Why Employer Branding and Recruitment Teams Need to Work as Yin and Yang

January 11, 2021 • 4 min read

Why Employer Branding and Recruitment Teams Need to Work as Yin and Yang

Lauren Saunders

Lauren Saunders

Any talent acquisition specialist can agree that employer branding is an integral part of the recruitment process. But your employer brand is not something to deploy late in the game – it’s a tool that needs to be engaged throughout the entire recruiting process.

By working together, recruitment and EB teams can provide the most consistent messaging in the employee value proposition to candidates. It also creates a valuable feedback loop that informs better talent attraction strategies, and enables recruiters – the people who are speaking directly to candidates – to market to candidates more effectively.

EB and recruitment are a double act

Candidates are often attracted to your organization by the employer branding messages you’ve put out there. But it’s crucial that they don’t see a campaign and then come into the recruiting process only to face a very different talk track from recruiters.

By working together, recruitment and EB teams can provide the most consistent messaging in the employee value proposition to candidates.

Keep feeding back to each other. For the EB team at LinkedIn, the recruiters are our eyes and ears. They’re the subject matter experts on the priorities within the business and in the mind of our desired candidates. This is the information we use to inform our employee value proposition, that ensures it will best resonate with our target audience.

Equally important is ensuring that throughout the recruiting funnel, our recruiters have the assets and tools that enables them to activate against all of our great selling points. Ultimately we are relying on recruiters to articulate what we have to offer as a company and the more we can empower them to do that the better.

How we’re doing it at LinkedIn

At LinkedIn, we have what we call ‘talent brand partners’, who act as a single point of contact for the employer brand team within each of the key regions and business areas that we recruit for. They are a conduit between my central team (the marketing experts) and the recruiting teams (the candidate and business experts).

This gives us a really solid feedback loop. We share with them our strategic direction from an overarching employer brand and talent attraction perspective. They then provide us feedback to continually improve this strategy on an ongoing basis. They also help us to drive adoption and enablement of recruiters, by letting us know what else the recruiting team may need. Given we are not candidate-facing ourselves, our role is to make sure we’re providing them with the tools and processes that enable them to act as marketers when they’re facing off with candidates.

While we’ve always had this kind of infrastructure in place on a project-by-project basis, we have really honed our approach over the last 12 months. We now have monthly routines with our talent brand partners and one-on-one meetings to deep dive on certain projects and activations they’d like to do.

We are relying on recruiters to articulate what we have to offer as a company and the more we can empower them to do that the better.

Since collaborating more closely, we’ve seen much higher engagement from the talent brand partners and impart a deeper understanding of what we do in talent attraction – and they are now able to convey this back to the recruiting teams. We’ve also seen higher engagement from recruiters themselves, who are generating more content, activating their own campaigns, and using the tools and assets we provide a lot more than we’ve seen in the past.

Advice for collaboration

Leading by example is the best way to get everyone on board with this collaborative mindset. As an employer brand team, invest time in training and educating select recruiters on the team (for example, our ‘talent brand partners’) on the process and what you have to offer. Create lots of excellent examples of how this collaboration can play out and then showcase that across the TA team. Get some recruiters on board to sell the use case and the great success they’ve had with their campaign to others.

The other critical piece is to make the process as easy as pie. As much as you can, template things out and offer examples and suggestions. Perhaps set up a share point with some quick and easy resources people can pull from: this makes it a lot less intimidating for recruiters to get involved and start using it as part of their recruiting process.

Employer branding and recruiting teams really are two parts of one whole. Work as a partnership from A to B and you’ll see the benefits – guaranteed.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that some of these tactics can be used to bring in other partners you have in your organization, for example, the marketing and comms team, along in your work. Again, it’s about helping them to understand the goals, what’s on offer and what you need from them.

Your employer brand is a key part of your talent acquisition strategy. It should never be treated as an add-on at either end of the recruiting process. Employer branding and recruiting teams really are two parts of one whole. Work as a partnership from A to B and you’ll see the benefits – guaranteed.

About the author: Lauren manages a talented team of project/program managers and specialists who bring the LinkedIn vision to life and help recruit the most qualified, and diverse candidates that help to build on the rich company culture. She is passionate about separating Employee Branding from transactional recruiting, as she strongly believes that at its foundation, EB is innovative and creative.