As the newest brand in the Searchability group, Hirecracker were proud to announce our back of shirt sponsorship of Tranmere Rovers FC for the current season in tandem with our new website launch in September 2020. Not only will our name be gracing the back of the player’s shirts this season, but we are also supporting The Club as official recruitment and employer brand partners this season too. To kick off this partnership we had the pleasure of inviting Chairman Mark Palios to Hirecracker’s Chester HQ, to talk football, business and brand! Whether your organisation operates within the sporting sector, hospitality, customer facing or other area of business, there were some fantastic insights from Mark that we wanted to share. Keep reading below for our top takeaways or keep an eye out for our video interview on our social channels!
Above: Hirecracker recruiters Charlotte Jones and Nathan Edwards with Tranmere Rovers FC Chairman Mark Palios
The most important thing is your people
As a recruitment agency that champions employer brand, we know just how important the people are to creating, shaping and driving a company’s brand forward. This is something that Mark Palios is clearly wise to himself, and this is evident in the way that he has developed the business since he and his wife Nicola took a controlling interest in The Club in 2014.
“The most important thing in business is the people. At the end of the day the physical infrastructure doesn’t necessarily say what the brand’s about, or what the values are, it’s (about) the people values.”
Prioritising people, and empowering them to do their best work is essential for a strong employer brand, and with an organisation like Tranmere Rovers FC that can span a wide demographic of employees it’s important to remember that every employee has the ability to make an impact on your wider brand, whether they are a matchday steward or your most valuable player on the pitch!
Showcasing an authentic insight into your brand, will attract the right candidates.
Whereas some organisations struggle to attract the right talent due to a lack of awareness of their brand, in some industries (such as football) you can attract too many candidates, many of which may not be the right fit for your role, but are drawn to a certain aspect of your business.
“When I was at The FA people thought of The FA as Sven and England and Beckham, but often forgot about the 40,000 football clubs that The FA looked after, down in grass roots and so forth, and this gravitation towards the product on the pitch is quite difficult to steer people away from. That’s one of the biggest tensions we have in The Club, to make sure people understand that the community is as important as the football.”
This is something that many businesses can relate to, and as tempting as it can be to portray the best version of your organisation to potential candidates, it’s equally as important to share the real-life, authentic and less shiny versions of your brand online.
“The culture you have in a business is the key thing for us as a football club. A lot of people can get attracted to football for the wrong reason. Having people who are attuned to the core values and, are the face of The Club is essential.”
If you can communicate realistic expectations for a candidate before they join your organisation, then you will attract candidates who are more likely to fit with your culture and stay with you for longer.
Your managers need to live to your culture and values
Engaging your managers is essential in order to engrain your culture and values at every level of your organisation, and this is something that Mark clearly understood when he took the helm of Tranmere Rovers FC.
“You want to get to the point where your culture becomes so connected to the brand, so I would get to the point with my Senior Management team where I don’t have to sit and check every individual for things like the right attitude in work, because if the managers you have in place have the right attitude, they will make sure this travels down through the organisation. I would say that in 2-3 years of joining Tranmere is when we got to that stage.”
It is evident that achieving this holistic approach to culture and values is not an overnight job, however companies that prioritise this approach and understand the importance of values and culture will reap the benefits long-term with their people.
Maintaining quality for temporary hires
It’s easy to talk about consistency of employer brand, strengthening culture and living to your core values for your permanent employees who have been with you for a long time, but when it comes to hiring temporary staff, companies may struggle to get that same engagement from their employees.
“Hiring casual staff can cause a problem with maintaining the standards and continuity and ensuring that you are hiring quality candidates. You may get people on the way to University, or maybe people who’ve just been made redundant, it can be a whole myriad of different parts of society, different levels of education etc. for casual vacancies. That’s something that Hirecracker will help us with, because at the end of the day we need to ensure quality hires irrespective of whether they are here for one match or ten matches. It’s very important to get people with the right attitude, because very often they are the face of The Club on a matchday.”
This is something that a lot of clients have highlighted when it comes to things like high-volume recruitment and temp staffing, but there are ways to ensure new hires buy into your employer brand no matter what length their contract is. Communicating an authentic employer brand when you are running a candidate attraction campaign, highlighting your culture and values throughout the interview process, and embedding a new hire into your organisation through an immersive on-boarding experience are great places to start!
We are really excited to support Tranmere Rovers FC, both as sponsors and football fans as well as recruitment and employer brand partners, particularly given the ever-changing landscape that the pandemic is throwing at football as an industry. It is evident that Mark is someone who prioritises people, and will use his extensive business experience and entrepreneurial spirit to lift The Club through these challenging times.
“I don’t just want Tranmere to survive COVID, I want us to thrive through COVID. We will come out stronger.”
To hear more from Mark Palios you can follow him on Twitter here.