You like to hire people you understand, people with something in common with yourself, people you can relate to in some way. It makes sense. It’s human nature.
What you may not have considered, however, is that this same phenomenon works the other way around. Potential talent wants to work at a company, and with people, they can relate to, as well.
And that’s where your CEO’s personal brand comes into play. Because the CEO is often the public face of the company, they are the first touchpoint for a candidate to assess company culture and fit. In fact, their personal brand can be a deciding factor on whether you get the candidate you want.
Here are 5 ways your CEO’s personal brand can make recruiting new talent easier…
A strong personal brand communicates your company’s values
New employees are understandably concerned about whether they’re going to fit in and be happy at a workplace. When your personal brand indicates that you and your company have a certain set of values, candidates with those same values can feel confident that they’re looking in the right direction in their job search.
How do you get your personal brand in front of them? The easiest way to do this is by being authentic on social media channels. The CEO of your company needs to get their image out for the public.
When someone decides to consider your company for employment, they’ll search online for information about the company and owner. You want them to find lots of authentic information.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff manages to do this with his philanthropic work. Salesforce is known as a company that’s great to work for and gives back to the community.
A gracious CEO draws attention
Gary Kelly, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, uses Twitter to give credit to others and tell people about the company’s customer satisfaction awards, as well as commending Southwest’s employee profit-sharing program.
When your CEO makes gratitude part of the personal brand, it gives potential new hires a good impression. They feel like they are entering a work culture where they will be appreciated. And everyone likes to be appreciated.
How your CEO talks about employees can make a big difference in how favorably candidates view your company. Does the CEO talk about employees like they are fellow adults, or like they are children to babysit? Are employee achievements talked about and celebrated? These are parts of workplace culture you want to convey when recruiting talent.
The CEO can relay how exciting your workplace is
When a CEO is enthusiastic and involved, it shows. The hideaway CEO who never goes into the office and never shows up to company events doesn’t make a good impression. After all, if the CEO doesn’t care about these parts of team building and company culture, why should your employees?
Google CEO Sundar Pichai clearly does a good job of this. Google is consistently rated as one of the best places to work on Glassdoor.com. That’s an important list to be on because Glassdoor makes CEO reputation clearly visible on their site, showing potential employees what percentage of employees approve of the CEO. And 80 percent of corporate stakeholders say they factor in the CEO’s reputation when deciding whether they would recommend a company as a good place to work.
A personal brand that conveys trust builds loyalty
Mark Zuckerberg has a huge approval rating from his employees, at 98 percent. And one of the primary reasons why is that he trusts them and is completely open with them. He holds meetings every Friday, in fact, where his employees can ask any question they like regarding the business. That’s all employees at any department or level. His personal brand makes it clear that community is important and everyone is involved.
And it works. By trusting them, his employees reward him by being trustworthy. They almost never have an employee leak valuable information to curious outside parties that could benefit from the information.
You don’t have to be a celebrity CEO
Too many people believe that only celebrities can have a personal brand. And while I’ve used some of the more well-known celebrity CEO’s as examples in this post, you don’t have to be a celebrity CEO to use your personal brand to drive positive experiences with prospects, job candidates, and potential investors.
You can’t reduce the risk of a bad image by avoiding a personal brand. The majority of job candidates are on social media and use the internet to narrow down their job choices. That means your company, and especially your CEO needs to stand out in positive way.
I discovered Giridhar Akkineni CEO of AkkendCloud via LinkedIn where he regularly shares his insights about the staffing and recruiting industry. He has recently expanded his use of social media to other platforms and has been making appearances in the media with interviews, guest posts, and expert roundups within his industry. Giridhar is not a celebrity, but sharing his expert level knowledge on the Internet he has been able to gain considerable notority for both himself and his company. His company is also growing and hiring. So, it’s hard to argue that Giridhar’s personal brand has not contributed to the company’s success.
And you can’t delegate this work. Authenticity is the number one thing that people look for in the personal brand of a CEO. So you may be able to have a team help you edit your image, but it still has to be you behind the voice of your profiles. Because after all as a CEO it is YOU who is the industry expert and top thought leader. You can either use your voice or let competitor CEOs occupy that space in your industry.