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It's Officially Time for a New Era of Employer Branding

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First, an important note: This post is for growth-stage startups, tech companies, and anyone recruiting “passive” talent.

The employer branding traditionalists aren’t helping talent acquisition.

Instead, they’re arguing about the differences between recruitment marketing and employer branding, moving this industry further away from the tactical execution of hiring and creating even more distance between the work they do and their recruiting teams.

My two cents:

Modern employer brand leaders are talent marketers. Recruiter enablement is their top priority. And they care about measuring thing like:

  • New hires (EB’s revenue metric).
  • Response rates to outbound recruiter messages.
  • Number of referrals.
  • New hire-reported impact of EB.

[See ways to determine metrics below]

Yes, culture matters. That's what employee experience is for.

Employer branding's job is to get new hires in the door by doing the following really well:

  • Knowing why candidates buy your jobs. (And why they don’t.)
  • Distributing content: paid + organic.
  • Helping TA hit their goals.
  • Understanding qualitative data.
  • Intentionally lowering volume for your recruiters.

Bottom line: Employer branding is demand gen.

And this is usually where the traditionalists and I part ways.


Here’s how to determine if a metric matters:

  • Does the metric support recruiting outcomes?
  • Is the metric compelling to a CFO?
  • Is the metric reliable?
  • Is the metric useful for recruiting passive candidates?
  • Ease of measurement. (Can you actually get the number?)

Note: When employer branding is done right, application volume goes down and quality goes up.

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