2 min read

Early and Mid-Stage Startups Have a Massive Employer Branding Advantage

While large companies waste time and money building fancy careers sites and slogging through year-long EVP projects with overpriced consultants to figure out their “brand pillars” and “message alignment”, you can be scrappy, create quickly, and easily access the right people to co-create with.

45-second read (+1:13 video)

Yes, you read that correctly.

Here’s why:

  • Personality: Startups by nature have more personality than larger companies—and they’re more confident in showing it off. They can be brazen and opinionated, quirky and different. Startups tend to speak like humans. Big corporate speaks like tranquilized robots.
  • Fewer layers of bureaucracy: The ability to run fast and have a "good is better than perfect" mentality is inherent to startup culture. It lends itself perfectly to the dynamic-content-at-scale model that (in my strong opinion) is modern employer branding.
  • Employer branding sits in recruiting: Those leading EB are oftentimes recruiters themselves. They’re talking day in and day out to their end-user and have the continual feedback and qualitative data needed to effectively communicate through content.
  • Support from the top: Modern founders value talent more than their predecessors, and certainly more than up the chain at big corporations.
  • Employees actually care: The earlier the stage, the more buy-in you have internally. Employees are fired up about the mission and vision. They want the best teammates and are more willing to help get them.
  • No baggage: Employer branding isn’t being led by an industry veteran whose stuck in their ways. The opportunity for fresh, creative, outside-of-the-box thinking is actually available.

So, if you’re leading employer branding at a fast-growing startup, the playbook is simple:

  • Know your target market better than anyone else in your category. Truly be an SME.
  • Create content that gives your market all of the information they need in order to make an informed buying decision without requiring a conversation with a recruiter.
  • Distribute this content wherever your candidates are online—especially via outbound recruiter messages.
  • Leverage SMEs internally to create owned content that displays their knowledge: engineering, sales, marketing, product development. Each needs its own brand.

*None of this takes a large budget (if any at all).

Don’t waste this opportunity.

While large companies waste time and money building fancy careers sites and slogging through year-long EVP projects with overpriced consultants to figure out their “brand pillars” and “message alignment”, you can be scrappy, create quickly, and easily access the right people to co-create with.

If done well, you can create a cultural mindset early that values and supports this work as you scale.

I know I just dropped a lot here. Take time to digest it. And feel free to message me with any questions.

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