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Does LinkedIn work for employer branding?

What are your thoughts and experiences on this?

I find LinkedIn to lack many important features needed today to do modern employer branding on the platform.

Does LinkedIn work for employer branding?

LinkedIn is the oldest social media platform and hugely popular among sales and recruitment professionals. When it first started, LinkedIn was targeted for business people as a sales network.

I’m not sure exactly which year LinkedIn started to steer towards a career & hiring platform, but it was probably around 2009. I remember this as I started with my recruitment software startup in February 2010, and in the first focus groups we discussed LinkedIn in relation to hiring.

Because it is the largest professional network in the world it is suffice to say, it has it’s benefits when it comes to building your professional network as a sales person, as a business person, as a recruiter, as a talent and as a job seeker.

But LinkedIn does not work well for employer branding.

(The blog post continues below the Soundcloud window).

LinkedIn fails to enable modern employer branding

What LinkedIn calls employer branding is what I call traditional employer branding. Since those times traditional employer branding was truly a great form of employer branding, the world has become digital, and traditional employer branding is simply nothing more than recruitment marketing.

Important yes, but missing out on nearly all the opportunities and benefits modern employer branding will bring to a growth business.

Why I think LinkedIn solutions for employer branding are actually just an extension of recruitment marketing

For more than a decade, we have been both enjoying the benefits and as well as suffering from the consequences of the digitally available information -era.

In this new world of information and social networking, human-to-human has taken over making corporations-to-mass-talent-audiences redundant. LinkedIn fails (in comparison to all other main social media) to enable human-to-human networking and dialogue under a company profile.

Further more, because every nano-second we are being fed more than enough content, our brains have become information blockers. Unless we need to sell or find a new job, we have no reason to go to company websites or company profiles on socials. While LinkedIn’s solutions for hiring are extensive, LinkedIn is offering very little to actual modern employer branding.

LinkedIn solution for employer branding probably works for active job seekers

I googled LinkedIn for employer branding and found this article in which the author summarizes my point. The solutions LinkedIn offers suggest to build a talent pipeline. But key features emphasize recruitment. Which is not employer branding.

And while the Career Page -solution offers opportunities to build an employer brand, it would require a LinkedIn user to want to come to a company LinkedIn-page, then be interested in clicking tabs and links to proceed to learn more about the company as a place of work.

I know, in theory, this is all fine and dandy. But the problem I have with what LinkedIn offers is that this is no longer a match with how people behave in the digital environment.

  • Companies are no longer interesting as social media users and profiles, because companies use social media wrong.
  • Us social media users are lazy. We are not going to go to a business profile on LinkedIn, unless we want something from you. Like to sell to you or to get a job right now from you.
  • Employer branding is not recruiting, nor is it recruitment marketing. In my opinion, LinkedIn employer branding solutions are an extension to recruitment marketing targeted to active job seekers.

LinkedIn is an excellent platform for hiring

My point is, while LinkedIn is an excellent platform for hiring, and LinkedIn solutions are likely to provide some or a lot of value for companies who hire regularly, what LinkedIn calls employer branding is an extension to recruitment marketing. These solutions are likely to work if the target audience is in an active job seeking mode.

But not for a passive job seeker. I yearn LinkedIn to develop features allowing companies to use their LinkedIn-profiles but act like individuals on the platform.

LinkedIn makes modern employer branding difficult and forces modern employer branding practitioners to opt out and use other social media instead. In this episode of the podcast, I go deeper into this topic with four reasons why.

Episode #40 on Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast

#40  Why LinkedIn is not that great for modern employer branding - Building a Modern Employer Brand Podcast with Susanna Rantanen
Episode #40 Why LinkedIn is not that great for modern employer branding

In this episode of Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast, I discuss why I think LinkedIn is NOT that great for modern employer branding.

Episode-length: 20:47 min

In this episode:

  • 4 reasons why I find LinkedIn not that great for modern employer branding.

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