Suvorova & Partners / Executive search in Russia and CIS.
How Does A Company Brand Help To
Attract Candidates?
Olga Suvorova, PersonalMix, October 2004

We consider the selection of top level executives to be an interactive process between three brands - that of the employer company, the candidate, and the executive search company.

At present the number of well-qualified specialists is below the market demand which is why even well-known companies have to prove their worth for potential candidates. In the process of attracting candidates one must differentiate between the company's corporate brand and its brand as an employer.

The corporate brand is important to the candidate since it demonstrates the company's place in the world market, the position in the industry, financial figures, its corporate culture and organizational structure of the company as well as the goals and objectives it pursues in the Russian market which determine the candidate's future responsibilities, the extent to which his/her knowledge and skills will be applied and the possibility of realizing his/her potential. The candidate is presented with the company and job description, annual report and other information. In choosing the employer the candidate relies upon the information obtained from specialized press, the internet, independent reports, as well as the opinions of current and former employees, clients, distributors and suppliers. A positive image of the company in the social environment is effective not only in attracting candidates but in subsequently retaining staff. Often loyalty to the corporate brand is no less a motivating factor than the level of financial compensation. Managers are linked to the corporate brand, the image of the company is projected onto the image and career of an employee which results in overlap of the employee's personal brand and the brand of the company.

It goes without saying that creating an employer's brand is a more challenging task than creating a corporate brand. Largely it is due to the fact that fewer resources are allocated to promote it. However, the effective use of marketing campaigns to promote the corporate brand enhances the recognition of the employer's brand and serves as a spring-board for its development.

Creating the employer's brand can be divided into two stages: determining the brand's attributes and communicating them to the company's employees as well as potential candidates. Making a focused effort towards informing the business community about the employer's brand brings quick and consistent results in the form of attracting the highly-qualified managers. One must not underestimate the importance to the company's image of the managers who have worked with the company. Those companies which care about establishing ethical relations when parting with managers and subsequently maintaining relations with them are held in much greater esteem than those which tend to complicate and impede the procedure of an employee leaving the company.

After all, the current employment of its former employees and their compensation level are indicative of the company's professionalism. For example, companies active in the professional services sector legal, financial services, audit and human resources are traditionally nurturing personnel for their clients.

The importance of the company's brand to the candidate varies at different stages in his/her career. It is of utmost importance at the formative stage and can become less important for a person having reached the level of top executive. Then the fully developed personal brand of the manager in turn may impact the brand of the employer company. For instance, if an executive with a strong personal brand joins a company that is entering the Russian market, a start up, or a company having a partly negative image it makes the organization more attractive for other candidates.

The goal of an executive search company is to initiate and assist in a constructive dialogue between the employer and the candidate. The positive result of these negotiations solves the business objectives that the company was facing and that entailed the need to hire an external talent.

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