Why transparency is a great idea in employer branding
"Creamy, dreamy, chocolatey, the most delicious thing you have ever tasted..."
Yeah, you can talk about ice cream like this in brand messaging! And when a customer tries it, it doesn't matter that much. It's not a big deal for the customer, if it really is the dreamiest cone ever, or not.
But if you shout out loud that your employee experience is flawless and everyday life is only sunshine and rainbows – it just doesn't work in the long run. Your employer brand doesn't inspire trust because it's not truthful.
Why is employer branding different from ice cream branding?
Because 1/3 of people's lives is spent at work. It's much bigger choice that has significantly bigger impact if it goes wrong.
What does transparency in Employer Branding mean?
What can transparency mean in employer branding?
Transparency in communication means talking about both the good and the bad things openly. This information is shared internally, but externally, too. Transparent communication is known to inspire trust and collaboration in teams, organizations and even countries.
If you talk about a lot of things openly in public, but not about the negative things, that's not transparency.
For example, at TalentBee, we talk about both the good and the bad things about our company as a workplace in our employer branding. We communicate clearly about our strengths, but also weaknesses. We are aiming to build the best workplace for talent acquisition professionals, but are far from that at this point.
At the beginning of the economic recession, we've been talking a lot about how the situation affects our operations and recruitment. To know more, follow for example our CEO Samuli on Linkedin, and TalentBee on Instagram.
We also have, for example, public salaries. We talk about how you can get a salary raise and what things have an impact on that.
We've shared almost every step of our company's journey in public: the numbers from our sales pipeline, our MRR, agendas of the advisory board meetings... The list goes on.
What has happened when we have done this?
A lot of companies are not ready to be more transparent because it might bring some downsides. What might happen with transparent communication is: sharing too much information so that there will be mixed messaging. You need to have a clear strategy and goals that are aligned with your communication and messaging.
For us, keeping this in mind, transparency has been a good thing so far in many ways:
- Our first employee, Nea has said that she chose our job offer over a bigger company's offer because we could share with her openly and clearly about what she will be doing in her role, what our situation looks like (a little bit of chaos) and well, the salary table.
- We are building talent pipelines to be able to bring right people in the team at the right time. People are willing to stay in touch with us because we can communicate transparently with them about our timeline and situation.
- You won't have to disagree about the salary levels with anyone.
- Siiri was hired as a co-founder – originally she saw Saara's post about her MS disease on Linkedin and got inspired by that.
So far, we don't know how transparency exactly has affected on the number of inbound leads (both recruitment and sales). But many people have said to us that they really like what we're doing. And there has been a lot of inbound leads (both recruitment and sales).
Why might transparent employer brand messaging be the right way to go for your company?
Here's why we think transparency in employer branding is a good idea:
- Talking honestly about all aspects of what's it like to work at your company helps your talent audience to self-evaluate if they would enjoy working there or not. It's better to let people do self-evaluation than for the employer to try to evaluate if the candidate is going to thrive or not.
- The results are more sustainable. And people are careful when they do these decisions for their lives and careers.
- If you are going to be truthful in your employer branding, there needs to be honest talk about flaws, too. Nothing truthful is flawless. And the employer brand should always be truthful.
- The whole truth will reveal itself to the hired employees sooner or later anyway.
- Honesty wins attention. That’s what people are really interested in.