The recruiter's cheat sheet for employer branding in recruitment

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4 mins, 37 secs read time

What’s the difference between employer branding and recruitment marketing? If you have trouble differentiating between these two concepts, you’re not alone. In a recent webinar, “Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing (And How to Use Them Together),” Abigail Horne, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager at BetterCloud, shed some light on this matter. She discussed each concept, explaining that while these terms are often used synonymously, they’re actually different. Abigail noted that “it’s important to use them in tandem so you can build a successful hiring strategy.”

Here are some of the highlights from the webinar and an overview of talent marketing essentials for recruiters.

What is employer branding?

According to Abigail, “employer brand starts from within.” Employer brand refers to how your company is perceived internally, and it must be established before you begin marketing your company to prospective candidates.

Sample slide on employer brand from Greenhouse and The Muse Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing webinar

If you haven’t already established an employer brand or think yours could use some refining, Abigail recommends relying heavily on your employee base. Send out surveys to existing employees, use this feedback to define company values, and communicate these values back to employees.

Get creative: posters and wall décor are pretty standard choices for visually embedding company values, but BetterCloud went for something a little more whimsical and had theirs printed on pillows.

Be sure to look for ways to emphasize these values during the recruiting and throughout the interview process as well. You can create a consistent interview process with scorecards to ensure that all candidates are being assessed on the qualities your company values, and if you use a candidate survey, you can gather feedback on how candidates are perceiving your company throughout their experience.

Sample slide on establishing your brand from Greenhouse and The Muse Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing webinar

What is recruitment marketing?

While employer brand refers to the way that your company is perceived by employees and candidates who’ve made it through your interview process, recruitment marketing refers to the process of promoting your employer brand externally. You have to start with defining your employer brand before engaging in any recruitment marketing.

After you’ve nailed down your brand, you need to figure out how you’re going to scream it from the rooftops and deliver your message.
Sample slide on what is recruitment marketing from Greenhouse and The Muse Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing webinar

There are many different facets of recruitment marketing, so let’s just look at a few examples.

Blog posts

Blog posts are an opportunity to showcase your employees and the work they’re doing, which can attract ambitious and motivated candidates to your company. Plus, creating this type of content can create a sense of validation to your existing employees, demonstrating that everything they’re working on is valued. Check out the BetterCloud Tech Blog here.

Careers page

Job descriptions are important, but look for other ways to engage with job seekers as well. Images, video, and blog content can help present a more well-rounded image of your company to candidates. Abigail suggests getting help from your marketing team if necessary to make sure your careers pages are following marketing best practices.

Social media

You may want to experiment with different social media channels, or perhaps just focus on one or two if you already know which one is likely to be the best place to find your ideal (and most engaged) candidates. In BetterCloud’s case, because hiring tech talent is always one of their top priorities, they’ve created the “BetterIT” Slack channel as a forum for discussing trending topics and new tools and technologies in the cloud space.

Company profiles

Most candidates are now well-versed in using sites like Glassdoor as they research companies. “Don’t think of Glassdoor as your enemy,” says Abigail. “Use it to your advantage.” Bad reviews are always going to happen, but you can use them as an opportunity to address negative feedback in a public way. Show candidates (and employees) that you’re listening, you hear them, and you’re working to improve based on their feedback. If you work with other external employer branding sites like The Muse, be sure to use this content to its fullest. Share it through your social channels and in your candidate outreach.


Events give you the opportunity to engage with potential candidates in person. You may already be involved in annual conferences, either as a sponsor or host (and if not, that’s a great place to start!). But Abigail also recommends looking for smaller, local-level events to participate in or sponsor. And be sure to track which events are bringing in qualified candidates over time so you can invest more in these.

Sample slide on strategies in recruitment marketing from Greenhouse and The Muse Employer Branding vs. Recruitment Marketing webinar

What’s next?

Rest easy, because now you’re equipped with a detailed understanding of employer branding, recruitment marketing, and how you can get started using both to attract qualified candidates. If you’d like to continue exploring this topic tune into the webinar replay, during which Abigail provides even more details and examples on each topic, along with suggestions on measuring the ROI of your efforts and answers to some frequently asked questions. Watch the full webinar here.

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.