My Fellow Team Members,
In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins said “People are not your most important asset. The right people are.” Jack Ma is more specific when he said: “Don’t look for the best people, look for the right people.”
As leaders, we know that having the right people makes all the difference in the world in achieving our goals, and many times, determines success or failure. We, therefore, need to tweak our HR strategy from attracting, retaining and optimizing the best and the brightest, to attracting, retaining and optimizing the right people who believe in our purpose, are aligned with our values, and will thrive in our culture.
The holy grail for all employers is to be the employer of choice which means talents are eager to work for you, that people envy your employees, that you receive unsolicited resumes, and that your most talented employees stay with the company throughout their careers.
Hence, the importance of our employer brand, i.e. our reputation as an employer and the company’s value proposition to its employees, as opposed to the more general corporate brand reputation and the value proposition to its customers.
If I were to assess and rank how we are going with the three components of our HR strategy, I would say we are:
– With an average retention rate of 10%, this means we are doing a great job at retaining our people.
– We are doing reasonably well at optimizing our team members.
– There is a lot of potential for improvement in attracting the right people.
– Intuitively, attraction is probably the most important area to focus on because if we do not start with the right talent, the two other components of our strategy become irrelevant, hence the focus of on developing the Aboitiz Group’s Employer Value Proposition.
Let’s read through a few quotes and findings from Universum’s Insights and Facts Report collated from our target external talents both professionals and students:
“I do not have an in-depth knowledge about Aboitiz. I know almost none of their projects….”
“There are more career opportunities with other employers.”
“ It’s a known company but not ideal in terms of career growth….”
“I rarely hear about them lately, So I am not sure how they are doing currently.”
“I don’t know how they treat their employees.”
“…heard about biased treatment of some employees.”
“They have high standards. I heard they don’t accept those who had bad grades.”
“… Aboitiz’s company shares often top blue chips, but not sure if the company can give business major students like me the experience or the right job.”
“Maybe they are new in the industry so I think they should handle bigger projects in the future so that they will be recognized in the market.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Are we happy with them? I surely am not.
We can ignore them because they are pure perceptions. Well whether true or false, perception is reality, at least in the eyes of our prospective applicants. We can rationalize this feedback by saying that we are relatively new in the national scene coming from Cebu and considered a more regional player.
If prospective talents perceive us and the career opportunities in Aboitiz wrongly or inaccurately, how can we expect to attract them?
I hope that you, like me, are not happy that the talents we want to attract do not understand who we are and what we have to offer. There are numerous messages we are conveying to prospective team members, delivered by different people, making it more difficult for talent to to understand and appreciate. In the end, they become noise amidst a sea of messages received from other prospective employers.
Our Employer Brand Journey’s Discovery and Insighting Phase, which we all participated in and completed last December, brought to light how crucial it is for us to take stock of what and how we are and are not communicating about our employment story and value proposition.
We believe a great way to start is to develop a unified Employer Value Proposition, properly thought through and articulated, one that our target audience will understand and appreciate. And because we are now armed with data, a disciplined, collaborative, and creative process to do it, we are confident that this time, we will develop and communicate a compelling Employer Brand.
Our Employer Brand Journey’s Discovery and Insighting Phase, which we all participated in and completed last December, brought to light how crucial it is for us to take stock of what and how we are communicating our story and value proposition.
I will end my message with a quote from Dale Carnegie who said: “The only way to influence people is to talk in terms of what the other person wants.”