience at the company. So company culture, work environment, employee benefits, employee value proposition. Remember back to our early podcasts about golden, that compelling story. This is what we’re talking about. Element one of the key elements.
|Absolutely. Okay. So why build it then? Um, we, you mentioned it’s going to help you on the attraction component. Um, and I know the market’s tight, so it’s really just an, maybe it’s that one opportunity that somebody has a better feeling about your company and they may proactively come or why, why build it?
|Well, I think when you look at the statistics right now that there are more jobs than candidates, uh, entering the market, um, as a result, you know, we keep hearing in the term war for talent, right? And it’s only getting more intense for that. So your company wants that to keep the positions filled, you need to have strategic advantage, um, by developing and marketing your employment brand new insurer that people that are looking for your company, no why they should work for you.
|Yeah, absolutely. And so bring it full circle that’s going to help you, whether it’s an entry level role, whether it’s an executive role, but when you are going out to attract key executives, if there is a great employment brand and it’s got to help in the recruiting because it’s going to give them confidence that they’re going to be able to attract talent in the rest of them.
|Yeah. And it’s shown that it’s shown that a great brand attracts talent but also retains talent. And so those are really key components. Yeah. Like you said, not only to attract, um, on all employee levels, but as you’re an executive coming in, knowing that you’ve got a great brand, um, and you don’t need to work on the brand, so to speak, um, just makes, makes it much more exciting to come into something. Um, that has a great reputation
|market. Yeah. I can only imagine if I’m a, let’s say I’m a vice president of sales and a top end president’s club level sales person just proactively reaches out because they’ve heard good things about me. I’m probably a pretty happy VP of sales. Absolutely right. All right. So let’s talk about what are the, you know, the elements that go inside of an employment brand and how do you know if you have a strong brand, what are some of the elements or things that have an employment brand says to the marketplace?
|Yeah. You know, while you’re, you know, your company can create an employment brand, building one that is truly effective is challenging. Right? Um, and you can’t make it right. You know, you can’t fake it because it’s a perception, right. Um, just because you say something on your website doesn’t make it real from a brand perception standpoint. So you need to work on it. You need to understand that when you have a strong strategic employment brand and accomplishes many, many things, it creates a sense of urgency and excitement for working for your company. So when, when there is a, when let’s say for example, when Google has a job posting for an opening, do you think they had get a lot of candidates for that? Like just a few problems? You know, probably. So, um, it really helps in the recruiting efforts, um, uh, for the company.
|Um, it really engages a potential employee that wants to work there because they love the brand and what it, when with the perception of that brand is it really makes them feel good about being an employee there. Um, it compliments your company’s products and services, right? Um, so think about if you get happy people come into a brand, they’re going to be passionate about the services that you provide or the products that you sell. Um, additionally, um, it just, it really, this is a compelling story. It gets back to that again, that earlier podcast about building that compelling story, um, of why, why you want to work at this company. Um,
|and is this shows up whether it’s on your company website, just how do you represent whether to a specific careers page or just your overall website? Right. But it’s everything from obviously like the linkedins is a powerful tool for employment brand, but it’s something as simple as how does your job posting show up out on the World Wide Web? Right? Right. Um, and things like Facebook, Instagram, all these other, you know, avenues
|who’s they all go into building the employment brand, right? It gives a window to the brand, right? So, yeah, you’ll all these options for people to find out about your company a makes it very, very, um, good for those that have a great brand and challenging for those that don’t need to work on it. Right. But it’s an opportunity to really increase your awareness of your brand through these, these, uh, social media outlets.
|Well, I know leading up to this, we, you know, we talked to a lot of our experts in house, um, both on our sister company, Parker, who really works on digital marketing for staffing firms across the country. And so they obviously have some expertise in this. And, and really, you know, I think you and I both subscribe it really a strong employment brand gives you three advantages, um, in the marketplace. Right. Let’s walk through those.
|Yeah. What’s the first one? Um, one of them. It just gets, it gets back to really what we’ve been talking about this entire podcast series, right? Attracting the right best people for your company. Absolutely. That’s as basic as it gets. Okay.
|So you’re attracting them. Um, what other advantages and you know, kind of the number two thing we talked about is really you don’t, you have something to offer other than, you know, breaking the bank and over pain from a compensation stand.
|Yeah. So when you think about what attracts people to a company, certainly compensation is a component. Um, benefits are components, some of those perks, if you will. Um, but you also can brag about your brand of your company. And my guess is people at Google walk around talking about, I work at Google all the time.
|I do it for 20% less than they could somewhere else. Yeah.
|There’s so you get some additional benefit, not only you got, you got a cool company, cool brand, you’re getting the best people and guess what, you might be able to pay them, um, slightly less because of the brand and all the other things that they provide. Um, so it’s really a really a differentiator from a, from a company competitive standpoint.
|Yup. And that third one you hit on a little bit earlier as well, but it truly does improve retention. So taco a little bit more about that.
|Yeah, I think, I think what it really does is the, is the, the brand sort of drives people’s expectations of what it’s like to work there and what the expectations are of those employees when they work there. So they come in having a better understanding of that, which drives to higher retention because there’s not a, there’s not a lot of, um, misunderstanding of what what’s going on at that organization. So well, like anything else to its brand loyalty. Right, right. That’s exactly royalty or your employment brand. And so it’d be there. Yeah. And we’ll put an aspect on this one. Cause retention will come up and some future podcasts we’re doing and we’ll dive deeper on the retention piece, but brand might poke its head out again, uh, in later podcasts about a retention. Perfect.
|Well that’s going to wrap up this specific, uh, topic, uh, for this podcast. But we alluded to earlier that we wanted to kind of recap the, I guess now five initial podcasts that are all around kind of the attraction component of our podcasts. And, and again, as a reminder, we’re really focusing on these podcasts in this series of podcasts on three elements attraction, which we wrapping up today. We’re going to move on to read a selection and then we’re going to have another series based up on retention as well. So why don’t you recap for all the listeners kind of the last five podcasts.
|Well, this was number five, so we will summarize this one. Um, so this ends our discussion on the talent attraction podcast series. We’re going to be coming back and touching on these elements even as we go through selection and retention because there’s a, funny enough, they’re all weave together, right? Uh, so as a reminder, um, if you’re interested in going back to those earlier podcast, so I’m just going to walk through kind of what we’ve talked about. Um, so that you can go find those podcasts as well. So in the first podcast we did, it was developing a position profile about the company, um, and then developing a compelling story of, of what, what makes that company unique, what will attract someone to go work there. Um, in our second podcast, we, we, we really dove deep into some key components of compensation plan from base comp to, uh, incentive comp and to longterm, uh, incentives as well as some perks of, of an executive position. Sure. Um, our third podcast was really evalu
|Perfect. Well, again, um, these last five weeks have been a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks, so we, we dive into the selection process. It’s a, it seems like it should be an easy one, but there’s a, there’s a lot of complexities to it, so we’ll break that down in a series of additional podcasts on selection. That sounds great. Perfect. All right, well this wraps up that, uh, this particular episode, and as always, if you want to get connected up with Scott and you can find him on linkedin and also versique.com and, uh, we’re looking forward to actually sound great. All right. Take care. Thanks for listening.
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