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Why Recruitment Branding Is Your Secret Weapon in the War for Talent

Recruitment Branding

Let's face it: In today’s job market, finding and keeping the best talent feels more like a high-stakes chess match than a straightforward recruitment process. With job seekers more informed and discerning than ever, how do you stand out? The answer is something that might not be at the top of your list but should be—recruitment branding, also known as employment branding.

The Real Deal with Recruitment Branding

Recruitment branding, or employment branding, isn't just another corporate buzzword—it's the backbone of your company's identity as an employer. Think about it: Companies spend a ton of time and resources on branding for customers, but often, the way they present themselves to potential employees gets far less attention. This oversight can mean missing out on top talent to competitors who are more adept at showcasing their employer brand.

The Power of Authenticity

At its core, recruitment branding is about authenticity and consistency. It’s not just about slapping a cool logo on a job ad or crafting the perfect brochure. It’s about defining who you are as an employer and communicating this clearly and consistently across all platforms. Whether it’s through your website, job postings, or employee testimonials, every touchpoint should reinforce your unique employer value proposition.

A Tale of Two Strategies: Morgridge Institute’s Story

Take the Morgridge Institute for Research, for example. Located in Madison, Wisconsin and in continual collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, Morgridge is a private research institution committed to “fearless science” advancements. It competes globally for top science talent, a daunting task given the institute’s relatively modest public profile versus better-known research institutes on the coasts. The institute faced a critical challenge: how to convey its unique advantages as a private research institution, together with promoting what a great place Madison is to be for those pursuing careers in scientific research to advance human health.

The solution? Huston Design was part of a cross-functional team that embarked on a journey to tell the story of Morgridge’s recruitment brand. We started with a series of employee interviews to dig deep into what makes Morgridge a great place to work. The findings fueled the development of a robust marketing plan that included a revamped careers section on their website, a "Fearless Careers" booklet for recruitment “ambassadors” to use, and tools to help scientists promote Morgridge at conferences. By leveraging genuine employee experiences, Morgridge began to tell a compelling story of opportunity and innovation in the realm of Fearless Science.

Beyond the Brochure: Real Examples of Success

It’s not just institutes like Morgridge that are getting it right. We talked to executive recruiter Jennifer Winding, of Tapestry Talent. She’s at the heart of the matter, seeking top talent to fill key roles for corporate clients.

“Some companies are really doing it right. Exact Science, BMO, American Family, Park Bank, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County are mission forward and values forward. They talk about how they support their employees AND the community - loudly. For example, you don’t work at Exact Sciences to be a lab technician. You work there because you are preventing cancer and finding solutions to curing cancer. American Family supports huge community giving projects through their Foundation and the Dream Bank. BMO supports diverse communities, including women in leadership, and talks about it in a big way,” Jennifer said.

These companies have found and clearly articulated their why. They don’t just tell you what job you’ll do; they show you how your work will impact the world. These companies make their values clear and loud, attracting talent that shares their vision.

Where Many Fall Short

However, Jennifer said many organizations still miss the mark by underestimating the power of a strong recruitment brand. They fail to realize that the best marketing still comes from word-of-mouth—what current and former employees say about their experience. A disconnected or insincere brand message can deter potential hires, sometimes before they even hit the apply button.

Jennifer said, “Some companies are undervaluing the ‘word on the street’ about working for their organization. The best marketing is still word of mouth - what employees, current and past, say about their experience is critical, through Glass Door, or just anecdotally with friends at a party. The message needs to be simple, clear and consistent through all aspects of communication, from employees, and the public interfacing with the organization.”

Recruitment Branding Is Like Marketing—Because It Is

Statistics don't lie: 88% of job seekers consider employer branding before applying, and companies with strong employer brands are three times more likely to make a quality hire. In the modern job market, recruitment has become increasingly akin to marketing. Just like customers, potential employees are drawn to brands they can trust and identify with.

Why HR Needs a Strong Ally in Recruitment Branding

Many HR departments aren't equipped to handle the complexities of modern recruitment marketing—they need allies, whether that’s more support from internal marketing teams or external partners who specialize in employer branding. The goal? To craft a strategy that not only attracts but also engages and retains top talent.

Does your recruitment brand need amping up?

As we navigate this competitive talent landscape, it’s clear that effective recruitment branding is more than just a nice-to-have—it's essential. By embodying the values and mission of your company in every aspect of your recruitment process, you create a magnetic employer brand that attracts not just any talent, but the right talent.

So, ask yourself: Does your recruitment brand reflect the true story of what it’s like to work at your company? If not, it might be time to start telling that story better. After all, in the war for talent, a strong recruitment brand isn't just your weapon; it's your shield.

Book a strategy session to talk through your recruitment challenges, and explore how Huston Design can help you build your recruitment brand.