Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

How Employer Branding and Recruitment Fell in Love

Reality check! Are you aware that recruiting has changed? Gone are the days of “Post and Pray”: where you post a job listing and wait for the swarm of candidates to come a runnin’. Today’s recruiters have bigger, better technology but we also have a veritable firehose of candidates to deal with.

The baby boomers are retiring in droves and while we have a large market of graduates stepping up to the plate, we are still seeing candidate shortages across the board.

This coupled with the changing attitudes toward work of the millennials vs. those exiting the workforce, it can leave recruiters with a difficult job to find the right fit. The job market has shifted and new methods of recruiting are coming in to play – in today’s market, companies have to bring their A-game if they want the top players. The bottom line question here is: “Where does recruitment marketing fit in to your overall corporate recruiting strategy?”

Let’s get something straight: posting a quirky job listing is a far cry from using recruitment marketing in your recruiting strategy. It is no longer enough to slap a mission statement on some branded frisbees, companies are stepping up and presenting their own unique experience to candidates in a competitive fashion. This is not about gimmicks or tactics, it’s about a total strategic effort that begins with recruiting.

This next generation of candidates don’t necessarily expect more from the company that they choose to work for, but they are most certainly on a hunt for something different than their predecessors. So do a deep dive (first) into what makes working at your company different. If the answer is nothing, change that before embarking on any recruitment marketing plan. Some questions to whet your appetite:

  • What can a candidate expect to learn?
  • What sort of work-life support do you offer? (This doesn’t have to mean work from home, it can mean having a playroom in the office or letting the volleyball team take off at 3pm on Thursday as long as their tasks are done)
  • How will a candidate be treated by their manager? Their team? Their executive?
  • What kinds of projects will they be working on?

Once you are in tune with what you have to offer, you need to align it with what your target candidates really want. You can’t do that without research. Demographics are playing a huge role in how employers craft their branding initiatives nowadays and the findings are not only surprising to even veteran researchers, they are changing on a regular basis.

  • Know your target market: What might work for some, won’t work for others. Does your set of candidates put an emphasis on social media freedom, salary, vacation time, or something as small as dress code? Know what they’re looking for, and let them know you offer that.
  • Present an all around brand experience. Even before the interview, the candidate should have a clear picture of your company culture and employer brand. You should be blaring your message on social media, job listings, your website and employer branding videos. This all ties in to recruiting the right people for the right job and creating a synergistic work environment. Strategic communication is crucial during the employer branding experience.
  • Keep it real: Yes, a big part of this process is to attract the talent that you want and need, however, be honest about what you really are. Don’t present a 9-5, suit-wearing, clock-punching business as a fun-loving, jeans-wearing environment. The goal here isn’t to misrepresent yourself in order to get those great candidates, it is to present yourself in the best light and let them know what you can offer them. If you are rigid and demanding, that’s okay. But you need to ensure that you balance it with the positive sides of that equation, like ambitious, driven and unparalleled.
  • Don’t forget the website! The website is hugely important in candidate experience, especially the latter stages. We don’t so much as walk into a burger joint without yelping it, you know they’re going to be all over that website. Make sure that it is authentically representing you. It’s not enough to have a nice, easy to navigate site, your career portal should really reflect how you wish to be seen by candidates and in turn, show them what it’s like to work for your organization. How do you do this? By taking advantage of how simple it’s become to take pictures, upload videos and write posts about the burning questions in your candidates’ minds.

In this new climate for recruiting, employer brand plays a huge role. This new workforce has a, “the ball is in my court”, mentality and it’s showing. They will hold out and hunt around until they find what they’re looking for. Are you it?

By Maren Hogan

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, a consultancy offering marketing strategy and content development.