How Can You Attract Talent in a Competitive Market? 2 Simple Words….


Employer branding.

Let me explain…

It’s a Friday and you’re almost ready to finish up for the week when your Office Manager walks in and hands you their resignation. Disappointed, you put it aside and resolve to deal with it on Monday.

Work gets in the way and before you know it, an entire week has gone by. With only 2 weeks left until the Office Manager’s last day, you hastily put an ad together and put it up on a job board.

You spend the next week falling behind on work as you sift through unsuitable applications hoping something comes out of it – before hiring someone who’ll “have to do” at the last minute.

This situation happens in workplaces every day, and quite often leads to disappointing outcomes and employees who don’t fit your needs.

Although every business leader understands the importance of marketing their organisation’s products and services, marketing the company as an employer of choice doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves.

This is unfortunate because an employer of choice doesn’t find itself in the same situation as our friends in the example above. Rather, they have a cohort of already engaged and high performing candidates ready to call on when a new position becomes available.

Why build an employer brand

There are many advantages to building an employer brand, including being able to:

  • Challenge preconceptions about what it’s like to work for the company
  • Set the tone and encourage applicants who are a good culture fit
  • Attract high performers who don’t browse job boards
  • Quickly fill vacant positions ready for an effective handover
  • Improve retention (saving lots of time and money!)
  • Allow prospective applicants to see the human stories of the team, not a faceless organisation

Employer branding is a long term strategy that can take many forms. The key is to develop a solid plan that receives the ongoing attention and budget it needs to be successful.

It’s vital in Canberra

Canberra is an increasingly talent short and competitive market, so building an enviable employer brand is essential for every organisation – from small businesses to government departments.

It is now essential to define and promote your employer brand, allowing you to engage with prospective candidates and promote recruitment activities.

Facing some hard truths

The market perception of your organisation may be stale or even have a negative reputation as an employer. Accepting that past performance, or the perception of being in a “stuffy” department is the unfortunate truth that can be a hard pill to swallow. However, understanding where you currently fit in the market, or how you are perceived by potential applicants is essential to guiding your employer brand. This can help to change these perceptions.

There could also be a reputational issue with your organisation as a whole, while you are trying to recruit for a specific team, group or division within that company. The culture within smaller areas can also vary greatly to the broader organisation.

We have run several marketing campaigns for divisions and groups that aim to tell a new story in the marketplace for their area specifically. This tends to be more successful, and easier to get across the line, than the much bigger job of overhauling an entire, sometimes very large, organisation’s employer brand in one fell swoop.

It’s more than a Careers page

Your employer branding supporting materials don’t need to be a War and Peace effort or cost a fortune. They should, however, be much more than a “Careers” page hidden somewhere on your main website.

Look for ways to show the benefits, rather than just saying them. For example, rather than saying “We have a cool pool table!”, you could film a video of happy staff playing a round of pool in the office. Team member testimonials are also more valuable than a generic voice saying, “We’re great!”. They are also an authentic way of telling your employer brand story through lived experience.

Speak to your potential candidates in a targeted way

Social media is beneficial because the options are endless. It allows you to target your audience at a fairly granular level, which means you can be more specific and relevant with your content. For example, you can use LinkedIn to target people who live in Canberra and have procurement experience. Or you can use Facebook to target people who have a background in sport and are very active in the community. It really depends on who your ideal candidate cohort is, what they would have in common, and what drives them.

Get expert help with employer branding

We know employer branding and content marketing can feel like a complicated, stressful and time consuming endeavour. To be done well, it also requires expertise in recruitment and experience finding and engaging with high performing candidates in your market.

This is why we offer a range of employer branding and talent attraction services. We can help you curate a message that’s authentic to your organisation, division, branch, or department, and target your ideal candidates, educating them on your employer brand and increase their awareness of job opportunities.

We know recruitment and marketing go hand in hand, and while marketing agencies may be able to assist, the best results come from working with people who understand both sides.

Ask us how we can help you:

  • Define your employee value proposition
  • Build an employer branding strategy
  • Produce supporting content
  • Execute attraction and marketing campaigns

If you are ready to get proactive about your employer brand and reap the benefits of becoming an employer of choice, I would love to have a chat with you.

Even if you would like a more general chat about how employer branding, talent attraction and recruitment services could help with your specific recruitment challenges, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Fiona Grimmer Marketing & Business Improvements HorizonOne Fiona Grimmer
Marketing Manager
HorizonOne Recruitment

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