Ambassadorship Gone are the days where companies sell a product or service; in today’s market, organizations must sell their brands. This brand ambassadorship applies to attracting candidates just as much as it applies to attracting clients. The application of brand building techniques in recruiting talent is not new; however, it is something each of us should be doing every day. LinkedIn has proven that more than 75% of job candidates are researching our firms and asking questions about our reputations and our brands. 69% of these candidates would not accept a role at a firm with a bad reputation, even if that decision resulted in unemployment. We share our success stories of winning projects, working with top clients, and amassing awards and recognition, but are each of us also talking about what it means to work at our firms? Do we make a point to share with our wider network what great community outreach we are leading, or special perks like holiday office closures to allow our employees to spend more time with our families and friends? We should go out of our way to talk about what we love about our companies; our culture is a huge part of our employee value proposition! While our website along with our Business Development and Human Resource teams can communicate our accolades, it falls upon each one of us as employees to share the awesome things that are happening in our firms. Remember that every person with whom you chat at the bar during happy hour, at a community event, as a committee member of a local organization…each of those individuals is a potential candidate for employment or knows someone who is. Brand ambassadorship can be as simple as mentioning where you work and one thing you enjoy about it. From personal experience, I can say that ambassadorship is hugely important to making candidates feel welcome and supported as they are onboarded as well. The day before I started with LS3P, I presented at a career conference hosted by my undergraduate alma mater. A fellow attendee saw “LS3P” on my nametag and mentioned that she had a friend who loves working there. By the time I was two hours into my first day, this new colleague stopped by my desk to welcome me! It was a small gesture that made a big difference in validating my excitement and enthusiasm for my new company’s culture. According to a recent survey by the MRINetwork, the current job market is 90% candidate driven. In this climate, we must build strong candidate relationship management systems to attract the best talent. For example, at LS3P we are developing and expanding relationships with the career development folks at high performing universities, and we have participated in multiple career events in 2019 with more on the schedule. Additionally, we are enhancing the candidate experience, from our website through the application process and a variety of interview settings to an enhanced onboarding program. We strive for continuous improvement in our systems and in the candidates’ experience, from start to finish. As an added incentive, we offer our employees a significant referral bonus program to thank them for their ambassadorship. We are all ambassadors for our firms, and we each bear a responsibility to reach out to our networks, share our successes on social media, link to job openings from our website, and connect with people throughout the community. Employee brand ambassadorship is of great value to our firms; research has proven that referred employees are the fastest to hire, are far less expensive, and remain with a firm much longer than candidates employed through other methods. As an added bonus, we are more excited to come to work when we’re able to share the fantastic things that are happening! About Heather Heather Pierce, MBA, PMP, serves as LS3P’s Human Resources Leader. Pierce brings over 17 years of comprehensive HR experience, including significant leadership roles in the AEC industry. In addition to holding the highest accreditation by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP), Heather holds a Master of Science in Project Management as well as a Master of Business Administration from The Citadel, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Hollins University. Her expertise includes Human Resources theory and practice as well as project management.