Employer Branding: Have You Reached Its Core?

Published on 02-02-2015

In early days, a typical job post went like this: “Accountant Wanted. Male or Female. 25 – 35yrs old. With work experience.” This is when classified ads in a newspaper were still charged for by the word and therefore everything reached the apex of its brevity. Nowadays, the job description goes more like an in-depth report, with the list of desired skills and experience alone easily stretching to a full page.

Core of employer branding

The team of hiring managers and recruiters are putting heads together to look for those all-in-one packages, or the “decathlon athletes”, as I like to call them. But guess what profession takes home the best decathlon athlete of the year? The winner is recruiters, how ironic is that. It was commonly known in the past that recruiters had the role of a matchmaker, psychologist and salesperson. However, in recent years, more functional competencies, which were not known specific to this profession, are required to perform the job well, including copywriting, SEO, social media marketing and campaign management, just to name a few.


Related: Do you know next to these titles, today’s recruiters are also the breadwinners for the business? And here is why.


As far as I’m concerned, what drives the upskilling of recruiting professionals, voluntary or involuntary, is a combination of the fact that today’s workforce is shifting from Generation X to Generation Y and even Generation Z, and the rise of employer branding.


Long story short, recruiters and their recruiting teams are put on a fast track to thinking and working like their marketing peers. A quick browse through career sites will tell us recruiting pros are definitely one of the fastest learners. Be it visual, responsive, interactive, personalized or gamified, lots of career sites have undertaken a facelift in recent years and now sit on top of any latest web design trend you can think of. One company even made a well-plotted mini film to storytell its company culture, which you would only expect to see in the practice of consumer marketing.


Don’t get me wrong. Coming from a marketing background myself, I’m really excited to note that more and more creative excellence is taking place in the recruiting arena and being the game changer of the industry. My only concern is whether our recruiting pros have taken the right approach to this whole branding thing. I mean a catchy slogan or a stunning picture is of course nice, but any marketing expert will tell us that real branding goes wider and deeper than wording & imagery. Building a best-in-class employer brand requires a systematic approach, which starts off with the Employer Value Proposition (EVP) you truly stand by and reaches out to the most outer layer of marketing collateral. What is my company’s internal relations like? What leadership style does my company encourage? What is our growth strategy? What is our ambition? What values describe my company best? These are just a few of the many questions the recruiting team has to get answers for in a joint effort with the management team.


Let’s face it. Without us diving deep into the core of employer branding and learning the hard way, it would be nothing more than a flash in the pan. And only by doing so will we understand that what truly makes Google the world’s most attractive employer is not the ping pong table.

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