As much as you’d like to deny it, consumers make buying decisions based on how an organization treats its employees. People are now more likely to see and therefore care about the people behind your brand. In this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, CEO Bryan Adams talks about why it’s essential to tell the truth about your company so you can attract people who are a perfect match for your business—and repel those that aren’t.Bryan Adams is an author, CEO, and Founder of Ph. Creative, a full-service employer brand communications agency that helps you sell the truth and change the way people think about your company. He’s made it his mission to make his client’s lives easier and more effective.People say your core values, culture, and beliefs are revealed when put under pressure—and it’s safe to say we had adversity in 2020. Who you said you were and how you acted as a company this past year are probably the best research and the best proof that you are who you think you are. What does that make you and your company?Among other things, Bryan and Steve discussed:What Employer Branding is and why can it makes a big difference for your businessHow to attract the perfect people for your brand by being refreshingly honestWhy being confident that your organization isn’t for everybody is massive leverageHow to get comfortable repelling most of the people who wouldn't be a good fit in your organizationThe difference between consumer and employer brandingThe importance of setting your business culture from the very beginningThe “Give and Get” formula to attract the right peopleYou can learn more about Bryan here:Follow Bryan on LinkedIn Learn more about Ph. Creative here:https://www.ph-creative.com/Read the books mentioned in this podcast:The Golden Toilet by Steve BrownGive and Get by Bryan Adams and Charlotte MarshallThinking of starting your own podcast? Buzzsprout’s secure and reliable posting allows you to publish podcasts online. Buzzsprout also includes full iTunes support, HTML5 players, show statistics, and WordPress plugins. Get started using this link to receive a $20 Amazon gift card and to help support our show!Support the show (https://cash.app/$stevemfbrown)
Yeah. So the subtitle on your book I really like repel the mini and compel the few with impact, purpose and belonging. And it feels very counterintuitive to that. You're wanting to repel most of the people. And so how do we write? Get comfortable repelling most of the people who wouldn't be a good fit in our organization and feel good about it and confident about it. So I love the fact that it feels counterintuitive, and I totally agree, but actually wants to be. Look at it. The big difference between consumer branding and employer branding is when you put a job posting up there and you get 100 people 100 applicants. What? One thing we know for sure is 99% of those people who have interacted with your brand are going to be rejected and turned away. So we don't want to just be the most attractive brand across the board when we recruit for the best talent in the marketplace. Actually, if we could only have 10 applications or the euphoria is just one application and that's the person we want to hire, that doesn't make much more sense. I've never met ahead of talent attraction who wants more applications? They want more of the right applications, and what's really cool is still 38% of employer brand leaders will cite an uplifting applications as a success criteria for employer brand. But then, as soon as they apply, the recruiters of that organization are inventing technology they use in automation and artificial intelligence to deal with the deluge of applicants that they don't want. You know they don't want more applicants. They just want more of the right applicants. So if we're comfortable and confident about the employee experience that we offer and the fact that it's not for everybody, employer branding is there to repel most people with the truth, to compel those people who are perfectly much for our organization, you know. And if we get that formula right and then we do need more volume because let's say we're hiring a significant number of people this month, then we can turn up the dials and compel more of those right people. But then we're in the territory of recruitment, marketing, not branding
so I think that a lot of people, they mesh the words branding, marketing, sales, um, positioning. They mesh all of these terms together, and it's not clear you know, the definitions of each and why they're different. And so for me, when someone goes, what's what's a brand? What's the definition of a brand? And the definition of a brand of me is how you feel after interacting with that brand, that company, that person and an employer brand would be. How does the employee feel after interacting with that company? And it sounds simple, but it's not simple. Yeah, yeah, it's it can. It can certainly get complicated. But, you know, I like simple. I like to play in simple terms. Uh, you know, I find it easier if we can simplify things and you're right. A brand is typically what people say about you when you're not in the room. Employer brand is exactly the same thing, but they're articulating the employee experience. Employer branding the act of branding that talent experience is providing an articulation and then living up to that consistent experience. So people have the words to describe the truth about the employee experience You know the really interesting thing, Steve, you know, as humans, you know, we've been told us the kid, you know, straighten your tie, comb your hair. Well, people don't tell me that anymore, but, you know, put our best foot forward and look your best. So when it comes to branding, um, even consumer branding, you know, the lift and shift of consumer branding techniques into employer brand and sweats fallen down. People don't want the shiny sunshine and unicorn truth about an organization just talking about the strength, benefits and opportunities. What they really want to know is, Do I have what it takes to thrive at that organization? Is this going to be a good match or not? You know, and some cultures and some employee experiences, um, our great from the perspective of one person, but not so great from the perspective of the other. So So actually, um, in the in the book given get employer branding, what we talk about is you've got to be comfortable. In fact, you've got to be confident with the fact that your organization isn't for everybody, and you can use that to your advantage massively by being refreshingly honest and open about the fact that there are harsh realities here. Um, you know, if if you don't like being put into massive, massive pressure or, you know, the work life balance isn't great or whatever it is, Whatever your harsh realities are, those are the things that you need to be comfortable and confident with able to attract people that are going to thrive, not just survive. And it gets really interesting when you start to delve into that space.
so that okay, but most of people they start their business, they get going. You know, it's, uh they make it from day to day, then week to week, and then they start to make a month a month. And, you know, they try to get this idea that's in their head and get it communicated to their prospects, their customers, their employees, the people that support them. But it's like all the focus gets on your story that you tell your potential customers. But where the big competitive advantage when you think of the brands that really do it right, the people that work there, the people that want to be a part of that brand people want to have that brand is a part of their identity. But there's these invisible things that that accomplished this, that they innately either got right or we're really deliberate about. What are those things? Brian. So it's interesting because I think sometimes we talk about culture and it's overcomplicated. Culture is nothing more than a set of consistent behaviors that are visible in every aspect of your company. You know, they turn up every day. Um, largely it starts with the leaders of the organization, you know, and so it should. So sometimes it changes get slightly more complicated when the organization reaches a certain point. But you know, by and large that's what it is. And you know the key. The key really is, um, and the most interesting thing is now even consumers make buying decisions based on how organizations treat their people the reputation for treating their people. People make buying decisions based on the stories they see of the people behind the brand. So employer brand is becoming more and more prevalent and showing up in consumer decisions. And it's almost blaring the lines between a consumer brand and what's sometimes called the talent brand, you know. So what we specialize in is going into organizations and unearthing the magic, the soul, the essence of you know, what differentiates them And, um, what makes them a unique place to work in terms of what they stand for, how it feels, what the employee experience is, and you know that that sort of it always talks to impact, you know, So does my contribution matter individually? Does the contribution of this organization matter to the world purpose? Do I believe in the direction and the vision of this organization and belonging how it feels to be part of it, Um, you know. So if we can articulate what it feels like an answer those three fundamental questions for an organization, then they can articulate who they are in a very transparent way so people can make better decisions as to whether to make a life changing decision to go and work there and whether to stay or not. You know, um so so that's what employer brand is all about. That's how we sort of look at culture, and those are some of the derivative parts that go into how we do it.
Brian, The people listening to this podcast they're wondering. Alright, what's the hook here? Why do I need to hang around for this conversation? We need to sell this right? So you you've got a book called Give and Get. It's an employer branding and then you've got an agency That's a full service employer brand and communications agency called pH Creative. What the hell is employer branding? A great question to start, Steve. So we we started off as, um and also have this digital marketing agency and be pivoted probably about 10 years ago into this little space. Um, essentially, it's it's marketing for organizations, but not to attract customers but to attract people, you know. And you could argue that great people are the only true competitive advantage left in business today. Everything else can be bought automated, you know, scaled and what not commoditized but great people. You know, even when you're solo prepare or you're just starting out and hiring your first few people building a veteran, a culture, it's make or break, you know. So we help. Organizations were calibrated to help large global organizations with typically more than 10,000 people, But we work with smaller companies to to nature cultures, attract, retain and engage top talents. Essentially. But we do it in a slightly different way, which I think we'll probably get into later in the conversation. Yeah, so here's the thing, um, this word culture building a culture, you need to be delivered about your culture for you, and it's true. But I think so many people miss Miss the mark on this because you know your employees can make create a beautiful experience. I believe that your culture done right, like this invisible hand that can really represent the best of you when you're not around. But how do you get what's in your head and get it inculcated into your employer's into your employees that actually live it? They don't just say it, but they really do live it. And you're coming at it from this background. It's unique and that you're you're screenwriter or you do, uh, playwrights. What is it you do? Why is this important? How does that break into your passion as far as your company? So, um you know, like Robert McKee says stories and the best way of putting ideas into the world and essentially, you know, if our brain was hardware. Story is the software we run to make sense of the world, you know? So story is a passion of mine, and it's sort of at the center of pretty much everything we do and as a professional communications organization. So it should be as well, I guess, you know, So that's the sort of derivative foundation that runs right through every aspect of what we do at Ph created.