What are the key characteristics of modern employer branding?

I’m specifically talking about modern employer branding because I want you to pay attention. Modern employer branding is something different from what you might have traditionally believed employer branding to be.

What I ask you to memorize is that employer branding is a marathon while recruitment campaign is a sprint.

The four key characteristics of modern employer branding

The purpose of employer branding is to stand out from the crowds and your competition.

Position your company as a specific and unique workplace that resonates with the right audience for years to come. 

#1 Modern employer branding is a long game

I’ve forever described employer branding as a marathon opposed to recruitment campaigns as a short sprint.

This long game needs a plan, commitment to stick with the plan, and consistency to deliver that plan.

Results will follow when you stick to the plan.

I find companies, where the preference is to deliver fast results, not to have that much success with employer branding.

Unless they hire people or consultants who apply different marketing tactics to what these companies use in their fast-paced culture.

This is simple. Success in employer branding requires a long-term value delivery strategy, a different kind of marketing mentality and different skills.

And the same goes the other way. People who are very good with the long game may not excel in the fast promotional game of recruitment marketing. They often find it challenging to choose the right tactics for fast-paced campaigns and write the kind of copy successful recruitment campaigns require.

#2 The value of employer branding goes way beyond receiving applications

Companies who use employer branding ONLY for getting applications are wasting their time and money.

Using available resources on good recruitment campaigns is likely to deliver more value than using them for employer brand marketing.

A strong employer brand contributes towards the value of the business because it adds a competitive advantage for the business. So, it is not just an HR thing.

Why is this?

A strong brand builds trust and implicates better quality.

Businesses that sell professional services or develop products requiring unique expertise and know-how will benefit from the modern employer brand.

Customers place value in knowing the service provider is likely to have the most competent talents delivering the promised value for the customer. 

A strong brand builds trust and implicates better quality.

If you work in a business that sells professional services or develops products that require specific expertise and know-how, your entire business will benefit from a strong (modern) employer brand.

Customers place value in knowing the service provider is likely to have the most competent talents delivering the promised value for the customer. 

Susanna Rantanen about the benefits of the modern employer brand

#3 Modern employer brand marketing has three very specific goals

The key goals for modern employer brand marketing are:

  1. Growing employer awareness to gain as large an organic audience as possible.
  2. Building employer brand affinity to help the most relevant members of the audience to self-select your organisation. This puts you at the very top of their mind.
  3. Returning the expected value to the business as a result of the investment in the employer brand marketing activities. 

#4 Employer branding is never a campaign; always a continuous process

There is no offer to act on now, no deadlines to give your audience.

You don’t need a vacancy or vacancies for employer branding.

Employer branding is not even connected to a need to hire right now. 

Employer branding is a continuous process. A transformation from how your audience sees you to how your business needs your audience to experience you.

You use marketing and communication – internally and externally to bring attention and build awareness to how your audience should see you and experience you.

You should always communicate and market your employer brand, even when you are not hiring because humans make their choices about what to get and from whom to get way before they make the purchase. And this applies to applying for jobs as well.

Employer branding is a continuous process. A transformation from how your audience sees you to how your business needs your audience to experience you.

Susanna Rantanen about the modern employer branding process

Are you made for an endurance sport, or are you better equipped for a fast race?

As someone who might work or want to work in employer branding, you should also know that some people are made for short and fast sprints while others are made for endurance sports.

What this means is that some of us HR/talent marketers are more equipped for short and fast recruitment marketing roles while others have the endurance required in succeeding with employer branding.

Unfortunately, I see is too many recruitment marketers working also with employer branding.

If you are good with recruitment marketing, you will likely be less good with employer branding. That’s a fact.

UNLESS you understand the difference and start to train your nervous system in this endurance sport of employer branding.

Read also: Why employer branding needs to focus on passive job seekers >>

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