Hi Rally Readers,
You may remember me from when I first contributed a 3-part “New to Recruitment Marketing” blog series:
- My First 30 Days as a Recruitment Marketer
- New to Recruitment Marketing, Part II: First Projects and Building Relationships
- New to Recruitment Marketing, Part III: Hitting the Ground Running
Over the past couple of years I’ve learned a lot more about what it takes to excel as a Recruitment Marketing professional focused on employer branding (I’ve also continued to focus on my fitness goals — I’ve conquered the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race twice now!).
For me, it’s incredible to look back and see my growth from a relative “newbie” in employer branding to now having several years of experience in this discipline. And with Recruitment Marketing and employer branding now critical to every employer’s recruiting strategy, the timing is better than ever to move into this exciting line of work! So, if you are thinking about transitioning over to employer branding or maybe if you just want to grow your own marketing skill set, I hope this list of four things that have helped me as I’ve grown and developed is helpful for you on your own employer brand career journey.
4 Tips to excel as an employer brand professional
1. Embrace the unknown
When I started in my employer brand role at Cox Enterprises, much of my work had never been done before or it was time for a complete reinvention. In other words, nearly everything I was doing was new territory for me and the company.
This is often the case with employer brand roles. Since the area is relatively new, a lot of us are moving into roles that have never existed before. Which means we can carve out our own paths.
If you have a mindset of embracing the unknown and look at this career opportunity as an adventure, then you’ll likely have a lot of success in an employer brand role — and enjoy more of the experience too!
For me, I looked at these early “new territory” opportunities as priceless because they gave me important notches in my tool belt and countless “learn as you go” moments. They were also rewarding because they gave me the chance to take on more responsibility, embrace change and charge forward with the zaniest ideas that led to successful projects.
2. Listen, listen and listen some more
In many ways, your employer brand hinges on the satisfaction of your employees. Their employee experience is what you’re able to produce content around and share externally. And if they’re having a great experience, your employees are more likely to become brand ambassadors for you too.
This means, understanding and really listening to the experience they’re having is critical. To keep our finger on the pulse at Cox, we pay close attention to internal surveys, employer review sites, and focus group feedback.
From there, it’s also our job on the employer brand team to drive conversations around what’s working and what we can improve about the employee experience to help our brand succeed (and improve the workplace!).
Listening attentively to our employees also allows us to strike a good balance for positioning our employer brand authentically while also staying aspirational.
3. Focus on building strong working relationships
Employer branding is a highly collaborative space. There are lots of opportunities to partner across many teams and departments.
Additionally, since employer brand teams are typically pretty small, this gives you the chance to expand on what you’re able to achieve by leveraging other people’s work too. For example, you might be able to use content that your talent acquisition colleagues are capturing at events or collateral that product marketing is putting together.
To effectively build relationships throughout the organization, I recommend prioritizing a “listen and connect” approach in every conversation you have. You can also think about the “give and get” to ensure you provide value back to the people helping you on a regular basis. This helps to ensure the relationship has some longevity.
For example, in exchange for sharing their technology content, you could feature some of your engineering managers on your careers blog. (Side note, starting March 2, visit Cox Enterprises’ social channels on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube or search for #BehindTheCode to view our latest recruitment campaign for technology roles!)
In my case, I’m fortunate to work for a company where relationships are so easy to make because we thrive off of each other’s enthusiasm for doing great work.
4. Find what you’re good at and get better
There are so many different types of work possible for Recruitment Marketing and employer brand professionals. You might excel at writing blogs, managing social media or building relationships.
Whatever your strengths and passions might be, lean into them and focus on continuously improving. Your passion will drive you to produce your best work!
For me, employer branding has surfaced my passion for employee development and engagement. I discovered this strength by keeping my eyes open and focusing on what I was good at and enjoyed the most — which happens to be the development of our employee brand ambassador program at Cox.
This program has led to millions of impressions across social media so far. I’ve enjoyed this process so much that I’ve continued to research and think through other ways to engage employees and get them involved in communicating our employer brand. My goal is to continue the momentum and increase the training and development of dozens of employees to serve as brand ambassadors across the company.
Reflecting on my experiences over the past few years to produce these tips has been a great exercise for me. I’ve come a long way in a short time and am so excited to see what I pick up in the coming years as I continue to grow and learn in this exciting space!
I hope these tips are helpful for you wherever you are in your own career journey too. Feelfree to connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know what you think.
Want more tips to create your own Recruitment Marketing Plan? Get the 2020 Recruitment Marketing Planning Guide and Template.