Wanna Be Like Nike?


Nike is a HUGE employer in the Portland area, where I live, but even if you live outside Portland, you've no doubt heard of this colossal brand.


Most construction companies are unlikely to reach the level of household name that Nike has, but the industry does have its giants (Kiewit, Balfour Beatty, Skanska... you know).


So, let's talk about branding.


As you probably know, your brand is everything that makes up the public persona of your company: the logo, the colors, the slogan, the product, the quality of the product, etc. Some aspects, like the logo, are in your control. Other aspects, like word of mouth reputation, are not. So, with that in mind, it's important when building a brand that it must be authentic, not aspirational. Because if you make a brand that is inauthentic, people can and will call you out on it. You can make a slogan that is both self-promotional AND honest.


Smart branding and promotions can do more for your company than just sell a product. It can also attract talent. Here are some statistics that might surprise you:

  • A whopping 90% of applicants consider brand when deciding on a company.

  • Almost 70% of applicants will reject an offer if the company has a bad reputation (even if they don't have another offer).

  • A third, or 66%, of applicants research a company's values when they submit an application.

Which means, if you have a bad reputation, you might have a hard time getting your offers accepted, and you might see less applicants on your open job postings.


If you want to make sure your branding is also reaching your job seekers, I'd recommend implementing the following:

  1. Ensure your marketing isn't just for your clients and customers. Make sure you're advertising your company as a great place to hire AND work. Does your media show people enjoying their job? Or is your media impersonal and cold?

  2. When recruiting for regional roles, use projects, locations, and people from that area as examples of what the work and culture at your company is like.

  3. Implement an Employee Value Proposition (EVP). That's your "people deal" - it lays out what the company will do for its employees and what it asks of its employees.

In fact, check out the EVP for Nike:

"When you join NIKE, Inc., you’re part of the family. To inspire greatness inside and outside work, we invest in our culture and offer employees competitive health, financial, security and work-life benefits. From opportunities for career development to personalized benefit options, we want all who join our team to realize their full potential."

It remains true to what Nike's core brand is - phrases like "inspiring greatness" and "competitive" seem VERY on-brand - while also selling themselves specifically as an employer to interested job seekers. Sounds pretty good, right?


So, consider how your branding is coming across to your applicants (and, perhaps, the job seekers who don't apply and become an applicant). Examine or implement your EVP! And, like I said before, make sure it's always authentic, not aspirational, and still remains true to what your core company branding is. It could make a MAJOR difference in how you attract the talent out there!