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July 11, 2022

Tips for your Talent Brand During the COVID-19 Crisis

No doubt COVID-19 has shocked your system and maybe even your company down to its core. Just know, you're not alone.

Collectively, the pandemic has forced us to pivot in ways we’ve never imagined (both personally and professionally). It has notably brought out the good and bad of humanity while surfacing real truths about who brands REALLY are as employers.

More than ever, companies are on display for the world (and candidates) to witness. How companies conduct themselves, treat employees and communicate to the labor market during these times will surely define their reputational badge (and talent brand) for years to come.

We believe that in crisis one must be aware of the dangers, but also seek and take action on new opportunities that the situation creates. So, let’s look beyond the default emotions of fear, sadness and anxiety for a minute and focus instead on the opportunities that exist for employers during unique seasons like this one.

Here are 3 tips for creating opportunity for your talent brand from this crisis.

1. Promote all the good things you are doing with HEART.

Build content and campaigns with the intention to help (information) and inspire (feel-good culture stories). Let the talent marketplace know how you have responded for the good of your people with new benefits or arrangements and/or the good of society with COVID-related solutions. Critical to success here though, is an intense commitment to resonate with vulnerable hearts instead of logical minds. This means being less strict about the ideal brand guidelines you’ve typically clung to in the past. Instead, empower more raw, authentic and emotional communications direct from those who want to have an inspired voice right now. Consider soliciting more employee-generated content and social sharing from your leaders, managers and employees alike, or replacing high production video projects with grassroots efforts that build a sense of community amongst your people.

2. If you don’t have anything uniquely meaningful for #1, CREATE it.

Right now, more than ever, you can’t just “put lipstick on a pig”. To keep the talent you need right now and have access to those whom you need in the future, you must develop propositions that meet the biggest needs of your target talent audiences AND differentiate you from other talent competitors. It’s about designing upstream propositions that will generate exponentially greater impact downstream.

Need some ideas?

In an effort to help amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Truist is offering new and existing clients 1 FREE Employer Value Proposition brainstorm session with me, Founder & Chief Strategist Lisa Colella, during the month of May, 2020. Shoot us a message and we’ll get your 45-minute virtual call scheduled ASAP!

3. Don’t get complacent…

It’s been said that “complacency is a silent killer during a pandemic”. While that may be true physiologically, it can also be true strategically. Certainly, HR resources and investments will likely have shifted from recruiting into other “people buckets” such as retention and redeployment, but it’s important to maintain connections and conversations with your candidate pipelines + programs as much as possible. This too shall pass and when it does, a new generation of talent with much higher expectations will need to be woo’d and won to keep your business thriving. You’ll be much better off if you’re not starting from ground zero.

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