Without ‘Difference’ you have Employer Bland!

The end to end candidate attraction process is an end to end marketing process, and the world’s leading resourcers expertly and professionally market products (jobs) to consumers (job seekers)!

Just like corporate marketing, recruitment marketing starts with the Brand! The Employer Brand in this case. The trigger for an honest, emotional and opinionated response when one is asked; “what do you think of ‘XYZ’ organisation as an employer”?

Great recruitment marketeers hunt for the authentic USP or USP’s that truly differentiate(s) the organisation from others, to articulate and incorporate in the their brand messaging to secure the signature and services of the very best people out there.

Many highlight culture, values, job roles, remuneration, engagement, sector etc. and they use authentic, user generated or copywritten ‘day in the life’ examples of what it’s like to work at ‘XYZ’.

But some still miss the No1 opportunity to truly demonstrate difference! Many employ a text book approach, and in a blind taste test with 10 employer brand articulations side by side, you would be hard pressed to separate some of them.

Why? Because they potentially hold something, or some things, back! They publish and promote what they think people want to see and hear from the wealth of feedback and results they received during their Employer Brand and EVP research. They have gone ‘safe’ and chosen to filter the outcomes based on their own opinion, or those of the executive, and by doing so they have become ‘samey’!

What they have written means nothing in the scheme of things if every other organisation they compete with for talent is saying the same. As soon as it is consumed it pales into insignificance and is forgotten. Unfortunately, it’s Employer Bland and a wasted opportunity!

Worse still if hundreds or thousands of people that have experienced working for an organisation have written a counter view on social media and emerging rating sites, especially if common themes are identified. This becomes the truth and the recognised real XYZ, because it is different, much more authentic and lacking any credible counter view (that was forgotten at source in the Employer Bland messaging!).

So with this in mind, recruitment marketeers should stop showcasing what they think people want to hear and start celebrating the truly unique differences. They should highlight the things many may have avoided in the past or even been afraid to. They only need one big real and authentic hook to draw the interest away from their peers, but they are not going to do this by repeating; “At XYZ we truly value our employees as they are our most important asset”!

If you want to follow suit, hunt for those examples that are truly unique. Those nuggets of gold that no-one else could possibly say. Finding them is not going to be easy. You are going to have to dig a lot deeper and your employees are going to need to be encouraged to talk much more openly!

Coincidentally however, this is a form of elevated employee engagement! Your employees will thank you for enabling them to do this, and will repay you with increased productivity and retention – #justsayin!

We all acknowledge that difference is good and that diversity in teams leads to much better decision making and outcomes. So maybe this is where you need to start looking! Maybe you should lead with your performance in embracing and harnessing difference within the workforce. Highlight the achievements of those that have brought a different perspective to the organisation and how these achievements came about. These are the real differentiators, surely!

Everyone knows people are your most important asset, you don’t need to say it anymore. But what those people are doing and delivering differently, especially if they have brought difference and diversity to your organisation, constitute the real and meaningful realities that set you apart!

I read with interest a post in the Mental Health in Business LinkedIn Group from David, whose experience of mental health challenges started in school. Kindly read his short personal story and congratulate his courage for coming forward. It contains a very strong message. He ultimately chose to work in the public sector because he felt his values and principles aligned better there than they would in the private sector. A tremendous example of someone choosing to join an organisation that demonstrated it embraced difference, and an organisation securing someone’s expertise for doing so!

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, I would love to hear from you – colin.minto@bigideatalent.com – If you would like to support the movement to break down the stigma associated with difference in the workplace, (A) please continually promote your achievements in embracing and harnessing difference and, (B) join me and the most amazing community of people in the Mental Health in Business LinkedIn Group.

All the very best.

Colin – Let’s hide no more!

I need a HERO!


I help keep my OCD under control by running on average five mile per morning, five days per week, as I strongly believe physical wellbeing is one of the keys to mental wellbeing.

This gives me 40 to 50 minutes (depending how much I leave out there each morning) to think!

Recently, I thought through what type of companies I would want to work with, or for, in the future, which would be businesses with the right values and approach for providing an optimum working environment for people with mental health challenges, and other differences.

My thinking actually went one stage further because I realised that all businesses should operate to the framework that follows to offer the optimum deal to its employees!

H – Homely!

In life I feel most comfortable at home. I also probably spend as much time at work as I do at home, so surely employers can invest in making the working environment a home from home. The alternative that springs to mind is an environment that feels alien to most. Would any business leader strive to make their business environments feel alien!

E – Enjoyable!

I believe a happy workforce is a productive workforce, so why can’t all roles be structured to be as enjoyable as possible. Just simple steps to make every activity something that one can enjoy delivering. The alternative that springs to mind is activities that are not enjoyable. Would any business leader strive to make their roles unenjoyable!

R – Relaxed!

I don’t like too much stress and it’s a potential OCD trigger for me. I much prefer working in relaxed surroundings with relaxed, professional and gifted colleagues. The alternative is a stressed environment and continually under pressure colleagues. Would any business leader strive to make their business full of stress!

O – Open!

I have started talking more openly about my OCD and the support I have received from others has been heart warming and inspiring. The alternative is a very closed environment where people don’t open up on matters that are really meaningful and personal to them. Does any business leader strive to make their business closed!

Of course business leaders don’t set out to create any of the above but they inadvertently do! As do their layers of senior and middle management.

It seems to me the solution to all manner of business challenges, and the key to increased productivity, is being a HERO business.

Do you run one, why and what benefits do you receive? Do you know one, why and what benefits does the leadership receive?

I need a HERO and in return I will give one a superhero effort when I work for them! Probably the same as every other worker out there.