Lisa Colella, Founder, TruistLisa Colella, Founder
Truist is an employer brand research, strategy & consulting firm that helps businesses overcome talent attraction, conversion, reputation, and engagement problems. With decades of experience in marketing, brand communications, and HR, the Truist team provides clients with holistic talent brand, candidate + employee experience and recruitment marketing solutions and on-demand leadership consulting services. This helps organizations turn their unique cultural truths into talent attraction advantages.

In an interview with Manage HR, Lisa Colella, Truist Founder, talks about how the company enables clients to build and manage world-class employer brand capabilities.

What gaps does Truist fill in the Employer Branding Space?

Having been on all sides of the agency, corporate, employee equation, I witnessed that most organizations lacked the right insights and strategies to build their employee-centric or people-first image from. They’d run flashy campaigns but not do the heavy-lifting of building their brand and talent story from the inside out - helping people thrive in the most authentic and collaborative way. I decided to start a company that was committed to excavating the truth and doing right by people (even when hard) as the basis for driving mutual success for organizations and the people whose lives they are a part of.
At Truist, we believe that employer branding is not just the development of lukewarm value propositions and the creative work that surrounds them; we uncover the true human experiences and desires of recruits and employees and co-create solutions that respond to them in meaningful, value-generating ways. It’s why our mission is to help companies become more human and humans become more.

What are some of the challenges your clients face in the Employer Branding Space, and how is Truist effectively addressing these issues?

Covid has completely altered the nature of employer-employee relationships. The common challenge that most of our clients face today is finding new and better ways to competitively attract, grow and keep luminary talent. Many of our clients come to us because the way they’ve historically approached their employer brand isn’t get them where they want to go. We give them new playbooks, frameworks and solutions that are more relevant for today’s market dynamics.

Our goal is to build holistic employer brand capabilities and strategies that are grounded in insights and involve the most senior levels of the organization. It’s not a quick-fix; it’s a more human-centric approach toward building a bullet-proof employer brand that is good for profit and people - ones that addresses root cause issues instead of ad hoc symptoms.
How do you go about providing services to your clients?

The first part of our methodology is uncovering the truth of any organization or the problem at hand. We do this using a number of primary and secondary research methods, including direct conversations with employees, focus groups, surveys and competitive audits to learn about a client, their target audiences and the landscape in which they’re operating.

While the nature of our client projects vary (EVP or employer brand builds, Candidate Journey Mapping, Talent Experience improvement programs, Mission / Vision / Values re-development, employer brand technology consulting, employer brand org design, etc.) most rely on one or more of our proprietary strategy models to inform solution development. We uniquely favor a co-creation approach with our clients while building strategies and solutions, as this approach tends to yield higher quality outcomes faster and with more stakeholder buy-in.

At Truist, we believe that employer branding is not just the development of lukewarm value propositions and the creative work that surrounds them; we uncover the hard truths of people and co-create solutions that respond to them in meaningful, value-generating ways

We provide all our services remotely from day one, eliminating costly overhead fees. So, clients can have the best service at an affordable price. What enables us to provide such comprehensive services and maintain incredibly high levels of client satisfaction is our deep network of experts that can be brought together as a “SWAT team” to deliver on a specific client need. They know their niche domains inside out and can deliver effective solutions at pace.

Could you cite one or two case studies on how you have enabled clients to overcome hurdles and attain desired outcomes with your innovative array of solutions?

One of our clients, a healthcare organization, was having serious issues with employee engagement. Initially, when we collaborated with them, we assumed refreshing their employer branding strategy would solve their problem. However, as we gained insights about their organization, we discovered that the problem was not with their employer branding strategy. They needed to refresh their mission, vision, and values because their workforce could not connect themselves with the organizational goals. Our team was able to create a new vision, mission, and values for the organization, which served as a catalyst for both employee engagement and retention.

In other cases we’ve helped hyper-growth tech start-ups build best-in-class employer brand foundations and capabilities in less than 3 months.

What are the distinct features and factors that give Truist a competitive edge?

Our ability to comprehend, empathize with and effectively solve complex client problems with brilliantly simple, affordable solutions is the primary factor that sets us a notch above the rest. We often collaborate directly with the C-suite to initiate a transformation in this area and they appreciate the veteran guidance. However, we also provide coaching programs to help junior level employer brand practitioners develop at an accelerated pace. We offer options for every budget – from low cost DIY eProducts (templates, personas, etc.) up to highly specific 1:1 Coaching or Consulting engagements.