Over the years, I’ve seen people use employer branding and recruitment marketing interchangeably. Although these two wouldn’t function well without the other, it’s important to note the difference if you’re considering investing in these areas. Basically, you need to know what you’re working towards before you spend time, money, and resources doing it. In this blog, I’ll break down what each of these are and why you need both to build awareness and engage candidates successfully.
Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing
Consider your brand as the foundation. You want it to be strong so when you market it, people are clear on what you’re offering. Your brand is how you present yourself to the world. It’s your message, your reputation, your differentiator. It’s how people recognize you visually and what they think of when they hear your company’s name.
Here’s what you need to consider creating for your employer brand:
● What you have to offer (your employee value proposition)
● How you talk about your company, careers, and culture (your voice)
● Why people would want to work for you (your differentiator)
● How people will recognize you (your visual brand)
● What people will say about you (your reputation)
● How you’ll back up your messaging (your credibility through awards, testimonials, etc.)
Recruitment marketing is a piece of the overall employer branding strategy. They need to work together to really make the most of your efforts. Once you’ve established your solid foundation, you’re ready to activate it through recruitment marketing. This is how you strategically get the word out so people can discover that lovely brand you just created.
Here are a few places where you can market your employer brand:
● Your career site and third-party sites (i.e., LinkedIn, Indeed, etc.)
● Career-focused social media sites
● Recruiting events and career fairs
● Digital, print, and audio ads
● Internally through your Intranet and employee referral programs
Here are a few ways how you can market your employer brand:
● Email marketing and your talent community
● Sponsored content
● Social media posts and ads
● Physical collateral for events
● Ads on industry- or career-specific sites/publications/events
● Employee referrals
Why You Need Both
One can’t be effective without the other. You can’t go all in, guns blazing with marketing if you don’t have a consistent message to share. It will get muddled, confusing, and people will stop listening to you. Likewise, you can’t expect people to discover your brand if you think putting it on your career site is enough.
Creating and marketing your employer brand is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s a process to make sure you’re doing it right and being effective, which is why I recommend starting ASAP. You want to have the brand established and build traction with your recruiting efforts before you really need it, like if you have a crazy hiring push for tough roles, are scaling faster than expected, or are opening new offices where your brand isn’t recognized yet.
It takes time to build the brand. You need to research your competitors and the talent market. You should consult your employees to ensure you’re getting their perspective and feedback. You need to make sure your voice is strong and your message is clear. You also need to gauge whether your brand will stand the test of time. Although your employer brand might transform as your company grows, core elements should stay rooted despite the evolution.
Once the employer brand is good to go, building your recruitment marketing strategy will also take time. You have to identify your goals, figure out where your audience is, build all the content to support the messaging you created for your brand, and establish trust and interest with your audience.
Fostering that relationship with your audience is crucial. You need your employer brand message to be shared regularly and proven with your content. You also need to use your recruitment marketing to create consistency, helping reach The Rule of 7. It might seem like a lot of work up front, but it’s worth it in the long run. Building your foundation and planning your marketing will help you stand out and attract great candidates to your company.
Need help building your employer brand and/or recruitment marketing strategies? Harlow Creative Co. can help! Check out our offerings here.
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