2 min read

Why The Disconnect Between Employer Branding and Recruiting?

One function is selling long-term strategy while the other is evaluated and measured on short-term results. Long-term strategies to recruiting teams are seen as a waste of time. And selling them this way will yield you nothing.

60-second read (+2:02 video)

A brief preface: I realize that my idea of what employer branding is has evolved considerably. And it will continue to evolve. That said, my philosophy has consistently been rooted in one thing: less strategy and more fast, scrappy execution that unlocks scale.

Credit to James Hornick for helping to articulate this simple yet powerful idea of what employer branding should be today. You can check out our recent conversation on brand ambassador programs here. Now, onto the post...


The disconnect between employer branding and recruiting exists because of competing goals.

One function is selling long-term strategy while the other is evaluated and measured on short-term results.

Long-term strategies to recruiting teams are seen as a waste of time. And selling them this way will yield you nothing.

This is why many recruiters view employer branding as nothing but a bunch of fluffy nonsense that doesn't make their jobs any easier—today.

Recruiting operates in a short-term, fast results world where the people doing the work are evaluated on one thing: hiring for roles that need to be filled NOW.

The challenge: Recruiting isn’t a long-term vs. short-term thing. It's a both/and, not an either/or.

The solution (and the execution) is simple: Recruiters producing content in the feed as a way to enable their outbound recruiting efforts.

In the most literal sense, this means your recruiting team is trying to take over the LinkedIn feed by showing up consistently with value, insights, and/or personality.

Phase 2: Getting other employees outside of the recruiting function doing the same.

Again, your goal: dominate the feed by showing up more than your competitors.

The result: you’re top of mind and recognizable. So when a stranger gets a message from someone at your company, they are more likely to trust you and therefore more likely to read it.

Content is sales enablement for recruiting. And unlike sales and marketing who can play off each other, recruiting is sales and marketing wrapped up in one person.

Recruiters have to do this all themselves. And to me, this is what employer branding is today. (Or in my opinion, what it should be.)

Additional context:

We don’t see this in the worlds of sales and marketing. Why? Because (fingers crossed) these functions work in harmony. These two functions are also clearly defined and highly valued within organizations. They exist to make money.

With recruiting, everyone knows why you do it. (Its perceived value depends largely on the company.)

Employer brand on the other hand? Most companies and employees have NFC what it’s for or that it even exists.

As a result, recruiting is running full speed in one direction while employer branding is stuck in a strategy death spiral with no shot of coming up for air.

And that’s why this all shifts back to recruiters and employees showing up consistently in the feed with value, insights, and/or personality.

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