The trouble with perky

Imagine you’re in the market for a real estate agent (okay, first imagine that you can actually afford real estate). You’ve narrowed it down to three agents who all have roughly the same amount of experience, access to listings, and cost structure. One is stoic to the point of being devoid of any expression – positive or negative, another is ridiculously perky about everything, and the last seems to have a balance of enthusiasm and determination. Which do you choose to work with?

This is just one example of the way in which something is communicated becomes as important as what is communicated. And that leads us to today’s topic – the role of personality in employer brand positioning. Personality can be the single biggest differentiator in an employment market filled with parity offerings. Correctly infused, it can make a similar offer stand out as if it were singular in nature. Ignored, it can guarantee that an exceptional offer is mired in the muck (and we wouldn’t want that, no matter how good the alliteration is).

So what is your company’s approach to its employer brand personality? More than likely, you’re unsure, because most of the attention is focused on the development of a value proposition, positioning statement, brand attributes, or some other component of your strategy.

If your response is something general and non-specific like “professional,” then you’re in trouble. Brand personalities should be multi-dimensional and specific. Confident, inclusive, exclusive, and enterprising are all good examples of employer brand personality components.

Determining personality is not simply a matter of choosing from a list of traits that you think are positive, however. Your employer brand personality has to be complementary to both your overarching position and the tone that organically emanates (it took me three tries to spell that correctly) from your organization.

Once you’ve identified the correct personality traits for your employer brand, make sure that they are infused in all communications, from advertising to collateral materials, from career sites to job postings, from screening tools to interview questions, from … okay, I think you get the point.


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Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy

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