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3 Ways to Innovate in Employer Branding Right Now

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The employer brand industry is constantly evolving. For progressive employer brands looking to stay on the forefront of innovation, this means taking a proactive approach to reinventing how you communicate with candidates. To innovate in employer branding, you need to work to keep up with current talent priorities, preferences, and market shifts. 

With any employer branding test, keep in mind the ABC’s of Innovation: Audience, Beta Testing, and Constraints. By focusing on targeted audiences and small but scalable testing, employer brand and recruitment marketing professionals will be able to more easily launch experiments and measure impact. 

In this post, we share three ways to innovate in employer branding and how your company uses storytelling to attract, nurture, and convert talent, supported by real examples.

Experimenting with New Channels

When looking for new ways to reach talent, consider the age old marketing adage: “meet your audience where they are.” Meaning, select the right channels. 

Sometimes the need to introduce a new channel comes from a greater societal shift. For example, the rise of widespread internet use in the early 2000s led to the adoption of digital job boards. In other cases, entering a new employer brand channel is more targeted. A recruitment marketer might choose to sponsor the Grace Hopper conference to reach female tech talent or invest in a careers channel on Instagram to nurture early career talent in your pipeline. 

With global podcast listeners growing from 274.8 million in 2019 to 464.7 million in 2023, podcasts are an increasingly popular way to consume content. In recent years, progressive companies have started experimenting with the audio channel to share employee stories and engage with candidates and employees. 

In early 2021, Fidelity Investments Canada created a podcast titled FidelityNext to engage with post-secondary students in the early days of their budding careers. This was a smart experiment for several reasons, one being that Fidelity Investments Canada has a long history of engaging with university students on campus. The company had already created messaging and an employer brand identity for early career talent, making it more accessible for them to adapt many of their campus talking points to the popular content medium.

A year and a half later, the podcast has 30+ episodes ranging from what it’s like to work in sales to job application advice to an episode celebrating women in asset management. Exploring an audio-focused channel is a great way to innovate in employer branding.

Experimenting with New Audiences

As moving between different companies and roles has become more the norm, companies are starting to recognize an untapped talent pool: alumni. 

Boomerangs – employees who leave a company and return later in their career – hold immense value for organizations upon rejoining. They come to their new role with existing relationships and a headstart on understanding the company culture and how to be successful. Because of this, they can usually ramp up more quickly than candidates completely new to the organization. 

In April 2023, Activision Blizzard King launched the gaming company’s first alumni network. The network invites alumni to stay connected with the iconic brand by sending company and game updates, job alerts, and more.

With more than 1,000 alumni registered in just two months, the pilot has quickly proven that nurturing alumni is a big opportunity for Activision Blizzard King’s employer brand. 

Experimenting with New Video Styles

For companies looking to innovate upon their employee storytelling strategy, experimenting with a new campaign topic or filming style can be an opportunity to communicate an important cultural message in a more impactful way. 

A new style that has become popular is showcasing a conversation between two team members, on-camera. This approach gives a more well-rounded approach to a culture topic by showing the back and forth exchanges between two colleagues. And this video style shows, not tells, what colleague relationships look like at your organization. 

GSK has recently launched their “What’s your angle?” film series featuring team members around the globe discussing topics related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In the example below, you hear a candid conversation on disabilities in the workplace:

How do our GSK people really feel about disability in the workplace? See what happened when GSK brought Tracy and Kimberly together during this “What’s Your Angle?” video.

Here at Stories Inc., we recently launched a new filming style, called Facilitated Conversations, that guides on-camera conversations between team members with an existing relationship: manager/team member; mentor/mentee; coworker-coworker, to name a few. The result is pretty powerful: 

Facilitated conversations are dual interviews that highlight authentic connections in your organization. They are often powered by existing relationships, like the manager / team member relationship shown in the video above.

By showing, not just talking about, meaningful connections in the workplace, this new video style celebrates authentic relationships in the workplace. 

Looking to Launch an Employer Brand Experiment?

Experimenting with new channels, audiences, and filming styles are just a few ways you can raise the bar on your employer brand storytelling efforts.

Green Room Labs — Stories Inc.’s in-house innovation center — works with employer brand teams to launch fast-paced, action-oriented storytelling experiments. Learn more about how to work with Green Room Labs and schedule a consultation today!