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Employee Spotlights: One of the Biggest Wastes of Employer Branding Budget and Time

This type of content often dilutes the brand and does nothing to a) remind employees why they’re at the company nor b) compel candidates to look at an opportunity.

45-second read

This was inspired after seeing an employee spotlight story posted by one of the most well-known brands in the world.

What follows is my subjective analysis, opinions, and an alternative approach for creating fresh, dynamic employer branding content at scale.

Subjective analysis:

The post was the standard high-level Q&A employee story. These employee spotlights are largely considered the gold standard of employer branding content.

In this post, a Product Manager was asked five questions like: What is your role? How do you overcome challenges?

All answers were one-line responses. And there was a link to apply.

My opinions:

None of this information matters. Not to employees. Not to candidates.

It’s surface-level content that missed a huge opportunity to dive deep into the way this person and their team thinks about the work they’re doing.

This is why employee spotlight stories are one of the biggest wastes of employer branding budget and time for most companies. They're simply not interesting.

And as a result, the content dilutes the brand and does nothing to a) remind employees why they’re at the company nor b) compel candidates to look at an opportunity.

An alternative approach:

The Product team creates a podcast and regularly talks about industry topics, trends, predictions, and ideas.

They even have guests on the show—some of which could be deep dives with their own team members discussing what they’re doing, building, making, and creating + the origin story of the team member.

Each episode is recorded over Zoom to capture video content. And “team EB” takes the full-length video, creates clips off the back of each episode, and distributes across social.

+ The company could still post employee stories and “we’re hiring” posts—but now with authentic video content.

And instead of their careers site being populated with low-impact employee stories, it could become an ever-expanding media hub where all of the content is generated from employees.

Imagine how that would change content creation, brand impact, and candidate demand?

Important: This isn’t about podcast subscribers. This is about building a mechanism that continuously turns out dynamic, fresh content at scale and takes your EB efforts to the next level.

I can’t think of many things that would build more internal goodwill, fulfillment, and buy-in from employees and function leaders than empowering teams to develop their own branded content.

(All the things that employer branding has historically struggled to achieve.)

A tactical note for the Talent team:

When your recruiters do a hiring push, they go to the content library, pull a video, and turn it into a “we’re hiring” post + distribute it via outbound messaging. Done.

Or better yet, they ping the podcast team and say, “Hey, we’re doing a hiring push for your team. We’d love to use some fresh content in our campaign.” Alignment + collaboration FTW!

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