⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "I Know There's Something Going On" Edition (#104)

⚡ Employer Brand Headlines: The "I Know There's Something Going On" Edition (#104)
By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd • Issue #104 • View online
My mission: Help you understand your employer brand better and make it work for you.

Employer Brand Headlines, brought to you by James Ellis
Employer Brand Headlines, brought to you by James Ellis
In this issue
  • Marketing v branding
  • Beyond EVP?
  • Differentiation v distinctiveness
  • Can you own a brand?
The big idea
If you’re on LinkedIn enough, you’ll have seen the following a dozen times in the last few months:
Various versions of this fortune cookie wisdom have been floating around for a while now. And as filler for one’s LinkedIn feed goes, it’s fairly benign.
Except it’s completely wrong and warps people’s sense of what we do.
My biggest issue with it is that it diminishes the amazing power of a strong employer brand. It turns what SHOULD be the driver for your entire recruitment and talent strategy into… something vague. A meaningless pleasantry.
This thinking says your job is to own “the reason” people think nice things about you. That’s (to crib from my British friends) utter bollocks. That mindset turns your positioning strategy, narrative structures, tactics, and projects into… cheerleading.
And you’re better than that. You aren’t there to dust the awards and line up the magazines in the waiting room. You’re there to create such a compelling reason for DESIRE amongst your target talent, that they see you not as a plausible option, but as the most attractive option they can think of. You make sure the right people see that message and that the message is backed up by proof at every step of the candidate journey.
Treating employer brand as the supporter of some “reason they say yes” is like owning a Porsche and only using it to do lazy donuts in the driveway.
Here’s how that graphic should read:
Now, if you read that, you might think that recruitment marketing sounds kinda lame. And… it very often is. Every recruitment marketing ad looks the same to me: We’re hiring! or Do you want to read about this job? or People think we’re great! I really don’t understand the value of these poorly framed messages of generic positivity for a product that every adult in the known universe already knows they need. Do people see these and go, “Huh! They have jobs! I could probably use one of those…” How weak is that message? And how valuable is the person responding to an ad like that beyond funnel filler?
Recruiters, let us be clear, do the heavy lifting. They ask you to apply. They facilitate the process. They make the actual offer. That’s asking for the date.
Which really sets up employer brand to be so so so much more than chatting up a reason. Every job already has its own “reason to say yes.” It’s called a paycheck.
But you… yes, YOU… you’re better than that. You think bigger than nudging up your Glassdoor score a tenth of a point to be a little closer to the median. You think bigger than making sure your jobs end up on the maximum number of job boards. You’re getting recruitment to align on stronger and better-differentiated messages. You’re getting marketing to share the ball a little. You’re getting the business excited to tell its own story to prospects. You’re changing the way the company thinks about attracting, engaging, and retaining talent.
And when you do it right (and I can name PLENTY of companies for whom this is true), there’s no shortage of people who are applying without being asked. Candidates line up to ask you for a date.
And frankly, doesn’t that just sound like a better job to you?
Beyond EVP: The Future of Employer Brand
How Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Join Forces to Provide the Model Candidate Experience
Amplify Accelerator Open Source Learning Lab
The Key Role Of Positioning Strategy
Brands, Managers, and Consumers – A Question of Ownership
Getting Ahead of Your Board in the Wake of The Great Resignation
The power of words
TV Advertising Effectiveness and Profitability: Generalizable Results From 288 Brands
Quick hits
Inside the fortune cookie
“One thing I think about how humans work—the only thing that can replace one story is another story.” - Yuval Noah Harari
Thanks, everyone!
Reminder: The more people at your org who read my books, the better your job will get! employerbrandbook.com (They’re free!!!)
There are now more than 900 links in the 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:
Frida - I Know There's Something Going On
Frida - I Know There's Something Going On
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James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd
By James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

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