One of the biggest marketing challenges that every organization, regardless of size, industry or location, is facing today has nothing to do with selling more of your product or services.

Before you can successfully grow your company, you have to be able to attract and retain great employees. In today’s tight labor market, that is no small task. Just like your strategic marketing plan to sell your wares, you need an equally strategic marketing plan for earning strong team members.

This is not just an HR responsibility. It’s an “all hands on deck” opportunity to bring talent to your organization. There are lots of ways that everyone, from the chief bottle washer to the CEO, can get on the prospective employees’ radar screens.

You can’t over-emphasize how influential your employees can be in your recruiting efforts. We recently did a survey of almost 1,000 agency employees, and the most influential factor in how they found their last job was knowing someone who already worked there and that person having good things to say about the company.

Marketing Twist 1 — Why not interview your employees and create videos about the work experience, your benefits packages, the opportunities to advance in their career and your company’s involvement in the community?    

Attaching an employee testimonial video to a recruiting email (or sharing a link to the video if you’re prospecting on sites like LinkedIn) can significantly increase the open rate and the engagement levels.

Be sure you’re putting your best digital foot forward if you’re trying to grow your team. Every candidate is going to spend some time checking you out online before applying for a posted job.  Your website and social channels need to reflect your brand’s personality and what it would be like to work with you.

Just about every industry has some sort of ratings or review site, like GlassDoor.com. Not only should you be monitoring what is said about your organization, but you should also have a strategy for responding to all reviews. Beyond that, you should be encouraging your employees to leave authentic reviews that highlight your organization’s best features.

Marketing Twist 2 — Have a section on your website for potential employees and include a FAQ section. Make it easy for candidates to do their homework before applying for a job or coming in for an interview. This would be a great spot for those employee testimonial videos to live as well.

You can also create ads to run on Facebook and other social sites that will drive people to learn more about open jobs and your company’s culture.

Marketing Twist 3 — Another smart way to market your company to employee prospects is to be identified as a worthy or respected employer. Winning awards like a Best Place to Work, Top Workplaces for Women or other diversity awards that make it clear that you are a respectful, accepting workplace puts you in the spotlight.

There are local and national versions of many of these awards. Publications like Forbes, Working Mother, Fortune and Fast Company all publish their version of these lists.  

Do your homework to find out how and when these lists are compiled. It may take you a few years to polish up your entries enough to get on one of the national lists, but if you truly are a great place to work, with some elbow grease and persistence, you have a good shot at the local or regional level.

A side benefit of going to all this effort is that clients prefer to do business with a company that has a consistent and happy workforce. So in finding great team members, you might also find a great client or two.