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Employer Branding: Five Experts Explain How to Stand Out From the Competition

If you look at the array of solutions available to employers today, then it would seem that it’s never been easier for employee-experience storytellers to get your employer brand out there. With easy access to video, multiple social media channels, sophisticated third-party review sites, live events and employee advocacy, well — there are just so many ways to get your story in front of potential candidates.

But there’s a flipside. The increase in channels has led to an increase in the sheer volume of stuff out there, with a corresponding decrease in the ratio of signal to noise. And sometimes employers can put tools in front of strategy and just start shoving content out there on the interwebs in the hope that something — anything — will stick. The result? An onslaught of cliches: a hashtag here, a (gasp!) stock photo of happy employees there: ”Hey, check out our cool ping-pong table!”

It’s easy to fall into this trap, especially when you’re under pressure and doing a lot of other things at the same time. But the truth is, when everybody is broadcasting the same clichés over the same channels all the time, it all starts to merge together into what I like to call Employer Blanding.

So how can you make sure that your stories and messages really stick out and resonate with candidates and that they truly differentiate your company from your hiring competition? To find out how industry leaders tackle this problem, I recently chatted with employer brand leaders at Delta Air Lines, T-Mobile, HomeAway, Banfield Pet Hospital and the consulting firm Proactive Talent to get their take. Here are a few of their secrets.

Speed and personalization can make all the difference

Holland McCue, Head of Global Employer Branding at Delta Air Lines

Speed and personalization are the one-two punch for employers to break through clichés and noise from the competition. Candidates don’t want to know why your company is a great place to work; they want to understand why the company is a great place to work for them.  

Employers need to drill into their workforce plans and begin building marketing strategies around the three C’s: Candidate + Channel + Content. Once employers determine the talent they need, they then need to figure out which channels are best to reach them through and what content is going to play best for that channel, and then deliver it in a personalized way.

Employers also need to move fast. It’s largely a candidate’s market, so speed is going to win. Focus on things that will enable your recruiters to process candidates more quickly — chatbots for FAQs, expression-of-interest forms versus full applications, assessment partners to augment selection for high-volume roles and even removing the requirement of a degree for positions that don’t require one.

Use more precise positioning to stand out

James Ellis, Podcaster and Lead Employer Brand Consultant, Proactive Talent

I’ve never heard that term, but I understood it instinctively. I would say that when I was at Groupon we countered it with more precise positioning.

That is, if we say we’re…

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