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Talent Branding: What It Is And Why You Should Care About It?

David Law

Wed, 24 Nov, 2021

  • Reading Time:
    ~ 3 minutes

Have you noticed a shifting balance in the hiring process? If you’ve been working to secure top talent for your business, chances are you’ve experienced an increasingly common problem of our times— the traditional job ads and job descriptions no longer attract top candidates.

In an ever-changing, progressively more competitive job market, the most successful employers are those embracing a new approach: talent branding.

Harnessing this metamorphoses from an employer-focused talent strategy to an employee-focused one is crucial to your business’ future. Why? Besides being an efficient tool for hiring and keeping the best performers, you’ll need talent branding to stay in the race: your competitors are probably using it by now.

So what’s the core of this new strategy? And how do you do it right?

Talent branding is the evolution of employer branding.

Employer branding has been one of the staples of talent strategies across sectors for a long time. Its core objective is to project the image the management team wants to put forward. What it aims to do is highlight the company’s identity and the narrative management wants to push about working there. That’s not a bad thing— it’s still important to have a clear employer identity. But this conventional formula is no longer enough.

What is the main problem with typical employer branding? It’s self-involved. Because it doesn’t contemplate external audience research, it can’t address the key points that would resonate with the talent they want to attract. Because it doesn’t prioritise internal research on the employee experience, it can’t depict it accurately. The problematic results: inauthentic branding that is top-focused (doesn’t involve most of the workforce) and doesn’t effectively reach the intended audience.

Enter talent branding. This strategy is, in a way, the more sophisticated heir of employer branding. Instead of focusing on management, it centres the experience, wishes, and needs of the audience. In this case, the potential and actual employees of your company.

Talent branding is about genuinely communicating candidate and employee experience. It involves finding out what that working and career experience is, improving it if necessary, and communicating it to maximise engagement. The objective: showing the right audience (top talent) that working with you aligns with their goals and values, that they can connect with you meaningfully in the long term, and that they should choose you above the competition.

This requires a different modus operandi— you are no longer talking about the image you want to project, but about someone else’s experience. The first step of talent branding is always gathering reliable, non-skewed insights from your internal sources: granting your workforce a seat at the table.

Funnelling these insights back into the company culture and core identity will give you the chance to build a strong talent brand that truly resonates.

While it is an approach that requires dedication and in-depth research of audiences both within and without the company, it is a powerful strategy. Talent branding is an investment that, in today’s marketplace, becomes pivotal to differentiating your company from the competition and solidifying your talent base.

Engage your audience with good branding.

It’s not enough to slap some ‘talent branding’ on your existing strategy at the last moment. Trying to patch up a previously employer-focused approach will only result in inauthenticity. Instead, a talent-focused approach should shift the whole perspective and reframe decisions and priorities throughout the company.

You would never adopt a commercial marketing strategy that is not well researched, creative, and accurate— and the same goes for marketing your talent brand.

When talent branding becomes a focus for the overall process, you pay attention to the experience of your talent audience and refine this branding in core business decisions and identity. This nourishes a virtuous cycle of authentic marketing and successful market positioning.

The Fulcrum strategy for talent branding.

At Fulcrum, we focus on creating genuine connections between candidates and clients. We believe talent branding is a crucial way to engage the right audience and make hires that fit and perform well.

Our process to refine a talent branding strategy includes five key steps:

  • Gathering real data: discovering real insights on the internal employee experience and the needs of your talent audience.
  • Finding your authentic voice: defining what your talent brand is and offers and how it differs from the employer image you’d otherwise attempt to project.
  • Creativity wins the day: crafting the right approach to communicate your branding through the right channels.
  • Doing the work: Rome was not built in a day— to create a solid brand, you have to centre this talent-focused branding in all areas and decisions.
  • A good investment: a talent-focused strategy brings a return of long-term top-performers, a rich candidate pool, and real employee engagement.

We want to help you craft your talent strategy and bring it to life. We specialise in effective, audience-driven talent communication to recruit the right people and support your growth. We want to work with you— write to us today!

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