When I started out in recruitment, it was a different world. Job ads were everything. Companies and agencies alike, paid for job ads online, in newspapers and attended industry events to attract talent. Lots of companies still do some or all of these activities, but for many their employer branding is becoming one of their most impactful tools.
Rather than solely recruiting people for positions you need to fill in your business, smart talent acquisition teams are building talent pipelines to satisfy future needs. So what happens when you have a talent pipeline, but no jobs? Either you continue to nurture the talent pool or...
So often when an industry is going through a quieter spell, the knee-jerk reaction is to stop all employer branding activities. You don't need any new applicants so why bother? In fact, it may feel disingenuous to continue marketing an employer brand without jobs.
Then all of a sudden things pick up, you win a contract or diversify into a new sector. Your operations teams are buzzing trying to keep up with demand, and your recruitment team is in a whirl trying to find people. You enlist a marketing agency to deliver some creative campaigns and carefully choose a number of recruitment agencies to engage. Suddenly your adverts are all over social media and you job adverts are on every job board, in both your brand and recruitment agencies brands. Candidates start to flood in, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Well, that was exciting! You recruited the people you need, spent lots of money creating employer branding material you might (or might not) be able to use in the future and blew your budget engaging recruitment agencies. Now you have filled all the jobs so there is no need to keep spending, there is no need to shout from the rooftops.
"Employer brand (also known as talent branding) is the term commonly used to describe an organisations reputation as an employer, and its value proposition to its employees"
One of the largest costs for a talent acquisition team is often recruitment agencies or recruitment advertising. The challenge here is that both of these actions are reactive, you only use them when you have an immediate need and neither often support your employer brand. Sure, they promote your jobs but not your reputation as an employer.
Building a reputation (employer brand) takes effort, you need to have the right behaviours and culture within your organisation and then tell people what it is like to have a career with your business.
"You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do." Henry Ford
To build an employer brand you cannot just shout from the rooftops when you desperately need to recruit people. You need to tell the story of your business and if your story is genuine, people will start to believe your story and will follow your business. Your followers become your talent pools, you talent pools become your employees. Your future employees will have understood the culture and behaviours of your business long before they start and will often stay for longer than someone who had not experienced you employer brand beforehand. The best part is, promoting your employer brand can be extremely cost efficient, if not free!
I have had the privilege of gaining a diverse array of experience in both in-house FTSE100 and recruitment agency style positions. More recently I launched People Traction. Check out our services here.
Throughout my career, I have been passionate about providing a seamless and enjoyable application process and have lead projects to design company websites, careers sites and job boards.
I have been instrumental in creating and delivering global proactive recruitment strategies and training recruitment teams in how to pro-actively resource passive and active talent. The results of delivering a pro-active recruitment strategy have shown a significant reduction in time to fill, improved candidate quality and significant cost savings.