Employer Branding



January 24, 2024

What can Employer Branding steal from Growth Marketing?

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How can a company ensure that talent acquisition does not become a growth bottleneck?

The answer is big, but data shows that one important part of the solution is building a brand.

What is employer branding?

What does employer branding mean, where did the whole idea come from?

For us working in competitive talent markets this one is clear. It is difficult to find the best employees in your key roles. At worst, not being able to hire the best people will become a growth bottleneck for your business.

For example, all of the tech companies recruit developers. Even companies that are not tech companies, aim to recruit developers. The best developers are highly competed for and get to choose their employers.

At first, all of these companies started to send messages to developers on Linkedin. When everyone started doing that, they noticed it doesn't work. And they noticed that it doesn't work if people you contact don't know your company at all.

The next realization was, that even if the company has a strong company brand, it's not enough – people don't still know what kind of a workplace the company is. And they are not interested.

How does influencing with a brand work?

Here's an example: imagine that your cell phone breaks. Now you have to buy a new one. Do you already have in mind which brand of cell phones to take with you from the store? You probably do.

Now think about changing jobs. When the time comes the next time, do you already have a preferred company in mind? You probably do.

Both of these images and choices are already in your mind because these companies have done their branding work well.

Why focus on building an employer brand?

So, while branding your business is something that almost everyone does at some level, on the employer side, the brand is still a new thing.

You might choose an iPhone, but you're not sure if you would choose Apple as an employer.

The bottom line is: you have to have a employer brand, too, so that the best people consider your company as a workplace.

How can you build an employer brand?

People think that just raising awareness is employer branding, but that's not enough

Many companies start employer branding from creating an EVP, an employer value proposition. You post it on your career site. You use it as a slogan on social media.

Now what? Did your employer brand become your competitive advantage? Probably not.

Building brand awareness is a way to start your employer branding. It's really important, but there is much more on the journey to making your employer branding work actually your competitive advantage.

What Employer Branding can steal from Growth Marketing?

Many SaaS companies are familiar with Pirate Metrics. They are used for measuring your customer behavior to leverage the information for your competitive advantage. Pirate metrics could be used for building your employer brand marketing stages in talent acquisition, too!

So, having the awareness stage completed doesn't get you anywhere as such.

Here are questions you could ask yourself to take the next steps from building employer awareness:

  • How do you get the people you are able to reach to be interested in your company over competitors? These people are aware of many other companies and potential employers, too.
  • How do you get them activated to convert into your job seekers?
  • How do you get them to stay at your company? If you manage to hire these people, can you keep them?
  • How do you get new-comers to quickly become productive for your business?
  • How do you get them to recommend your company as a workplace to their own networks?

These are the different stages of the pirate funnel in talent acquisition. With EB marketing you can affect all of the steps in the funnel to strengthen your competitiveness:

  • Awareness: get the right people to know about your company with effective EB marketing and right messaging that speaks to them in the first place.
  • Acquisition: get the ICP's (ideal candidate profile) to choose you over the competitors and convert into your job seekers. You need to build differentiation and brand affinity to make this happen.
  • Activation: get the ICP's to join you. There are also many points in this stage where you can influence with great communication and differentiation.
  • Retention: make the right people stay. When you have focused on reaching the right audience in the first place, it's possible that you have hired the right people who will stay. What is more, people want to stay in companies with an appreciated brand & distinctive offering.
  • Revenue: right people for your company will be profitable sooner. On top of that, here's an idea: can you start your onboarding process already way before people are hired?
  • Referral: the right people that naturally love your brand and won't churn right away, will more likely recommend your company to their peers.

If you are currently doing EB, you should think about this whole funnel and how to leverage growth marketing in your employer branding.

When you think about building your employer brand with this kind of approach, you create a brand that will support the growth of your company.

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