Starting your professional development in employer branding [podcast #86]

Blog header #86 How to become the boss of your professional development in employer branding - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Are you planning to start your professional development in employer branding?


Employer branding has fast become a trending activity among talents working in talent acquisition, HR and marketing communication.

So far, employer branding looks like an extended version of a recruitment campaign: Companies are including other marketing collateral such as articles and videos aside the job post in the recruitment campaign.

Employer branding is so much more than that. In fact, that isn’t even employer branding. That’s recruitment marketing. The question is: If you want to start developing your employer branding acumen, what do you do?

Getting started with your professional development in employer branding

The first, and the most important step for you is to think about the employer branding career you aspire to have.

Are you planning to progress a career in employer branding or fully towards employer branding?

Or are you simply looking for insight and answers on how to solve the employer branding related problems you have in your current role?

If you are not that into employer branding and see it merely a task in your current role, then Google is your friend. Search for specific content that might be of a help in your specific tasks.

Those of you who have started to grow affinity towards employer branding and have serious dreams about a full time job in employer branding, I recommend to become the boss of your professional development and craft yourself a plan you can follow.

Listen to episode 86 “How to become the boss of your professional development in employer branding”

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Start with envisioning your professional development in employer branding

Listen, many employers are not in a mature enough stage to be proactive in offering you a professional development plan in employer branding. You are likely to have to take the matter into your own hands.

I recommend creating your own professional development plan and then discussing that with your boss to see if your employer can support you.

Include both a vision of what your employer branding career ideally looks like in the longer run and what you aspire to get done over the course of next 12 months. Update your plan every year to match your aspirations and current situation.

7 steps in planning your professional direction

Step 1: Expand your knowledge about the six key roles within modern talent marketing

Employer branding is so much more than an EVP project, producing a video here or there or writing career stories to recruitment campaigns.

The entire employer branding role is so much more than that. That’s why I coined the term talent marketing as an umbrella term above employer branding and wrote an entire eBook about the 6 roles I see key in a modern talent marketing team.

Download this guide I wrote (it’s free!) of the six key roles I chose for the modern talent marketing team.

Step 2: Read through the eBook to see your options

Gain more insight about what modern employer branding actually consists of when it is set out into six different roles roles and many examples of tasks.

Take notes and make two lists to see which tasks appeal to you and which won’t. Did you find suitable roles for you to focus on?

Feel free to combine tasks from more than one role if that’s what ticks you. I personally have many of those roles combined in my current employer branding expert role and so does my entire team!

Step 3: Start drawing a mind map or creating a vision board for your professional development in employer branding

Take a new sheet in your notebook or a blank piece of paper. Start drawing either a mind map or creating a vision board about your professional development in employer branding.

Where are you now? What is your current role in employer branding and do you work on those tasks every day full time or occasionally (part time) aside your main responsibilities?

Step 4: Move onto ideating your career development plan around your current role.

Which specific tasks are super motivating for you right now and which are not?

In which areas would you love to start growing your insight and skills? And not necessarily because it is needed in your current role, but because it is the direction you want to take.

Step 5: Choose max three focus areas to develop on during the next 12 months.

What do you choose as your first development areas? Add these as bubbles or images on your board. Leave room around to add more details to each focus area.

Are any of the focus areas something that helps you in your current role or maybe leads into gaining more responsibility in employer branding in your current place to work?

What did you choose as your focus areas?

Step 6: Select three ways start developing your skills and knowledge.

You can use this list or add your own ideas.

  • Learning from literature (books and audiobooks).
  • Listening and learning from podcasts.
  • Finding inspirational influencers in the field of employer branding to follow.
  • Taking online courses on specific topics.
  • Becoming a member at Talent Marketing School and learning from me.
  • Finding a mentor and investing in a mentorship with someone you identify with.

Step 7: Schedule a permanent development slot into your weekly time table

Taking time every week for your development is key to going forward. Nobody else is going to do this for you. I like to take time to study during weekends while my family is still sleeping. It’s my time for my development and ability to stay ahead of the game. I do it every single week. Start with an hour. You’ll soon find yourself so driven you’ll be investing more and more time into yourself.

  1. Book a permanent weekly slot, like an hour into your calendar.
  2. Fill it with your chosen tasks to always know how you are spending that hour.
  3. Commit to your weekly development. It won’t happen unless you take the drivers seat.

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