Your Branding Goal and Mechanism

by The Red Recruiter on August 7, 2014

Marble On The PianoWhen I started sharing a corporate culture and working heavily in employment branding, I thought that my purpose was to attract job seekers to the organization. It wasn’t long before I realized that my focus needed to change. The same ‘ol approach had become obsolete.

I asked myself, “Why would people be attracted to a company brand in the same way they would be to a person?” It just seemed like way too impersonal of an expectation.

It was for this reason that the strategy with Racker Talent did not start with a Facebook page or Twitter account. It simply didn’t make sense to dedicate a ton of time, effort, and financial resources into building an active job-seeker “community” of people. And, as I realistically considered the stance of a passive, happily-employed, job-seeker, I couldn’t think of any incentive for giving us a “Like” on our Facebook page, as I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be interested in announcing their brand affinity to their friends and colleagues. There is no logic in that. And if you’re not going after the passives, why wouldn’t you just stick with the active candidate channels that the industry has always used?

So, fast forward, the blog was launched and one-by-one I started adding contributors. In some part, I still thought it was about simply attracting people to the blog based on the stories. I knew the culture was special and I was hellbent on sharing it! Then my perspective started shifting even more.

I struggle to imagine a scenario (outside of a very select few popular B2C companies) where the level of “engagement” on a corporate career site would equal that of a non-business site. Why would people show their cards that way? “I love your company! It’s so great! Let me work for you!” … doubtful. If they do… #awkward. You’re welcome to disagree, but perhaps just consider it a bit.

After coming to this conclusion, I started thinking about the purpose of the site a bit differently. Yes, it exists to help future employees understand our culture… but, there is something else to sharing culture that I found to be rewarding. And, in large part, it became the focus. The purpose of creating content related to the company culture is to give current employees something to talk about. I mean, let’s face it… if given the option of sharing a job opening or a cool story about the company they work for… which one do you think they are going to share? I placed my bets on the cool stories and it paid off over time.

This is really about empowering your engaged employees with useful content. If they’re proud of where they work, what they are a part of, their team, etc… they are more likely to share. Are you still hoping that they’ll simply share job openings? Boring. Get real. Are you going to reward your employees financially for sending all their friends to your vibrant community? Go for it. Hope that works out.

Just consider this. What gets you excited? What pumps you up and would make you want to learn more about working for a company? An ad? Really? Are you totally sure about that? How about an email from a friend who works there? Maybe. Who knows? How about your buddy who posts, “Hey everyone, my company is hiring. Check out our openings.” Lame, boring, no fun.

If I were a betting man… I’d put my money on the random social posts from people who work there (perhaps friends of yours). Think about it. Your friend Joe shares some post saying “Holy shit, I work at the coolest place on the planet!! Check this video/post out!” Does he have your attention? Yeah, probably. Especially if you’re having a crappy day.

So, bottom line… yes, hiring great people is a big part of the goal. But, ultimately, put your thoughts around the mechanism. Is it sincere, useful, helpful, intriguing? If not, change it. Be weird, be loud, have fun… explore, share, enjoy. In the end, that’s what people will feel… and that’s what they’ll be attracted to.

  • jacquipoindexter

    COOL insights, Michael!

    I like the idea of ‘giving employees something to talk about.’

    “Be weird, be loud, have fun … in the end, that’s what people will feel. … be attracted to.”

    It really is about the random, storied conversations and sincere, enthusiasm that DRAWS me/others in.


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