If your talent acquisition leaders are getting caught up in “employment branding” conversations with their agency, ask them, “to what end?”.  Fact of the matter is the value of your brand is determined by your target market, not by your advertising agency. Advertising creates awareness but awareness does not equal a powerful brand. Preference equals a powerful brand and outside of maybe the fashion industry, no amount of brand marketing can deliver the amount of preference or consumer choice required to create a brand.

Employment Branding is an even more nebulous, what does “employment branding” even mean? Ask 10 different agencies and you will get 10 different answers. Why, because employment branding is not easy to understand and many agency reps tend to explain it in a manner that makes it sound like recruitment marketing, which it is not. You may have a strong brand that helps you attract candidates like Microsoft, Target, Wall Street Journal or a strong local or regional brand, but the odds of you building an “employment brand” with a company that isn’t already a strong brand are slim at best. Yet millions of dollars are spent every year by talent acquisition execs that were lead to believe this would have an impact on their recruiting efforts.

Iin this day-and-age, with unemployment at historic highs, it is a rare exception when a job seeker actual stops before accepting or applying for a position to consider the affects of the companies brand on their resume or future employment. Today job title and location are the two big attractions and if I am an employer, I simply need to make sure that my jobs are easily found by job seekers and it is easy for the job seeker to interact with my company.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have your company logo prominently displayed on all your recruitment marketing efforts, or an employment branding strategy, in fact I recommend it. But never lose sight of the fact that the first responsibility of a talent acquisition leader is to make it easy for your recruiters to find and hire quality candidates. Deploying an “employment branding” campaign will not be a means to that end.

The bottom line is that the only time when something called “employment brand” actually exists is when an unbiased third party like Fortune, Forbes, Money or some other magazine or respected media comes out with a “Best Places to Work” list and your company is on it. Other than that, you’re better off spending your employment branding dollars on lottery tickets!

In my humble opinion.

Stay tuned for my next post on the topic of “Brand Jacking”