Recruiting Brief

Six Elements of Successful Employer Branding: Learning from Industry Thought Leaders Over a Couple of Pints

Last Friday evening, I had the privilege of attending the Rally On Gathering hosted by Rally Recruitment Marketing at a local brewery near Boston. Heartfelt congrats to Rally for a successful event and all the success over this past year.

In a room filled with some amazing recruitment marketers, over a couple pints, we had some interesting conversations about the importance of employer branding in light of current recruiting challenges. I also found out that several of the evening’s attendees would also be featured speakers for next week’s Employer Branding Strategies Conference (And yes, Talemetry will be there, too).

As you can imagine, our conversation during the evening focused on the importance of strong employer branding. So, what tidbits can be gained from a Friday night discussion about employer branding? Well, here are my takeaways about the six elements of successful employer branding as discussed by industry thought leaders.

1. The importance of a five-star career site  Smiling businessman and his colleague closing a deal with a partner in a meeting

Companies like CDW provide top-notch career sites, and as a result, attract better talent. As online consumers, we are accustomed to and expect our digital experiences to be interactive, easy and prescriptive. In a world where Netflix can predict what movie you want to watch, and Amazon can advise you on a Mother’s Day gift (which I was shopping for last minute), why shouldn’t a career site offer the same kind of experience? A career site should give you the flexibility to apply for a job when you want to, anticipate and suggest what jobs might be a good fit for you, and give you the opportunity to just ‘stay in touch’ through a talent network—if that’s where you are in the job exploration process. (Spoiler alert: Just wait for the new personalized, predictive tool available in the upcoming Talemetry product release!)

2. The importance of capturing powerful employee stories

Companies like Stories Incorporated are dedicated to creating content for employer brands, including authentic stories that build connections with candidates, team members and customers. Job descriptions that often look more like a list of specifications, rather than a story, make it difficult to make an emotional connection with new candidates. Capturing authentic stories are a key tool that will help you to make those personal connections with great candidates.  

3. The importance of social in recruiting strategies  

We all live in world of rapid news that flies by us through social media channels. In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook had a record 2.19 Billion active users. We are a social world connected with our social tools, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else is coming next. We absorb our news through sites like Twitter,  LinkedIn, Facebook and more. Trying to reach candidates without going to the sites where they go is a huge missed opportunity. Making social a key component of your recruiting strategy is critical to success. (One Talemetry customer recently ran an integrated seasonal hiring campaign featuring social and was able to hire 18,000 new employees in one day.)

4. The importance of career paths to future employees

One of the Rally On event attendees manages a team of entry level sales professionals. And by their nature, sales are a fairly high turnover role. But it’s a critical role—both to the organizations that sales employees serve, and to those new sales professionals who often start their careers in this position and then move on after learning how to be successful. Entry level sales roles are critical for a company’s success, but employees also want to know what a future career path looks like for them. They want to know what other growth opportunities the employer may be able to offer. Make sure that employees understand potential career paths in your organization and feature them prominently as part of your employer brand. 

5. The importance of knowing—and owning—your organizational culture

Different companies have different organizational cultures. And culture is the farthest thing from one-size-fits-all. It is the collective essence of what it’s like to work in your organization. Whatever that culture is in your company, it’s important to own it. Some employees thrive in nurturing environments, while others thrive in a more aggressive, competitive environment. During our evening event, we talked specifically about the culture of radical transparency of Bridgewater Associates. This is discussed in great detail in the book “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio. Bridgewater Associates is a very successful company with a culture that is highly transparent—an organization where some people thrive and excel, and others just don’t fit. But Bridgewater owns it. And it’s because the cost of hiring an employee who is not the right fit is very high. So ensure all recruiters truly know and can speak to your culture, and most importantly, seek out candidates who will fit your culture to help you thrive. 

6. The importance of getting your employees to tell the story

In a world of social media, and on sites like Glassdoor, candidates are better informed than ever before. We know more today about what it will be like Free ROI handbookworking in a company than employers often want to admit. We trust review sites to help us make better informed decisions. And we trust other employees, often more than some corporate messaging. So take ownership of your Glassdoor profile, and encourage your employees to share their stories about why your employer brand and culture is tremendous, what makes it unique, and why other people would want to work there.  

These six elements were great topics of conversation at the Rally On event last Friday night. And I’m so glad I was able to take part in them. While there is certainly more to consider in your own employer brand story than beyond what was discussed at the event and highlighted here, I hope you can use these key takeaways to start thinking about the critical role of employer branding in finding top talent. I also hope if you’re planning on attending next week at the Employer Branding Strategies Conference that you’ll stop by and say ‘hello!’ And maybe, just maybe, we’ll look to grab a pint together, too.