January 22, 2024

RIP Employer Brand

Authors:

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Bet you haven’t heard that term in a while

Speaking of things that are totally dead in this market. Remember ‘Employer Brand’?

Companies really used to pay 5-6 figures for two sentence “Employer Value Propositions.” Hysterical. And perhaps the first casualty of ChatGPT.

Tech layoffs aren’t over. Marketing budgets still haven’t recovered. And DEI programs are getting slashed.

Less hiring. Less spending. Employer brand disappearing from the Office Dork social media discussions was predictable.

Nate Guggia and I really did do 27 podcasts on why the traditional methods of top of funnel talent attraction got everything completely wrong. Feels like a lifetime ago. (Archived episodes of The Employer Content Show is here)

That doesn’t mean no one is hiring. Or that talent attraction is unimportant (or dead.)

What it does mean:

👉Job seekers aren’t falling for BS corporate messaging anymore.

Anyone who wasn’t burned in 2020 definitely got torched in 2023. All the rah rah culture-forward companies were exposed as out of touch, money driven layoff machines.

Important note: there’s nothing *wrong* with being a money driven corporation. That’s literally why we’re all here. But no one believes your SaaS company that pitches sales software to other SaaS companies (that also sells sales software) exist for some altruistic, higher purpose.

Nor do employees need you to be. But claiming so makes you sound silly. Unless you’re curing cancer. Or cooling the planet.

👉People choose managers and teams over organizations.

Employer brand does exist, but it’s far more granular than most talent strategists realize. No one cares about whatever fluff the corporate marketing or talent team pumps out. It’s all about the vibes **with the people they directly work with every day.**

Job seekers don’t even care what your leaders have to say. A CEO saying “we’re great and everyone loves it here hooray” goes in one ear and out the other.

But your individual contributors saying it? In some form that isn’t overly produced marketing collateral? That’s something people believe.

LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, podcasts, blogs, etc. They’re all cheap. If you’re hiring this year, let your team use them. 

If no one wants to, then you know you have a bigger problem.

(Note: over 50% of Hirewell’s hires since 2021 first heard of us via our team’s social media usage. It really does work.)

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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