Rethinking employer branding in the new world [podcast #115]

Blog header #115 Rethinking employer branding in the new world - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Rethinking employer branding means two key things:

(1) Separating employer branding from tactical recruitment campaigns. 

(2) Treating employer branding as a stand-alone, continuous process that builds demand and wins sustainable attention to your business.

It’s true, employer branding is hugely popular these days, and more and more companies have started to understand what value employer branding can deliver.

However, most discussion around employer branding seems to revolve around tactical campaigns and short-term activities to get more applications for current vacancies.

While employer branding will create massive value for hiring, employer branding has many other equally, if not more significant business benefits than just getting applications.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I talk about modern employer branding and why you probably should start rethinking how you see employer branding. Not only will this help you to help the company you work for, but is also likely to help you professionally at work and in your career.

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Rethinking employer branding

When I started to rethink employer branding years ago, I started to talk about modern employer branding. That’s why you keep hearing me referring to “modern” so much.

I wanted to distinguish what I talk about is different to how employer branding is traditionally seen.

Traditional employer branding is very tactical and project-based.

Formulating the employer value proposition (EVP) is a project. Creating content to boost recruitment campaigns are projects.

Modern employer branding builds demand and helps win sustainable attention in your relevant talent target audiences.


Modern employer branding is a continuous process applying clear messaging, communication and marketing to invite relevant talents on a journey I formulated as the Candidate Journey of the Information Era™️ with your organization.

Modern employer branding builds demand and helps win sustainable attention in your relevant talent target audiences.

5 key differences between recruitment campaigns and modern employer branding

1. When recruitment campaigns are short-term and temporary in nature, modern employer branding is a consistent, ongoing process.

2. Recruitment campaigns promote a vacancy to get applicants for the recruitment process. Modern employer branding uses communication and marketing to position the organization as a unique, appealing business and a place to work.

3. When recruitment marketing targets active job seekers outside the organization, modern employer branding speaks to passive job seekers and former employees outside the company and existing company employees. It is as much about internal employer branding as it is about external.

4. Recruitment campaign aims to get visibility for an ongoing recruitment process. Modern employer branding generates stronger brand affinity and can even increase the overall competitive advantage for the entire business on the market!

5. And finally, when recruitment marketing is most often advertising and promotion, modern employer branding is more about communication, storytelling and PR.

Banner download free eBook Building the Modern Employer Brand

How do you rethink and build a modern employer brand?

First of all, you need to forget about recruiting and switch off any kind of campaign mode.

When I say this, I am not saying recruitment marketing is not essential.

It can be very important to your business and work.

What I am saying is that you need to eliminate recruiting from employer branding.

When you do this, you can gain so much more employer brand value than applications to vacancies.

However, if getting more or better quality applications are what you are concerned about, forget about actual employer branding and focus on the entire recruitment process and how to apply better communication and marketing during it.

There is so much more to recruitment marketing than promoting job ads! Think pre-marketing before advertising the vacancy and improving the recruitment communication as well as investing in after campaign marketing.

This is a very different strategy to how you probably do recruitment campaigns right now or how to apply employer branding. But I can tell you; this recruitment marketing strategy can be equally if not more powerful than employer branding. Let’s call this modern recruitment marketing!

Great, consistent and regular recruitment marketing will grow your employer awareness but is limited to those target audiences you are hiring for.

And what’s more, mainly to those individuals who are actively looking for a new job during your recruitment campaigns. This means that when you employer brand only during your recruitment campaigns, you are most likely failing to get the attention of the relevant passive job seekers as well as your existing and former employees.

#1 Creating a communication and content marketing plan

Building the modern employer brand requires active communication and regular content production. What this means, you are focusing on content marketing and communication.

You will need a strategy and a content marketing plan to get your message in line and make sure you repeat the intended employer branding key messages consistently. Consistency is the key here.

#2 Setting goals for employer branding

Even a light strategy will help you to clarify what your employer branding success should look like.

It is essential for you to think about your employer branding goals and objectives.

Who do you focus on in terms of your target audience?

What are the key actions and marketing activities you’ll keep repeating for consistent delivery of your key employer branding messages?

#3 Finding something else to talk about than your open vacancies

Unlike recruitment marketing, modern employer branding does not discuss open vacancies, jobs and benefits, which tend to be interesting information only for active job seekers. currently 

Why this is really key to understand?

Because every single company struggling in the war for talent right now is likely to look for talents who are not looking to change jobs or don’t need to read job applications because they are being head-hunted regularly. Aka. passive job seekers.

#4 Using communication and marketing to win attention and build employer brand awareness

In content production and marketing work, the modern employer branding professional applies specific techniques to help win attention and build awareness, grow employer brand affinity and pursue employer brand conversions which lead to delivering employer brand value for the business and your work.

Is this something that appeals to you?

I have a free 4-minute video clip for you to learn why rethinking employer branding has become so critical. 

Watch the video clip on this page >>

All right, folks, that’s all for this week. 

My name is Susanna Rantanen. I teach you all you need to know about mastering modern employer branding at Talent Marketing School. If you want to become my student and study online at your own pace and time, go to and sign up.

I am planning to make changes to Talent Marketing School offer and subscription model that are going to impact the current price and availability. If you sign up before those changes roll out in 2023, you can still get the annual subscription plan available now for the silly small price.

Come back next week to learn more about how to build the modern employer brand and adapt to these changes making it more and more difficult to convert our audience into employer brand and other talent marketing value.

Moi moi!

(That’s adios in Finnish!)

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