Target talent audiences often seem to be such a struggle to come up with when a business starts to work with their employer brand.

I’ve noticed the struggle being most down to one single reason: we confuse recruiting audiences with employer branding audiences when in fact, they are not the same.

What is a target talent audience?

A target audience obviously refers to an audience we want to target our messages to. Talent audience means, we are looking at them as prospective talents to our company or they already work for us.

Both recruiting and employer branding is most effective when we have defined our target audiences as specifically as possible.

In recruiting this comes out as a hiring criteria set up often in a job post.

In modern employer branding these audiences are formed by who I call strategically ideal talents. These are talents our business literally must be able to attract and retain in the coming years for us not to blow up the execution of our business strategy.

Learn more about talent audiences >>

Employer branding is about being known as a specific kind of employer

Let’s use an example.

Let’s say we were a large, internationally operating communications agency specialized in the tech industry. We would be hiring people to work as communications consultants. But we would likely be hiring also talents for various positions such as admin, sales, marketing, business development, project management, finance and IT.

If we were to employer brand, we would ideally want to position ourselves specifically as an employer to all tech-savvy communications consultants. This would create a much smaller niche than being seen as an international communications agency.

But what about the other types of professionals we would need to attract and retain over the years?

It depends on whether you hire for those other roles actively. If not, recruitment marketing will take care of it.

But if yes, then it would be smart to position as a tech-savvy communications agency with a mission to [describe here] for the tech industry clientele.

When you must position as an employer attracting and retaining multiple target audiences, the smartest direction is to figure out what needs to appeal to all of your current and future employees and position as an employer accordingly.

Then define your target audiences into 2-4 talent segments based on denominators other than a profession.

You know the wise recommendation to “choose your battles”?

I can assure you, it is much easier to win a war with a minimal number of opponents.

What is talent segmentation?

Talent segmentation can be hugely helpful specifically in employer branding.

Employer brand is an outcome of marketing activities taken over time to form emotional connections and relationships between what we represent as an organization and those ideally working for us one day.

The “one day” is the clue here. Building a brand takes time. Brand is an outcome of emotional connections and relationships between a member of the audience and the object of the brand. We all know we cannot rush those emotions.

In my experience, hiring managers are often unable to define who they want to hire until the day they realize they needed the person yesterday.

Hence, it would be unrealistic to assume they know in detail who they need to hire in 12. 18 or even 24 months from now. Hence, we need different tactics to define our employer brand audiences.

Talent segmentation is a process during which we define and group talent audiences into subgroups based on a variety of criteria. Once we have segments, we then proceed to creating talent personas to each segment.

Talent segmentation is a process during which we define and group talent audiences into subgroups based on a variety of criteria. Once we have segments, we then proceed to creating talent personas to each segment.

If you google talent personas, you will find plenty of posts suggesting to use talent personas for recruiting. I think it is a fantastic idea! But I disagree with using the same talent persons for recruiting and employer branding.

Talent personas are not used for hiring nor drafting recruitment profiles. They are used as an imaginary person who we want to speak to through our marketing messages. Talent personas go beyond the typical criteria used in recruiting. We probe into who these people are, what they desire, how they make decisions, what might be their needs and when they are likely to activate in the job front. Often times a talent persona is a combination of more than 1 probable recruitment profiles.

Check out this Buffer post about marketing personas. Since I don’t have content in English about talent personas yet, I rather divert you to the Buffer article.

Download a free PDF “Talent Audiences and Talent Segmentation in Modern Employer Branding” >>

Target talent audiences and talent segmentation The modern employer brand blog

The accompanying podcast-episode

In this episode #16 of Building a Modern Employer Brand, I talk about talent audiences and talent segmentation to help build better understanding why we have to stop thinking about recruitment profiles when we need to define employer brand audiences.

Episode-length: 18:09 min

Listen to this episode on Soundcloud >>

Listen to this episode on Spotify >>

Episode content:

  • What is a talent audience?
  • Keeping taps on talent insight
  • The various talent audiences organizations have
  • How the activeness / passiveness impacts our ability to deliver results in our talent marketing efforts?

About Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast

Building a Modern Employer Brand-podcast is a weekly podcast bringing you a modern breath of air into HR marketing and employer branding. 

This podcast is dedicated to all modern growth companies and modern employer branding practitioners who want to really influence their talent audiences and add measurable value to growing and scaling modern businesses with HR marketing and employer branding.

The Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast is sponsored by Employee Experience Agency Emine and scripted & hosted by Susanna Rantanen.

Find this podcast currently on Soundcloud and Spotify.

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