Historically, PR, marketing and executive communications were focused on the customer and the shareholder. Though selling products and services, and maintaining good investor relations, are still paramount to any business, it’s important for those responsible for executive communications to recognize another area of increasingly critical importance: talent strategy. When it comes to attracting and retaining talent, there’s a clear need for the executive communications team to be instrumentally involved. The current and future employee is now a key strategic audience.  

News of layoffs and fears of automation obscure the fact that, by and large, companies really are scrambling for top talent. According to a recent report covering talent strategy by Manpower Group, 75% of employers are having difficulty filling roles. The job market and in-demand skills are in flux, resulting in high-profile redundancies, but the trend of declining talent pipelines in key areas – especially artificial intelligence –  is real. And the mass retirement of the Baby Boomer generation that is still ongoing will open up even more vacancies. If they aren’t already, organizations will be competing for talent beyond compensation and benefits and utilize effective communications to do so, including the use of executives to establish brands known for being good places to work.

Themes Executive Communications Should Emphasize

To showcase the desirability of employment with a company to both current and potential employees, there are a few big (and growing) key themes to emphasize when planning talent strategy: 

  1. Investment in career development and upskilling: This theme ties directly to why companies need talent strategies in the first place. A recent survey from INTOO and Workplace Intelligence found that 59% of employees say their companies rarely or never help them with opportunities of growth outside their department, and 30% (including 44% of Gen Z employees) are predicted to quit within the next six months due to lack of career development support. Whatever offerings you have for development, upskilling and reskilling should play the central role in your executive communications as you position yourself as a company at which employees will have a future amid technological change. Your executives need to communicate that you’re a long-term bet for talent. And if your company does have such an approach in place, you’re already a long way toward solving your own talent issues.  
  1. Prioritization of employee wellbeing: Though largely perceived to be over, the “Quiet Quitting” trend of 2021-2022 highlighted that younger employees are looking for a less intense and demanding workplace. This has to be reckoned with as executive communications teams craft company messaging. An emphasis on a rigorous work environment where you give your all to the job, however much it may appeal to older generations, just won’t play well with the rising workforce. But a company that projects an image of caring about wellbeing is one where staff are likely to want to work – and where they will have higher performance and satisfaction.  
  1. A sense of purpose in the company’s mission. This trend has been around for awhile now (it was said about Millennials before it was said about Gen Z), but there’s little reason to believe it has gone away. Younger workers make less separation between their career and their personal beliefs, and want the companies they work for to integrate the greater good into business. Executive communications pertaining to sustainability and broader company purpose are, despite some wider backlash over the past couple years, important in building the case for being a company worth working for.  

Executives: Your Foremost Company Recruiters

Aside from these specific themes, the talent strategy lesson here is that executive communications teams are coming to see the CEO and other C-suite leaders as the first face of the company itself, not just to customers and investors but to talent. This changes the calculus somewhat; it adds another stakeholder group that was previously the domain of recruiters and HR. But in a world of talent shortages and competition for skilled staff, your workers, prospective and current, are just as indispensable.

Every leader is unique, as are their voices, platforms and messages. Because of this, we tailor our executive visibility strategy to be specific to leaders and brands. We’ll help you cultivate and highlight the inner strengths of your executive(s) and find opportunities for them to share their voice, connect with like-minded leaders and more. Contact us today.

Are You Considering Talent Strategy In Your Executive Communications? was last modified: March 27th, 2024 by Brian Sherry