4 Tips for Forming a Partnership with Your Employer Branding Counterparts

February 3, 2018

Marketing sitting down with Employer Branding counterparts to discuss a partnership

The connection between a company's consumer brand (the brand a business puts forward to potential customers) and employer brand (the brand it puts forward to potential employees) is growing rapidly. Research indicates that 81% of executives anticipate a strong connection between the two brands by 2020, according to the Universum 2020 Outlook: The State of Employer Branding.

As this relationship deepens, it will become increasingly important for marketers to form a strong partnership with their talent acquisition colleagues. The good news is that, as you can see below, most already want to work more closely together:

While you may not have the resources or organizational structure right now to have a formal, codified way to work together with the HR manager or employer branding team, there are a few easy things you can do today to start a partnership:

1. Go meet your talent acquisition team!

This one may seem obvious, but based on my experience working with many different companies, marketing teams that know their talent acquisition counterparts are often the exception, not the norm.

Grab coffee or lunch with your TA team and find out what their goals are and what challenges they’re facing. You might find there are opportunities to help each other. Maybe you’re in the midst of marketing a really cool new product and TA is in the middle of hiring engineers that would work on similar products. The content you’re producing to market that product to buyers might also appeal to the engineering audience that TA is trying to recruit. 

On the flip side, TA might be working with a hiring manager that writes great blog posts about the new product that could be used to pique the interest of potential buyers. Go into meeting your TA team with an open mind. Just sharing your priorities can set the stage for a strong partnership.

2.  Make your creative assets and content easily accessible

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard talent acquisition professionals tell me that they would love to do more with their employer brand, but they don’t have the resources to create materials or content. Whether it’s adding images to a Career Page on LinkedIn, sharing interesting company content across social media, or printing a sign for a career fair, TA teams often don’t have the assets they want or need to accurately portray their employer brand. Please, I beg you, don’t make your TA partners resort to using boring (or bizarre) stock photos. Share the love!

3. Work together to empower your employees to be brand advocates

Your employees are one of the most trusted sources of information about your organization and products or services. When they act as your brand advocates, they can extend your reach far beyond what you can get as a company alone — their networks in aggregate are on average 10x larger than your company’s network. Both marketers and talent acquisition professionals benefit from this, so it’s one of the easiest places to cooperate.

As marketers, you have great content that employees can share. Make it easy by giving them pre-written updates they can simply copy and paste to share with their networks, and make it accessible by creating an internal hub where they can readily find it. Your TA and HR partners can make social media training part of the onboarding process. They can help identify subject matter experts who can create some of their own content to lend an authentic voice to your messaging. You both can regularly encourage employees to advocate for both you consumer and employer brands.

4. Start aligning your consumer and employer brands

This one might take a little longer, but you should begin thinking about your brand holistically, and aligning your consumer and employer brands. Do you know what your company’s employer value proposition is? Does you company even have one? This is a good place to start.

Figure out what the similarities are between your consumer and employer value propositions are and work to highlight these facets. Take Nike as an example; they recently revamped their career site to be more like their consumer site. From imagery to copy, they worked to infuse jobs.nike.com with the spirit and of their consumer brand and the “power of sports.”

The Takeaway

We’re headed toward a future where marketing and talent acquisition teams will need to work together to succeed. Use these tips to lay the groundwork now and get ahead of the game. You can start small — share some content or imagery – and trust me, your talent acquisition partners will be grateful. Eventually, together, you can work your way towards a truly aligned and integrated consumer employer brands.

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