Six Questions to Always ask in Every Employer Brand Research Workshop
Asking these questions at the research stage and accompanying them with the right follow ups will form the foundational truth on which to build an authentic employer brand and employee value proposition....
If it was your job to dissuade people from joining your company, and you couldn't lie, what would you say?
We always ask this because it's a great way to get to the harsh realities, and the adversities of the employee experience. Typically, it's a really good route to find out what coping capabilities people need in order to really thrive in the organisation. It also helps you uncover a source of pride and passion.
What is the biggest reason people leave?
Sometimes that correlates with the first one, because it’s often that they didn't realise just how much there isn't a work/life balance or how unstructured the working environment is, for instance. That provides you with an idea from a ‘give’ perspective about what is required to thrive in the role.
What strong and essential character traits do you see all around you here? And what do you admire most?
Typically, people will answer that question from their own perspective, with what they actually admire most in themselves.They project onto somebody else that it's a safe space to talk about those things that they admire in somebody else, and usually it's a strength of their own. It’s a really effective way of understanding the question ‘what does it really take to cope here?’.
When people first start, how do you quickly determine if they have what it takes to thrive?
This is just about them noticing what character traits and essential capabilities are needed. People tend to then talk about things like, ‘if you've got an ego you don't last very long’ or they might say ‘if you're not collaborative’, or ‘you haven't got good communication skills’. It gives you an insight into the employee experience and the working culture.
What's the difference between why you joined and why you stay?
This really helps you sharpen what's important in setting expectations, and what should be front of mind instead of burying it. If the reason people are staying is the best kept secret, then it should be upfront and you should be using it as a headline rather than something that people discover. This question really helps you set expectations and recalibrate from a priority and a preference perspective. Sometimes, you lead with the wrong thing, such as ‘you get paid loads’. But actually people stay for other reasons - interesting work perhaps. So it helps you ensure you've got your priorities in order.
What makes you proud to be here and passionate about your work?
This is a really good question to ask which will unearth some good authentic stories of achievement, that demonstrate impact, purpose and belonging. Usually, if there's pride involved, there's also some element of achievement, some elements of proof of capability and or some aspect of a harsh reality that they've overcome successfully.
Remember, with all these questions that the first one is designed to get the attention of the participants or the employees and get them talking. Follow up questions, asking who? Why? Where? And when? is usually where you find the magic. So the opening question is very rarely where the value lies. It's all in the follow ups.