TechRec Conference Output: Employer Branding for Tech Recruitment

Great event last week in Berlin. Unfortunately, I could only attend my own slot “Employer Branding — How to make your company sexy for tech talents”. I discussed with an amazing crowd at a so-called ‘challenge your peers’ roundtable how employer branding for tech talents actually differ compared to business talents. In just 60 minutes we came up with some great hands-on output. Big thank you goes to the amazing attendees.

Common brand or focused brands for each talent group?

We agreed that it doesn’t matter how many different talents a company is recruiting, employer brands for different talent groups should have a common brand basis on which the more specific pillars for each talent group will be placed. Somehow a common framework which can be understood as a point of departure when it’s time to diversify your brand for the desired talent groups. This could be common company values, a common vision or a basic employer value proposition which counts for all talents.

I think ‘scope’ is also a magic word, in the end, it also depends on how much resources, budget, and time we have to specify our brand for different talents. What works for all talents best is probably to empower your own employees, let them be your brand, your company advocates & brand ambassador. Like in Marketing word-of-mouth always works best in Recruiting. If you hear favorable stuff from your peers rather than a recruiter it will for sure also have a bigger impact on the talents you try to recruit.

What data to collect to define your employer brand?

I believe that employer brands who do not rely on data are not employer brands. I guess a lot of companies are not in the safe seat to do employer branding just for the sake of having done some ‘employer branding’. All too often, however, a lot of companies are still building their employer brands in closed meeting rooms just with input from HR, Communication, and Marketing departments or because the CEO defines somehow an employer brand. This is so yesterday and not how the world works today.

So, let’s talk about data. During the discussion, we came up with the idea to collect data from internal as well as external stakeholders. Internally, engagement surveys are a great tool to identify drivers & blockers of the organization because if you build brands on the blockers, no employee will ever live & breathe the employer brand and promote the company as a favorable place to work. Also, content from interviews of employees from different departments is a great source of finding out how certain talent groups see your company and to what they feel attracted and why. External sources for data can be candidate experience surveys or also platforms like Glassdoor to get a glimpse of what works great to attract tech talents and what might be changed.

Challenge your peers ‘Employer Branding’ roundtable

What can you do for a kick-start?

At the roundtable, we agreed that a great way to jump-start employer branding is to empower & motivate tech talent internally. Hosting company meetups in the tech field can be a great start become more visible and get some external Developers in your company while they are mingling and networking with their peers. Moreover, putting the product they are going to build in the spotlight can be a great point of departure for attracting tech talents and get their interest. If it has interesting features or is somehow fancy for the tech company — bam! You get the buy-in of techies! Why not hosting a meetup about the unique parts of your product? We have anyways nothing to lose — because we are here to win the war for tech talent!

Do you have more ad-hoc ideas? And how would you measure the impact of your employer branding efforts? Really interested in your thoughts. Plus, if you wanna know what Hung Lee thinks about tech employer branding. Have a look here.

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