This post is for high-growth startups, Heads of Talent, internal recruiting teams, and marketers who value recruiting.
You’re why I still believe that how companies market themselves to talent can modernize and evolve.
Requiring brand alignment and approval before anything can see the light of day is stifling talent marketing.
Content creation takes months when it should take days—requiring multiple levels of buy-in and tedious games of telephone just to get approved.
Polishing and analyzing undermine experimenting and iterating.
And execution costs tens of thousands when it should cost hundreds (or only our time) with the tools available today.
The long, drawn-out process of finding brand alignment delays the fear of doing—and finding out what other people think (or if they even care at all). And if you can’t get aligned, well then you better hold off until you do. Nice and comfortable.
When something finally receives the stamp of approval, the layers of CYA result in PR’d versions of everything that are already outdated by the time they touch a candidate audience. But hey, they’re scrubbed and polished, so everyone’s jobs are safe.
The reality is that market behavior has drastically shifted. People, as in real humans, don’t make linear buying decisions today. We trust people we know, not companies. And that’s how we opt-in.
Nobody is addressing this.
While large corporations waste huge amounts of budget and time seeking "brand alignment", those with the ability to scale content and effectively distribute it to their target audiences will win.
- Your engineering team should have the freedom to write on Medium or Substack without needing the approval of comms, marketing, or HR.
- Your VP of Sales and CMO should be able to launch an industry podcast on their own. (That’s an idea.)
- Your recruiting team should be able to spin up a series of VIP fireside chats with every function leader at your company and invite their best candidates without any internal friction or delay.
- Everyone at your company should be able to post on LinkedIn without any oversight or guardrails.
Ideas and things should be created, distributed, and tested with full autonomy and trust. You hired these people because you thought they were smart and capable. Act like it. Your precious brand identity will be fine.
Large companies will continue to be guided by fear. They’ll rely on fancy decks and internal messaging guides while recruiting results continue to suffer. And nothing will change. It's all one big cycle of nonsense.
This means that there’s a huge opportunity for any company that’s willing to break the mold.
Distribution channels will always be shifting. But internal content collaborations, quick execution, and the freedom to experiment are the current and future of this industry.
That’s how organic alignment and authentic messaging (not forced and manipulated) are created.
FTR I’m not saying that alignment doesn’t matter. I’m saying it’s blocking the right work from happening.
Internal buy-in of mission, vision, and values combined with a shared knowledge of your industry, products, open roles, and target market are critical to org and team culture respectively.
But requiring brand alignment and approval in order to create and ship content is the recipe for bland, safe, and ineffective—if anything at all.