Why you need to stop treating employer branding a recruitment campaign [podcast #114]

Blog header #114 Why you need to stop treating employer branding a recruitment campaign - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Employer Branding is not a recruitment campaign.

If you continue to treat it as one, you’ll miss out on the added value proper employer brand marketing can deliver.

Like an audience willing and ready for your messages when you have something valuable to share.

Competitive advantage only strong brands can deliver.

Support and better visibility to all the roles your company hires for instead of just the ones you’ll have resources to sponsor with the proper marketing effort.

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Why employer branding is not a recruitment campaign?

I follow the employer branding talk on socials, and it seems to me most people who refer to employer branding are, in fact, talking about recruitment campaigns.

Now, it is essential that you know recruitment campaign might still be the optimal strategy for your business or your situation. So it’s not wrong at all to opt for recruitment campaigns.

Why you need to stop treating employer branding as a recruitment campaign is simple: recruitment campaigns have different goals, audiences, tactics and messages than employer branding.

Susanna Rantanen on the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast

But if you don’t understand the difference between employer brand marketing and recruitment marketing, you miss a huge opportunity to help solve your talent-related struggles with marketing. You are limiting your repertoire, and you might even be using the wrong tactics and end up limiting your chances of success!

Why you need to stop treating employer branding as a recruitment campaign is simple: recruitment campaigns have different goals, audiences, tactics and messages than employer branding.

When you confuse these two types of talent marketing, it’s like using the wrong flour in your cake. Falls flat and doesn’t deliver.

Key differences between recruitment marketing and employer branding

#1 Recruitment campaigns are like promotional sales campaigns

You are more likely to notice sales campaigns than branding.

Brand marketing is there “all the time,” so you may not consciously notice how your mind becomes attracted to brands and how brand marketing influences your thinking, your beliefs and eventually also your behaviour.

Promotional campaigns, what recruitment campaigns very much are, are straightforward and much less subtle than branding.

Sales campaigns literally put it out there in bold capital letters that we have something you need, and you can get it here if you act fast, because there is not enough for everyone. Your recruitment campaigns should have the same style and effect.

Three clear characteristics of a successful recruitment campaign

(1) Pinpoints and complements the basic offer the audience wants to act on asap

The offer is, of course, the job itself. The opportunity that is only available at this time and will be filled as soon as possible. Brand campaigns never have an offer and never call action to send a job application.

One of the most common strategies sales campaigns use is to complement the basic offer – think the job – with an added bonus that makes the offer stand out from competing offers. 

If everyone is selling the same product for the same price – or promoting the same job for the same level of salary, how does the job seeker decide which one of the vacancies they’ll apply for? This happens in recruitment marketing all the time and makes it harder to succeed in talent acquisition.

Because, for sure, they are not sending their resumes to every single role. 

The answer is simple:

  • People buy, and candidates choose the option that seems least risky and most compelling.
  • We choose the option we trust the most. What is employer branding? Building trust in the product.

If you don’t have the advantage of a strong employer brand, your recruitment campaign could benefit from a well-used sales tactic: offering limited-time bonuses. “Apply now, and the first ten [or whatever number you choose] applicants also get this [limited-time bonus that adds value for the candidates].

You just need to create a bonus-offer that makes sense when presented together with the offer of a role in your organization and is of additional value for the relevant job seeker. 

(2) Is limited in length

Limited length is key to a successful recruitment campaign. If you have vacancies open all the time on your website, it’s probable no one ever applies.

Humans want what they cannot get. Make sure you always have limited availability to become part of your recruitment process. This also enables you to see the impact of your recruitment campaign fast.

Don’t give your audience too much time to ponder whether to send the application or not. This often results in a lost audience. They end up choosing another company, another offer. Those who are ready to act want to act fast. They have a strong desire to make changes to their career and the sooner the better.

If your campaign goes on and on, your audience might assume that you are not in a hurry. If they are in a hurry, again, they go elsewhere.

When your applicant audience is in a hurry, they are likely to choose options that make them feel they get to move forward faster. It is very important to understand this when you do recruitment campaigns.

(3) Clearly states the deadline for applications and pushes the audience to convert

The difference between a limited-time recruitment campaign and a clearly stated deadline for applications is that a limited-time campaign is being marketed only for a limited time, but you are not giving the audience a clear deadline for taking part. You know the time limitations, but those are not communicated clearly to your audience. 

And don’t mistake this for a deadline for applications in the actual job post. A successful recruitment campaign is much more than posting a job advert and waiting passively for applications.

If you don’t promote the deadline for applications, what you are communicating is: No hurry, no worry, send your application first to all of our competitors’ vacancies. And if those don’t work for you, we’ll always be here. Guess who will lose the applicants. You. 

Giving a deadline makes the offer limited in availability. What better way to push people to act than tell them you’ll miss out on this wonderful offer unless you act now?

This is what sales copywriters use all the time! 

What is the offer in employer branding?

In employer branding, your offer is not a specific job, role or the vacancy.

It is a career in a company where the management, leaders and other people share the same beliefs and values and are committed to working towards the same purpose and goals.

The opportunity to become part of this gives the talent much more than something to do 8 hours a day and a paycheck at the end of the month. We are talking about self-confidence, belonging, trust, the ability to be yourself, acceptance, and skills that help you to build a better life for yourself. Not just today but for the life after you leave this company and move forward in your life.

That’s the product behind the modern employer brand. When you build an employer brand, you build this product I call the unique employee experiences in your company.

When you market your employer brand, you build trust and desire towards your employer brand product.

You need to see employer branding and employer brand marketing as consistent processes in planting the seeds for the audience you need to harvest one day. And then the harvesting is your recruitment campaign.

Continue here: Four characteristics of modern employer branding >>

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Learn more about how to build the Magnetic Employer Brand at Talent Marketing School

Subscribe online to Talent Marketing School and start learning how to build the modern employer brand based on the Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ I developed and have tested already with hundreds of growth organizations over the years. 

This method gives you a systematic approach to storytelling based employer branding. When you learn the system, you can apply it to other talent marketing too. When you become an online student at Talent Marketing School, you get access to all core lessons and courses teaching how to build the modern employer brand based on this method. You cannot learn this method anywhere else but at Talent Marketing School.

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