Define the Employer Brand and Get a Better Fit between Candidate and Company

October 7, 2019 Lasse Hønsen

It is clear from our work with clients that the most successful organizations are those which attract and hire people who have the skills and characteristics needed to succeed in the role and who are aligned with the values and brand of the organization. The challenge for organizations is to weave both components into their talent attraction strategy.

Our work with RSM is a great example of how, after doing this, both applicant numbers and the quality of applicants, have increased significantly.

The Challenge Facing RSM

RSM is an accountancy firm with a strong customer base of mid-sized businesses in Norway. With clients in a variety of industries and with different needs and challenges, its employees have numerous opportunities to get involved with exciting businesses. Yet, as an employer, it struggled to feature on the shortlists of graduates entering the job market and faced stiff competition from the Big 5 accountancy firms in Norway. RSM decided to rethink its attraction strategy and part of this was to make sure that it understood what made working for the firm so different to other organizations.

Firm-wide focus groups and workshops highlighted some common factors, and the business then set about taking these and building them into their candidate attraction strategy, designing a new recruitment process. What they learned about their employer brand helped to shape how they met and interacted with potential applicants. Testing forms part of the hiring process, giving both RSM and the candidates a very real insight they may not otherwise have had. RSM is committed to giving feedback to all applicants. We know that this ‘feedback-to-all’ approach offers a strong signal to candidates that their time and investment in the process is respected.

Within three years, the number of applicants to RSM had doubled. It showed that more students were learning of – and liking what they learned about – RSM. It also leapt up in the Great Place to Work chart.

8 Steps to Transform Your Attraction Strategy

Having worked with the team at RSM, it is clear that there are 8 key stages to the transformation of its attraction strategy.

  1. Understanding why people work with you, stay with you and love coming to work.

  2. Defining what sets you as an organization apart from the competition.

  3. Translating these differences and values into behaviors and actions for engaging with potential applicants.

  4. Investing time to engage in meeting and talking with potential applicants, wherever they may be.

  5. Designing a hiring process that enables you to spot those with a good fit with your organizational values, and competencies for the role.

  6. Testing and assessing to measure competencies and capabilities.

  7. Respecting the time investment of all those applying.

  8. Measuring success of the strategy in order to constantly review and improve.

Read more about how RSM approached its project and the results it has achieved.

Watch this two-minute video to hear the thoughts of Øyvind Sæther, director of people and organization at RSM

About the Author

Lasse Hønsen

Lasse is the Managing Director for Aon's Assessment Solutions Norway. He's an organizational psychologist and system developer by background. In his years in the industry he has designed and implemented solutions for several multinational and national clients. Lasse's competency areas span from selection methods and analytics to business development, and since he's looked upon as an assessment thought leader in the local market, he has figured on national radio, TV and in several newspapers.

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