1-min read (+1:34 video)
TL;DR: Generally, no. It’s having little effect.
(Qualifier: I recently talked to ~10 recruiters at high-growth tech companies and asked them this question. But over the last 2 yrs, I’ve talked to a couple hundred of them and the feedback I receive is: Employer Branding is a nice-to-have, but it doesn’t make my job as a recruiter any easier. Therefore I have to keep doing my thing.)
This is my opinion on why employer branding isn’t driving top-of-funnel results for recruiting teams:
- It's focused on the wrong things. It does nothing to establish the company and its people as category experts who other smart people would want to work with.
- It over-emphasizes company culture.
- It lacks relevancy. It doesn't offer candidates a deep dive into what teams are doing, building, making, and creating.
- It's safe, and effectively PR. It’s boring as hell.
- It takes the approach that company drives the narrative. When in reality, people—specifically subject matter experts and influencers—drive the narrative online today.
- It cares far too much about the optics of brand alignment and brand consistency when substance, relevancy, and scale are what matters.
- It lives in an echo chamber of antiquated practices perpetuated by old school consultants and legacy EB leaders.
- It lives in an echo chamber of employee surveys and employee feedback instead of being informed by the thoughts, opinions, and needs of its target audience—the job candidate.
How does employer branding actually make a recruiters job easier?
IMO, in-house recruiting teams can’t wait for that lightbulb to go on. They don’t have that much time.
Heads of Talent and their recruiters have to become their own creators and content marketers.
Because nobody is going to do it for them, recruiting leaders have to make content a priority and part of the profile of a modern recruiting professional.
It’s 2022. Your team lives on LinkedIn. It’s right there!
In-house recruiters need to stop posting about recruiting and instead position themselves as SMEs in their verticals. Bottom line: Speak to your target markets, not your peers. This is Marketing 101.
If you're recruiting engineers, why aren’t you talking about tech? If it's salespeople, you should be posting your thoughts and opinions about the sales industry. As a recruiter, your target market should be looking to you for the insights.
Think about it this way:
What would change if your recruiting team became a mini education company—with the single intention of elevating the knowledge, skill, and perspective of your niche audience?
The answer is: everything.
This is EB 2.0 with no budget and no creative resources. LinkedIn, Zoom, podcasts. Video, written, audio. It’s all available for free or cheap.
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