Branding was solely the specialism of the marketing function up until about 2017 when ‘recruitment marketing’ became a recognised term and form of talent attraction. The definition of recruitment marketing is the “practice of promoting the value of working for an employer in order to recruit talent”.
Recruiting marketing is often referred to as a ‘practice’ or ‘profession’, the debate on this is still on-going, however, for in-house recruitment and talent acquisition professionals, the use of digital marketing techniques to attract and engage talent is very valuable. Using tools and channels, such as social, mobile and email, to present potential candidates with targeted and relevant information makes more sense than the ‘one message fits all’ approach that became so commonplace within the recruitment industry.
So where do you start with Employer Branding? – it’s a question we asked employer brand genius, Audra Knight, recently; Audra advises that this is a question to be answered on a company by company basis as the requirements can differ so much depending on where the company is on their journey so far.
Employer brand or bland
Above is another great quote from Audra demonstrating that it’s a fine line between creating a rich employer brand that individuals, and potential candidates, engage with on a regular basis and creating a copy of your competitors or other industry peers. She advises that the question that should guide the strategy is ‘what is our company culture?’ and then, ‘how do we articulate this to reflect our employer brand?’.
As a starting point, Audra would also recommend considering the following:
Culture – defining your company culture is more than stating a set of Values; whilst the latter is useful in creating a culture, the primary drivers of culture and environment are your people. Starting with a transparent and engaging discussion with your people about their thoughts on your culture and how this reflects the brand through online engagement surveys or workshops will provide valuable initial insight.
Asking questions such as ‘Why did you decide to join us?’, ‘What do you enjoy about your day to day?’ and even ‘What do you think our culture should reflect about us?’.
People – putting your people in front of the brand is a great way of creating peer-to-peer engagement from an external perspective; creating a platform where your people can share what it’s like to work for your company provides potential candidates with real-time insight and allows them to engage directly with your team members (which could lead to referrals).
This can be shared through blogs, videos and posts across the company and their personal social media. One note, some guidance in terms of what to and what not to share is always advisable.
Content – creating a content schedule, and thereby agreeing formats and frequency of posting/sharing, will support the strategic approach to content creation. Starting with a workshop or ideation session with employees that are keen to be involved and are active on social media will enable your company to crowdsource ideas and access content that you could already repurpose. Yes! – don’t be afraid to share content more than once if it received high engagement stats.
Additionally, very carefully consider the format of the content, whether that be images/photos, videos or blogs (written content); as engagement and use of video is steadily on the increase owing to the ROI and ease of producing good quality videos through the use of apps such as Splice, Clips (for iOS users) and other apps for Android users.
Channels – choosing the channels for distributing your content needs to be considered in terms of the audience you want to engage and this is reflected in statistics for social channels such as Twitter; 24% or male users versus 21% of female users use Twitter on a daily basis. In addition to this, Instagram can generate over 4 x more interactions compared to Facebook and Facebook has 2.41 billion monthly active users. Taking into account audience size, demographics and related messaging are absolutely essential.