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Talent Brand: The Intersection of Talent Acquisition and Marketing


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Talent Brand: The Intersection of Talent Acquisition and Marketing

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Be ahead of the trend, not behind it: 56% of global talent leaders are prioritizing talent branding for their company this year. But, in order to have a strong talent brand, it’s critical for you to focus on the connection between talent acquisition and marketing.
In this presentation, we’ll go over how you can apply common marketing principles to develop and execute on your talent brand.

You’ll learn how to:

- Identify the right players from your marketing team to collaborate with on your talent brand
- Align your talent brand strategy with your marketing strategy
- Learn the best marketing tools to build and assess your strategy

Be ahead of the trend, not behind it: 56% of global talent leaders are prioritizing talent branding for their company this year. But, in order to have a strong talent brand, it’s critical for you to focus on the connection between talent acquisition and marketing.
In this presentation, we’ll go over how you can apply common marketing principles to develop and execute on your talent brand.

You’ll learn how to:

- Identify the right players from your marketing team to collaborate with on your talent brand
- Align your talent brand strategy with your marketing strategy
- Learn the best marketing tools to build and assess your strategy


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Talent Brand: The Intersection of Talent Acquisition and Marketing

  1. 1. Talent Brand: The Intersection of Talent Acquisition & Marketing
  2. 2. Consumer Brand is: The attributes and value that is associated with your company’s products and services
  3. 3. Employer Brand is: The attributes and value that is associated with your company as a place to work
  4. 4. Talent Brand is: the highly social, totally public version of your employer brand that incorporates what talent thinks, feels, and shares about your company as a place to work.
  5. 5. Marketing and Employer Branding: communicating and amplifying the value of a brand to your target audience
  6. 6. Employer Branding is a form of Marketing Goal Audience Messaging Call to Action Customer Journey Sales Hires Prospects and customers Candidates and employees Consumer Value Proposition Employer Value Proposition Purchase our products or services Come work with us Awareness à Interest à Intent à Purchase Awareness à Interest à Application à Hire Marketing Employer Branding
  7. 7. Who are players?  Overlap is an opportunity for collaboration Awareness Interest Intent Purchase Awareness Interest Application Hire CHRO Employer Brand Manager Recruitment Marketing Specialist Social Media Manager Content Strategist Recruiter Sourcer CMO Brand Manager Digital Marketing Specialist Social Media Manager Content Strategist Marketing Manager Marketing Coordinator
  8. 8. Product Price Promotion Place Goods and services being offered (quality, design, features, etc) Jobs available (responsibilities, culture, benefits, etc) Cost of your product Prestige of your jobs Advertising, direct marketing, PR, sales force, etc Advertising, recruitment marketing, PR, recruiters, etc Where products are sold (channels, locations, etc) Where jobs are offered (career website, social media, personal networks, etc) Marketing Talent Branding The Marketing Mix ​ The 4 Ps as they relate to Talent Brand
  9. 9. Product Price Promotion Place Sales Manager jobs: competitive pay, free food, innovative products to sell, open-plan office environment, travel 50% Highly desirable jobs: visibility with execs, autonomy to make decisions, fast-paced culture Targeted updates on LinkedIn, blog about sales management, YouTube channel for sales professionals, sales-specific recruiters Networking events, employee referrals, LinkedIn, sales job boards Talent Branding The Marketing Mix ​ The 4 Ps as they relate to Talent Brand
  10. 10. SWOT analysis  What’s the lay of the land? Develop a Talent Brand SWOT analysis Strengths: What characteristics do you have that give you an advantage? -Use these to position yourself against competition Weaknesses: What characteristics do you have that put you at a disadvantage? -Downplay these and highlight traits that balance them Opportunities: What elements of your business could you leverage to gain an advantage? -How can you take a new approach to win talent? Threats: What factors may cause trouble or difficulty hiring? -Build a proactive defense and prepare to make changes Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Internal External Negative Positive
  11. 11. Positioning  Differentiating yourself from the competition Map out your company vs. competitors to get a clear view of the landscape What factors do you want to measure against? pay and benefits work/life balance challenging work career advancement opportunities innovation learning and growth opportunities How can you position yourself and differentiate from talent competitors?
  12. 12. Audience segmentation  What are the characteristics of the talent your organization needs? Demographics Who are they? Years of experience Seniority Industry Skills Function Degree type Psychographics What are their values and attitudes? Work/life balance Inspirational leaders Challenging Work Good benefits Competitive Pay Behaviors How do they interact with companies? LinkedIn Facebook Career Fairs Employee connections Passive vs. Active Geography Where are they? Actual geographic location Cultural nuances Currently employed Undergrad Grad school Target Candidates
  13. 13. Audience segmentation  What are the characteristics of the talent your organization needs? Demographics Who are they? 10-20 years experience Technology industry MBA preferred Sales function Psychographics What are their values and attitudes? Competitive High-pay and bonuses Enjoy mentoring others Good benefits Behaviors How do they interact with companies? LinkedIn Employee connections Passive Geography Where are they? North America – many states Currently employed Willing to relocate Sales Managers
  14. 14. Audience segmentation  Bring your target candidates to life with unique personas What is a “persona”? Marketing: A fictional character created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way Talent Branding: A fictional character created to represent the different candidate types that might be a good fit for your jobs
  15. 15. Who is Andrew? Andrew is a sales professional with 10 years of experience. For the past two years, he’s been managing a small team of people at a tech start-up. He’s wants to make a change and work for a larger company that would give him the chance to travel and gain global work experience. He has been going to networking events and reaching out to old colleagues to learn about new opportunities. In his free time, he enjoys skiing and he’s quite the movie buff. He also volunteers at his local pet shelter and is active in promoting animal rights. Audience segmentation ​ Create actual “people” with backstories and photos
  16. 16. Audience segmentation  LinkedIn can help you define these personas with some of our data
  17. 17. Today’s talent brand leaders are leveraging existing marketing tactics  Drive candidates through the funnel with targeted outreach Awareness Interest Intent Purchase Awareness Interest Application Hire Targeted Ads Content Marketing Career Pages Talent Communities Sponsored Jobs Talent Direct Targeted Ads Content Marketing Showcase Pages Lead Accelerator Text Ads Sponsored inMails Future Customers Future hires
  18. 18.  What makes people passionate about your company? Work your consumer brand into your talent brand
  19. 19. Action Items  Things to remember when you get back to your desk 1.  Identify the right people to partner with on your marketing team 2.  Go through the marketing exercises to clearly define your talent brand strategy 3.  Find the overlap and use tactics that help both your consumer and talent brands.
  20. 20. 21 Thanks for viewing! Follow us on social media: #hiretowin

Notas del editor

  • So let’s get started! I’d like to first set the groundwork by defining some key terms that play an important part in this conversation.
  • Note that you can define marketing and employer branding using the same description. The difference lies in what brand you’re communicating (consumer or employer) and how you’re measuring success (sales or hires).
  • What do all of these images have in common? They all look like marketing right? Well that’s because they are all a type of marketing!
  • Employer branding is, at its core, just a type of marketing aimed at driving people to become employees of your company.

    If we break down the key components of marketing (goal, audience, messaging, and call to action), we can easily see how we can use these to define an employer branding strategy that will take people along the journey to becoming your employee.

    You’re likely familiar with what these components look like for marketing. It’s all about driving sales and customers by messaging about your consumer value proposition.

    For employer branding, it’s a similar breakdown with a different goal in mind, hires. The audience is potential candidates and employees and you’re highlighting the value of working at your company vs. that of your products and services.

    So what path does the customer or candidate take to ultimately make a purchase decision or accept an offer?  The first two stages are the same for both marketing and employer branding: awareness and interest. Customers then go on to intent and purchase while candidates go on to the application and hire stage.

    As you can see, both marketing and employer branding break down to the same components. Understanding this can help facilitate collaboration between your talent acquisition and marketing teams because it puts you together on common ground and speaking the same language.

  • Another key to success in partnership between TA and marketing is to understand where the overlap lies and who the players are on each team.

    Here you can see both the typical customer purchase funnel and the candidate hiring funnel. Notice that the awareness and interest stages, at the top of the funnel, are very similar and are depicted as overlapping. This is because activities that you do at these stages to raise awareness and generate interest are often very similar, or even at times the same, for both marketing and employer branding. There may also be opportunity to leverage some of the same content or assets for top of the funnel activities. These two stages are ripe for collaboration and can help the sum of the parts be greater than the individual pieces.


    In order to spark alliances and teamwork, it’s first important to understand who is involved on each team. Leading the teams, you have the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer. These two people should be in lock step alignment about the employer value proposition and talent brand strategy.


    On each of these executive’s teams, you have a number of different types of roles. You see some of the common job titles listed on the slide. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it gives you a general idea of who’s in the game on each side.


    What you should immediately notice here, is that a couple of the titles are actually exactly the same on both the marketing and talent acquisition teams: Social Media Manager and Content Strategist. If you have these people on your teams, or people who handle these responsibilities, make sure they’re in touch with each other! These people also have the most natural overlap in responsibilities and activities making collaboration easy.

    Even some of the other titles are very similar: Brand Manager vs. Employer Brand Manager and Digital Marketing Specialist vs. Recruitment Marketing Specialist. This is not by accident, though the outcomes may be different, people in these roles may use very similar methods of getting to those outcomes.

    I encourage you to think about your own teams and how they might start working together more often, or at least start by sharing best practices and ideas.
  • For anyone that’s ever taken any sort of intro to marketing class, I’m sure “the 4 Ps” will ring a bell! The 4 Ps, which we’ll cover in a moment, are a foundational pillar of marketing and can be used to define a talent brand strategy as well.


    The 4 Ps are product, price, promotion, and place.

    (Animate between each)

    Product is normally the goods and services being offered. When a company determines what its product should be, it thinks about what factors are most important: things like quality, design, features, etc. For Talent Brand purposes, the product is the jobs themselves and the factors you consider are responsibilities, seniority, benefits, and more.

    Price is traditionally the actual cost of the goods or services a company is offering. In the context of Talent Brand, however, there’s a different way to look at this: prestige of your jobs. Are your jobs highly coveted and an in demand, or are they viewed less favorably? Think of it this way: Are your jobs Ferraris or Fords? No that there’s anything wrong with a Ford, of course, but the more you can create a buzz and build desirability of your jobs, the better quality candidates you’ll be able to get. Someone who is an A player wants the Ferrari, not the Ford. You may have some of each. Your senior level positions or hard to fill positions may be the Ferraris, while easier to fill roles may be the Fords.

    Promotion is the piece we think about most often when we think of Talent Brand. For both marketing and talent branding, promotion is all about what types of methods you use to get word out about your product and “sell” your product. Whether it’s advertising, PR, your sales force or your recruiters, all of these are forms of promotion.

    And last but not least, place. Place is where your products are sold. In the case of marketing, this may be retailers, ecommerce sites, or wholesalers. For your hiring needs, this represents where jobs are “offered” up to people: career websites, social media, employee referrals. Different types of jobs may require a different mix of places. For examples, senior level positions won’t be available at campus events and professional roles wouldn’t go on a job board specific to factory workers.

    By thinking through each of these 4 Ps in respect to your talent branding, it can help you put together a sound and differentiated strategy for your various hiring needs. It can also help you compare your Talent Brand 4 Ps to your Marketing team’s 4 Ps and identify overlap in things like place and promotion.
  • Now let’s take a look at how this might play out if you were to do this exercise for a company’s talent acquisition team that needs to hire sales managers.

  • What’s a SWOT analysis you ask? No, it has nothing to do with SWAT teams, although that might make it a lot more exciting! A SWOT analysis helps you think through your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It gives you a method for getting a good lay of the land when it comes to your ability to hire the right talent.

    A SWOT analysis groups things based on two spectrums: Positive vs. Negative and Internal vs. External. Internal represents the things within your control, while external represents the things that come from the market and are typically outside of your control.

    How do you develop a Talent Brand SWOT analysis?

    (Animate between each one)

    Strengths: What are the characteristics that give you an advantage? What makes your company great as a place to work? The strengths you list here can be used as the basis of a value proposition or as ways to position yourself against talent competitors. Strengths can be things like a great healthcare plan, lenient vacation policy, innovative projects to work on, good learning & development opportunities, or a comfortable office environment to name a few.

    Weaknesses: Even the best companies have weaknesses, it’s nothing to be afraid of. The first step is admitting you have a problem! What characteristics of your company put you at a disadvantage? By knowing what your weaknesses are, you can downplay those areas and highlight your strengths that may counterbalance them. For example, perhaps you have jobs that require long hours. You could potentially balance that by highlighting your flexible work arrangement or great vacation policies. The important thing is to stay authentic in your messaging. Don’t promise things you can’t deliver just to try to cover up a weakness.

    Opportunities: Are there things that you could leverage to gain an advantage over other companies? Opportunities are things that aren’t necessarily strengths today, but if developed in the right way could move into the strengths category. Maybe there’s a new approach you could take to win talent? Perhaps there’s an opportunity to open a new office in a more desirable location? You might have a new product innovation coming that could woo top talent.

    Threats: Are there factors in the market that may cause difficulty hiring? For example, you might be concerned about the lack of STEM talent. To address this situation, maybe you put a plan in place to provide more on-the-job learning. It’s critical to recognize threats that may be out there so you can proactively build a defense strategy or make any changes necessary to combat them.
  • A positioning map can help you assess your position in people’s minds vs. other companies; it’s an exercise that helps you figure out how to differentiate yourself from the competition. You can map out your company vs. others to get a clearer view of the landscape. Positioning maps use two different factors to measure brands against.

    In the example on the slide, we’re looking at different types of chocolate brands. We’re comparing them based on price and quality. Lindt is a more expensive chocolate that is higher quality, and M&Ms, while delicious, are low price and low quality.

    You can do something similar for your talent brand. First, you’ll have to figure out what factors you want to measure yourself against. This may vary across different types of companies, or within your company, across different types of roles. You may need map for engineers and one for sales people, as an example. Once you’ve determined the factors you want to use and the list of companies you want to compare yourself to, you can plot them on the map. This isn’t an exact science, and you may not have complete information about people’s perceptions of all the companies, but it can at least give you directional information that is helpful.

    And positions will likely change over time, so this, along with everything else we discuss today, should be revisited at least every 12 months.
  • An audience segmentation exercise can help you get a good picture of what your ideal candidates look like beyond the normal required criteria for a search. For hiring segment you have, you should assess your target candidates on four key aspects: demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and geography.

    Demographics: This one is the easiest, it’s basic criteria like years of experience, function, industry, and more.

    Psychographics are bit harder as they are the less tangible aspects of your talent pool. Psychographics means assessing what your target talent values and what their attitudes are about work, careers, employers… Do they want good work/life balance, an awesome health insurance plan, inspirational leaders? Psychographics are more about the emotional connection you need to create with candidates. What does it take for them to feel fulfilled at work?

    Behavior, as it relates to talent brand, is about people how people interact with your company and how they might interact with your jobs. Whether it’s LinkedIn, connections to employees, or career fairs, every potential candidate will have a unique path to getting to your company. Behavior also applies to how passive or active candidates may be and their job search behavior.

    Geography: While actual geographic location does apply here, there are other non-traditional ways of looking at “geography” when it comes to talent brand. It’s can also be about where your target talent currently works. Are they currently employed, part-time, in school? Lastly, it’s increasingly important in our more globalized economy to think about cultural nuances and how you may need to tweak your messaging and processes for different populations.
  • Let’s look at a simple example of an audience segmentation for Sales Managers! For the sake of today’s conversation, we’ll assume the company looking for sales managers is a software company.
  • Taking audience segmentation a step further, you can actually create unique personas for your target candidates and bring them to life.

    Take a minute to read through the two definitions of a persona for marketing and talent branding.

    Sometimes it’s hard to look at a set of criteria for a candidate and really get a good feeling for how to message to those people and create an emotional connection. It also makes it harder to imagine the right people that would have a good cultural fit with your company. Creating personas helps solve this problem by putting a “face” to your target audiences.

    Next, we’ll take a look a sample persona and I hope you’ll see how this can help you envision the right people for your organization.
  • In creating a persona, you want to provide a description that encompasses more than just the demographics piece and really embraces all four of the audience segmentation characteristics. Put a picture with it as well so you can really put yourself in that person’s shoes!

    Take a moment to read about Jenny.

    As you can see, Jenny feels like a real person that you can picture and imagine interacting with. When you have personas like Jenny, you can develop distinct talent brand activities for your different personas. Jenny might react very well to sharing videos and images, while Rich, an R&D scientist, might prefer whitepapers and testimonials. Before you craft a message, share an update, create an ad, you can ask yourself, “Would Jenny like this?”
  • We can actually help you define your personas with our data. One example is by looking at our survey data about what is important to candidates when considering a job. We can slice and dice this data by geography, function, industry, and more, to help you identify some of those psychographic characteristics.
  • Now that we’ve used a number of marketing tools to assess your talent brand, your strategy, and your audience, we come back to the funnels. Talent Brand leaders are using common marketing tactics to drive people through their funnel.

    At the top of the marketing funnel we have potential customers, and at the top of the talent acquisition funnel we have potential candidates. Next to each funnel we see the progression of methods used to message to people throughout the funnel.


    Notice, that at the top of the funnels, where the overlap lies, these methods are the same for both marketing and talent acquisition: Targeted ads and content marketing. As you progress down the funnel, the tactics differ, although you’ll still see some similarities.

    Most of you in the audience are using a combination of these tactics today. If you’d like more information about any of them, you can always reach out to your own Talent Brand Consultant or Relationship Manager.
  • Throughout all of this, there are ways to work your consumer brand into your talent brand and to think about what makes people passionate about your company from all perspectives.

    Let’s see some examples of how other companies are doing this…

    Looking toward the future, I believe will see much more convergence of consumer brand and talent brand. Hopefully you’ve gotten some ideas today about you can foster that collaboration within your own organization.

  • With that, I want to leave you with some simple action items that will get you on the right path.
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