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Exploring Employer Brand Activation and Recruitment Marketing

When it comes to talent acquisition and retention, Employer Brand Activation and Recruitment Marketing are crucial aspects, each with its distinct and unique roles despite working towards the same objectives. As an employer, understanding these differences and shared goals between these two concepts will help clarify your roadmap to success. It will also help you to understand the purpose and ROI of each of your efforts. Let's take a closer look at the relationship between Employer Brand Activation and Recruitment Marketing to understand how they shape a strong employer brand. 


First, it is important to understand these concepts at a high level. 


Employer Brand Activation: 

Employer Brand Activation is the long-term roadmap that covers how to deploy the employer branding strategy both internally and externally. The goal of the employer brand activation plan is to build a strong and consistent employer brand over time. It will include a range of touchpoints and initiatives. It is not just about creating an image but actively bringing the brand to life. Activation initiatives aim to align the employer brand with the company's culture, values, and overall mission, creating an authentic identity, ultimately making your company a place people want to work. 


Recruitment Marketing: 

Recruitment Marketing, on the other hand, refers to the specific marketing initiatives that strategically target or localize the employer branding. The goal is to boost the visibility of job opportunities, engage with potential candidates, and convert them into applicants and employees. Recruitment marketing leverages various channels such as social media and job boards to create a compelling narrative that draws in top talent. 


Despite their differences, both Employer Brand Activation and Recruitment Marketing share a common objective: the attraction and retention of top talent. They contribute to creating a positive employer brand. Employer Brand activation is the long-term play that includes everything from internal engagement to external awareness and brand building, while recruitment marketing is any of the individual initiatives therein that prioritize more immediate results like candidate applications. At the end of the day, it's about balancing the long-term brand building with short-term recruitment needs and distributing your efforts (and budget) accordingly!  


Simply put, Recruitment Marketing is the activities and initiatives that brings talent to your organization, Employer Brand Activation is the activities and initiatives that makes them stay. 


So, what are the key differences between these two? 


1. Scope: 


Employer Brand Activation is both internally and externally focused- it centres on aligning the existing workforce with the company's values, fostering a positive and authentic employee experience, contributing to the overall Employer Brand. This activation is what brings your employment promises to life. This, however, is also the external part. When the promises are brought to life, it has a great external impact. 


Recruitment Marketing is externally focused - it  is strategic initiatives and campaigns that aim to attract prospective candidates, and showcases the organization's culture, benefits, and more. 


2. Timeframe: 


Employer Brand Activation is a continuous process that is ongoing for several years, emphasizing internal communications, employee engagement, and consistent delivery of the promises highlighted in your Employer Value Proposition. 


Recruitment Marketing is situation based, usually centered around specific hiring needs. This can include targeted campaigns to attract candidates for specific roles with hard timelines. 


3. Employee vs Candidate Experience: 


Employer Brand Activation focuses on the entire employee experience, from onboarding to ongoing engagement and development. Beyond focusing on the activation of your Employer Brand, it prioritizes continuous employee development, career growth, and employee well-being. This approach recognizes that an employee's journey is ongoing throughout their time at the company, and puts an emphasis on positive experiences in the workplace. 


On the other hand, Recruitment Marketing focuses on creating a positive candidate experience during the hiring process. It includes activities such as crafting compelling job descriptions, optimizing the application process, and ensuring a smooth recruitment journey. This approach recognizes that the candidate experience is an important part of employer branding, impacting not only current hiring needs but also future talent attraction by leaving a positive impression on potential candidates. 


4. Metrics and Measurement: 


Employer Brand Activation metrics are focused on internal indicators such as employee satisfaction, engagement rates, retention rates, and alignment with organizational values. Ways to measure these factors often include internal surveys, focus groups, and feedback sessions to ensure the activation of your Employer Brand has an impact on the existing staff. For external measurements, things like employer brand reputation, level of awareness, and differentiation from competitors are useful metrics to ensure you are on the right track. 


Recruitment Marketing however, emphasizes metrics related to external outreach, including the number of applicants per job opening, conversion rates from leads to applicants, and the effectiveness of recruitment channels. The success of a campaign can be determined on a more quantitative level such as cost per hire, time to her, number of roles filled, and much more! 


While distinct, Employer Brand Activation and Recruitment Marketing are connected areas of talent acquisition, shaping an organization's overall employer brand. By leveraging the unique strengths of each, organizations can craft a comprehensive strategy that not only attracts top talent but also fosters a positive and engaging strategy to retain them. 

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