Employer Brand Manager – What it really means to carry this title?

Employer brand manager works at the intersection of HR, talent acquisition and marcoms (marketing and communications).

What is this new role, and what are the differences between internal and external-focused employer brand managers?

Employer Brand Manager role in a nutshell

What is a good employer brand without a manager?

Probably not a brand at all!

The Employer (or Talent) Brand Manager manages the big picture of the employer brand. They own the employer brand strategy, budget and the employer branding process.

Their success in this role is measured by employer branding ROI – as in the return for the investments in employer branding.

What does an employer brand manager manage?

Employer brand management is about managing the market’s perceptions of your company as a workplace.

The good thing about employer brand management is that if you are not a creative or technical marketing whiz but love leading people and managing assets, this can be your dream role!

Mind you, this is a more senior role in which managing the employer branding operations, budget, other resources, and the results are crucial to success.

What happens if you are not managing your employer brand?

Without proper employer brand management, you – as someone responsible for the employer brand actions and activities – are likely to burn out from the constant stream of requests, totally ad hoc ideas and random acts of marketing.

These random actions will eat your resources and budget but fail to deliver measurable impact and value, the ROI. In this case, you are not managing employer branding at all.

What is the purpose of this role?

The Employer Brand Manager is the captain of your organisation’s employer brand ship.

Your job is moving this ship and your precious cargo towards your employer branding goals and objectives. And manoeuvre it at an ideal pace, wisely allocating your resources during the employer branding journey.

Your value for the business in this role is in the business-worthy value you return as you manage your employer brand’s strategy and execute the plan in ways that successfully drive the intended results.

Furthermore, as the employer brand manager, you coordinate and supervise both the employer brand perceptions and those actions from your stakeholders that impact your employer brand and it’s perceptions on the market.

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Examples of key skills and knowledge you want to focus on developing as an employer brand manager

General business acumen

  • Understanding different business strategies and plans.
  • Becoming familiar with the differences between goals, objectives, metrics and KPI’s.
  • Developing, implementing and managing strategic employer branding.
  • Understanding what are and how to deliver business-relevant results with employer branding.
  • Budgeting employer branding and employer brand marketing and managing your resources.
  • Stakeholder and team leadership.

Employer brand management and marketing

  • How to use marketing and communication to create and develop a brand.
  • Measuring brand marketing.
  • Understanding the ’product’ you are branding and how it fits and competes in your talent market.
  • Comprehending the differences and value-add of various marketing and communication strategies and tactics to make the best decisions with the budget you have.

Talent insight and marketing analytics

  • Understanding your relevant talent audience behaviour and needs, and regularly analysing talent insight to guide your decision-making and employer brand management.
  • Regularly reviewing marketing and your available budget to optimise your team performance accordingly.

Talent acquisition

  • Understanding talent acquisition as the ”sales function of HR” from the process to the typical pain points and challenges in talent attraction and retention, and which of those can be solved with employer branding.
  • Regularly measuring and managing candidate experiences impacting directly your employer image and reputation.

How to get started as an employer brand manager?

This is a senior position and a wonderful career development opportunity for someone who excels in results-driven leadership and is passionate about influencing talent minds with communications, marketing and branding.

Getting on the career path of becoming an employer (or talent) brand manager one day is probably best to start in talent acquisition because hiring challenges are often the primary reason for investing in employer branding.

When, as a recruiter, you regularly sell the product called a career opportunity, you quickly understand what is likely to hinder or accelerate your possible success in selling those career opportunities.

  • Is the offer competitive enough?
  • Are your benefits unique in your market?
  • Who is competing for the same talent?
  • What is the target audience like?
  • What problems do they have, and how do they seek for those to be solved?
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