Transparency is the New Black, with TalentCulture CEO Meghan M. Biro

July 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM by William Clarke


Employer branding, social strategy, and recruiting guru Meghan M. Biro hops onto Hiring On All Cylinders ahead of her Entelo Talent Powerhouse webinar next week. Meghan and the team chat about why transparency, honesty and trust are fundamental components for a high-performing recruiting organization, and why you can’t successfully build a genuine employer brand without them. 

Tune in to hear Meghan and the team also chat about:

  • How great recruiting takes a marketing mindset  
  • The dangers of overselling the role and company during the recruiting process
  • What employer brand actually means, and how that can be misaligned internally and externally
  • The value of recruiting transparency on the candidate experience

Check out our interview with Meghan to hear what else is up her sleeve for Growing Your Employer Brand to Engage the Retain the Best People:

What peeves you the most about how many of today's organizations choose to communicate their image to employees and potential candidates?

There are two things that peeve me the most.

One is overall false advertising. When organizations are deliberate about promoting an employer brand that is completely different than what it’s actually like to work there. Employers need to do the work to understand their unique culture and what makes them special. On the other hand, if the company is a terrible place to work and leaders scrambling to hide that fact, then fix it.

The other pet peeve relates, but has some nuanced differences – it’s the fear of transparency. Yes, everyone knows that transparency is the new black, but some leaders and organizations aren’t on board yet. Well, they need to be. There is the good, bad and ugly in all businesses and facets of life, but candidates, partners, investors and other influential groups all demand at least a certain level of transparency. If you have that much to hide, the same advice applies: Fix it.

Can you share one of your bad candidate experiences? What happened, and how did that impact your impression of that company?

I once had a company go completely quiet when I thought we had several very positive interactions. It reminded me of an immature high school break up. Seriously? You just decide never to call, text or email ever again? It’s embarrassing for both sides and absolutely avoidable. That experience totally tainted my opinion of the organization, one that’s fairly large and recognizable. One small department – one person even – can ruin a company’s reputation if they don’t cover the basics during a candidate experience.

How can having a reputable brand improve retention?

By treating people with respect and open ears, they will inevitably be more willing to stick around. Oh – and if you hear solid ideas for improving culture or branding, take action on them! Never stop listening. No matter how established, reputable or profitable an organization, things are always changing. New generations are entering the workforce. The world of work is shifting in new ways. Be willing to find culturally relevant ways to ask questions, hear your employees when they voice their needs, wants and ideas.  

What's to blame for employee disengagement, and is there a "point of no return" in the land of engagement?

Employee disengagement is generally a direct response to management. Sometimes it’s on just one team and it’s easy to pinpoint the dysfunction. But if disengagement is organization-wide and employees are checked out in all corners of the business, the executive team has done something wrong that needs to be identified and addressed immediately. If that one executive at the top or the group as a whole isn’t willing to take corrective measures, the business will topple.

I try to stay positive that there generally isn’t a point of no return if people who can make changes are willing to do so. It takes time and effort to pinpoint engagement issues, but it’s a critical exercise. Put in the work, show commitment, be transparent about your company’s efforts to improve their employees’ happiness at work.

What are some of the most common misjudgments people have about building a brand?

1)     That it should be expensive. I believe that resources should be dedicated to the initiative of building and sustaining brands, so, no, it’s not free. But it isn’t about expensive consultants and pricy development. To me, building a brand is way more about unearthing the nuggets that make the brand unique, being strategic and thinking long-term about how to share those findings with key audiences.

2)     That it should be defined from the top. Executives need to play a role, but they don’t get to go on a retreat and come back and tell the organization what the employer brand is. (Pro tip: Don’t do this.) It’s about finding out what it’s really like to work there – from the people who work there!

3)     That it is a “project.” Building a brand isn’t a Q4 project that will inevitably change perceptions of the company the next year! It’s an activity that requires ongoing exploration, strategic planning and consistent outgoing messaging.

Who should join "Growing Your Employer Brand to Engage and Retain the Best People"?

Anyone who has vested interested in finding, hiring and retaining employees who can shape the organization as it is today and can be tomorrow. From HR to talent management to executives to managers, it’s a topic that has aspects that touch people across the business.

Have you saved your seat yet?

Related articles:
What The Best Employer Brands Get Right
Stacy Zapar on Employer Brand Through Community
Why Transparency Builds A Positive Candidate Experience 

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