Building Brands: Build a strong team to build your brand and vice versa

A few years ago a volunteer at one of our events approached me and asked if we were hiring. We were actively looking at the time for someone to join our team within the month, but this woman let me know she wouldn’t be able to start a new role for nine months. I asked to meet with her anyway later that week, and we hit it off. I knew she was a perfect fit for View Newspaper Group no matter what part of our business she joined and no matter the timeline.
Nine months later she joined our team and now more than two years later she — like all our team members — remains an integral part of our success.
If you’re in a leadership role, you know what a challenge it can be to find top talent. It can also be expensive. A Business News Daily article sites a Society for Human Resource Management estimate that says it costs a business nearly $5,000 for each new hire.
I don’t work in human resources or recruiting, but finding talent is something experts say each member of an organization’s leadership team should be doing, and it’s definitely something each person in leadership at View Newspaper Group does.
A article on the subject reaffirms our efforts. “The responsibility for bringing new talent into an organization shouldn’t only fall on HR or external recruiters. Senior management should always be scouting and networking to recruit and build a pipeline for the future. Talent is everyone’s responsibility.”
As brand manager I take on the added responsibility of ensuring our brand is a good recruitment tool. Studies show that when it comes to recruiting top talent, an organization’s brand matters. Another article on that topic says, “Research shows that 75% of job seekers will investigate a company’s reputation before applying for a job, and 50% of job seekers refuse to work for a company with a bad reputation, even with a pay increase.”
A strong brand attracts talent and a strong team helps grow a brand since each team member becomes a brand ambassador. It’s a cycle that — when working correctly — keeps a talent pipeline full and a brand strong.
One of my best friends has worked as a high-level talent recruiter for the better part of a decade. Before I sat down to write this column, I asked him what he’s seeing in today’s talent market. He said benefits, flexibility, paid time off, retirement contributions and, of course, salary all play a role in what job a candidate ultimately selects. Just as research shows, he estimates that seven out of 10 candidates he talks to want to work for a company that is doing good in the world, confirming that a company’s brand plays a big role in where talent lands.
The volunteer turned View team member I mentioned at the start of this article and our newest team member who joined us in January certainly fit that mold. Both told me they saw all the good View Newspaper Group was doing locally through reporting, community events, donations and sponsorships and wanted to know if they could be a part of that good. They were looking for a career at a company that gave back, specifically in their community. Both were also hoping to connect with more people in their community, which working at a local newspaper allows one to do in any position.
My friend in talent recruitment offered one more piece of the puzzle when it comes to locking in a great candidate — prove there is room for growth. He said you have to have an answer for “what’s next” in terms of career trajectory and what that timeline looks like when speaking to qualified candidates.
Our organization is proud to promote within. Recent examples include a reporter promoted to editor in one of our North Oakland County newspapers, and the recent announcement of company-wide succession planning, which will fill two key leadership roles following retirements with five current team members.
Everyone in a leadership role may not know the salary for a certain position (especially if that position doesn’t exist yet – we’ve certainly been known to create a role for the right person), but they had better know the answers to the questions of “how does your organization do good in the world,” and “what’s next” in terms of job growth.
As a growing community newspaper company we are always looking to add to our team. Often we find that person through networking — including at our own events or through our newspapers — as may be the case today. If you’d like to know more about a possible career with us please email me at

Emily Caswell is the Brand Manager for VIEW Group, the branding division of View Newspaper Group.

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