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Are you speaking your candidates’ language?

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Thanks to social media, we now have more opportunities to speak directly to our customers than ever. And that’s made us more mindful of the importance of having a consistent tone of voice across our brand – in other words, a ‘brand voice’.

Well, here’s news: brand voice isn’t just the way you speak to your customers. It’s how you speak to your staff, your stakeholders and your future talent. Because the way you come across to your people is just as important as how you come across to your customer.

Think about it – if you’re not using your brand voice to speak to the people you want to hire, you’re not accurately portraying what it’s like to work in your company. It might not sound like a big deal, but this disconnect is going to make it a lot harder to recruit (and keep) the right talent.

So how can you create the right tone of voice for your recruitment marketing campaigns and make sure you’re targeting the people you actually want to hire? It’s easier than you think, but you’ll need to put in some thought – and some groundwork.

Establish your (internal) brand voice

First thing’s first – how do you want to sound to the people in your organisation? You might have spent time crafting your brand voice to consumers, but what about how you communicate with your staff? Let’s do a quick audit. What’s your internal newsletter like, for example? How do you communicate company news? What’s the tone of your emails, both to senior team leaders and the factory floor? If your company values say you’re friendly and approachable but your internal comms are anything but, it’s time to make some serious changes.

Set some rules

Once you know how you want to sound, let’s work on making that a reality. The best way to ensure consistency in anything is – you guessed it – to set some rules. So how about communicating your employer brand voice to your employees? Here at WeLove9am we’ve done just that. We agree to use short, friendly sentences. We avoid industry jargon. We say what we mean, and we address our client as ‘you’. If you want to check, it’s all in our company playbook.

Think about how you want to sound to the people in your organisation, then set your own rules and implement them. Most importantly, encourage your employees to do the same – in their social media, internal comms and every touch point outsiders might have with your company.

Learn to show off

The best thing about recruiting is that it’s your chance to show off your culture. Nowhere should your brand voice be more visible than in your job ads. After all, this is where you’re selling yourself as an employer. Nothing will turn candidates off more than a disconnect between the tone of voice they hear as a consumer and the language of the job ad.

Talk to your audience

Let’s think about who you want to recruit for a minute. Do you want to attract more women to your tech roles? Then don’t exclude them by using gendered language. Studies show that using feminine-inclusive language that highlights collaboration, creativity and emotion gets more female applicants than ads with male-coded terms such as analysis and strategy. Likewise, if you want to target graduates, remember that Gen Z candidates value issues such as sustainability and inclusivity. If you want them to work for you, you’ll need to talk about these issues in your job ads (while walking the walk, of course).

Establishing a strong brand voice is all part of creating a healthy organisation – think of it a bit like taking vitamins for your company. And if you can use that same voice to not only hire the right talent but make sure they stick around, you’ll be in tip-top shape for the future, too.

Are you questioning your employer tone of voice? How important do you think brand voice is in recruiting? Find me on LinkedIn and share your views.

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