Maggie BleharSeptember 21, 2023
Topics: Talent Experience

Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Employer branding and recruitment marketing are both essential strategies for establishing stronger connections with job seekers. Although they are similar and overlap in some ways, it's important for organizations to understand the intricacies of each to better attract and retain talent.

So how is employer branding and recruitment marketing different, what are the benefits, and what approaches should organizations take to get started? Let’s break it down.

Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing

Check out the key similarities and differences between employer branding and recruitment marketing.

Main Goals For Employer Branding

Employer branding primarily concerns the reputation and perception of an organization. Having a successful employer brand is about creating a positive and attractive image of the company in the eyes of current and potential employees. It encompasses the overall culture, values, work environment, and the company's identity as an employer of choice.

A few ways to create a successful employer brand include:

  • Define your Employer Value Proposition (EVP): What do you offer that makes you unique and attractive to potential employees?

  • Understand your current brand perception: Conduct surveys, focus groups, and online research to understand how your organization is currently perceived as an employer.

  • Re-evaluate and identify opportunities to continue growing the brand: This can be through social media channels you haven’t used before or marketing campaigns that are different from the norm.

  • Highlight employee stories and/or testimonials: Share authentic stories from your employees about what their experience is like working at your organization.

  • Collaborate with HR and marketing: Ensure close collaboration between your HR and marketing teams to align employer branding efforts with overall company branding and marketing strategies.

Main Goals For Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is a subset of employer branding that is more focused on the strategies and tactics used to attract and engage potential candidates during the hiring process. Recruitment marketing involves the use of various marketing techniques to promote job openings, create compelling job descriptions, effectively communicate the benefits of working for the company, and create a deeper connection with potential employees.

Successful recruitment marketing looks like:

  • Engaging, hyper-personalized career site optimization: Ensure that your career site and application processes are easy-to-use, personalized, and mobile-friendly, since a responsive design is crucial for keeping candidates engaged.

  • Clear content marketing: Create and share informative and engaging content (e.g., video, emails, SMS messages, social media) related to your company, industry, job roles, and career development.

  • Effective recruitment events: Host in-person or virtual career fairs, webinars, or information sessions to engage with potential candidates.

  • Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) implementation: Make sure you have a CRM tool to manage and nurture relationships with potential candidates and identify best-fit talent quickly (including passive job seekers), even before they apply for a job.

In general, employer branding is a long-term strategy that aims to shape the company's image as an employer over time. It considers how the organization is perceived by current employees, potential candidates, and even the general public. Recruitment marketing is a narrower and more tactical approach, focusing on the hiring process and attracting qualified candidates for open positions.

Related reading: 350,000 Candidates for 28,000 Open Roles? The Power of Life Time’s Employment Brand

Audience For Employer Branding

When creating a strong employer brand, organizations must market to current employees, potential future employees, customers or clients, and the general public. It's about creating a positive image of the organization as a whole in a way that the majority of people can relate to and envision themselves engaging with.

This is why creating a successful employer brand can take time and resources to execute effectively. It’s an ongoing effort that extends beyond the immediate hiring needs and requires continuous investment in building and maintaining the organization's reputation as an employer of choice.

Audience For Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is time-sensitive, and focused on the job seekers and candidates who are actively looking for employment opportunities at your organization — both externally and internally. And it’s important to keep in mind that your employer brand should have a strong presence across all recruitment marketing efforts.

Attracting and engaging candidates who are interested in specific job openings or who would like to make a change internally is what recruitment marketing is all about. That’s why having a personalized career site that can deliver tailored job and content recommendations based on a job seeker’s skills, experience, resume, geographic location, and more is imperative.

Related reading: 5 Features to Look for in the Best Recruitment Marketing Platforms

As you're considering updating or revitalizing your employer branding vs. recruitment marketing — or both —, it's important to evaluate and identify your end goal and desired audience. Both are important for talent acquisition and retention, but they serve different purposes and require specific strategies in order to be successful.

To dive deeper into employer branding vs. recruitment marketing, check out our Definitive Guide to Recruitment Marketing.

Maggie Blehar

Maggie is a writer at Phenom, bringing you information on all things talent experience. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Get the latest talent experience insights delivered to your inbox.

Sign up to the Phenom email list for weekly updates!


© 2024 Phenom People, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • TRUSTe
  • CSA logo
  • IAF
  • ISO
  • ISO
  • ISO
  • ISO
  • ANAB