SOURCE: Human Capital Institute

June 18, 2008 00:00 ET

Human Capital Institute and SilkRoad technology Study Reveals Importance of Branding for Talent Management

71 Percent of Workforce Feels True Talent Brand Matters

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 18, 2008) - The Human Capital Institute (HCI), a professional association and think tank advancing the science of strategic talent management, and SilkRoad technology, inc., a leader in employee talent management systems, today announced research demonstrating that workers see a positive talent brand as an important factor in staying with their organization. "The Branding Imperative in Talent Management" shows that 71 percent of the general workforce views an organization's talent brand as either "somewhat important" or "very important" in their decision to join their organization.

A relatively new idea, the talent brand represents the image and -- ideally -- the reality of an organization's culture, reputation, products and services, as well as the way the organization deals with and values its workers. The talent brand is what differentiates an organization as a good (or not so good) place to work for both potential and current employees. Key talent brand factors include how well organizations deliver on producing a positive image, integrating new hires, and supporting workers.

"It's proven that if an employee's experience with your organization during the first several months of employment doesn't match up with the talent brand you presented during the recruiting process, they'll be looking for new opportunities within a year," said Brian Platz, Chief Operating Officer of SilkRoad technology.

While processes for onboarding, supporting and engaging workers are features of strong talent brands across organizations of all sizes and industries, potential and current employees really care about actual results that lead to improved work environments. For example, more than 80 percent of respondents believed the success or failure of their organization to support them through both professional and personal transitions had a large impact on their work. Simply creating an organizational vision or designing formal talent management processes without the substance will not create a positive image or talent brand in the minds of workers.

"Putting a process in place doesn't mean anything when it comes to people who want actions and results," said Ross Jones, Ph.D., Senior Researcher/Analyst at HCI and author of the report. "What people care about is delivering on the promise, not the formality of getting there."

Other key findings from "The Branding Imperative in Talent Management" include the following:

The Importance and Elements of the Talent Brand: The Workers' View

--  An organization's talent brand is critical to both talent acquisition
    and retention. In fact, 75 percent of respondents stated that their
    organization's talent brand is important to their decision to stay.
--  Workers want good compensation and work/life balance. "Being known for
    recruiting and retaining only top talent" was ranked as the lowest element
    of an organization's talent brand.

The Importance of Onboarding in Establishing the Talent Brand

--  Helping new workers integrate into an organization and keeping
    promises made during recruitment are the most important factors linking an
    organization's talent brand and talent retention.
--  Respondents who believed that their organization had a positive talent
    brand also believed that it had a very effective onboarding process.
    Surprisingly, 23 percent of respondents stated they were unsure about
    whether their organization had a formal onboarding process.
--  The most important elements of an onboarding process were identified
    as: providing the necessary tools (computers, emails, etc.) for new hires
    to start their jobs; a well-defined, professional, and easily understood
    process and active engagement by the new hire's manager in the process.

Personal & Professional Transitions: Key Times for the Talent Brand

--  Personal and professional transitions provide a key opportunity to
    create a positive talent brand, in part by implementing worker-friendly
    processes to deal with major work/life transitions.
--  The results show that organizations have room for improvement in this
    critical area of talent management. Only 58 percent of respondents felt
    that their organization does a good, very good or excellent job at helping
    them through professional transitions.

"What this boils down to, simply, is that more organizations need to walk the talk," said Dr. Jones. "At the end of the day, good intentions alone won't hold water."

"It's natural to assume that once an employee's first week on the job arrives, they've accepted the your company's culture, but that's simply not the case," added Platz. "What you portray during recruiting must mesh seamlessly with the reality of what it's like to work for your organization."

A full copy of "The Branding Imperative in Talent Management" is available to interested members of the media. The Human Capital Institute and SilkRoad technology, inc. surveyed 517 people identified as part of the "general workforce" across organizations of all sizes and types of industries.


SilkRoad technology, inc. provides software as a service (SAAS) solutions that significantly improve the talent within its more than 700 customers across the globe. Through SilkRoad's Life Suite™, an integrated talent management solution, companies are able to hire better employees, identify high and low performers, drive a pay-for-performance culture and improve employee tenure. The SilkRoad Life Suite solution set includes OpenHire™ for recruiting management, RedCarpet™ for employee onboarding and life events, WingSpan™ for flexible employee performance management, GreenLight™ for compensation management, and Eprise™ for employee intranets and content management. SilkRoad technology is headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC, with offices in Bedford, MA; Chicago, IL; West Long Branch, NJ; and Hamburg, Germany. More information is available at


The Human Capital Institute (HCI) is a global network of more than 115,000 members in 40 countries committed to shaping the world's new talent economy. Leaders, executives, and practitioners in HCI's network represent organizations of all sizes across public, charitable and government sectors, and collaborate on the next practices in strategic talent management. Through communities, education, events and research, HCI provides actionable, results-driven solutions to help members foster talent advantages to ensure organizational change for competitive results. In tandem with HCI's training, peer-to-peer learning, and public and private research on talent management best practices, the HCI Human Capital Strategist designation sets the bar for expertise in talent strategy, acquisition, development and new economy leadership. More information is available at

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