Going from recruiting to employer branding can be hard when you work with both tasks.

Why is it easy to get confused between recruiting and employer branding?

Probably because we can use the same means to attract attention to a recruitment campaign and build an employer brand. From the surface, they don’t look that different.

However, just like you could ride a bike for a bit of fun, competitively or use it as your means to ride to work. It’s still the same means but the purpose and the objectives are different.

And the more fun you want to get out of your bike or the better you want to succeed in a competition or the less sweat you want to gain during your ride to work will impact what kind of a bike you choose and what you expect from it.

You can use the same bike for all, but if you have expectations needing to be met, you’ll pay more attention to your equipment and how you use it.

The key differences between recruiting and employer branding

I always refer recruiting to sales and employer branding to, well branding.

Just like sales, recruiting is more straight forward with a transaction goal in mind.

Successful employer branding on the other hand requires time, consistency and benefits greatly from a clear plan.

Recruitment marketing helps getting applications

Companies use marketing to help sales. Just like companies use marketing to help hiring. This type of marketing can be specified as promotional marketing.

Recruitment marketing is used to promote the vacancy, the selection criteria and the schedule for the process. The purpose of a recruitment marketing campaign is to maximize the likelihood of getting applications from the preferred and relevant applicants.

This type of promotional marketing is very transaction oriented and straight forward. The audience has the same goal: Solving a job related problem as fast as possible. That’s also why it works best as campaigns with an end date. Not to have a deadline for applications will have a negative impact on the success.

Employer branding is about changing perceptions and building emotional connections

Employer branding is a very different type of activity. The problem is, it doesn’t look that different.

We can use the same means, such as social media marketing, web marketing, event marketing, blogs, articles, videos and what not in both types of talent marketing.

Unless you pay attention to the message and the intended target audience, you might very well miss the difference. Until you see it in the lack of results.

Instead of pursuing applications to an open recruitment process in employer branding we work with perceptions and pursue our target audience to connect with us on an emotional level. It goes much deeper.

Evoking and building emotions and changing people’s perceptions takes time. You cannot hurry it. Instead you must nurture and gently bring the target audience closer and closer to you. This cannot be achieved with recruitment marketing.

Talent Marketing School

What makes recruitment marketing and employer branding different?

The key differences between recruiting and employer branding are:

  • The target audience:
    • In recruiting your marketing needs to be targeted to relevant active job seekers at the time of the campaign.
    • In employer branding, your greatest potential for ROI comes when employer branding pursues your relevant passive job seeker audiences.
  • The problem the target audience has and is looking to resolve:
    • In recruitment marketing a work-to-life riddle pressing for career changes.
    • In employer branding something else that will be figured out in the strategic planning phase.
  • The key message(s):
    • In hiring the benefits of joining our company now.
    • In modern, Magnetic Employer Branding selected topics uniting the company and the relevant target audiences and resulting in a transformation in perceptions, thoughts, attitudes and eventual actions.
  • The time required to get results:
    • In recruitment marketing 3-4 weeks.
    • In employer branding a year, even two depending on the allocation of resources.

You might ask, why would anyone do employer branding when it takes so long? Because once you have those emotional connections to your brand, you may never need to struggle in hiring and finding committed, productive and engaged employees.

A recruitment campaign has limited impact. With employer branding you can impact even your company value, customer experiences, top line (sales) and bottom line (earnings).

When too much time can kill your success

The funny thing is, when employer branding requires more time, too much time can kill your hiring success.

Becoming ready to commit to someone or something is a process. And that’s what employer branding intends: for your ideal talent audiences to grow fond of your company. For your company to become to preferred choice overriding all other similar options.

Needing a job has a sense of urgency attached to it. The sooner, the better. Take too much time to make up your mind or process your applicants and selection and you are likely to loose your best candidates. Don’t use a deadline for applications and the talents ready to commit now will go elsewhere. Because it looks like you don’t share the same sense of urgency as they do.

Success in recruitment marketing requires different skills and mentality from the marketer than success in employer branding. Both are equally important areas of talent marketing, but not the same.

The more there are competition on your talent market, the more advanced you need to go. That’s when it becomes critical to choose your path. To get results and succeed requires very different tactics on the advanced level.

Listen to episode #70 of the Building of a Modern Employer Brand podcast

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand -podcast, I’ll introduce how to use my Candidate Journey of the Information Era© tool as a basis for transitioning from the short span recruitment focus to the long term employer branding focus. 

  • Simple reasons we actually are so recruitment/sales-minded in HR.
  • What is the Candidate Journey of the Information Era©?
  • Understanding the differences between recruitment objectives and employer branding objectives.
  • How our CJIE-framework guides you as a tool.

Episode-length:  47:17 min

candidate journey of the information era
Copyright Susanna Rantanen

Links mentioned in the episode:

“What is the Candidate Journey of the Information Era?” >>

“Candidate Journey of the Information Era explained” [podcast #6] >>

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