Why You’re Losing Talent To Your Competitors

5 years ago · 5 min read

Today’s employees expect as much transparency, choice, and authenticity from their employers as they do from the brands they support. 

As business owners, we spend inordinate amounts of time trying to attract and retain our customers and outpace and outperform our competition. If we’re smart, we constantly have our ear to the ground listening to what our customers want, what they need, and how to reach and serve them more effectively.

And while we’re keeping an ever watchful eye on both our customers and competition, we too easily overlook something that, in the long run, is just as important — something that plays a huge role in whether we’re able to attract and retain top talent or lose it to our competitors: Marketing our brands to our employees.

While treating employees well has always been a key value for thoughtful, successful business leaders such as Richard Branson and Warren Buffet, B2E marketing takes that commitment further, adapting it for the digital age.

With B2E marketing, brands commit to open communication and transparency with employees and prospects, in addition to offering the kinds of benefits, perks, and working environment that today’s employees expect and desire.

So why does this matter? Let me break it down.

Today’s employees expect as much transparency, choice, and authenticity from their employers as they do from the brands they support. 

Employees today are connected consumers: they exist in the digital marketplace, just like your customers do.

As such, they expect the same things from your brand that your customers expect.

They want to see your brand’s values authentically in action—and of course, as part of your company, they’ve got front-row seats. If your values include giving back to your community, but all that consists of is a single company-wide volunteer day each year, your employees will be the first to call you out on it, and with social media never more than a click away, they might not do so quietly.

Likewise, Millennial and Gen Z employees, in particular, expect more ownership and choice in their jobs than older generations.

This tracks closely with the way the digital experience has evolved—consumers today have access to a truly unprecedented amount of not only information, but choice when it comes to how, when, and why they patronize a brand. Consider sites like Glassdoor or FairyGodBoss, which allow employees to essentially “review” their time with a company. These sites have a real impact on recruiting efforts—according to a report by Future Workplace and CareerArc, 55 percent of job seekers who read a negative review of a company decided against applying due to that review.

Within the workplace, thanks to workplace technology, employees have an unprecedented number of options when it comes to how and when they work, with options like remote work and flexible hours being offered by many employers.

If your company still expects employees to adhere to a strict, traditional schedule without a highly compelling reason, be aware that you may be seen as behind-the-times and out of touch with today’s connected employee.

The B2E experience directly affects the B2C experience.

Happy employees make it much more likely that you’ll have happy customers. The link between job attitude (how an employee feels about their position and their organization) and organizational performance (the success or failure of the organization) has been proven many times, yet too often, companies focus their energies on the customer at the expense of the employee experience.

Employees who are engaged with their organizations not only perform their jobs better, but they’re more likely to become strong brand ambassadors for your company. Whether they’re flight attendants cracking jokes over the intercom on a Southwest flight, or a salesperson tweeting about how much they love their job on their off-hours, employees can be your brand’s most powerful storytellers.

The bottom line: employees will seek out a better B2E experience if yours isn’t good enough. 

As The Balance reports, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 numbers, “the median employee tenure was 4.3 years for men and 4.0 years for women.”

People are more comfortable than ever switching jobs, and what’s more, they can complete nearly their entire job search—with the exception of the interview—from the comfort of their desks.

Companies who understand the centrality of top talent to their success actively take advantage of the recruiting process as an opportunity to market their company culture to  attract the most desirable candidates. If you’re not marketing to your current employees and positioning your organization to potential hires as an ideal place to work, don’t be surprised when your best people and prospects are picked off by your competition.

Investing in B2E is every bit as important to your company’s competitive advantage and long-term success as investing in B2C. For more on cultivating a positive B2E experience, read my post “What Your In-House Marketing Team Needs to Thrive.”