In modern society, building an inclusive employer brand should be considered mission critical for businesses large and small. The most successful companies are the ones that see challenges and opportunities from many different angles, and having a diverse employee population allows you to do just that. An inclusive employer brand lets you engage, recruit, and hire a wonderful spectrum of people who can bring their varied backgrounds to bear for your business. Simply put, building an inclusive employer brand brings a diverse set of experiences and perspectives to the table, which in turn allows your company to be smarter, more thoughtful, and ultimately more successful.
One way to keep your business stuck where it is today is to keep hiring the people who look like your current employees. Embracing diversity is an opportunity to embrace new perspectives that can help your business grow in new and meaningful ways. When you build your employer brand, it's your chance to take control of the narrative and have a real impact on how talent views your business. If your employer brand isn't inclusive and doesn't show underrepresented talent that you value them and are excited to work with them, then they're going to choose another place to work and your business isn't going to benefit from their perspective.
It's really important when creating an employer brand that people can see themselves working in your organization. And by see themselves, I mean literally see people who look like them, who share a similar background, and bring similar skills and experiences to the job. Sharing the stories of diverse peoples—especially in their own words—in your employer brand sends a strong signal to candidates: We see you, we value you, and you'll be able to be yourself here and thrive. If that part is missing, then you're likely going to miss out on engaging with and hiring the variety of people your business needs to be truly successful.
You need to meet prospective employees where they are and make it easy for them to imagine being successful in your organization. One way to do this is to create a toolkit that allows for localized activation, giving your recruiters and HR people the power to customize their outreach materials and recruitment collateral to match the moment. This can be things like creating an easy-to-update Canva library for them to use, supplying social media templates that they can dial in for specific talent groups, and even customizing your employer brand messaging framework to resonate with different groups you're trying to engage. Because, while it's important to highlight an authentic variety of people and experiences in your employer brand, it's critical that you build in the flexibility for your boots-on-the-ground recruiters to customize it to their needs, especially if you're a multinational company engaging people from a number of cultures.
By Martha Marchesi
Martha Marchesi is CEO of JK Design—a full-service creative agency with a powerhouse roster that includes Johnson & Johnson, Philips, Priceline, Prudential, ADP, Tiffany & Co. and more. A veteran of Madison Avenue, Martha is a master brand storyteller, strategic and creative expert and accomplished thought leader. As JK's CEO, her mission is to measurably impact clients’ brands, businesses, and bottom lines. Connect with her at www.JKDesign.com.