1 min read

The Future of Employer Branding is Microbrands

Candidates want what’s relevant and relatable. And in its current state, company-level employer branding has become completely disconnected from what candidates actually care about. Evolve or become irrelevant. Create, brand, and market at the team level.

45-second read (+2:33 video)

The future of employer branding is microbrands, where each department (or team) has its own unique brand and voice.

A company-level employer brand requires too many layers of approval, brand alignment, and value prop discovery before it goes live.

By the time it sees the light of day (often many, many months after initiating the process), it’s a diluted, PR’d version of reality.

I get it. There are too many risks at the company level. They have to play it safe.

The trade-off is boring employer brands that are largely ineffective.

Microbrands still have the opportunity to be scrappy. They can give the outside world an insider’s look at how teams operate, build, and think—with a relatively low lift.

Here’s the move:

  • Invest (or redirect) resources (creative and budget) into helping department leaders create brands at their team level.
  • Give these leaders autonomy. Get out of the way. No guardrails. Allow them to create their own channels: social, publications, etc.
  • Get a few (even one) members of each team building a public-facing persona. At a minimum, the department leader needs to be putting their thoughts out on the appropriate channels.
  • Ensure that each department is partnering with its recruiting team to determine the best way to manage candidate lead flow.

One of you will do this.

And while the other companies in your category waste a ton of money and time trying to “discover” and “build” their employer brands, you will win.

Because candidates want what’s relevant and relatable.

And in its current state, company-level employer branding has become completely disconnected from what candidates actually care about.

Evolve or become irrelevant. Create, brand, and market at the team level.

And allow your microbrands to collectively build your company brand.

Ashley Raiteri and I talked in length about how he created an engineering brand as a CTO that became an inbound recruiting engine. In our conversation, he literally gives the playbook. Listen here.

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