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Ep 22: Is Employer Branding Marketing or HR?

Matt Palmer, a seasoned marketer now embedded in HR at Heartland, 5,000 team fintech company, explains what Employer Branding is, who owns the function and how to create a profit-positive program.

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Guest Bio:

Matt Palmer is the Senior Director of Employee Experience and Employer Branding at Heartland- where he leads key people strategies post hire. This includes everything from onboarding, culture development, leadership training, employee engagement and more.

Follow Matt on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-palmer-a69a4b3/


Episode Highlights

Employer branding

Questions to consider when creating an employer brand.

What’s the narrative? 

What’s important about the brand? 

Why does it matter to a particular customer? 

Matt Palmer: “We want to have our employer brand strategy in place so that when people say, “I work for Heartland”, there is a certain attribute that comes with that. There needs to be an understanding of what it means to be a part of our team and the work that we’re doing.”

“What we are trying to do with our employer brand strategy is be honest about what it means to work here and the work we are doing, because we want you to come here and be passionate about the work you are doing. We want there to be some context, because we want you to come inside our organization and be your best self. And how do you do that when you don’t know what we’re doing for people.”

“Employer branding says we're actually gonna be far more strategic on the front end of that journey and do our part to partner with hiring managers to build the right team to then accelerate the business. So I think that's a good example of why companies should be thoughtful about what employer brand they have because it can impact the way teams are built, and then eventually the work the team actually does to accelerate the business. I think the journey and what people care about are key things that a company should care about when it comes to their employer brand.”

Crista Vance: “I have heard that having a purposeful strategy of interviewing and making your interview process really good can help you weed out those people that maybe aren't a good fit for your company.  It seems so much more effective, however, to start that before you even get applications to get the right kind of application in the first place.”

Our talent acquisition team has hundreds of applications to think about.So we have to use a strategy that starts to target the right people to apply into the funnel. We have tools in place to help do that. If an organization can say our employer branding strategy Is contributing to our retention expenses, then people start to say, “hey, maybe that's actually a thing and let's put a little bit more investment on the front end of this journey rather than dealing with it later.”

Matt Vance: “Then you have a system in place to help your internal team decide. It's helping the candidates find alignment for themselves. And then it's you helping ensure that the business agrees with that alignment.”

Is Employer Branding Marketing or HR?

Matt Palmer: “I think teams should have expert focus on things like marketing and employer branding just to ensure those particular disciplines don’t get lost somewhere in the organization. I partner with our marketing people because they’re pros. They are amazing, creative and connected to technology. I benefit from their expertise, but they know that I’m focused on attracting the right candidates and they are more focused on getting customer interest.” 

“It is helpful to have people focus on specific things, but build really strong partnerships. It’s not the employer brand team competing against the marketing team; it’s the same book, different chapters. They’re going to create the brand and my job is to share that brand with other people and invite people into the story.”

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