Checklist: Employer Branding Tools and Tactics Every Modern Recruiter Should Know

July 11, 2016

The year was 2010. I just landed a new job running recruiting and innovation at NPR. My past experience included ‘traditional’ recruiting leadership roles at companies including Ticketmaster, Magento, and Intersperse. I soon learned a traditional recruiting approach would fail in this new role. Working for a non-profit in a highly competitive and complex market forced me to find new ways to attract the right talent by sharing our employee experience, culture, and talent - and fundamentally changed how I thought about recruiting. This was my introduction to modern Employer Branding. 

Fast forward to today. The field of Employer Branding had evolved into the fastest growing area of recruiting. 62% of global talent leaders say Employer Brand is their biggest priority for 2016. Many companies are building dedicated employer brand teams to help them shape and steer their employer brand narratives. Employer Brand has matured into a key component to a modern corporate recruiting function.

The Rise of Corporate Story-Telling

The injection of Employer Branding (EB) into corporate recruiting has expanded the function from a traditionally transactional field (hire X per year) to a creative field (designing EB campaigns to help us more effectively hire the right X per year). This doesn’t mean traditional recruiting has gone away, rather that a new layer has been added to enhance its efficacy - corporate story-telling. 

Effective Employer Branding is about finding ways to help prospects better understand your organization’s culture, values, and talent so they can make more informed decisions. When done right, it can have a significant impact on your ability to attract talent that aligns with your org; while repelling those who can self-select out based on how your Employer Brand shows up to them. 

Connecting Consumer and Employer Brand

We’re beginning to enter a new phase in the continuing evolution of EB, a convergence of Consumer and Employer Brand that I view as “Talent Brand.” Talent Brand (TB) is another form of story-telling focused on sharing the employee experience. Companies like GE and others are realizing consumers can develop more affinity for a brand through stories about the employees behind their products or services. These campaigns humanize brands in ways traditional marketing focused on the product/service/consumer don’t. As this trend continues, it will become even more important to develop tight alignment between recruiting and marketing when executing EB initiatives. 

Introducing the Modern Recruiting Employer Brand Checklist

Motivated by the collaborative sharing spirit driving the HR Open Source ( / #HROS) initiative, I decided to open up some of my own playbook of EB resources, tools, and approaches I use with clients when helping them develop their Employer Brand strategy. I wanted to make it even more robust, so enlisted peers to weigh in with some of their own approaches and tools (credits below, and #ThankYou).

The following checklist can be used as a guide to help steer considerations on things you may want to include in your Employer Brand strategy and roadmap. Feel free to copy, tweak, and use it however you like. 

My goal in open sourcing this is to help frame what’s possible for those new to EB. I plan to keep it updated as new tools/approaches/etc or released, and would love your help to make it even better. If you have any EB approaches you don’t find below, leave a comment and I’ll add to the checklist. 

Employer Brand Vehicles, Techniques, and Approaches

  • Employee Value Proposition
  • Employer Brand/Culture Video
  • Enhanced Benefits
  • Employee Thought Leadership
  • Culture Blog
  • SEO Strategy
  • Talent Networks
  • Hashtag Campaigns
  • Enhanced Job Descriptions (embedded links, videos, photos, team pictures, etc.)
  • Enhanced Email Sig Files (dynamic, visual, include social links)
  • Live Streaming (FB Live, Periscope, Meerkat)
  • Candidate Experience (CX)
  • Candidate Experience Surveys
  • Employee Evangelists/Ambassadors/Activations
  • Employee Alumni Networks
  • Text Message Campaigns
  • Augmented Reality
  • Targeted Ads (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc)
  • Applicant ATS segmentation/tagging/targeting/re-targeting
  • Webinars
  • Dynamic University recruiting (pre-event social engagement, talent pools, profiling)
  • Persona Mapping
  • Diversity Branding (Diversity, Veteran, Disability, etc)
  • Dynamic Referral Programs
  • Real-time Dashboards
  • Inbound Email Marketing
  • Twitter Chats
  • Dynamic Offer Letters
  • New Hire Materials
  • Podcasts
  • Employee Blogs
  • Independent Job Shadowing
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Declination Surveys
  • EB Source of Influence
  • Internal/External Facebook groups (invite employees and prospects)
  • Internal EB Slack channels to crowdsource content from employees
  • Employee-contributed Public Spotify playlists
  • Branded Giveaways
  • Internal Employee Facebook ad targeting

Tools and Resources

  • Tweet Sheets 
  • Sell Sheets
  • Employer Brand Playbook
  • Employer Brand Asset Library
  • Hiring Manager Training
  • Corporate Brand Book/Guidelines
  • Corporate Marketing Goals & Objectives
  • Stock Image Library
  • Sourcer’s Toolkit
  • Google Analytics
  • CRM
  • Virtual Reality
  • Podcasts
  • Employee Social Profiles
  • Glassdoor
  • Mobile Apps
  • Branded Social Media Templates
  • Google Forms
  • Landing Pages
  • Social Scheduling Tools (Buffer, Hootsuite, etc.)
  • Social Media Monitoring Dashboards (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Radian6, etc.)
  • Net Promotor Score (NPS)
  • Billboards

Social Media/Community Channels

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • SlideShare
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • SoundCloud
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Tumblr
  • Medium
  • Google Hangouts
  • Slack
  • Flickr
  • Weibo
  • Quora
  • Facebook Live
  • Periscope
  • Meerkat
  • Messaging Apps (whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, etc.)

Special thanks to the contributors below for sharing some of their tools and approaches.

Susan LaMotte, Stacy Zapar, Will Staney, Bryan Chaney, Craig Fisher, Allison Kruse, Celinda Appleby, Steve Levy, Leela Srinivasan, Shannon Smedstad, Ashley Cheretes, Jennifer Newbill, Holland Dombeck McCue, Jennifer Tharp, Cindy McGregor, Alex Putnam, Aaron Lintz, Rita VanderWaal, Sedef Buyukataman. 

* image by Death to Stock Photo

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