Do You Remember a World Before Employer Branding?
Long before employer branding was even invented, recruiters struggled with justifying their hiring efforts especially when it came to source and quality of hire. The more choices of candidate sources made the need for something to make sense of all it. Otherwise, we were spinning our wheels and chasing our shadows following our instincts and gut.
In 2007 not unlike in 2015, I was working to build a dashboard to make sense of my recruiting and hiring efforts. I was struggling with justifying my recruiting actions and activity with my senior leadership team. I went so far as to publish my phone number in online job and newspaper ads because I was desperate for understanding in the type of recruiting ROI I was getting. It still makes me a little sad that even still 8 years later we are still allowing for candidate source self-reporting. I really don’t understand how it is an acceptable source of analytics in employer branding as well as recruiting.
Employment Branding is Not Social Media
Employment branding is more than a Twitter retweet, Facebook like or even an Instagram heart. Social media especially Twitter for recruiting is only one facet of the complexness that these employment-branding pioneers face. Add in branding, messaging, storytelling across job boards, career sites, career fairs, social media and every recruiting channel in between. Employment branding helps make sense of our recruiting and branding efforts both offline and online. It provides polish and unification, and it’s more important than ever because we have more channels to share about our organization. We’re also communicating directly with the candidate more than ever before. This fact in is part to our candidate’s preferences and habits in how they manage their job search. And it’s happening on every channel imaginable – mobile, social media, online and more traditional ways like the career fair and job board search.
In 2007, my company recruiting messages to candidates weren’t unified. There was no cohesive strategy. It was random but still progressive than most recruiting efforts at that time. I was simply just trying to tie a specific hire to a channel and better understand if my gut instincts, creativity and time spent was justified or if it was a waste.
In today’s world of employment branding our team is working to unify the message. We are strategic and forward thinking in our campaigns. Our efforts are aligning with the larger organizations and hopefully mirroring those of corporate communications and marketing. Corporate marketing is held to high standards. Executive teams are asking marketing departments to analyze and explain their corporate campaigns. The same should be true and expected of employment branding.
Analytical Recruiting or Recruiting Analytics?
If employment branding just as any organizational department, recruiting included wants to be taken seriously measurements and metrics need to be part of its foundation. This combination of recruiting and marketing analytics should be fueling our changes, revisions and tweaks. Those analytics are helping us celebrate those moments of triumph and allowing us to come to the table not just as recruiters and talent acquisition leaders but equal partners with corporate marketing.
The road to get there is long. Let’s face it employment branding is still extremely new. Marketing and communication teams will not just blindly support us. Our senior leadership team won’t fund our branding efforts on a whim and a prayer. This is why employment branding must get analytical in their efforts. Employment branding begins with a strong foundation in analytics and data in order to justify our discovery and creativity while simultaneously improving our street cred as serious marketing and branding experts in the areas of talent acquisition and recruiting.