It would be a huge mistake to assume that creating a talent brand is all about communicating only the attractive things about your company. Working here is Fun. Our managers here are Empowering employees. A career here can be highly Lucrative. It's much easier to sell and persuade if you use honey versus vinegar, right?
Actually, erecting barriers and high expectations can have a two-fold benefit to your organization.
Harvard Business Review. The online shoe retailer is fanatical about customer happiness and service. Zappos take this aspect of its company culture seriously. After taking new hires through a grueling training program, Zappos would offer them a $1,000 bribe to quit. Only the candidates who truly wanted to work there and believed in the company's mission would remain. The job is not for everyone, and Zappos consciously prunes out the folks who do not match their commitment to service.
2.) Exclusivity can fuel desire. Groucho Marx famously quipped, "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member." We always want what we can't have. Putting your company on a high pedestal can sometimes evoke curiosity and interest from "passive candidates." Culturally, ambitious recruits want to join others who will share their own high and exacting standards. Rock stars attract other rock stars. Wanting to sit at the "cool kids' table" - requires someone keeping the non-cool kids out.
As HR pros, you want to build the best workforce - not the biggest one.