Employer Brand Headlines

By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

Employer Brand Headlines: The "Finest Worksong" Edition (#90)

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Employer Brand Headlines: The "Finest Worksong" Edition (#90)
My mission: Help you understand your employer brand better and make it work for you.

In this issue
  • Creating change
  • What if we re-opened offices and no one showed up?
  • Measuring and changing the employee experience
  • Rebranding?
The big idea
Today, I went from being a Russell’s Reserve bourbon drinker to a Jameson’s drinker.
Today, I went from being someone who watches Top Chef and instead watches Gordon Ramsey.
Today, I went from being a Mac user to a Microsoft user (do we still call them PCs?).*
Why? Because that’s what marketing does.
Marketing is a lever called “change” that gets applied as a way to turn non-customers into customers. That’s the only reason marketing exists.
Ad creative, ad placement, brand strategy, box design, retail strategy, name selection, price strategy, all of it is marketing: a means to turn someone who doesn’t want to buy a thing into someone who does.
The gap between the two states might be logical: they don’t know enough about why they should buy a Mini Cooper. The gap might be emotional: they don’t feel like they are the kind of person who would drive a Mini Cooper. The gap might be fear: they worry that if they drove a Mini Cooper they might not have enough space for something. The gap might be about the future: they don’t think buying a Mini Cooper will make them happy.
Marketing closes the gap to create the change.
But creating that change has a foundation: who is changing? Getting a posh Brit to consider buying a Mini cooper is a VERY different gap and journey than getting a Wyoming business owner to buy one. Their gaps are very different. The tools you’d use to close those gaps are different. A campaign that just said, “It’s a great car!” doesn’t address those audiences’ gaps, and thus, by trying to change everyone, you are cursed to change no one.
So until you know who you are trying to change, you can’t create change.
But none of us are selling cars. We’re trying to convince people to apply for (and accept) a new job at our company. But the rules still apply. Our job is to create change. Change what people think of the company. Change how someone values the opportunity. Change how people consider a future with or without us. Change their fear of what people will think and say when they choose to work here.
If you aren’t creating change, you aren’t doing your job. And you can’t create change until you’ve done the hard work of figuring out who your audience is, what they know, where they look for information, and what motivates them.
And as a bonus, creating change isn’t a one-way street. You will also have to change your own company: Help them value employer branding, show the value of investing in recruiting and people, get them to treat every candidate who applies as a potential employee or customer, to show how talent’s expectations have changed.
In the end, a lot of employer branding is about explaining why doing what they’ve always done has created their current talent problem, so you will need to change things to fix it.
*None of this is true. I mean… not even close. C'mon…
Headlines!
Improve Your Hiring Results… By Increasing Transparency
Employees Balk at End to Remote Work
What research says about how to make hybrid work succeed
Recreating information osmosis in a remote-first world
Job Postings That Work (And Some That Don't)
The Four Fs of employee experience
Employee Engagement isn’t Measured by Clicks
Learning from the Gap Logo Redesign Fail
Eight Reasons for Change in Turbulent Times
Quick hits
Tip of the week
Sharpen your saw. Book 20 minutes once a week to watch a video or two on YouTube you select specifically to help you do your job better. Look up “better b-roll” and “iMovie tricks” and “better job postings” and “subject lines that work” and “how to present a strategy.” I was using iMovie (poorly) for years and one 10-minute video showed me all the shortcuts I hadn’t seen. Pick any tool or application and search YouTube for all the hidden tricks.
Inside the fortune cookie
“We cannot be for everyone. We must be for someone.” - Seth Godin
Thanks, everyone!
Don’t forget to check out the 700+ link archive.
And as always, when you reply to this email I will read your questions and comments. Is there any article I should be commenting on? A book? A podcast? Is there something you what to know? How can I help? Just reply to this email and it comes directly to me.
Cheers and thanks!
-James Ellis (LinkedIn | Twitter | Podcast | Articles)
Where the subject line came from:
R.E.M. - Finest Worksong
R.E.M. - Finest Worksong
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James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

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