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Brand identity – hiring employees that fit

Any brand worth its salt has a clear brand identity. Integral core values and a strong ethos. It’s what makes every company unique. And it’s the reason why finding the perfect employees can feel like an impossible task. We all know the situation where a person is hired based on their skillsets and experience. They feel like a perfect match for the role, but it just doesn’t work. It’s a square peg and a round hole. And it happens more than you might think.

When it comes to these matters, prevention is far better than cure.  So, how do you hire candidates that are a great fit for your company? 

Ensure that you understand your brand identity

If you don’t understand your brand identity, then how are you going to go about finding the right people to be part of it? You need to understand, in detail, what your company is all about, and what you stand for. 

Consider the culture of your company. The way that you and your team approach business and how you think and operate. Evaluate how your brand is perceived by others and decide whether or not you’re happy with that. You need to hire people that fit with your culture. Or, if you’re working towards a cultural improvement – the culture you’re aiming for. 

Think about your core values. What makes your company tick? What do you believe in? Candidates that share these values are far more likely to be a perfect fit for your team.  

It’s possible to gain a far greater understanding of your company by identifying your brand’s archetype. The archetype model was developed by Carl Jung, and is based on the principle that people are able to instantly identify with ‘characters’ that feel familiar to us. The theory outlines a number of characters that your business may be categorised as. For example, ‘the hero’, a brand identity which promises triumph to its customers.

Openly portray your brand’s values and culture

The core values and culture are the foundation of your brand identity. They should come across in everything that you do, and on every platform. The more effectively you do this, the more candidates you’ll have applying to work with your company. And they’ll be the candidates who are a good fit for your organisation. So, make sure that your values and culture are communicated clearly on your website and on your social media profiles.  Post content that’s in-keeping with your brand identity and ensure that it comes across in any job adverts too. 

Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that embody a company’s values are commonplace amongst successful businesses. Not only does CSR allow your company to have a real purpose, but it also helps communicate your ethos. An added bonus of this is that it helps you to attract the right people. A recent survey showed that half of respondents, and 75% of millennials asked, would even take a pay cut for the chance to work at a company with a strong reputation for CSR.

If a candidate is the right fit for you company, your culture and core values will attract them. If it doesn’t then they weren’t the right fit for you anyway. some employers worry that this will narrow down their choice of candidates. Don’t. It’s simply saving you time during the recruitment process by weeding out those who definitely aren’t a good fit. Think of it as Round 1. 

Discuss your brand identity, values and culture with applicants

Talk about your core values and company culture during job interviews. After all, you are trying to find out whether the candidate will be a good fit for your company, and they’re there to discover the same thing. 

Of course you’ll be interested in a candidate’s previous experience and skills, but don’t forget to ask questions that will help you ascertain how well they’ll fit in at your company. Find out about their interests and what motivates them. Ask them what their personal values are, how they work with others and what they look for in a work environment. It can also be incredibly beneficial to assess their personality type, as this will give you a lot of information on how well they’d work within your team. 

Last, but not least, ask them how they feel about your company values. Their response will tell you a lot. 

Hire for attitude, train for skill

When it comes to hiring people that resonate with your brand identity, it all boils down to values and culture. As important as skills and experience may be, when it comes to selecting a new hire, they aren’t everything. After all, if the new employee can’t slot into the wider team, then all the skills in the world still won’t make them right for the role. 

There’s a school of thought stating that you should hire for cultural fit and train for skills. And there’s certainly a lot of truth in that. Whilst it would hardly be a good idea to disregard past experience or skillsets entirely, cultural fit is arguably more important. Keep in mind that skills can be learned and developed. The personality and values of a person are integral to them.

You only have to be burned once to appreciate just how important it is that new hires truly resonate with your brand identity and slot seamlessly into the team. A bad decision can cause havoc, disrupting the dynamics of the office, altering the company culture and making day-to-day working difficult for everyone involved.

If you’re interested in identifying your company’s brand archetype, then we have the answer! Our simple online exercise will tell you which of the character archetypes best represent your company, which will help you target those best-fit candidates.  

Mark Gill

By Mark Gill

Recruitment Director with a proven record of providing world class hires at all levels of office and management positions within the Leeds Bradford region. We use our unique Headway Recruitment Platform incorporating psychometric testing to find the top candidates. If you want access to the full local talent pool get in contact with the team at Headway. We help companies achieve growth through our unique approach. This ensures the candidates we place are the perfect fit. Companies are then best placed to get the best from each individual as they understand their motivating traits. Proud to be recognised as preferred supplier for several businesses in the Sunday Times top 100 firms to work for.
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