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Who should we choose as our target audiences in employer branding? This seems to be one of the most problematic decisions to make in strategic employer branding.

We tend to confuse our recruitment target audiences with our employer branding target audiences.

But if we think about the role of employer branding as opposed to recruiting, we can understand why the target audiences actually differ.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, I talk about the concept of “ideal talent” and how that reflects to who your target audiences are in employer branding and other talent marketing.

Understanding how to work with, group and segment your talent target audiences are key to successful talent marketing.

Listen to episode 83 Who exactly are your target audiences in employer branding?

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The concept of an Ideal Talent

To understand talent marketing audiences better, you need to understand the difference between a “talent” and any employee or a job seeker.

Talent as a noun, means a skill:

  • I have a talent to do [a specific something].
  • I am talented in [specific something].

To summarize: A talent in the context of a work life is a person who possesses the skills your company desires for success and who is naturally suited to succeed in the work environment your organization offers and the company culture you host.

This makes a talent different to “just a random” employee or a job seeker. 

Check out my blog post on the Strategically Ideal Talent

My approach to segmenting your target audiences in talent marketing

Let’s get the basics clear:

  • Your recruitment marketing audiences are always those talents who fit your hiring criteria to your vacancy.
  • Your employer branding audiences are those talent groups who need to position your company as their preferred place to work.

Easy so far, isn’t it? Now comes the tricky part.

The bigger the company the more likely you hire to several roles and positions. However, not all of the roles you hire for are considered as your business core skills.

Let’s say your company is an occupational health care business offering both consultative services for employers.

  • The core skill of your business is your expertise in occupational health care.
  • Your target audience in employer branding must be people who are occupational health care experts. For your business to stay competitive, you need to always attract the best talent in occupational health care. You need to position as the only viable option for occupational health care experts.

All your other positions are seen as your recruitment marketing audiences whenever you hire for those roles. However, these roles are not your employer branding audiences.

And before you go “pardon me” in your mind, let me explain:

Those people in the support roles may belong to your strategically ideal talent segment, but not for the work they do, but the way they contribute to your core business.

Their frame of mind makes them your strategically ideal talent, not the role in a support function. It’s their potential, attitude, drive and passion to contribute to your purpose and mission that may make them as your strategically ideal talent. And in that segment, they definitely belong to your employer branding target audience.

Layering your talent target audiences in modern talent marketing

I explain this image in more detail in this week’s episode, but to give you a sum up on what this approach suggests for figuring out your talent target audiences.

At the core, you have the strategically ideal talents

They can be already working for you or are on their way working for you if you build your employer brand according to the Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️. You target employer branding messages to this audience.

All the people on your payroll make up your internal target audience.

It is likely, not all of them qualify as strategically ideal, but since they are on your payroll, they need to be aware and inspired to deliver your customer promise. You target internal talent communication and employer branding to this audience.

Next, are your active recruitment candidates and very warm leads

Your qualified job candidates and warm recruitment leads make up the next target segment. You target candidate communication to your job candidates and employer brand communication to your warm recruitment leads to nurture them until there is a decision about a position to offer.

Followed by your desired employer brand audience

Your desired employer brand audience is made up from your relevant and ideal target talents. These talents are not yet aware of your company or not that inspired to pay attention to your employer brand messages. But you need them to become aware and inspired. So you target employer branding messages to them.

Your recent job applicants

And finally, you have all of your recent job applicants who you need to take care of until the process closes for them. Your employer brand reputation will risk getting tarnished if your candidate experiences fail. You target candidate communication to this audience.

Your other stakeholders make up your wider employer brand audience

And outside your onion here, you have your wider employer brand audience formed by your relevant stakeholders such as former employees, business partners, clients, customers, the moms of your current employees and so on. Don’t forget they are also likely to form an opinion about your company as an ideal or not-so-ideal place to work based on their personal experiences with your company.

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about who your target audiences are in employer branding and other talent marketing.

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