Tackling the Full Candidate-to-Employee Experience With Chicago-Area Business Leaders

Red Caffeine was delighted to facilitate and participate in the multi-chamber panel at the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce that addressed the pressing and near-universal business question: How does an organization attract and retain talent? Building off our two-year partnership with the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, the panel brought together a large audience of business owners and HR managers from 12 municipalities to dig into the tools, processes and technologies that recruit and retain employees.

 The topic was first inspired by what Andrea Biwer, Executive Director of the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, and her peers from surrounding chambers are repeatedly hearing from their members as a top pain point. The Panel was facilitated by Red Caffeine’s Vice President, Julie Poulos, who was excited to take our People+People philosophy on the road and provide solutions to business growth barriers at the source. As a Panelist, our Content Director, Shannon Callarman, discussed today’s trends in Employer Branding and Recruitment, emphasizing the need for a thought-out content strategy to support hiring goals. The panel also featured four other experts on attracting and retaining top talent, from The Junto InstituteTasty CateringRiver Casino and Skill Scout. Together, the panel tackled the full candidate-to-employee experience – from recruitment to employee engagement to leadership and growth pathing. 

Below are our three top takeaways.

. 1. Having a documented mission, vision, and values isn’t enough ...

While we found many, even most attendees, have a documented mission, vision and values statement (MVV), most felt they hadn’t harnessed its full potential. This disconnect between having and owning your MVV can be a barrier to attracting and retaining talent. We explored ways, such as grading employee performance based on your value system and implementing open-book management to inspire employees to think like owners, to make your MVV part of the day-to-day business management.

. 2. Community outreach motivates employees and attracts candidates with aligned values

 Intentionally giving back to your community as a company is critical to attracting today’s top talent. “Intentional” is the key word. Giving back should be consistent and fit into your company’s values. Employees should know why they’re contributing and how it impacts the recipient. The reason should be personal and relevant not just to the company, but also to individual employees.

. 3. Want to reach top candidates? You need a content strategy

So you have a great culture - how are you telling your employer brand story to prospects and current team members? Our Content Director, Shannon Callarman, dug into how to create content that is compelling to today’s top talent network. For instance, a job description can be considered a piece of content by how intentionally it’s written and by really speaking to the “employee persona” you’re trying to reach. Beyond attracting prospects, effectively sharing your story with current team members can also unify and energize employees. Awareness of all the channels available to broadcast your story - from video to social media - can ensure your content is getting in front of the right people and keeping them engaged.  


Want more actionable tips and tricks to attract and retain talent? Download our Employer Branding Playbook to evaluate and strengthen your employer brand.