It is the time of year to celebrate success, spend time with family and friends, and look toward to 2018 with optimism and hope for an amazing year ahead. My entire life I have enjoyed this time of year. There is something about reminiscing and dreaming of the future that brings motivation and excitement to the year ahead. And this is also the way I feel about employer brand and talent strategy. (Yes, this field excites me as much as the holidays!)

Let’s take a moment and think about what you have accomplished this year in your organization's employer brand journey. What are you most proud of? Where did you see the most growth? Who is your biggest employer brand fan at your organization?

Now, with your success in mind, focus on the opportunities in 2018 to take your employer brand to the next level. Spend five minutes and think about the following three questions:

How often did you look at your 2017 employer brand strategy to make decisions?

Many organizations have great intentions to utilize a strategy to guide the year, however, it must be a tactical guide to truly guide your daily, weekly and monthly actions. Believe me, I know this is hard to accomplish when you have competing priorities, multiple deliverables and various stakeholders to win over. But if you stick to your employer brand strategy, it can truly be your compass for success. Consider these two things in 2018:

  • Make your employer brand strategy shareable and visible
  • Be agile with a proactive mindset to meeting your organization's employer brand priorities

How did you use data to make decisions? How often?

With all of the various tools and technologies that help us collect, streamline and report on the impact of campaigns and employer brand efforts, data has become crucial in how we make decisions. No longer is it enough to just collect data, you need to use it to navigate and build your employer brand story. Consider these two things in 2018:

  • Be data intentional, take five minutes every day to interpret employer brand data
  • Make “progress not perfection” your mantra and incorporate it into daily decisions

Who was the last person you talked to in your organization about your employer brand goals?

I know this is a simple one and isn’t necessarily next level employer brand advice. However, there is truth and proven success from starting a conversation with someone about employer brand. Whether you are just getting started, or have a multi-million dollar employer brand budget there is added value in talking it out with someone. Let’s go old school, and simply start a conversation. Consider these two thoughts in 2018:

  • Build relationships, one employer brand conversation at a time
  • If you don’t ask you don’t get. Speak up for early employer brand wins.

What would you celebrate or do differently with your employer brand efforts in 2018? Comment below with your thoughts.

May your year be full of great creative, employer brand innovation and comprehensive social campaigns -- but don't forget about the talent strategy foundation to orchestrate all of your continued success. Take the time to build your journey. Cheers to more strategy in 2018!

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