Have you ever thought about changing your employee recruiting strategy to focus first on repelling the wrong candidates and then compelling the right ones? One of the biggest challenges I hear from our clients and business leaders around the country is that they cannot find the right people or enough people. What if one of contributing problems to finding the right people is that you don’t have an employer brand to communicate to potential new hires, new leaders, or new franchisees what is important to you ?
Our guest today is Bryan Adams, who shares with us the details on what an employer brand is and how to create one that compels and repels the right potential new hires.
Compel and Repel job applicants with your employee branding.
LINKS FROM THE EPISODE:
- You can visit our guest’s websites at: https://www.ph-creative.com/
- Get a copy of Bryan’s Book: https://www.amazon.com/Give-Get-Employer-Branding-Belonging/dp/1544507062/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1679250005&sr=8-1-fkmr0
- Connect with our guest on social:
- If you are ready to franchise your business or take it to the next level: CLICK HERE.
ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Bryan is the CEO and founder of Ph.Creative, which is recognized as one of the leading employer brand agencies in the world. Ph.Creative specializes in building world-class employer brand and talent engagement strategy for companies such as Apple, American Airlines, British Telecom and Virgin.
Bryan is a specialist speaker and a 2x best-selling author of ‘Getting Goosebumps’ (2015) and ‘Give & Get Employer Branding’(2020).
ABOUT BIG SKY FRANCHISE TEAM:
This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):
Welcome to the Multiply Your Success Podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team. And as we open today, I’m wondering if you ever thought about painting your employee recruiting strategy to focus first on repelling the wrong candidates and then compelling the right ones. One of the biggest challenges I hear from our clients and business leaders around the country is that they cannot find the right people or enough people.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:36):
And what if one of the contributing problems to finding the right people is that you don’t have an employer brand to communicate to potential new hires, new leaders, or new franchisees what is important to you and your company? Well, our guest today is Bryan Adams, who shares with us the details on what an employer brand is and how to create one that compels and repels the right potential new hires. Bryan is the CEO and founder of Ph.Creative, which is recognized as one of the leading employer brand agencies in the world. Ph.Creative specializes in building world-class employer brand and talent engagement strategy for companies such as Apple, American Airlines, British Telecom, and Virgin. Bryan is a specialist speaker and a two-time best-selling author of the books Getting Goosebumps released in 2015 and Give & Get Employer Branding in 2020. You’re going to love this interview, so let’s go ahead and jump right into it.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (01:34):
Thanks for having me on. I’m Bryan Adams, I’m CEO and founder of Ph.Creative, which is an employer branding agency.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:43):
That’s something I was very interested in talking about is this employer branding idea and concept. It’s a new term, a new phrase to me, so it’s one of the things I wanted to have you on to talk about. So what is it, if you wouldn’t mind?
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (01:57):
Yeah, sure. So essentially in a world where people are the only competitive advantage left in business, employer branding is branding your organization to get a reputation as an employer in order to attract and retain the talent you need.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:14):
And when you talk about attracting that talent that you need differentiation as a key component of getting the right talent on your team, one of the things that stood out in preparation for the interview is going beyond just the best places to work award or something like that. Right. So would you mind talking a little bit about that, and maybe that’s a great segue as well in terms of moving into discussion on your book you’ve recently written as well.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (02:41):
Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve been through the age of lifting and shifting marketing techniques into HR. Employer brand has been born and well versed for over 10 years now. But what we’ve found is obviously you can advertise a product and whoever can afford the product can buy it so it’s like come one, come all. But when it comes to employment, you advertise for jobs, you might get hundreds, tens, thousands of applicants, but actually you can only place one person in each role. So there’s a significant difference there.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (03:15):
So what we’ve found is rather than just trying to set out to be the most attractive organization or the best employer or something intangible, what the talent audience wants is more specificity around what’s it like, what’s it really like? What’s the culture? How will I find purpose, impact and belonging, and do I have what it takes to thrive? So employer branding is there to be a smart filter so people can make better choices and hopefully we can match great talent with great organizations and together it creates a thriving culture. So that was the principle for our book is to face into the fact that the conventional employer branding techniques aren’t optimized. Not everything from a world of marketing and advertising translates directly.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:05):
Very interesting. So one question that comes to mind and thinking about this is how do you blend a line, whatever the right phrase or term might be, thinking about employee compensation, company reputation, you talked about company culture, all of these things that kind of converge together into here, we talked through how that all works and fits together.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (04:31):
Yep. Great question Tom. So essentially if you look at what talent wants and what a business needs, the value is in the overlap of those two things. 99% of success for employer branding comes from aligning with the organization, understanding the direction of travel of the organization, and the goal is to differentiate yourself with a talent audience and also be the most relevant to your talent audience over and above your competitors. So the principle that we call give and get, give and get employer branding is based on a two-way value exchange. So as an employee, what do I have to give in order to thrive and be of value to the organization? And what do I want in return? Is it compensation? Is it work-life balance? Is it freedom and autonomy? Is it career progression? So understanding your talent, audience, what they want, and then understanding the capabilities required to move the organization forward gives you all of the ingredients to build a fair and equitable proposition that your talent audience can make great decisions with and you can drive an organization forward with as well.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:43):
Talk through maybe how you go about figuring out what you’re going to give and then also what as an organization you’re looking to get in return for that.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (05:52):
Essentially, Tom, what we’re talking about is a story structure that lays out the inputs and the outputs and why it’s all worthwhile for both parties. So when we’re constructing an employer brand, there’s three main layers to the strategy. There’s the reputational aspect, so understanding how the organization needs to be positioned and what they want to be known for in order to attract the right talent. And then the middle layer is the proposition, so laying out and setting expectations essentially. And that might be something like… we work with a lot of tech companies, so I’ll use the biggest tech company on the planet as an example. There’s no work-life balance. You’ll be held to a high standard relentlessly, you will be on call and required to do your best work at all times. You will be pushed to deliver faster, better, smarter than you’ve ever done before.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (06:49):
The flip side to that is you get to see your work in hands of millions of people every day. You really do find out what you’re capable of and your true potential. You work with some of the most creative, inventive, intelligent people on the planet and you galvanize around a purpose that really does set out to change the world. So that’s a good example of a proposition that’s not for everybody that might actually repel more people than it compels. But for those people who have a passion or an obsession for that type of environment, they might find their meaning in life. They might find a real sense of purpose, impact, and belonging, and that’s what we’re trying to get to.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:35):
Interesting. So you mentioned those words, compel and repel. I like that they rhyme it makes it real easy to remember. So compelling is easiest, it’s kind of convincing or presenting a reason why they should come in. But talk about this idea of repelling and being a repellent.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (07:52):
One of the best questions I’d really love to ask an organization when we do workshops or where we’re doing research is, “If it was your job to dissuade somebody from joining your organization and you couldn’t lie, what would you say?” And typically that’s a really good way to get to the root of the biggest harsh realities or adversities that exist inside an organization. Now, convention would tell us to sweep that under the carpet and we just want to brag and talk about the strengths, benefits, and opportunities. But by facing into some of the biggest challenges that you find in an organization, you’re doing a number of things. One, you’re putting that into context so you can then immediately understand, “Well, if you’ve got to put up with that or navigate around something or face into a challenge, why do you stay, why does that bring meaning?”
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (08:41):
The second thing is usually that’s the quickest route to understanding the most authentic source of pride and passion. Because if you have what it takes to thrive in an organization that is relentless and fast-paced and demands high standards, there’s a certain amount of pride that comes with that if you’ve got what it takes. And convention will tell us, “Well look, let’s just talk about the benefits, the compensation and the brighter side of the employment,” but actually the biggest question that candidates want answered is, “Do I have what it takes to thrive?”
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (09:15):
This is why Glassdoor is worth over a billion dollars. People want to know the truth. And if a brand includes that value in their proposition, then you get to influence the narrative and put those challenges into context. And in a world where more and more people are more cynical about brand and companies, it’s a refreshingly different point of view if you can present the reality and balance it with why people find purpose, impact and belonging in the process. So it sounds like a sort of misconception and it sounds controversial, but actually it just leans into a human truth and gives the audience the information that they’re looking for.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:01):
You used the word truth, that really resonated. It’s being just very truthful with these potential candidates or applicants that are looking to join your organization about what they can expect. Most people recognize it’s not going to be sunny skies all the time. They understand there are going to be hard times, there will be hard times. And so they want to know what that is. I think that’s such a fantastic point and discussion. And one question I wanted to make sure we ask you here is just some big misconceptions or common pitfalls that you see employers or companies go through when they’re trying to go through this branding strategy.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (10:41):
The biggest one is, given that I’ve just talked about being truthful and well-rounded about the adversities and harsh realities, the biggest misconception is the employer brand, in order to be authentic, it has to be a snapshot of the reality of the organization today. And actually a good employer brand, a world-class employer brand will paint a picture, a true picture of reality, but it will include the aspirational version of where the organization is going, what it hopes to achieve in the future, and the impact that might have on the world teams within the organization and individuals. And if it’s done right, it will be a sharp tool to point the culture of the organization in the direction of travel of the business. And only that way will you get true buy-in from the leaders of an organization who are paid and focus all of their time on the future of the company, not the present moment. So in order to be authentic, it doesn’t mean it can’t be aspirational and inspirational as well. It needs to include both elements.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:50):
Very interesting. Well, Bryan, this is a great time in the show to just make a transition where we like to ask every guest before they go the same four questions. And the first question we like to ask is, have you had a miss in your career or on your journey and something you learned from it?
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (12:06):
The biggest miss in my journey in my career, so Ph.Creative is coming up to 19 years old, and I think if I went out of business tomorrow, I could replicate the success that I’ve got right now in three years or less because I’ve got the benefit of experience and thinking bigger and knowing what’s possible. And the big myth for me as early on in my career is not thinking big enough and not thinking that I could work with some of the biggest brands in the world and charge the fees that we now charge and so on and so forth. So it really is the biggest myth has been limiting beliefs that have made my career 19 years instead of three or four.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:49):
Well, let’s look at the other side. Let’s talk about a make or two.
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (12:53):
A good few years ago now, but it’s a pivotal moment in my entrepreneurial career. We actually nearly went out of business because I had a debilitating fear of public speaking and I was turning down opportunities to address rooms full of qualified buyers. And instead of just giving into that fear, I did something about it. I did a standup comedy course and it was the most terrifying six weeks of my life. I lost about 18 pounds in weight through sheer fear and terror. But by facing into that fear, I came off that stage. I had to graduate by performing 15 minutes of standup comedy to a live audience at a comedy festival, and it was life-changing. So the win for me there is I faced into a fear head on, overcame that fear and it was a life-changing moment and I can track the success and growth of my business from that moment on.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:50):
Well, just curious, did you do any continuation with standup comedy? Did you pick up a new hobby too?
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (13:56):
I did do a little bit. I’ve got to confess, I’m not the greatest standup comedian in the world, but it opened up a lot more doors. It gave me confidence and a few more skills just from a personal perspective, but from a networking point of view and influencing others and storytelling point of view, it really added a number of dimensions to my entrepreneurial journey.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:17):
Let’s talk about a multiplier to help grow your business or yourself personally. Would you mind sharing something that you’ve done?
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (14:23):
In the last few years, I’ve got a little bit more intentional around routine optimizing health and focusing, making sure that I’ve got time in my day to do deep work when I’m working optimally. I think that’s been huge for me. I do a lot of travel, transatlantic travel every month, so that’s super important from an energy point of view. And then over the last few years, over investing on great people, paying a little bit more and making sure that you surround yourself with fantastic people. And then the final thing I’ll say is I’ve really started to create a multiplier effect by having a streamlined more simple business strategy with just two or three things that we focus on that stack and add value to each other. So simplification and multiplication of the three strategic focuses of the business.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:16):
Well, Bryan, the final question we like to ask every guest is what does success mean to you?
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (15:22):
Wow, what a big question. I guess when it comes down to it, for me, it comes down to having choice, having freedom to make the decisions that you want to make, putting my family and lifestyle first and being able to follow a passion that I get paid for. And that’s that old adage of find something that you love and never work a day in your life. I can’t claim that’s always true, but I am passionate about what I do. I’m really, really grateful for that. So I guess that’s success to me.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:52):
Before we go, Bryan, is there anything you were hoping to share or maybe get across that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (15:58):
I don’t think so. I mean, in terms of releasing and writing the book, that was once a hidden competitive advantage, the philosophy of Give & Get, making this strategic decision to write it down and sort of give that away to the world by publishing a book seemed like a big gamble at the time, but actually it opened up a lot of doors and that was a secret to our success as well. So if anybody has sat on a winning formula and approach or IP that they hold dear, consider being generous with it, giving it away to the world and building personal and company brand around it. That’s certainly been a multiplier for me.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:37):
Well, and how can people get a copy of your book and if they’re interested in following your formula and picking up on what we’ve been discussing, getting more detail on it?
Bryan Adams, Ph.Creative (16:46):
Yeah, sure. So the book’s available in all good bookstores. Amazon is probably the easiest way to get hold of it if you just search for either Give & Get or employer branding. It’s number one in the list.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:58):
Bryan, thank you so much for a fantastic interview and let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. So takeaway number one is when Bryan defined employee branding, and he said, “Employee branding is branding an organization to get a reputation as an employer to attract and retain employees.” Takeaway number two is he talked about give and get, which is also in reference to his new book. And he talks about this idea of give and get, which is a two-way value exchange. And it says, “What does the employee want to give to the organization,” think about that, “And what do they want to get for what they want out of the organization?” So what is it that they’re going to give and then what do they get? And be thinking about that as you’re thinking about employing or hiring new staff to come into your system.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:52):
And I would also say for our franchise listeners, what are new franchisees thinking about? In the same way, how can you give and get? Takeaway number three is how do you create an employee brand? And he said, “You want to communicate few things.” He said, “Number one, communicate what your culture is like, what it is like to work there and what it takes to succeed to work at your company.” And then he also says, “How do you blend compensation, culture and reputation?” He said, “You need to align the organization and differentiate from your competitors and to be the most relevant to the candidates you’re going after.” And now it’s time for today’s win-win.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:38):
So today’s win-win is compel and repel people with your employee branding. And I really like this concept. When you compel, you’re compelling someone to come in, you’re inviting them to come into your organization with the right messaging. And when you repel someone, you also have a duty and responsibility to make it clear what your organization is and is not as an employer. And so when you’re repelling someone, you’re dissuading them from coming to work at your organization. So you think about that, you take and use this in building out an authentic, true description of what it looks like to work at your company, what someone is successful as we had talked about before, but also the reality and truth of the hardships and challenges that arise at your organization.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:32):
Because when you blend both of those, it creates an opportunity and showcases what it actually is like to work there. It’s that win-win. So that’s the episode today. Folks, please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in and we look forward to having you back next week.