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When Brand Management Meets Talent Management

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Last week, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who is in the process of looking for a new job. She shared that she is not only interested in working for an organization with a good reputation but one that is part of a strong community. While she has had success in finding job openings in several states that offer competitive pay, benefits, and opportunities for growth, she has run into trouble trying to find information about the specific characteristics of each community.

My friend asked me, "Why don't organizations do a better job of communicating information about their communities and their community involvement to help attract talent?" Communicating the goals and vision of an organization is essential in recruiting the best candidates for a position. But, it is also important for employers to showcase what their surrounding community has to offer potential job applicants. Most of us want not only a great place to work, but a fun, safe neighborhood in which to live.

A number of HR managers across the country, including in the education community, are beginning to recognize the importance of developing a comprehensive human resources branding strategy that raises awareness for both the values of working for their organization and the benefits of living in the surrounding community. "HR branding" (or "employment branding") is one of the latest and greatest trends in talent management.

The American Marketing Association defines branding as a, "customer experience represented by a collection of images and ideas." An effective HR branding strategy uses many tools to communicate to both current and prospective employees the benefits of working for an organization in an effort to attract and retain high-potential candidates. The brand should showcase an organization's culture and values as well as the perks of moving to a specific community.

I have worked with some school districts, and researched others, that are doing a fantastic job with HR branding, while many others are still working through the process of identifying strategic HR goals and developing a branding strategy. A number of businesses are not yet experts at HR branding either.

No matter where they are at in the process, the good news is that school districts, businesses and many more organizations are jumping on the HR branding bandwagon rather than dismissing it as "just another fad." While an HR branding strategy is unlikely to make or break an organization, it could be the difference in successfully hiring a talented new teacher or losing that person to another school district.

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The opinions expressed in K-12 Talent Manager are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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