How your branding can reel in red-hot talent

How your branding can reel in red-hot talent

Creative agencies often don’t get the big, juicy budgets that large corporates do, and many can’t afford a dedicated HR department. But attracting fresh talent is just as important as attracting clients. Good talent will help you differentiate between being a mediocre agency and a great agency. So how do you get the right people to send through their CVs? It all comes down to intelligent employer branding.

The candidate process has changed

Thanks to mass content being a click away, candidates now spend hours scrolling the web, researching potential agencies before clicking “send” on their application. They’re being wooed by the big names, clever websites and engaging social media accounts. This means that employer branding has got to be on-point to ensure that agencies are standing out in a noisy, easily accessible marketplace.

Good, old-fashioned branding

When branding’s done right, it effectively paints a picture of the goals, values and culture of an agency or company – with a focus on what makes them unique and exciting for potential employees. This involves everything from existing employees (who are real-world brand ambassadors) to the content you put out there that aims to hook candidates by singing your brand message.

But everyone sounds the same

The trouble is, a lot of job advertisements have become same-same. Unlike your marketing clients who can spend a huge amount on research to narrow their audience and target their messages, agencies must rely on other tactics (engaging recruiters, cold-calling or social channels like LinkedIn or Facebook). With lack of data to go on, it’s often assumed that every job seeker wants the same thing – good salary, fun culture, flexible working etc. – and candidates end up being mass-marketed to.

Employers tend to wax lyrical about opportunity and growth. They throw around buzz words like diversity, satisfaction and progression. They promise career longevity and collaborative team environments. And candidates end up reading remarkably similar, overtly positive employer brand messages (all lacking the soothing voice of authenticity). Further, candidates on the job hunt are overloaded with information – leaving them inclined to ignore employer branding messages and miss some of the most important points that agencies are trying to get across.

How to make your branding cut through

The good news is, if most agencies are sending out cookie-cutter messages, then adding a little honesty and personality to your brand will allow you to succeed in attracting top-notch talent. Here are some tips for getting it right:

Research the market

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know your culture and employees. Dig deeper into the reality and better understand who your people really are. Then, investigate and define who you want to attract. This will help to shape the messages you put out there.

Honesty is key

Take off the rose-tinted glasses and instead of singing praises about how perfect your agency is, focus on honesty. Be transparent about what’s really great and what’s actually a work in progress. Don’t make up a culture that doesn’t exist. The best relationships are based on honesty and individual fit – apply the same thinking to employer branding.

Test content

Great marketers know the value of testing content on target audiences before launching to the masses. So why not do the same? Test messaging and content on your new hires and your top performers. This will give you surprising insights about how candidates may react and allow you to tweak before posting.

Keep up

Remember, an employer brand is never finished. There are always improvements and adjustments to be made. Listen to candidates, current employees and your clients. Look for changes in the market and keep refreshing and refining for ongoing hiring wins.

Want advice from a progressive recruitment agency that understands how to attract the right talent? Contact Justine at or visit