The Beginner’s Guide to Talent Attraction: Understanding the Employer Brand (Part Four)

Back to Part Three – Collect and Analyze Talent Data

In Part 4 of our blog series on Talent Attraction, TalentSum’s Christopher Mengel breaks down the employer brand and helps you to think around this important issue. Use this post as a guide to help organize your thoughts and to get moving in the right direction.


Establishing a strong employer brand is necessary to boost awareness and improve your ability to attract and engage talented people into your company. In addition, having a strong (and differentiated) employer brand can offer your company a real competitive advantage and help you to stand out from the crowd.

Customarily, employers use employer branding to:

  1. improve awareness of the company
  2. communicate the EVP and key strengths of the company
  3. differentiate the employer from its competitors (or stand out)
  4. promote employee engagement
  5. create a filtering mechanism for the candidate
  6. build awareness with targeted audiences

Every organization has an employer brand. By “employer brand” we mean the reputation of the organization, the perceptions of everyone around it, the culture, and even the way it cares about its people. Your employer brand is the sum of what everyone thinks about your organization as a place to work. The employer brand is felt, seen and heard by every person inside and outside – and basically everyone who interacts with your organization around the globe.

It might make more sense to think of your employer brand as the “authentic inside-out” view for everyone to see.It’s your job to reinforce authenticity with words, images, stories – and by teasing out and being able to articulate an effective employer brand message. Ideally, one that resonates, connects, and motivates your target audiences to take action.

The best, and most authentic, brand messages traditionally go both narrow and deep in truth. And as a practice, they don’t hide from uncomfortable truths. They are often positioned as an answer to “here’s what our true self looks like” or “here’s who we are” and “here’s what you’re going to be a part of when you join” or “here’s what you are really getting into”.

Your messaging should be presented in a way to inform or help people understand why they should join, and why they will remain satisfied. Or why they should self-select themselves out of the process.

It also needs to communicate your core value proposition and attractiveness as a place to work and thrive for employees. This will become your “promise” to prospective candidates. And you will use all of this to attract others, filter candidates in-and-out, and resonate and connect with others.

Middle C sets every other note.

Notice how one message supports the next? Your data collection will feed into your insights. Your insights will be used to build up your core messages. Your core messages will serve as a support structure for multiple sub-messages – or secondary and tertiary messages. And then your sub-messages are all pulled, yanked, and stretched in multiple ways – while still retaining their authenticity – to be launched out across whatever paid, owned and earned content channels you deploy to support attraction.

Next time, we’re going to talk about how to develop and validate your employee value proposition.

Continue to Developing the Employee Value Proposition (Part Five)

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Christopher Mengel is the founder of TalentSum LLC, a strategic talent acquisition consultancy and best practices implementation firm. Some of the world’s most notable companies partner with TalentSum to activate a strong employer brand, attract more people who fit, improve engagement and experiences, and deliver high-performing cultures.

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The Beginner’s Guide to Talent Attraction: Understanding the Employer Brand (Part Four)

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