Your Career Site Is Simply the Paper (or Kindle) to Your Employer Brand Story

Redoing your career site does not mean you have an employer brand strategy.

I’ve even heard some of my follow HR peeps wonder why their career site makeover did not yield the talent attraction results they had envisioned. Let me explain why …

A brand is what you stand for as an organization. It is more than a tagline or glossy stock images. It’s the synthesis and creative expression of your employee value proposition, the employee/candidate experience, your values, market reputation, and more. As famously stated by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO Amazon, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

A career site may communicate some of this information, but the heavy lifting around self-discovery, your current, and aspirational culture, and critical future talent populations should begin long before you move into the dreamy world of parallax scrolling.

An employer brand is founded on your employee value proposition. It is hard to redraft a career site or even build an employer brand strategy without first understanding who you are and the “why” around your organization. Move right into a career site relaunch and you have missed this foundational principle of brand strategy that starts with your EVP. First understand who you are and own it, before you amplify it to the world through all channels including your career site.

A career site is a communication channel to activate and mature an employer brand. If you are blinging out your career site, that is awesome and a great idea, but don’t confuse it with the practice of carving out a multi-faceted employer brand strategy. Within that strategy will be components of brand building with a career site playing an important role. However, it starts with who you are, who are you becoming, what you stand for, and your brand’s character.

A brand can stand alone. Long before the digital age, companies had employer brands. Perhaps the branding practice and term itself were less mature than they are today but there were organizations to which you gravitated because of the employee experience and others you ran from. It’s what talent said about the organization “when they were not in the room.”

A brand creates a pull strategy. A brand is not a one-time experience. The very nature of a brand is to help foster a pull strategy where no matter what stage in the recruitment funnel a candidate is in, they benefit from interacting with the talent brand. It tells a story and plants a seed. That seed grows into action when the time is right for the candidate to return for their opportunity to join the journey.

A brand unites. A strong employer brand brings existing employees together with a shared mission and message to rally around.

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A brand is what you stand for. It’s your organizational identity related to the employee experience. It is not a logo, colors, or an image. It’s not animation, responsive design, nor typography. Some of those components may be used to help share your story and convey the energy authentic to the employee experience, but a revamped career site does not equal building a distinct, compelling, and comprehensive talent brand strategy.

A career site is the paper and binding to your book, the kindle to your digital download. A talent brand is your story, your narrative, the creative representation what you are all about as an organization and where you are going. It’s the plot.