Employer Brand 101: How To Recruit Top Talent In Less Time

Deanna Lawley Kane
Employer Brand 101: How To Recruit Top Talent In Less TimeEmployer Brand 101: How To Recruit Top Talent In Less Time

The most successful recruiters build their candidate pipelines by following the lead of top marketers. This recruitment approach doesn’t mean learning a new discipline, it is simply a matter of creating an inbound recruitment marketing plan that will attract top talent. Historically, the best talent found out about open positions through job boards. Now, many companies develop inbound recruitment marketing strategies that provide insight into company culture, leadership, awards, industry trends and open positions.

Enabling job seekers to discover your company helps you better engage with those who will best align with the culture. Creating recruitment content is an effective way to tell your company’s story to job seekers. Sharing this content across a variety of mediums — company blog, social media, third-party sites, news articles — helps educate them on your organization. 

“Pretty much all the same channels that work for business marketing, work for recruitment marketing. You can leverage social media, SEO to your careers page, blog articles and more,” says Chase Woolard, founder of Early Stage HQ

This approach brings top talent to your company instead of scrambling every time a job requisition opens up. Building a strong recruitment marketing plan starts with honing your employer branding plan and communicating this to candidates.

“Building a robust talent acquisition strategy is the key to sustainable growth,” says Woolard. “Avoid being reactive and create a proactive talent acquisition plan that leverages every channel, and you will hire faster, cheaper and better.”

This customizable employer branding template will help your organization shape its employer value proposition, and highlight its key benefits to passive candidates. You can customize this sample employer branding (recruitment packet) template to align with your company’s hiring goals, or continue reading for further insight on creating a recruitment marketing plan.

Download the customizable Employer Brand 101: Recruitment Packet here.

Culture

Creating a top workplace starts with the culture. Regardless of your organization’s culture, it’s important to have a clear vision of the type of culture your company fosters to attract job candidates who are the best fit. Honesty is the best policy here — if your employees are clocking 12-hour days, avoid playing up the work-life balance.

“The easier a company can make it for interested candidates to learn about their culture, the more likely you will have a successful hire,” says Woolard. “Leverage your social networks, content, and every referral channel you can find, including current employees, partner companies who aren’t competitors, your leadership’s networks and your investors. Give them the content to share and offer them incentives to point people in your direction.”

Recruitment pros can highlight the company’s culture by:

  • Creating a culture video that highlights employees’ unique attributes, interests and talents. Encourage employees to be honest and show their true selves. Showcase employees’ interests outside of work, and why they believe your organization is the best place to work.

Benefits

No matter the type of organization for which you’re recruiting, benefits are a non-negotiable aspect for most job-seekers. They don’t want benefits left open for interpretation, so this is a category that should be clearly outlined when engaging with candidates.

Recruitment pros can highlight the company’s benefits by:

  • Adding a section to the company’s career page that clearly outlines the company’s benefits, whether that is discussing the FMLA policy, the insurance provider, or vacation policy. 

Perks 

While usually not a deal-breaker, work perks can sweeten the deal for the right candidates. Whether that means free lunches, commuter reimbursement, weekly ping-pong tournaments, on-site childcare or dog-friendly offices, these are all perks that can add up. On the same coin, if your company does not offer these perks (with no intention to down the line), leave it out. Don’t inflate what you do offer in an effort to attract talent.

Recruitment pros can highlight the company’s perks by:

  • Creating a recruitment video that shows team members engaging in the perks, such as clips of dogs hanging out in the office, interviews of working parents talking about on-site childcare benefits, photos of weekly lunches, or some footage of the weekly ping-pong tournament. 

Talent brand 

Sharing the founders’ story and insight from execs can help bring relatability and humanize your company’s story. 

Recruitment pros can highlight the company’s talent brand by:

  • Creating a content series of interviews with the founders and executive team sharing what makes your company special, the background behind why the company was founded, and the types of hires they are looking to add to the team. 
  • Distributing this content series via the company’s talent community, third-party platforms, such as social media, Glassdoor, or The Muse, as well as internally.

Attracting the right attention 

To continue to attract the right talent to your company and elevate your employer branding, an outward facing PR strategy can help create a strong employer brand among job seekers. Your company’s marketing team has an external PR strategy, so create a similar candidate facing plan to increase the reach of your employer branding strategy. Target the outlets prospective candidates are already reading to authentically capture their interest.

“The more channels you leverage the better,” says Woolard. “Building a hiring brand will lead to a lower cost per hire because when you have many channels working for you, you can be more selective on the conversations you have since you have more opportunities to review.”

Recruitment pros can highlight the company externally by:

  • Scheduling time to meet with your organization’s marketing team to ensure your recruitment content materials align with your corporate brand.
  • Implementing an internal promotion strategy that includes sending a monthly internal email with a round-up of that month’s recruitment content, as well as suggested posts for employees to share on social media. Your company’s employees are your best assets to share and expand the reach of your recruitment marketing content.
  • In addition to sharing content on career sites such as Glassdoor.com, LinkedIn and The Muse, engage with reviews, comments and feedback. It’s tempting to delete negative reviews, but responding to them publicly will build trust with potential applicants, and to avoid damaging your company's reputation. Transparency is important with job seekers because they will find any information that is available, so it’s beneficial to control the narrative. 

Diversity 

Talent acquisition teams who develop diversity recruitment programs will benefit from increased innovation, enhanced employee engagement and strong talent pipelines. Companies that can show a commitment to diversity will have a competitive recruiting edge. According to a Glassdoor study, 67% of job seekers said a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. When devising an employer brand strategy, offer job seekers more than generous salaries, free snacks and bean bag chairs—top talent also wants to see a commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Recruitment pros can highlight the company’s diversity initiatives by:

  • Collecting data from the human resources department, and testimonials from team members who support the company’s diversity efforts in the form of video clips, a compilation video, or social media friendly images. Share these externally through the company’s social media channels, talent pipeline emails or PR opportunities.

Values 

Company values are the building blocks of how a company’s culture is shaped. Whether your organization has weekly 1:1 meetings, monthly cross-department happy hours, or quarterly skip-level meetings, these elements add up to create an environment that will attract the best fits for your company. 

Recruitment pros can highlight the company’s values by:

  • Creating a section on your company’s careers page so potential candidates can learn more about your values before they apply for a position.

Innovation 

Innovation is what keeps talent engaged, and prevents burnout. Without spilling any proprietary secrets, giving prospective candidates a glimpse into the next steps for the company and upcoming product launches could further entice them to check out any open positions you're trying to fill. 

Recruitment pros can highlight the company’s innovation initiatives by:

  • Segmenting communication to share the most relevant company information with the most appropriate group of job seekers. Cultivating branded talent communities by function, business line, or location can build engaged and motivated candidate pipelines. 
Deanna Lawley Kane

Deanna Lawley Kane

Deanna is a freelance writer, editor and strategist with over 10 years of experience. She is based in Chicago, IL.