It’s an age-old question asked by hiring companies that are focused on capturing the imaginations of their target audiences. “How creative should our recruitment messaging be?” To be sure, employers want to stand out in their industry, especially in these times of changing labor pool demographics. So, is there a definitive answer to the creative question? Absolutely there is. (Kind of.)
As referenced by my colleague, Bob Johnson in his recent webinar, the strongest employer brands reflect the authentic story of an organization’s employment experience. They key word here being ‘authentic.’ No matter what your employer brand looks like, sounds like, or feels like — it must be authentic to who you are as an employer and ideally, be aligned with your corporate brand. It has to capture your organization’s true character — what you stand for, your mission, your vision, and your values. Given these parameters, an employer can certainly be creative with its brand. How much is a matter of perspective.
Here are some examples of decidedly creative employer brand messaging that works. The ads share a common thread. They are all relevant to the job vacancy, and they all portray a company that views its candidate audience as smart, talented, and highly valued.
3 Ways to Quality Test Your Employer Brand’s Creativity
Ask this (long) question.
Will the creative idea work to meet the measures of an effective employer brand: motivate candidate response, increase hire rates, help lower cost-per-hire, build a positive reputation for your company, and assist with employee retention?
Build consensus by testing the creative idea first. This can be accomplished through internal and external focus groups and opinion surveys.
Trust the creative experts. (Yes, this is a selfish tip.)
The creative professionals who are building your employer brand are experts. You wouldn’t have hired them if they were otherwise. Leverage their experience and proven decision making. They’ve taken all the key steps to build your brand. They’ve done the discovery to find your best employer attributes, developed your Employee Value Proposition (EVP), and created the copy and imagery that define your messaging. If a creative approach doesn’t feel right to these experts, or if they express some concerns, listen to their counsel.
All this may seem like a rail against groundbreaking creativity in employer branding. It’s absolutely not. Rather, it is a rail for creativity that is intelligent, well crafted and purposeful. If the ‘wild and out there’ creative idea for your employer messaging passes the quality test, by all means go for it!
That’s my say. I’m sticking to it.