The Secret to Understanding Your Employer Brand’s Target Audience

The Secret to Understanding Your Employer Brand’s Target Audience

The Secret to Understanding Your Employer Brand’s Target Audience

To be effective in your employer brand communication, you have to understand the audience you aim to attract and hire. It goes beyond choosing the right office candid to post on Facebook, it’s strategic and complex. If you want to get the most out of your employer branding initiatives, you have to start at the root: the target candidate. Who are they and what are they doing right now? Do they communicate through specific channels and what are their preferences? Above all, what do they want out of an employer and their job? 

Tweet This: Do you know who your target candidate is and what they want from their employer?

Do you know how your brand stacks up to competition? Start by downloading this guide: 


This is similar to consumer marketing. At the root of all decisions lies the individual who you want to attract. In the case of recruitment marketing, that individual is a candidate who fits the organizational culture and has all the necessary experience and qualifications needed to perform the job.

Want an employer brand strategy that resonates? Follow these 3 steps to better identify, understand and reach  your target candidates.

1. Start by Looking Within

There is an unofficial, but standardized rule for relationships: before you can love another you must first love yourself. Similarly, in employer brand development, you have to understand your unique culture and business goals in order to connect with and hire the right talent.

To guide your self discovery, dive deep into your organization’s:

  •   Business Strategy (ex. Is your organization planning to develop a new product or expand to another geographical location?)
  •   Workforce Strategy (ex. Will there be significant organizational or industrial change in the coming years?)
  •   Talent Strategy (ex. Are you hoping to train young or hire experienced talent?)

These strategies help you connect with the overarching company need and goal for talent, tenured or newly hired. Understanding each will help your team decide what candidates and skills will be necessary to maintain current success levels and what additional talents will be crucial to achieving your goals. This is highly beneficial to internal succession planning, but also external communication and relationship development. You will be capable of giving your potential employees detailed ideas of what their future with you might entail.

2. Segment Your Audiences

To give your audiences the genuine, individualized attention they deserve, you should begin your strategy development by differentiating them from one another. In the case of your target candidates, this can be done in multiple ways. For example:

  •   Experience Level (newly graduated, entry-level, management or executive)
  •   Department (sales, finance, people management/HR, technical, etc.)
  •   Location
  •   Main field of Study
  •   Industry Experience

Breaking your target audience into categories will paint a clearer picture of your top candidates’ habits and priorities. The insight should help you create a more attractive message, not change your values or deceive talent into believing you share all of their goals if you don’t. This is about being honest and genuine with the candidates you want to hire and foster within your organization. There will be times a highly-qualified applicant just isn’t the right fit. The above categories are basics, but not the only ones to which you can turn. Your organization knows who suits your work and values. Keep that in mind when segmenting, and you and your candidates won’t be disappointed by your employer brand strategy and messaging.

Once you have segments developed, begin prioritizing your talent goals. Consider immediate hiring needs, roles that are always open, gaps in leadership or expertise and revenue production. With a list of priorities, your team can better allocate recruitment marketing budget as well as strategize payroll. You might realize some of your openings can be filled by less-experienced talent, leaving more budget for roles that require highly-qualified professionals.

As for employer brand, your prioritization can help direct your approach to messaging and the channels you choose to connect with your target candidates. Do you hope to engage with Millennial entry-level talent first and foremost? That goal should impact everything from a career site layout to the job description copy and placement.

3. Create Candidate Personas

Taken from yet another consumer marketing tactic, creating a candidate persona is a great way to connect with the target audience on their level. It’s an exercise that requires your talent acquisition team to deeply understand who your candidate is as an individual. The candidate persona can be customized to suit the type of position you are hiring for, trends in the market or the candidate you hope to hire, but can include:

  •   Background Info/Demographic (Age, education level, area of study, hometown, etc.)
  •   Current Title/Role
  •   Professional Goals
  •   Personal Goals
  •   Hobbies/Interests
  •   Frequented Websites
  •   Favorite Brands
  •   Dislikes
  •   Challenges

These are all speculation, but the point is to be as specific as possible. After creating a candidate persona, you should be able to picture the person in your mind’s eye and understand their habits and goals. The exercise will also open your eyes to potential weaknesses and annoyances that can help develop training programs or avoid recruiting campaigns that disinterest or repel them. Be as creative as you can be in building these and use your internal resources. Brainstorm with your team or develop a focus group even if it is made up of current employees who hold the job or match the target candidate in disposition.

Tweet This: Your 3 quick steps from understanding and connecting with your dream candidate.

After diving into the types of people who will bring your company success, it’s time to create a strategic employer value proposition (EVP) that grabs their attention while remaining true to your organization. Does this all sound like a tall order? Don’t let the overwhelming task hurt your chance at an elite employer brand strategyGet in touch with us at Universum and we’ll help start attracting the talent your company deserves.