#118 Can’t build an employer brand? Why developing employer image during talent acquisition can be the perfect solution!


Developing employer image during the talent acquisition process can be the perfect solution for those organizations where actual employer branding is not an option.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I’ll share how you can develop your employer image during talent acquisition through better application of communication and marketing. This will grow your employer awareness and convince and convert your relevant job seekers to take part in your recruitment process.

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Why developing your employer image during the recruitment process can be the perfect solution?

Is this you?

You know a more attractive and well-known employer brand would help you to succeed better in hiring and meet your recruitment goals.

You have tried to bring this up with your boss, marketing and company management, and they all agree!

But you won’t get a budget. You won’t get any help. Brand marketing controls all branding activities and you are clearly not welcome to pitch in.

You are frustrated, annoyed and ready to hand in the towel unless something changes.

If you can’t change what other people do, what about changing what you can do?

So many of your peers working in HR and talent acquisition are struggling with this challenge. 

I regularly witness this myself, where everyone agrees employer branding is critical for the business. Still, the marketing department forbids using any company social media for employer branding.

What you can influence and directly change is how you hire, how you communicate with the job seeker audience and how you promote your vacancies. This gives you media for developing your employer image and awareness recruitment process by process and candidate by candidate.

It’s not as effective as proper employer branding will be, but it is tons more effective than doing nothing at all.

Redesigning your recruitment process to maximize the positive employer impact

Sometimes the only solution is to redesign your recruitment process to maximise the positive impact created during your recruitment process on your employer reputation and employer awareness. 

Most marketing departments don’t care about recruitment marketing or the recruitment process, and let you do your recruitment campaigns freely. Here’s your chance.

Another reason, why focusing on your recruitment process can be the solution is that while it does limit the overall potential employer branding can create, it is certainly better than nothing. And when you do it right, it’s going to be a heck of a lot more than nothing!

You have your active job seeker audience’s attention and interest because you potentially have a solution to their current career need.  Why not maximise this available attention? Why not do more than just a recruitment campaign for the job post?

Susanna Rantanen

You have your active job seeker audience’s attention and interest, because you potentially have a solution to their current career need. 

Why not maximize this available attention? Why not do more than just a recruitment campaign for the job post.

I know, I know, you fear you don’t have the time nor the capabilities to do more.

I think you do and you will arrange time for it if it really helps you to get better results. 

Maybe you need a little push, maybe you need a bit of coaching, maybe you need some help with ideas and templates and processes. But I bet you do have the time and you will build the capabilities. Don’t doubt yourself!

What exactly do you need to redesign in your recruitment process

What this means is that we are going to redesign your recruitment process to include a couple more additional repetitive processes that cover growing employer awareness, building your talent network and what’s important, attaining trust in YOU as a recruiter, within your growing network.

The focus is on how you will learn to use communication and marketing to:

  • Grow awareness and consideration of your hiring needs.
  • Answer questions your candidates will likely wonder about and research when trying to figure out if they should send you their application.
  • Create better candidate experiences and increase the likelihood of candidates’ committing to your recruitment process instead of exiting it halfway.
  • Build your prospect pipeline and network.
  • Empower your own social media profile as a recruiter to increase your professional impact AND help you elevate your career as a talent acquisition professional.

If this sounds overwhelming, stop fearing so. 

Everything new sounds overwhelming initially, but when you pick it apart, you’ll see its tiny little modules you can tackle one by one, forming the big not-so-monster anymore.

The benefits – Why would you start redesigning how you hire?

Developing your employer image during the recruitment process means you will need to redesign your recruitment process.

The parts you need to look at are those where you already communicate and do recruitment marketing and the areas where more communication and marketing could improve your results.

  • To help you to reach your recruitment goals better.
  • To improve candidate and applicant experiences with you or your organization, resulting in a more positive employer image and reputation.
  • To help yourself to gain trust among your target applicant audiences (and the hiring managers you work with).
  • Achieve a position as a recruiter where the candidates you approach with a career opportunity they want to speak with you about and hear what you might be able to offer or guide.
  • Gain better control in getting active and relevant job seekers to consider the roles you hire for and converting your active applicant audience to candidates in your recruitment processes.
  • Build yourself a pipeline of prospective candidates.
  • Learn how to easily use communication and marketing to get the word across and gain attention to your recruitment needs.
  • And might I add, if this isn’t going to help you further your career as you become recognised as a real recruitment pro, I don’t know what is.

Sometimes you just have to take the matter into your hands, and I’m telling you, if this helps the team leaders to get the people they need, you’ll be forgiven if you cross the marketing rule book barriers anywhere.

After all, when you help solve business and career problems, you will be the one everyone wants to work with.

Three quick tips to positively impact your employer image and grow employer awareness as a recruiter

#1 Stand up as a recruiting professional. Reposition yourself as your target audience’s career manager.

Recruitment is selling the job opportunity and the better life -benefits that come with it.

You are the salesperson. Your job is to convince and convert the people you want to hire or present to the hiring manager or your client. 

Yes, you work as a recruiter for your employer or your clients, but the attraction starts with you. 

If the problem is that the company you hire for isn’t that well known and trusted among the people you search for, then you need to be the magnet that pulls them in and convinces the opportunities you promote and represent are worthy of their time.

If no one knows you, they won’t trust you to be the recruiter they want to work with.

You need to reposition yourself as your target audience’s career manager!

You need to go from “We need to hire now” to “How can I help you to progress your career with the opportunities I represent?”

When you make this shift in your own mindset and how you work with candidates, you will become much more interesting and valuable in the eyes of the people you want to have access to.

#2 Make great communication your asset because great communicators are always remembered.

In addition, to being a real talent acquisition professional and developing your skills in that trait, you also need to develop your skills in communication and marketing. First, communication, then marketing.

You need to be a great communicator in all areas of hiring:

  • In the recruitment marketing phase.
  • In direct sourcing.
  • When you interview and juggle through the selection phase.
  • As you respectfully decline the candidates you are not proceeding with at that time.
  • When you build your talent pipeline.
  • In all your communication with the hiring managers.
  • And when you close each recruitment process. 

Do you know what makes a great communicator? I learned these once from a very wise communicator, Donald Miller.

Great communicators share three key characteristics:

  1. They are understood. They know how to articulate their thought into a clear message.
  2. They are interesting. They have the skill to win attention and captivate their audience with their message.
  3. They inspire change. A message that fails to inspire the audience for change fails to impact. A change doesn’t need to be a life-altering change. It can simply be: I’m going to put down this task and take a look at this job opportunity right now because I am inspired about what it could mean for my career. 

#3 Take the first step in redesigning your recruitment process with a little analysis

Look at your current recruitment process, your personal style and your way of working in talent acquisition. Write down each step or phase your normal way of going about hiring includes.

Write them down and highlight each step or phase where better communication would most likely help gain better results for you. 

Next, write down one or two ideas or goals you’d love to do or achieve with better communication, if you only knew how to or had more time to figure it out. Just one or two that pops into your mind.

What did you come up with? 

Additional reading or listening:

Three characteristics of a great talent marketing communicator & getting your talent marketing key messages right (episode 82)

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