Even in a Recession, Employment Branding is Worth the Risk

Jun 18, 2008

This is the perfect time to capture market share with top talent.

The economy is slow, gas prices are through the roof, and it is causing problems everywhere. Employees are looking for jobs closer to home or something better to offset the recent pillage of their pocketbooks. Employees are looking for ways to cut costs, so help them do it before they look somewhere else.

Brand your business as the best in town and you will really set your brand apart during these tough economic times.

Although the goal of any company right now is to reduce operating costs, all while trying to maintain or increase profit, what if that’s not enough? What if the goal you have in mind right now is really going to hurt you in the long run? Would you be willing to take a risk? Increase while everyone else is decreasing? That is precisely what I am telling you to do.

Growth during a recession in order to promote your brand is important, and talent is the key to growth.

“It is well-documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good times.” –John Quelch, a professor at Harvard Business School.

This is true with respect to recruiting. Branding your company as the best place to work during a recession is critical to the process. Trust me, top talent is looking, especially now.

When you start to grab these players during a recession, it will positively impact productivity, so whether you are a search consultant advising clients, or an HR executive, you need to think about this scenario as a way to impact your business positively over the long term.

Branding Basics

Use a simple plan to brand your business as the place to work during a recession:

  • Maintain or increase advertising for key employees (profit builders).
  • Implement four-day workweeks to reduce operational costs without hindering performance or productivity.
  • Provide greater choices for preventive health programs.
  • Consider telecommuting for certain employees to reduce commuting expenses.
  • Promote innovative employer value propositions, not standard benefits.
  • Make a recruitment video and link it to your website, postings, and ads.
  • Market these benefits rigorously.

Small- and medium-size businesses will benefit the most, but if you can provide an image that highlights stability, security, growth, and innovation during economic uncertainty, you will see a shift in the attitude toward your company.

As the great Morpheus says in “The Matrix,” there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. Have a nice stroll!

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