As I said at Cielo’s Talent Rising Summit in London, talent marketing could and should be simple.

Candidate Employer BrandIt has never been simpler to define your proposition and how it will connect with talent. We all read the same reports, and it has never been easier to get real-time feedback. Developing relevant content and channel plans is more doable than ever, and so is the ability to measure and improve your attraction campaigns.

Taking these actions results in stellar candidate experiences.

Of course, there are obstacles that get in the way. But if we ‘know’ these fundamental employer branding practices, yet fail to deliver on them, it only serves to highlight the gap between knowing better and doing better – between the leaders and the laggards. There are too many Twitter accounts treated as broadcast media, websites that are impossible to view on mobile and ATS experiences that would have shocked us even in the late 90s.

Still, this is not a moan at the industry. I also believe the best is yet to come, and I see HUGE opportunities ahead.

Frankly, organizations that want to compete for talent have no choice but to properly execute on EVP. It is not the silver bullet for better talent acquisition, but it is worth getting at least the basics right. The talent tells us as much. If you are a fence sitter, now is the time to make your move or get left behind. Just look at this data:

  • Employers with strong employment brands see a 43% decrease in cost per hire (LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends)
  • 73% of 18- to 34-year-olds found their last job through a social network (HR Magazine)
  • Candidates check, on average, 14.5 sources before applying (Broadbean)
  • 69% of job seekers say they are more likely to buy from a company who treated them with respect during the application process (CareerBuilder)

Apart from the doing the basics well (using data to get talent insights, making video content snackable, optimising your application process for mobile… I know, I know), what does simplicity look like?

1. Focus on a Singular Brand Story

I was at the World Employer Brand summit recently and heard Robert Malm speak about how Volvo had simplified their business strategy. Their method was to return to their roots and original purpose. Within that shift, they put their people centre stage, as seen in videos like Made By People. The people and customer promises became as one.

2. Make it Human

Cool technology like VR will continue to grab headlines for creating immersive experiences, and rightly so. But I also believe that people want enriched human experiences. You only need to look at the immersive hiring experience from Virgin Media last year to confirm that deep down, we want real, human connections to help us make big decisions. SkyRecruit, Cielo’s candidate experience platform, drives incredible efficiency into the hiring process, but ultimately it is there to let our recruiters spend more quality, ‘real’ time with candidates. With so many new tools and devices clamouring for attention, never lose sight of how they will enhance or give you more opportunities to build real, human connections with talent.

3. Let Your People do the Talking

This is my favourite trend. It is the simplest and likely the most powerful. Our love of reviews and trust of peer opinions is well documented, and it is driving an ever-increasing and long overdue sense of transparency. If organisations can do one thing to jet-propel their talent brand in a simple way, it is letting their own people do the talking. Platforms like are the new windows into our businesses – and research tells us that talent wants a ‘realistic’ view of life in a company or specific role. If culture beats strategy, why not show it? Tools like SoAmpli will no doubt see a boon of activity as the link between employee and customer finally becomes accepted. Again, in principle (and leading organisations are already jumping on board) this is simple and powerful stuff.

So it is an exciting time in talent acquisition and talent marketing. Everything, including the terminology we use, is under the microscope. If you want to make strides in employer branding, you can do a lot worse than thinking about how to keep things simple.


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This post was contributed by Will Innes, Cielo’s Vice President of Brand, Digital and Communications. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.