When employees are job hunting, their prospective choices are influenced by many factors, such as: location of the potential employer, career development opportunities and the image of the employer.
Of course, the financial compensation and other benefits are important. But, especially in a mission-driven environment such as the cleantech sector, a strong and distinct brand, both in terms of your reputation as an employer and overall company personality, will help companies to attract and retain top talent.
Isn’t a brand just a logo?
No. As we elaborated in our piece on why a strong brand is key to raising investment, a brand is more than a cool logo and an appealing colour palette. A strong brand conveys your why – what you stand for – and expresses your company personality.
If you were to ask a Tesla engineer’s child what they want to be when they grow up, the probability is high that they either want to be involved with electric cars or want to become an engineer themselves. They might not yet know what this entails, but they sense the importance of changing the way we understand mobility. This is because Tesla has such a strong brand whose values are well understood by its employees, their families and the world
This is what a brand boils down to. It summarises unique characteristics and unites employees, customers and investors behind the same vision and mission. As you are looking to build a team who share the same core beliefs and values, a brand helps you find the right people that will drive your business forward.
Attracting the right people
Finding the right people for your business can be a challenge, especially for cleantech companies. As the sector is highly technical, cleantech companies are often looking for highly trained and specialised individuals, such as sales engineers or software developers. It doesn’t come as a surprise: the competition is fierce. The term “war for talent” was coined in 1997 and is more relevant than ever.
At the same time, it’s not only important to attract the right people, but also to retain them. A strong brand will increase the loyalty among personnel, reduce fluctuation and thus enable you to focus on your business rather than replacing staff regularly. According to research, employee turnover can be reduced by 28% by investing in employer brand.
The ROI of your brand
An attractive employer brand is not just a nice-to-have, it has tangible financial benefits. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that companies with a poor reputation had to offer a 10% higher salary than employers with a better reputation in order to incentivise candidates to accept a position.
In another study by Linkedin found that companies with an attractive employer brand are 31% more likely to receive answer from potential candidates they contacted via LinkedIn’s messaging functionality. Simultaneously, employers are able to decrease their cost per hire by 43%, again profiting from a strong brand.
Let your brand speak for itself
It’s not just the direct financial effects of a strong brand. When finding, interviewing and ultimately hiring a candidate, you will have multiple conversations about you as company. It’s not just the potential employee who has to stand out, but also you as a company. Why should a candidate join your team? What are your values and core beliefs? What is the fundamental value proposition for your potential employee?
Do you offer a particular fun place to work at? Are you solving an unparalleled complex issue? Do you offer a more secure job environment due to strong backing from well-known investors? Are you constantly rethinking who you are and what you offer?
Without a strong brand, you will have to educate each potential candidate on your value proposition. This investment is costly because, most of the time, you will only hire one candidate but interview multiple applicants. If your brand and reputation speak for themselves, you reduce interview time and increase the potential candidate pool tremendously.
Your brand is what differentiates you. It communicates your why – something that should resonate with your potential candidates. That’s why it’s crucial for you to develop a strong brand – to find the right people, to retain your staff, to lower your costs per hire and to speak to a broader audience than ever before. Was that something you had in mind when crafting your brand strategy?