What’s the Number One Pitfall to Avoid with Employer Branding?
Your employer brand is never static, it’s constantly changing with new people, new values, new economic conditions and more. There are tons of important variables that you have to consider.
Because it is constantly changing, there’s lots of room for mistakes, especially if you’re not taking it seriously. So we ask our employer branding experts to delve into common mistakes people make with employer brand, and how they can fix it.
Talking AT people, and not WITH them. Cisco talks in social media, on the Website and at events like we are 70K employees working at a company, not like we’re a 70K employee company. There’s a difference, and it’s that conversational tone that makes us relatable.
Carmen Collins, Social Media Lead & Talent Brand, Cisco
Estela Vazquez Perez
Thinking that you are doing employer branding when in reality you are only doing recruitment marketing. The later is one of the many strategies used in employer branding, recruitment is important but not the only one to receive the benefits of employer branding. Expand your horizon to citizenship, communications, learning, compensation, leadership, wellness, and even the recruitment process itself. For example, think of amazing employer branding applied to attract talent, add marketing sciences to recruitment, all together is the attraction package but if you do not have a great product – the recruitment process – then there is nothing to sell. A bad recruiter or recruitment process is all it takes to tell candidates that there is no connection between your words and your reality. Employer branding is needed to guide the recruitment experience too.
Estela Vazquez Perez, Global Employment Brand Director, Royal Bank of Canada
I’d say the biggest pitfall of employer branding lies within communication. Why? Because today branding is about managing all experiences people have with brands, communication being one of them. Branding old style is boasting, sending and selling, while branding new style is about building distinctive inspiring experiences that people talk about. Branding is crafting and strengthening signature cultures and work by leadership, HR, people, processes, facilities, work conditions and communications. The latter ultimately is designed not only to send (comms 1.0), to involve in dialogues (comms 2.0) but more and more to create signature experiences ‘people talk about when you are not in the room’ (free from Jeff Bezos. comms 3.0).
Ton Rodenburg, Employer Branding Strategy Director, ARA M/V Human Resource Communications
I see too many companies with the same messaging. Their content does not differentiate their culture from your competitors. Nearly every employer brand video says “we have the best people and they are all happy”. That may be true but it’s dull and the same thing your competitors are saying. Tell people what makes you different and be bold. It’s ok to repel people that are not a culture fit.
Audra Knight, Recruitment Operations Manager, Tenable
Trying to do too much. Especially as you’re getting started with your employer branding strategy, you’ll want to tackle every opportunity and say yes to every request from your hiring managers, recruiters, or leadership team. It’s important to think critically about where you can have the biggest impact with employer branding now, and down the line. By taking on too much or focusing on the big, flashy ideas, you may miss opportunities to solve for your candidates long-term and build a lasting employering branding program. With so many blog posts you could write, contests you could run, landing pages you could create, Facebook videos you could publish, remember to focus on doing fewer things, better.
Hannah Fleishman, Inbound Recruiting Manager, HubSpot
Unfortunately, often the biggest pitfall to employer branding is that employee sentiment is not genuinely listened to or understood. It’s easy for employers to think of ideas and campaigns that they believe work in a top down approach, but until employees buy into what’s being created, any ideas will ultimately fail.
Sarang Brahme, Global Social Recruiting & Talent Brand Manager, Capgemini
The No.1 pitfall to avoid with employer brand is to not clear definitions of what it is and/or what success looks like. So many times I see employer brand and the company treats it as just another marketing arm that manages social channels related to careers. It is so much more than this. In ensuring the definition is clear you will ensure resources are provided to encourage success.
Shaunda Zilich, Global Employment Brand Leader, GE
The #1 pitfall is to jump straight into employer branding, as opposed to employer brand. Long before you start activating a brand, you’ll need to put in the research to uncover what your reputation as an employer is. By defining your EVP, or people promise, you will know the reasons why candidates ought to pick your company and also why current employees would want to stay. The EVP will not be right for everyone, and that’s a good thing. Once you’ve launched this internally, you’re ready to activate it internally by doing what some people refer to as employer branding, or employer brand management.
Jörgen Sundberg, Employer Brand Consultant & CEO, Link Humans
You don’t want to sound cookie-cutter, or worse, like any other organisation. The biggest challenge is to have a unique tone of voice so that talent know it’s your employer brand when they see a campaign or piece of content – this is easier said than done!
Jaclyn Campbell, Employer Brand Consultant, Optus
If I have learned one thing in my ten years in employer branding it is this: You actually have to be able to deliver on your Employee Value Proposition. Otherwise, all the brand marketing is just lipstick on a pig. You have to get the buy-in of your leadership team to be intentional about culture and committed to delivering the best possible employee experience before you start building your story and your reputation because it will all fall apart in terms of both attraction and retention if you don’t.
Jennifer Johnston, Senior Director of Global Employer Branding, Salesforce