47% of Recruiting Teams Partner With Marketing To Build Employer Brand

47% of Recruiting Teams Partner With Marketing To Build Employer Brand

Emily Smykal

Recruiting new employees has changed dramatically with the prevalence of the internet and new technologies. We now speak of online candidate experiences and digital candidate journeys so much that we forget it wasn’t always the norm.

As a result, the way companies view themselves as employers has also changed. The concept of employer brand–advertising your business as an employer, not just a purveyor of goods and services–is crucial to talent acquisition in the digital age. A globally connected workforce facing improving job market conditions needs to be convinced that you’re the best company to work for.

So it’s not surprising that some talent acquisition leaders have turned to their colleagues in the marketing department for help. Data from the Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report, produced by LinkedIn Talent Solutions, found that nearly half of their survey respondents are working with marketing teams to build their employer brand.

In this post we’ll dig into some of the data from the report, to see just how connected talent acquisition and marketing can be.

The Convergence of Talent Acquisition and Marketing

The Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report surveyed almost 4,000 talent acquisition decision makers from around the world. And almost half said they work with their marketing team in some way to develop their employer brand. While this kind of cross-functional partnership could also involve communications and PR teams, designers, or staff dedicated entirely to social media, marketing was the most common collaborator.

Whether you’re building your employer brand from scratch, or improving an existing one, working with your colleagues in the marketing department can provide many insights. Marketing has shifted tremendously to a digital perspective, and many of the techniques they use to acquire customers can be relevant to talent acquisition.

Look at the social media posts and other content your marketing team is creating. Does your employer brand produce content that has a similar look and feel, a voice that falls in step with their efforts? If the message candidates get from your employer brand is drastically different from the one they see as a customer, they may not trust the accuracy of one or the other (don’t forget, sometimes the people applying to your positions are also your customers!).

We’re not suggesting your employer branding efforts should simply be outsourced to the marketing team. But collaboration and sharing ideas to present a unified brand with similar goals will go a long way towards boosting your image as an employer.

Only 1 in 3 Talent Acquisition Teams Own Their Employer Brand

When asked, “To what extent is talent acquisition at your company responsible for managing your company’s employer brand?” nearly a third claimed full responsibility. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve never asked a colleague in marketing for ideas, it’s likely these talent acquisition professionals are managing their employer brand on their own.

employer brand ownership in recruitingBut 39% said that talent acquisition shares or contributes to managing employer brand. Which means another team is also contributing to the process. In some cases, marketing might lead the employer branding efforts, and look to HR for help. Or some talent acquisition teams might partner with communications staff and PR reps instead. Regardless of the partner, it’s encouraging to see more talent acquisition leaders collaborating inter-departmentally rather than isolating employer brand from the rest of the company.

Conflicting Reports of Employer Branding Strategy as a Priority

One of the biggest indicators to take away from the report is the majority view that employer brand is crucial to recruitment success. A further 52% describe their employer brand strategy as proactive, and 59% are investing more in their employer brand compared to last year.

Now, the LinkedIn report focused exclusively on talent acquisition leaders. But another report we’ve reviewed found that barely 27% of companies had a formal employer branding program in place, and among those without, 50% weren’t considering one. What accounts for this disparity in the outlook on employer brand? The second report, from BLR, surveyed executives down to staff level in a range of departments.

So it’s likely that respondents to the BLR survey simply weren’t aware of their company’s employer branding efforts. If that’s the case at your organization, partnering with marketing and other teams will also raise the profile of your employer branding strategy internally, and could lead to further collaboration that might not happen otherwise.

What Recruiters Can Do With Marketing

Before you partner with marketing, or any other team, it’s important to be clear on your employer branding strategy as a whole. One useful next step could be a sit down with employees from every department, to get feedback on their view of the company’s employer brand. Does this graphic designer feel differently about the company now that they’re on board? Do these salespeople feel your corporate social media posts send the right message to future candidates?

Your employer brand should be an accurate reflection of your business as an employer, so why not start at the source? Then you can identify staff, or entire teams, that would serve as good collaborators as you improve and build out your employer brand. Marketers know how to attract, and convert, people, and they’ve been working with analytics for some time now. Communications staff know how to craft the right message for the right audience, and can keep your employer brand on point with other company content.

It may also be worthwhile to build these skills within your own team. Recruitment continues to look a lot like marketing, and existing staff can help train each other in digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing… you get the idea. Just remember that you have an entire workforce to bounce ideas off of. So there’s no reason why you have to do everything on your own.

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