Inside loyalty: why connecting with talent is the new marketing frontier

Inside loyalty: why connecting with talent is the new marketing frontier

Talent. It’s the invaluable resource that the mci group, and no doubt many other businesses, have harnessed to build and grow. For us, the talented individuals across our agency network are the bedrock from which we deliver bright ideas and boundless innovations for our clients around the world.

However, like so many of the resources that companies hold dear, the talent numbers that brands have access to is currently under strain. Several factors are contributing to this shortage, many of which have pressed themselves against public awareness for the past couple of years.

Chief amongst these factors is the so called ‘great resignation’. Brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic, the great resignation stemmed from a widescale realisation on behalf of workers that a work-life balance free of the strains of commuting and in-office working was possible, and therefore prized.

Whilst the phenomenon is well understood by now, with the term having been coined back in 2021, its impact continues to evolve, affecting the market in new, complex ways and driving the behaviours of both employees and employers. In fact, a recent PWC study found that one in five workers from around the world planned to quit or change jobs in 2022.

This presents a challenge for businesses who may lose major talent to early retirement or the more competitive market. In fact, highly skilled workers are so difficult to replace that it could cost businesses up to 213% of their salary just to find and train their successor.

So, with such high stakes in finding and keeping stellar talent, how can brands inspire loyalty in their best and brightest and convince them to stick around?

Let’s talk opportunity

Before jumping into answering that question, it’s worth noting that the great resignation doesn’t always result in a downside for businesses. In fact, for those who meet the above benchmarks, attracting newly available talent may be more possible than ever.

By optimising your marketing, your business can bypass lingering losses. It can become a beacon for highly talented employees looking to find a better work-life balance, join a vibrant community and grow as individuals.

With that said, let’s take a look at how you can harness this opportunity to start attracting the kind of talent that will take your business to the next level.

A new you – A new form of rebrand

It’s probably no surprise that the brands making headway in this employment crisis are those who have been able to adapt and change.

We’ve spoken in previous pieces about the increasing importance of consumer values in the marketing proposition. In general, people have grown to care more deeply about the brands they interact with, so, how much of their time and resources they spend with a brand is determined by how far the brand aligns with their own values.

Ultimately, the same can be said for employees. With a swathe of talent taking their skills out of the market, those left are in high demand, and they are aware of that fact. As such, workers are far more likely to cherry-pick the brands they collaborate with based on their alignment with factors they really care about.

For brands, meeting these demands begins with looking inwards. Similar to the way in which we use data and insights to provide us with information about the values our customers hold dear, we can use our insights to determine what will attract and retain talent.

Some of these factors are fairly ubiquitous, with things like the ability to work flexibly, the ability to demand fair pay, and the degree to which a brand aligns with their own ESG values. However, it is important to generate a robust set of insights in order to determine the pain points and priorities of your unique talent network.

This can be made possible by creating spaces and forums, through which your brand can engage with its talent as a community, in order to gauge their key principles and pain points. This might be achieved by designing dynamic internal events in which talent from across your organisation are brought together. It could also involve creating software solutions, such as company-wide social medias or apps that enable staff to voice their opinions and foster community.

Not only can creating these spaces provide valuable insights, they can also start brands on the road to developing a more connected workforce, where collaboration and growth can take place organically.

By championing engaged communities with honesty, transparency and creativity at their core, brands can present talent with a sense of belonging and investment that will inspire loyalty.

Community creates leaders

Once new community spaces have been created, voices of influence will naturally begin to appear from within. These voices will be individuals who possess the ability to speak on behalf of their colleagues, as well as being able to inspire them and provide leadership.

Identifying and platforming these voices can therefore give brands access to powerful conduits, providing faster insights into the needs of their employees as well as being able to relay messaging to talent in a more targeted manner.

Platforming these internal influencers can also show prospective employees that their achievements will be celebrated, further bolstering your brand’s image as a desirable place to work. As Brad Rosenfeld of Prove puts it, ‘Shining a spotlight on outstanding employees and showcasing company culture will also boost the employer’s brand.’

Individuals in traditional leadership positions, such as directors and department heads, can then work in tandem with these individuals to action change in the business that is meaningful to all members of the workforce.

Be a space for growth

As well as fostering a space in which talent can connect, it is vital that brands conceptualise employee loyalty as a kind of journey through which brand and talent alike can grow together. In fact, the kind of fulfilment that growth and learning can provide is essential in a marketplace where 69% of people say they prioritise workplace fulfilment.

This means that as well as learning from the insights you gather when in conversation with your teams, your brand needs to provide opportunities for talent to constantly develop in ways that are new and relevant to their expectations.

Providing ways to attract and nurture new talent into your given industry in order to replace those retired skillsets is an important first step. By developing internship schemes and ensuring visibility in graduate employment spaces, your brand can connect new talent with your experienced, heavy hitters, therefore transferring their skills to a new generation whilst harnessing fresh perspectives and innovations.

However, it’s equally important to provide spaces for your current employees to grow. This presents an enormous opportunity for businesses, too. By working to identify areas where particular skillsets are in short supply, you can develop training schemes that can equip existing employees with the skills they’ll need to fill those roles, thus reducing the need to recruit externally in the long term.

Design future-ready roles

Beyond training existing employees for the roles you may need them to fill, we advise that brands begin to think about the new roles they can design with employee needs, and employee loyalty, in mind.

When designing these roles, take into account the key learnings you discover when engaging with your existing teams, as well as learnings that can be gleaned from the market.

For example, if you’re looking to attract young talent, it’s worth taking note of the fact that 92% of young people say they’d prefer hybrid work.

By considering the needs of workers before a role has even been designed, your brand can ensure to appeal to the workforce of tomorrow, therefore negating the strain the great resignation still poses today.

In conclusion – connect your community

Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all approach to navigating the difficulties posed by the employment crisis, brands can lean into their individuality to draw out and amplify the qualities their audiences hold as most important.

As such, connecting with your talent community is the key to inspiring loyalty, with all subsequent solutions stemming from a deep understanding of your people.

If this feels like a daunting task, leveraging an agency network such as the mci group could help you drastically improve your odds. We can help your brand to design and develop solutions to connect your employee communities, such as internal events and software, whilst simultaneously rolling out a range of marketing programmes to help implement your learnings.

By taking an omni-channel approach to creating loyalty, you can identify concerns and potential strengths and implement them in real-time, making your brand the most employment-friendly one on the block.

To find out how mci group could help you inspire loyalty call +41 22 33 99 500 or Email:

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Inside loyalty: why connecting with talent is the new marketing frontier

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