Employer Branding 3.0?


Gotcha. If you were expecting another one of those navel-gazing, future-predicting blog posts, you’d better quit reading now. This is a bemused blog. A wondering post. Even a ‘WTF is everyone going on about’ few hundred words. It’s all the fault of just two: ‘Employer Branding’.

Recently, the recruitment world appears awash with conferences, talks, summits and blogs about this ‘mythical’ subject. The rise of social media for recruiting (aka social recruiting) has sparked a huge interest in those two words. How it’s vital in this social world. That companies are finally tying it and engagement together. How it is front and centre in this digital age.

May we just hold it there for a second. But wasn’t it always this way. Companies have always sort to attract the right candidates. The best employees have always been best ambassadors for you as an employer. Your culture has been the guiding light. The best companies have always been honest. Open. And appealing. The truth about them revealed. Your ‘recruitment marketing’ had the power to deselect, as much as attract, candidates. Word of mouth was spread – good and bad – even before the birth of a Tweet or a Facebook Like. So what is the difference now?

Just because all the buzz is around social media content, mobile engagement et al, doesn’t make it that different to the posters, advertising, direct marketing, brochures and websites of old. Times have changed, media has altered, technology is more advanced but the basics are unaltered – if you were approaching it in the right way in the first place.

So, this ‘now’ Holy Grail of the Employer Brand that is being toted around is nothing new. Nothing fantastical. Nothing magical. It has always been key. (Or should have been.) It shouldn’t take a new vehicle of recruitment to make you think about it. The rise of social media might have emphasised its role but don’t be fooled into believing it’s never been important before. It always was, always will be.


  1. I agree Mark. I can remember where I was when I first heard the term ’employer branding’ coined. It was in Soho Square at Austin Knight back in the late 1980s. Back then it WAS the new kid on the block and, like you, I find it quite amusing that years later, some are talking about it being, as you say the latest holy grail. I think what’s happened is that whereas back then discussions about employer branding were confined to ad agencies and their clients, now, with communication so out there and open to the world and his wife/her husband, it’s become a conversation that anyone can take part in, including many who were totally unaware of this mystical thing called employer branding until someone one day mentioned it on a social media channel. It’s not the messiah, it’s a very old (but not naughty) recruitment marketing toy.

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