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Four Steps to a Successful Employment Brand

Every company, no matter the size, has an employment brand -- including your small business.

A great employment brand can level the recruiting playing field and enable your company to attract the top talent.

In this webinar, Four Steps to a Successful Employment Brand, author and small business consultant Roberta Matuson shares valuable insights about building a successful employment brand, based on her experience and conversations with small businesses.

This well-paced webinar covers the four bases of creating a great employment brand:

• Step One: Take an Honest Assessment
Assess your employment brand from the job seeker's perspective.

• Step Two: Define Your Message
Build a brand that reflects your company values and mission.

• Step Three: Transform your Brand on a Budget
Improve your brand without breaking the bank.

• Step Four: Implement an Action Plan
Manage your employment brand now and in the future.

Learn employment brand strategies that will improve your company's hiring game.

About the Presenter:
Roberta Matuson

Author and President of Matuson Consulting

Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting and author of Suddenly in Charge

Roberta Matuson is the author of the international bestseller,Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, 2011), a Washington Post Top-5 Business Book for Leaders, and the forthcoming book, Talent Magnetism (Nicholas Brealey, 2013).

Roberta is the President of Matuson Consulting which helps organizations create exceptional workplaces that deliver extraordinary results.

Webinar Transcript: Four Steps to a Successful Employment Brand

Welcome to this small business webinar presented by Monster. We appreciate your attendance and time today, which we know is very valuable. I'm Connie Blaszczyk, managing editor of the Monster Resource Center, where you'll find timely articles, interviews, and videos to help with your small business hiring and management. Today we're excited to present our presentation, Four Steps to a Successful Employment Brand, and excited about our presenter, Roberta Matuson. Roberta is author of the international bestseller, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around. It was selected by the Washington Post as one of the top five business books for leaders. Her forthcoming book, Talent Magnetism, will be published in September. Roberta is president of Matuson Consulting, a firm that helps organizations achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

Before we begin, let's go through a few housekeeping details. All registered participants of today's webinar will receive an email with the direct link to our archived webinar presentation and recording. The archived webinar will also be available later this week on hiring.monster.com. Click on the resource center tab for more information. We look forward to your questions today, which we'll address at the end our presentation. To submit your question, please use the Q&A module on your WebEx screen. If you're listening to today's webinar by phone and you would like to ask a question, please be aware that you'll be placed on mute until the Q&A session begins. Now it's my pleasure to turn the webinar over to Roberta Matuson. Welcome, Roberta.

Thank you, Connie. It's my pleasure to present to your community today. First I want to go over what we're going to be covering in this webinar, so that we cover our bases. We're going to begin by talking about why an employment brand is so important to your business, especially those small businesses that are trying to compete for talent with larger organizations. We're also going to talk about how you can objectively evaluate your employment brand, and discussion will be included on how you can improve it without breaking the bank. Then we'll move into talking about the need for maintenance and how you can maintain your employment brand as you go forward.

It's summertime, and I thought it might be fun to put a little bit of spin on things and go with a baseball theme for today's webinar. I'm a movie buff, and one of the most memorable lines for me comes from the movie Field of Dreams. Those of you who have seen the movie probably will recognize when Kevin Costner, who plays an Iowa corn farmer, hears a voice that says, "If you built it, he will come." Of course being that this is Hollywood, eventually he and the rest of the team show up. I've seen a similar "build it and see" strategy with many business owners that I've worked with, and they optimistically believe that this is all it takes to attract an employee or a customer. That's just half the story. You can either wait for the sequel to come along, or you can take action today, especially after this webinar, to create a story that will have a happy ending.

Let's talk for a moment about what exactly an employment brand is. It is the impression that candidates have of your company and what it might be like to work for you. It's really based on what they see, and more importantly what they hear, about your organization from their network. Whether that is their personal network, or the ten thousand friends that they may have up on their social network. It's often based on the collective history of your company, which I like to call your company story.

In a nutshell, it's really about the employment experience. It's also about creating an image that reminds current employees of the reasons why they initially chose your company. This in turn is a gentle reminder of why staying with you is really a great idea. We are going to take a short poll right now. I want to hear from you guys and find out whether your company has a career page on your website. A career page is where a prospective employee, or even a current employee who is trying to help a friend find work, can go to learn more about your company, your benefits, and your job openings. You would also include links to your postings on this page. I'm curious as to how many of you actually have a career page. While we're tabulating these results, I'm going to guess that for many of you, you may plan to build one soon. My guess is that it would be the majority, but let's see what the results say.

We're waiting for it to be tabulated in just a moment, and we can see whether or not I'm clairvoyant. Great. Wow. I'm a little off, but 65 percent of you say that you have one. That's great news. As we go through today's session, you can focus on what exactly you need to do to improve the one that you have.

When I work with my clients, I'm often asked what is the difference between a recruitment and an employment brand. The way I see it, recruitment is very tactical and somewhat passive, especially if you don't have a team of experienced recruiters combing for talent, which many small businesses don't have. What typically happens is that you post a job, and then you hope or pray that the right candidate will select you from among many other opportunities that are competing for their attention. It sounds a bit to me like trying to hit the ball with one hand tied behind your back. The passive people are driven by a desire for growth. When I say passive job seekers, these are the people who are not actively looking for work, but if an opportunity comes along, they're certainly willing to entertain it, and they're looking for meaningful work. What's going to get them make a move is a challenge or an opportunity. They'll really consider making a move if they believe that the future you are offering looks brighter than the one they currently have. When you focus on creating your employment brand that pulls people toward you, you are getting the attention of both active and passive job seekers. When you do this right, you address what we call the wants of prospective employees.

A great example of this is Tom's Shoes. Many of you may be familiar with Tom's founder, Blake Mycoskie's one-for-one program. He provides a pair of shoes to a child in need every time somebody buys a pair of Tom's shoes. This message of giving back is part of the soul of the company, and it's emotionally appealing to the wants of many who are looking to give back to the world. This message can be found throughout the organization on their websites, their videos, et cetera. So, this is an example of a company that does it really well. It has a really strong employment brand, and it's able to pull in the talent they need to be quite successful in a very competitive environment.

I'm often asked by small businesses, "Is this something that I really need to do?" Quite frankly, the answer is yes. You can now compete for talent with larger organizations, and you can come out ahead. For example, there are many benefits to working for a small business. For one thing, as the president, you most likely are on first name basis with all of your employees, and you may even know a thing or two about their families. It is somewhat hard to imagine that the CEO of a Fortune 500 company has this type of relationship with all of his people. This is very appealing to many who may be tired of working in a larger organization where you are a small fish in a very large ocean.

I should add that prospective clients usually check out a company's website before entering into a relationship. Your company's culture is a big part of that, especially if you are in a business where high levels of service are expected. Being able to get a feel for the company and the type of people the company hires can certainly help seal the deal. There are so many employment brands, and the only way I can really explain the importance of what this means is to share with you a personal experience that I had. I worked for an overnight delivery service, and I can't tell you how many times I lost out. I didn't get some really great candidates because I was losing out to Big Brown, also known as UPS. That was because as an organization, we really didn't do a good job of describing our employment brand, nor did we communicate it. When you have a great brand, that really helps to drive engagement, and it really helps draw the right candidates towards you. It creates an emotional connection with, again, both the active and passive job seekers. As I personally experienced, it can help you increase the number of accepted offers. It's something that you certainly want to consider, and as we talked about earlier, it's definitely going to reinforce your marketing brand. It's definitely worth the investment.

I want to shift gears here for a moment and talk a little bit about the job seekers. It's so important to determine the type of people that you're trying to attract, and in doing so, you have to think of what's in it for them, if they come to work for you. Job seekers, for the most part are very me-centric. Many business people tend to believe what they have to offer is no different than anyone else, but in most cases that's not entirely true.

When I was doing research for my new book, Talent Magnetism, I interviewed a gentleman who shared with me some of the unique offerings that his people had in his small business. One of them was that he allowed one of his employees in the T-shirt printing business to leave the organization during the summer months and go out on tour with his band. Not only did he do that, but he also gave this gentleman the ability to print T-shirts in his shop and then sell them on the road. This is just something quite unique. It's very unlikely that this gentleman, who's been with him now for over five years, would even consider leaving, given the fact that he's working for an employer who's doing something quite unique.

If you can't think of anything unique about your organization right now, then I would recommend that you simply ask your people what attracted them to your workplace and why they stay. I recently did that for an owner of a motorcycle company. It was quite interesting. I shared with him an article that I wrote on low-cost ways to show your employees they are highly valued, and as the result of reading through that article, he selected two or three new initiatives that he wanted to bring to his organization, to help him attract better people. If you want to send me an email at roberta@matusonconsulting.com and ask for that list of low cost ways, I will be more than happy to share that same list with you. I think it can be very, very valuable as you look at ways to stand out in a crowded employment field, particularly as the economy improves.

This data came from a report that will soon be available on hiring.monster.com. You'll receive a link to this shortly, but what wound up happening when Monster did the survey is that they found out that while salary is important to job seekers, it's not the number one thing they look for. I'll give you a moment to look at this list. I bet, as many of you are looking at this list, you're probably bobbing your heads like, "Yeah, that's what I value as well." I think this information is extremely valuable and very, very accurate.

What is it that candidates really value in a company? First of all, I want to make the point that this is not an inclusive list. This is not everything, but it's certainly a good place to start. People want to work for a company that they can be proud of, or a company that has what I call a sense of purpose, like Tom's. Places with opportunities to move up in the organization are huge these days. They want to be in a great workplace. Thanks to all the visibility Google gets, everybody wants to be in that kind of environment where they're actually making a contribution and having fun. Coming off this recession, though, they're also looking for some job stability. If any of this is resonating for you, make a checkmark next to any of these items I would encourage you to look back on what you, as an organization, are offering, and really hone in on that message.

I think that finding the perfect employee is a lot like dating, and here's what I mean by this. First of all, beauty is in the eye of the candidate. You might look like a great organization to work for, and some people may think that, while others may think that you are kind of average. You've got to think about, and really define clearly, who you're trying to attract so that you can make yourself attractive to that kind of employee. If you try to be attractive to everyone, I can guarantee you that you will be very ordinary. In most cases, you won't be attractive to anyone. Really think about that. Beauty is in the eye of the candidate.

It also comes from within, and I would like to call this your company's essence. You may not have the prettiest benefits and the nicest offices, but there must be something about your organization that resonates with people. They are there for a reason, and you need to figure out what that reason is. When I was growing up, my mom told me that looks didn't matter. I've got to tell you I wish that that were true, but in the world of work, your looks do matter. When I say that, before you all send me hate mail, I'm not talking about your personal looks. I'm talking about the looks of your materials, your website, and your organization. People are looking at you, and they are making a very quick determination as to whether or not they want to interview with you, even before you call them in for an interview. Most importantly, the attraction must be mutual. It's great that you see a candidate that you love and want to bring into your organization, but if they don't feel that same connection, that relationship is never going to work.

Lastly, I want you to think about the fact that you always need to be working on your relationships, to keep both parties happy and engaged.

Now that you know what candidates are seeking when they look for a place to call home, let's take a look at some of the strategies to help you create an employment brand that will help you attract and retain great people. If you're vowing to do this right, then you need to begin with an honest look at where you currently are in terms of your employment brand. Sixty-five percent of you said that you have an employment brand. We're not going to do a poll question on this, but I'd be curious as to how many of you may have inherited those brands and may think, "Wow, we have some really great opportunities to improve them."

What I'd like you to do is think about the following. Does your website look dated? In other words, has it been maybe five years since you've had your last facelift on your website? Does your company have a Facebook page? If so, do you regularly post on it, or is this like a once a month thing when you think about it? Are people actually falling asleep when they're reading your job descriptions? You know, you can do your best to really capture the essence of the job you are describing, because your job is to get people excited. It's to get people to say, "Oh, my gosh, I can actually see myself working in this organization," rather than, "Oh yeah, that's just another nice job." Think about that when you're writing your job descriptions. Try to make them a little more engaging, so that you don't look like everyone else.

I like to recommend that you choose a well-balanced team and include groups of people who you may be specifically trying to attract. For example, suppose you're expanding your mom and pop business, and you're looking to hire store personnel for a new retail site. I'd suggest gathering input from current store employees to see if the brand that you are establishing accurately reflects your company. Ask for input regarding what else you should include to be more attractive to like-minded candidates.

I also like to suggest that you reach out to candidates who might have rejected your job offers. I mean, rejection is never easy, but it's good to get a sense of specifically why they may have taken another job or chosen another job over yours. Don't be surprised when doing so if some of them actually ask if they could be reconsidered, which is what I call a home run especially if the position is still open.

I'd like to share with you what I consider some questions that I think are worth printing out. These are well worth discussing with your team as you work together on your employment brand. I want you to take a look at your company website and career page and ask yourself, "Who are we trying to attract, and how are we doing in terms of attraction?" Again, we talked a little bit about the job descriptions, and whether they are engaging and accurately reflect your company's culture. I'd like to do a poll for a minute. I'd like to find out how long you think it takes on average for a candidate to apply to your company for a job.

If you can just quickly off the top of your head say how long you think it's going to take somebody to apply for work at your organization. Again, I guess I wasn't quite accurate on the last poll, but I'm still thinking that many of you are thinking that it's probably less than five minutes. I'm going to guarantee you that it's probably more than ten. Let's see if my predictions are true here. We'll have those results up in a moment.

Let's see. It's a good thing I'm not in the prediction business because my numbers are way off. It's good, though, and I'm glad to see this. It shows me that you are much more realistic about this than most of my clients. It's really important to make it easy for people to apply for work with you. Otherwise, they're going to get frustrated in the process and they will find another employer, rather than going though this very, very long process. Keep that in mind, because it needs to be easy for people to apply for work with you.

I want to just go back over some more employment collateral. Some companies do an excellent job of attracting job seekers through Facebook. Again, don't be afraid to show people who you really are, how fun it is to work in your workplace, and some of the serious work that you do. Look at your recruitment collateral, especially those of you who may do a lot of outreach, whether it's on college campuses or in your community. I've seen too many situations where organizations are looking to just use up the collateral from last year, because it is already printed, in an effort to save money. In the end, it actually costs them money. Also, are you making use of video? If so, does it really represent your brand well? Is this something that maybe you should be putting on hold until you have the resources to do it right? If it's time for an employment brand makeover, I would suggest that you really prioritize your top issues and look at what will make your organization most successful. Will investing in a professional videographer help you attract more prestigious customers? If so, it certainly may be worth spending a bit more in this area.

Perhaps not subsidizing health insurance for family coverage wasn't a big deal when you first started out, because most of your employees were single. Maybe that's no longer the case. You may need to revisit these kinds of things, particularly if you're trying to portray your place of business as a place that's family-friendly.

Now it's certainly understandable if you can't do all of this, so I really want to suggest that you consider what will give you the most bang for your buck. Pick one or two areas and move them forward rapidly. Don't try to do it all, just pick one or two areas.

Now that you've gathered some valuable input about your company's brand, let's move on to step two. That's what I call defining your message.

The clearer you are regarding the kind of message you want to be sending to prospective and current employees, the more likely you'll be able to attract the right candidates. In my new book Talent Magnetism, I refer to this as creating a magnetic message that pulls talent towards you. This is really important. Part of this is really creating a mission statement and making sure that it is accurate and something that will resonate with people who you might want to have on your team. In doing so, I want you to also think about the values that are driving your organization.

What are the values? Why are people working for you? If you don't know, ask your people, "What brought you here?" If I'm the candidate you're looking for but I don't see an opportunity to step into the scene that you've just painted or created or I don't see myself as part of that picture, I'm going to quickly dismiss what I see, because your brand doesn't resonate with me. That may be okay if you're not trying to attract someone like me, but it's certainly not, if I'm in the group that you're trying to bring in. That's why when you're putting together your groups, I recommend making sure that you have people who represent the kinds of employees you want to hire as part of that process.

Here are five questions to help guide you as you go through this process. I'm going to suggest that you print this page out and post this on your bulletin board. Don't commit it to memory, because if you're like me, you probably won't be able to do that very well. In any case, go ahead and print this out. I think they're really great questions to think about.

Then you have to really weave this into the entire fabric of your organization, because it's not just about what you say. This is about living your brand every single day. For example, if you say that your workplace is built on trust and mutual respect, then you have to be very intentional in your own behavior. You can't simply lose your temper when going to a tough stretch in your business. You have to live your brand. Keep that in mind as you're managing your businesses.

So maybe your employment brand is great, or maybe it's still could use some refining. The good news is that these improvements don't have to break the bank, and you don't have to do it all yourself. Let's go on to step three and look at how to transform your brand on what I call a budget.

Again, you can get a lot done by assembling a team that can create a brand that really rings true. What I recommend, and I do this in the new book as well, is I tell people to give your team guidelines. Give them a budget and give them the authority to make decisions, but most importantly, give them a deadline. If you don't give them a deadline, this could go on for years, and at the end of that road you'll be in a position where you need to rebrand again.

Make sure you have some very clear objectives and deadlines for your team. If you need to, bring in an expert to help guide them. Many people have never done this kind of work before, so they don't really know what's expected. If you can have somebody facilitate that conversation, that's even better. This doesn't really have to be a Hollywood production. It should, however, be reflective of your brand, so make sure that whatever you have out there aligns with the type of image you're trying to convey for your business.

I love the use of videos, and I think they can be extremely effective. I'm also going to caution you about going overboard, though. When I was writing Talent Magnetism, I put out a request for organizations to share videos, so I could cite them in the new book. One organization in particular comes to mind, and not for a good reason. They responded and sent me a video that I thought was really cute at first. After 20 seconds and 15 curse words, I moved on. I have to tell you, it was memorable, that's for sure, but for all the wrong reasons. This is what they're using to attract their workforce. That may be fine and they may be getting the workers they need, but I can't believe that this is helping them get clients. When you're doing your videos and thinking about your branding, you've got to keep both in mind.

When I put this slide together, I was asked, "Well, what do you mean, have mom cook lunch for your employees once a month? Where'd you come up with that idea?" I said, "Well, I actually didn't come up with that idea." One of the magnetic companies that I interviewed for the book, they shared this story. This owner shared this story of his mother coming into the office once a month to cook lunch for all the employees, and thankfully for his mother, this was a small business. This was something that the employees love, though. It's become part of the culture. It's something they look forward to. This CEO was quite proud that his mum was in his company feeding his people. This is just a way to kind of stand out in the crowd.

Another benefit that I think is very cool and effective is done by the company Evernote. They actually offer a housecleaning reimbursement bimonthly to all of their employees. At first glance, you say, "Wow, isn't that great? They're really nice." When I saw the interview done by the CEO about this particular benefit, he said they did this very purposefully because they found that oftentimes when people were looking at changing jobs, they are also talking with their spouses and their partners. He said that this really got the attention of the partners who were telling their spouses or partners, "No way in heck should you ever leave this company, because I'm not giving up my cleaning lady or my cleaning company." Think about that. Those are the kinds of things that really help to supercharge your employment brand.

It's so important today to use social media to really reinforce your brand. Some of you may say, "I'm running a business," or, "I don't know how to use it, and I don't have time to use it." I would really suggest that you ask those in the know in your workplace, which might be your younger employees, your older employees, or your 14-year-old kid. Ask someone to take this over and have them show you how to put your brand out there in a very visible way, because social media is really here to stay.

Make sure that you highlight these benefits in your candidate offer letters. That person is going to be sitting down, and they may have two offers in their hand. You want to make sure they pick you. We talked about having it on your career page and incorporating these benefits into your job descriptions as a gentle reminder.

I really want to emphasize that you've got to toot your own horn when it comes to letting others know about your unique culture. You cannot think that they're going to automatically get it, or that everybody knows that you're a great company. You have to constantly be out there.

Step four is to implement an action plan. I am a firm believer in what gets written gets done. When you get off this webinar today, pull out your calendar and make a note that you're going to begin this process of assembling a team next Tuesday. Do something, but make sure that you put together a plan to make this a reality.

As you look at what your next play is, I want you to think about the fact that business brands, like product brands, need to be kept up to date, and that includes employment brands. When your business evolves in some new and exciting way, you need to share that story. Again, don't think that everybody is going to know about some great thing that your organization is doing. You have to be out there all the time refreshing your brand.

I want you to remember that hiring the right people for your company is critical for business success. We've covered the basis of employment branding. You've got what you need to hit a home run with your employment brand and make your field of dreams a reality. I would like to open up the lines and see if we have any questions that I can answer for you.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register questions by telephone, please press "one" followed by "four." You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. Your line will then be briefly accessed from the conference to obtain your information. Again, to register questions by telephone, please press "one" followed by "four."

Thank you, Roberta, for that very engaging presentation, which has already prompted a few questions coming in through the Q&A module. We welcome your questions, which you can submit by using the Q&A module on the WebEx screen in front of you. Roberta, let's start with some of the questions that have come in. One is asking about low budget alternatives to hiring a photographer or videographer, as you mentioned a couple of times. What do you recommend if there just isn't the budget for that kind of expenditure?

That's a great question, Connie. There are a lot of great places where you can purchase royalty-free pictures. Though my preference is not to use stock photos, of course if budget dictates that, that might be an option worth considering. If you do a search and you look for photolio.com or Getty Images. You can purchase stock photos that you have the right to use on your website. I would start there. The cost of cameras has come down substantially, and I think you can capture some great photos, of course with your employees' permission. Be sure to get a release so that you can put them up. I'm actually doing a lot of this myself. I'm using my iPhone for capturing videos, and then putting them up on my YouTube page. I think that's a way you can do it.

Great. We have a question from David Miller of Miller Carpet Cleaning. He's asking if we can show an example of a career page. Unfortunately, David, I don't think we have that ability to do so now. We can certainly send you some examples. Roberta, it might be helpful to talk about what exactly is a career page, what should be on it, and the parameters.

A career page, for David and everyone else listening in, is the place where those who are interested in working for you land to find out more about your company. In my experience, what typically happens is that career pages are what I call an afterthought. They're stuck on the backend, and they're in a place where people can't find them. You can search for hours, days, or months, but they should be extremely visible, especially if you're in active hiring mode. I think that action speaks louder than words. Have a career page where you highlight your five top benefits that make you unique and include some videos of your employees participating in activities that are engaging and reflective of your culture. The whole idea is that you get the ideal candidate to say, "Hey I can see myself working here." If you're not trying to attract twenty-somethings, then make sure that your career page doesn't look like a Gap ad, because your stay-at-home moms or dads who are in their thirties or forties are not going to look at that and say, "Oh I could see myself working here." They're going to say, "These people don't look like me. I probably wouldn't fit in here. I need to find another place."

That's a really good point. I know from my experience that a lot of times the career link is very subtle from the homepage of even large company websites. It's often surprising that you have to really dig for it or that it's in the footer. I think that's a good point you made about making it prominent, especially from the homepage, and especially if you're looking to hire. The point that that brand that you're talking to prospective employees about, is also the one that your customers might be looking at. They should really align with each other.

Yes, that's a good point Connie. You also have to be very certain that it's an honest picture, because I know a lot of companies that are really great at hiring people and attracting them because that's all they do. They can get people in the door, but once the people realize that what they've been shown isn't reality, they are out quicker than they came in. That's extremely costly.

Can you talk about those costs just a little bit, just so that this is kind of understood?

Well, first and foremost is the cost of a lost customer, because you have no one to service that account, or they're looking at your organizations and they're viewing it as being very unstable. A competitor can come along and demonstrate that they've got a very loyal and customer-centric workplace, so your great customer of five years is no longer your own customer. As you know, there are many costs associated with recruiting, including a business owner's time for interviewing and checking references. In some cases you're required by law to do drug testing and background checks, and all of this can really add up. It can be very costly. Then most importantly, Connie, is your reputation. Your company's reputation is on the line every single day.

Great point. We have both a comment and a question. This person writes, "My problem isn't getting people, it's keeping them. How can I adapt this approach to keep my best employees from leaving?"

Well, that's an interesting question, which I'm afraid we can't answer today. If you can't keep people, then that says to me that there are other factors going on inside your organization. An area that I would tend to focus on is the leadership, because we do know that people tend to leave their bosses. If you're the boss, then I would suggest you step back and reflect and say, "Hmm, am I contributing to this?" If so, consider finding an executive coach. I've done work with a lot of owners to help them improve their own leadership because of this very same issue. I would want to make sure that I'm paying a competitive wage, because salaries do matter. People need to live, and it's getting more and more expensive, as we all know. I wouldn't do any branding until I went back and cleaned up my situation, so that when I went back out there, I'd be able to open up the doors of my home and invite people in. I would not be worried that they're going to quickly find out that I'm not at all what I advertised to be.

That's a great metaphor. Again, we welcome your questions. You can submit them by using the Q&A module on your WebEx screen. Let's check in with our operator to see if we have any calls, phone calls on the line.

There are no questions on the phone lines at this time.

Let's go to another question that's coming via the Q&A module, Roberta. I think it's something that a lot of small business owners can identify with. The person says, "I never have time, and neither does my team, for an offsite two-day workshop to come up with all of this stuff. How can we get this done without interrupting our workflow?"

Well, there's always that exchange of time and money, right? I don't have time to clean my house, Connie, so I pay somebody to clean my house. This is a really important thing to do in your business. It's part of bringing in new customers and attracting employees. You have a few options. One is that you can hire an outside expert to come in again and do this for you. You could have that person come in, facilitate the team, and let the team do the work. That would be a little less expensive. If you're really good at this, this should not take three full day meetings to do. You should be able to get this done in, I would say, less than a day of an off-site meeting. Really refine what the messaging is, what the organization's values are, and then create a plan to implement and get this going. It does not have to be a three-day retreat.

Another question here comes from the opposite end of the hiring spectrum that we heard before, regarding getting people to stay. This one is, "I have zero employee turnover, so why do I need to think about an employment brand for my business. I'm obviously probably doing everything right."

Yes, Connie, you probably are and that's why you're on this call. I'm reminded of an interview I did with a hospital CEO who said to me, "I don't really need to improve what I'm doing because I have 0 percent turnover." I said to him, "Well, that to me is like the equivalent of somebody having low blood pressure. That's just as dangerous as high blood pressure." When I said that, he took a sip of his water and said to me, "Tell me more."

What came out of that conversation was the fact that he had a number of people in his organization retired and placed. He had leaders who did not make decisions regarding employees who needed to be managed. He had a lot of people just kind of hanging. Having 0 percent turnover in some situations can be just as deadly as having a high turnover. Take a look at that, and don't discard that information.

Great. We have a question from Deborah. She comments, "I know it's different for everyone. Does branding cost thousands of dollars? Are there cheaper ways to create branding?"

Cheaper than thousands of dollars? I think it all depends on the organization and what they're trying to achieve. I mean I've seen large organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and have very sophisticated branding. I've also seen smaller organizations make it work on a shoestring budget, until such time as they could get the resources together to up their game. I think it depends on whether you're going to go to a big company and have them do this for you. Are you going to hire a consultant? That question really depends on the objective that you're truly trying to accomplish. For example, if you can stop one great employee from leaving because you're reminding them yet again why you're a terrific workplace, that would offset any cost that you might have to make right now.

That's true. Also, use your employees as brand advocates, as a lot of people have called them. Their satisfaction ends up multiplying and reducing your cost going forward.

Right. Connie, you cannot look at this as a cost. You have to look at this as an investment. For most people listening in today, once they get their employment brand established, most of them can leave it alone for a year or a little bit longer. It's not like every month there's going to be this additional cost that you're going to have in order to have the latest and the greatest. It's really an investment and one, in my opinion, well-worth making.

Great. We did have a question about the slides being available for download. If you've registered for this webinar, you will be receiving an email with a link in the next few days to the archived webinar and the slides. Thank you for that question. Let's just check in once more with the operator to see if we have any calls on the line.

There are no questions from the phone lines.

Okay, great. Lets take one more question here that's come in. Why do I need to pay attention to employment brands if there are still so many more candidates than jobs in my industry? In other words, I think this person is saying they're getting a lot of people applying. Does upping the ante, by creating a great employment brand, only exacerbate that problem?

First of all, I think that if you have the right employment brand, you'll have the right people applying. So many people mistake quantity for quality. I mean, I'm a chocoholic, but I would rather have one really good piece of chocolate than a whole bag full of average. I think what happens especially with small business owners is that they've mistaken the fact that they have a pretty high applicant flow for one that has a lot of quality in it. I'm here to tell you that you do not have to have the leftovers. You have the resources today, because the playing field has really been evened out. You have the resources to attract top talent regardless of the size of your company.

Great, that's good news. I had said that was the last question, but we do have another one that's come in. "I work for a small privately owned recruiting firm that's suffering from growing pains within the organization." I assume that means that includes recruiting issues. Are there any recommendations for best practices on how to present this information to my CEO?"

Yes, you can print this page that's sitting here that says, "thank you." I'd be happy to have a conversation with that person, because what often happens, especially if it's a small business, is that they need to ask those questions. I would also suggest that you share this webinar when you get the recording. If you find it of high value, which I believe you have, hopefully, that you share that with him or her. Say, "Hey, this is something I think that's really worth listening to." They have to hear it, rather than have it filtered.

Terrific. Well, with that, we're just about to the top of the hour. We'll wrap up our Q&A session. Thanks to everyone who submitted a question, and thanks to everyone who attended. If we were unable to address your question today, please reach out and we'll make sure and get back to you. Thanks again to our presenter, Roberta Matuson.

A recording of this event and the slide presentation will be available later this week. Visit hiring.monster.com and click on the Resource Center tab for more information. Thanks again for joining us.

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