The Employer Branding/Talent Acquisition Relationship: It’s Time to See Other People

One obvious application of Employer Branding in Talent Acquisition is to attract talent – to establish an emotional connection between candidate and career, and to ultimately help distinguish one company from another to an increasingly shallow talent pool.
The temptation to keep this relationship exclusive is understandable, with many of the metrics that drive TA also featuring as KPIs for Employer Branding. For example, time to fill, cost per hire and quality of hire are all important to TA and they are also hallmarks of a successful in-house Employer Branding team. Using Employer Branding, then, to supercharge the recruitment process and fill the funnel with high quality, qualified candidates seems like a very good idea.
All’s well and good, but there’s a trick being missed here. Hitching Employer Branding exclusively to TA is like owning a Ferrari and only driving it up and down your street. It makes the driver look good, but the pedal is a long way from the floor.
[bctt tweet=”Using Employer Branding exclusively for #recruitment is akin to driving a Ferrari at 40km/h.”]
The applications of Employer Branding can (and should) be far-reaching and to get the most out of it, it has to be applied beyond TA circles and be included into internal employee communications. Employer Branding should also include communicating your key external messages internally. Your company’s value proposition to candidates is to help them save the world? Don’t just tell potential new starters, tell your own employees. Share stories with them. Get them excited. Make them proud ambassadors of your organisation and let them know what you stand for. This can result in a big positive impact on HR metrics such as engagement, net promoter scores and staff retention.
AmbassadorsIn addition, these efforts to educate current employees may also result in positive knock-on effects for your external Marketing function. You may start noticing better customer feedback and spikes in positive social media engagement around your corporate brand – which, depending on the industry you are involved in, could translate into increased sales and brand equity.
That’s the potential power of Employer Branding. Currently, it’s mostly about getting candidates interested in working for a particular organisation. Increasingly, though, its influence is growing. Employer Branding is now focused on moving towards enhancing the entire candidate experience, from the time they first become aware of an organisation’s employer brand, through to their induction, and then beyond to the first 30, 60 and 90 days of their employment. It’s about engaging them and delivering on any promises made through the interview process – ultimately ensuring those engaged candidates become even more engaged employees, then active employer brand ambassadors.
[bctt tweet=”Employer branding should be used to enhance the candidate experience from prehire to employment.”]
And this is one of the reasons I love working at Philips – the foresight shown by the senior management to position Employer Branding as a separate function (we now have dedicated Employer Branding people in all our key markets). This has enabled us to take a holistic view of talent management throughout the organisation.
Reporting to TA globally, but not tied exclusively to any function at a local level, Employer Branding works in parallel with regional TA Leads, Sourcing experts, HR Managers and Marketing people towards the common goal of not just attracting, but also engaging and retaining the talent Philips needs. It’s like TA inviting you to a recruitment party, and then introducing you to new friends in HR and Marketing. Working together, sharing knowledge and impacting more.
In a tightening labor market, that’s exactly the way it needs to be.

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