We’re all familiar with the idea of employer branding – promoting a company or organization as a great place to work in order to attract employees. The most famous example in the past decade is probably Google, which promises cutting edge projects, global impact, a dynamic work culture, and tons of perks. You know your branding is successful when there are Hollywood movies about working at your company!
But we can’t all be Google, and luckily we don’t have to be. More important and useful than employer branding is job branding. Job branding is about promoting the specific job opportunity itself, not the company. You don’t need to be a household name or offer nap pods to attract candidates. The best candidates are motivated by the work itself. They want to achieve meaningful results, overcome challenges, and work with a great team.
Job branding is also the more effective choice in today’s tight and highly mobile labour market. Employees switch jobs and companies more frequently than in the past, and many are choosing freelance and consulting work over permanent roles. Millennials in particular place a large emphasis on work-life balance, and they will gravitate towards the jobs that can offer it. More than ever, loyalty is focused on projects, not employers.
Opportunities for growth are another huge point of attraction for most job seekers, and top performers in particular look for career moves not lateral transfers. By appealing to these candidates, job branding can improve both the quality, and the size of your talent pool. Traditional job posts, the first point of contact for many potential candidates, are usually boring checklists of requirements and daily tasks, with no focus on what the employee will accomplish, become, or get out of the job. Not only are these posts just plain unappealing, but they also limit your pool to only those candidates who fit the requirements. There may be many people who could fulfill the objectives of the role and perform well, but who have a different mix of skills and experience. On the other hand, just because a person has 5 years of experience and XYZ training, doesn’t mean they’ll do a good job. A strong job branding effort with a well-written job description will attract more candidates, and appeal to top performers.
Employer and job branding work together and neither should be neglected. But job branding is definitely the more agile of the two, and a better jumping off place if you don’t already have a strong presence in your area. Employer branding is a long-tail process that will last as long as your organization does. Just think of how many different rebrands major companies like Coca-cola and Apple have had over the years! Job branding on the other hand begins when you decide to make a hire and ends shortly after the hire. This means that you can start a job branding campaign today, learn, experiment and see the results in a relatively short time period. If you don’t have a strong employer brand yet, then job branding will allow you to see more immediate results, and quickly build up your knowledge and experience.