Hiring Managers: the Sleeping Giants of Your Employment Branding Efforts

Feb 4, 2016

Much has been written about your marketing department’s role in building your employer brand, how it can help in social media recruiting, etc. In another vein of thought, Harvard thinks CEOs should own the brand and therefore be an ally to HR in recruitment marketing. At the very least, we all agree that an employer brand has to be a part of your overall recruiting efforts in order to stay competitive in the war for talent.

Unfortunately, sharing the story of life at your company comes with its challenges. Many times it means learning an entirely new skill set. It almost certainly means a lot more work. Therefore, finding the right allies internally and leveraging their efforts is imperative.

While your marketing department has the skill set to help, most times their KPIs relate directly to demand generation and revenue. And, even if your C-suite is engaged in your employer branding efforts, it’s doubtful they are going to take time to help actually execute a plan.

Enter the Hiring Manager, Your Knight in Shining Armor

Here’s one secret that no one seems to be talking about: your hiring managers are the sleeping giants you’ve been hoping would wake up and help you build your brand. You just may not have realized it until now.

Think about it: your hiring managers have a vested interest in getting high-quality candidate flow in the door. Many times, people are their biggest bottle necks. This means in order to hit their KPIs, they need more sales people, engineers, account managers … you get the picture!

What’s more, your hiring managers are proud of the culture they’ve built within their team! They want to shout it from the rooftops so they can sell candidates, and have a more personalized hiring process. They may also feel frustration at how the company as a whole (and their team by association) is portrayed on sites like Glassdoor. They want to build their own brand through content, events, etc.

Help in Getting Employer Branding Budget

While your hiring managers don’t explicitly have budget for recruiting initiatives, they are usually quite adept at getting budget approval. You’ve seen them in the past as they make money appear for that slick new productivity tool they brought on last quarter, or the conference they threw last year. They are great at getting in front of the right person to say “we need this!” Get them on your side, and you’ve got a friend who can help secure budget for your new initiatives.

Help in Getting Stuff Done

Hiring managers are also doers. The trick is to bring together initiatives that you can work on which help them achieve their goals. This will give you a partner in shouldering some of the work that goes along with any new project.

How about putting together a networking event for engineers in your city where your VP of engineering talks about how they’re using big data? You setup the venue, and the VP’s team can help with promotion via their network of engineers in your city.

What about a series of content around what it’s like to work as an engineer in this group? Have your VP ask the engineers for a few minutes in front of a webcam to share what it’s like to work there. I bet they’d love to show this off to potential candidates. And, you now have an asset to use in activating passive candidates who are quite happy in their current roles.

Wake Them Up

So, go wake up that sleeping giant with an interesting project you can work on. Maybe it’s an Instagram hashtag, a Meetup, or maybe a few Youtube videos. Congrats, you’ve just won a valuable ally in your employer branding efforts!

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