Leaders, which capital comes first?

Leaders, which capital comes first?

Four things great employers know how to do to attract and retain the best talents besides putting human capital as the top priority.

The battle for talent is still growing. Before the pandemic, according to a 2015 PwC survey, as many as 73 percent of managers were confused about where and how to find these rare staff diamonds.

The balance of power in the workplace is shifting toward employees, who expect to be able to work remotely and are willing to leave if they cannot. In July 2021, 4 million Americans quit their jobs, with the greatest increase coming among 30- to 45-year-olds, who are normally more settled in their careers. The Great Resignation, as it has become known, reached a peak in April 2021, but the number voluntarily leaving their jobs remains unusually high. Similar trends have been seen in the U.K, recently reported by Forbes.

“Financial capital is huge, but it is still managed with extreme caution; there is a lack of human capital, but it is not managed carefully. Why? Partly because we value and reward good financial capital management. And we measure that. Successful managers are highly regarded for their smart management. But today's leaders must be equally successful in managing human capital. "

But too many companies are still wasting huge sums on building strong products or corporate brands and forgetting to invest in a brand that would make it easier for them to find talent – an employer brand. “If companies fail to attract, engage and retain key talent, they are unlikely to achieve business goals,” once says one of the gurus in the field, Richard Mosley. His company researched in 2015 how the best global employers succeeded in attracting talents and made them join and stay with them. His company surveyed more than 2.500 managers from 1.000 companies, including more than 100 from the Fortune 500 list and the 70 most attractive organizations according to students from the twelve largest economies.

According to the results, there are four areas that stood out:

First: to attract the right talents, formulate the “supply” of vacancies in the right way. Engineers, for example, respond more quickly to companies that highlight stories of innovation in their marketing, identity, job posts, etc.

Second: stand out from the crowd. Being “just” a consistently good employer is not enough. Today, a company must have a distinctive advantage in its culture. Adidas, for example, has identified its core values and actions and thus created a distinctive position compared to Nike. Adidas is also super known for its climate change action.

Third: keeping promises throughout the life cycle of an employee in the company, not just at the very beginning, otherwise the commitment and support will quickly wane. For example, Google has tackled this with a scientific approach (also described in the famous book Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by former HR member Laszlo Bock), as they want to ensure not only work they feel good but also to make the most of their abilities.

Fourth: Respond to facts and figures. Bersin by Deloitte research shows that companies with more developed data and analytical strategies are twice as successful at hiring the “right” candidates. At the same time, a Mosley survey found that only about half of companies use this type of information when deciding on an employer’s brand marketing activities.

If I add to this data from their Outlook Survey 2020, in which as many as 60 percent of top management believe that in the end, they are responsible for the employer’s brand, I come to one of the conclusions from the field of employer brand management. »Your brand was a black box. Now it’s a glass box«. Today, information travels irresistibly in both directions. If we want to build an employer brand in this world of social networks, it will certainly be manifested as a reflection of the culture and values ​​of the organization. These, however, begin with leadership. It’s where the main question of the capital are decided upon.  As Eric Garton puts it: “Financial capital is huge, but it is still managed with extreme caution; there is a lack of human capital, but it is not managed carefully. Why? Partly because we value and reward good financial capital management. And we measure that. Successful managers are highly regarded for their smart management. But today’s leaders must be equally successful in managing human capital. “

1 Richard Mosley: How the Best Global Employers Convince Workers to Join and Stay, HBR, 2016

2 Your brand was once a black box. Today it is glass. Source quote: Trendwatching

Sasha Mrak Hendrickson, Chief Strategy Officer, Carver Institute
sasha.hendrickson@carverinstitute.org
The article is modified and was originally published in HR&M magazine in 2019.