Employment branding and recruitment marketing gained speed just a couple of years ago, but they’ve quickly blossomed into being the backbone of recruitment strategy at many companies. One of the biggest forces driving employment branding and recruitment marketing is the leadership at these organizations. As with almost all overreaching efforts, the leaders’ opinions, values and priorities guide whether or not a company will embrace these tactics or not. For CHROs, the power lies in your hands. It’s often up to the CHRO to guide and shape the strategy, so it’s vital that you’re equipped with the knowledge and understanding of these tactics to make the right decisions.
What’s the big deal?
You’ve no doubt heard of employment branding and recruitment marketing, but I would almost bet that you’ve heard them discussed in abstract ways. This could be because there are so many aspects to these strategies and so many ways to put them into practice. In the simplest terms, employment branding is a long-term effort to manage how candidates, potential candidates and employees see you. Recruitment marketing is using real-world marketing tactics to recruit employees. These two strategies are strengthened by each other and when used together, are incredibly powerful in shaping how the outside world sees you as an employer and then moving those people to want to be a part of your company.
What you need to know
Knowing what these terms mean doesn’t exactly help you implement them in your organization. As a CHRO, you have a responsibility to also know the how and why behind these ideas. Here are four things that you need to know to answer the questions “Why do we need it?” and “How do we make it happen?”
- Opportunity abounds. Employment branding and recruitment marketing are emerging areas of opportunity for talent acquisition. It’s not often that something comes along that can revolutionize the way you recruit, but these strategies fall in that category. By aligning HR with marketing and corporate/internal communications, you can build a bridge between the areas and combine their powers for the good of your current and future workforce.
- Metrics are a must. Trust that these strategies work, but ask questions that verify you’re on the right track. Rather than viewing success in terms of social followers (since that doesn’t necessarily equal influence), look at candidates per source, hires by channel and the number of candidate engagements/traffic that each of these sources bring. It’s also important to understand the relationship these metrics have with each other. For instance, while source of hire is important, a single interaction is probably not the only touch these candidates had before making the decision to join your talent network or apply for an opening.
- Hire strategists. Since these are newer strategies for many companies, it’s possible that your team would be well served to bring in someone who is experienced in these areas. Senior level team members who know how to plan and execute employment branding and recruitment marketing can lead the charge. They are good at what they do, will bring results and should be paid accordingly.
- It’s a team effort. Branding and marketing in talent acquisition is driven by your employees. It’s an effort that starts from the bottom, with employees becoming brand ambassadors and believing they work for a great place. Your CEO can’t make your employees see the organization a certain way without real organizational and cultural change.
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Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology anthropologist specializing in HR and recruiting. She's the Chief Blogger and Founder of Blogging4Jobs and author of The HR Technology Field Guide. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmillermerell.