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#HRTechChat Preview: The Cost of Your Employment Brand

Last week, #HRTechChat’s Lead Co-host Brent Skinner hopped on the phone with John Sumser, prolific human resource industry analyst and editor in chief of HRExaminer Online Magazine. Their conversation, the punctuation point to a months-long game of tag between the two via Twitter direct messaging, covered much ground and brought them to the crux of this week’s theme for #HRTechChat: the cost of your employment brand. You can calculate its cost nearly to the dollar, John claims, and Brent believes him.
Employment Brand and the Employee Lifecycle
Employment branding is one of those common-denominator concepts applicable to a broad cross-section of the employee lifecycle and subject to many interpretations. But that’s too much to sort through during just one chat, #HRTechChat Episode Twenty-Eight. Let’s narrow employment branding’s purview to two elements (engagement and retention) and one phase (pre-hire) of the employee lifecycle. We may be missing other big elements or major phases of the employee lifecycle affected by an organization’s employment brand, but those three are biggies and, for one week’s #HRTechChat, enough to focus on; in fact, we’ll train our focus solely on the pre-hire stage, where talent acquisition happens. And we’ll narrow that down further, to recruiting—i.e., attracting to your organization the best-suited talent by relying on, understanding and properly wielding your measurable employment brand, determining its definable reach and practical limits.
Where’s the HR Technology?
That’s a good question, and admittedly, John’s topic for this week’s chat goes beyond technology; in fact, sorting out the cost of your employment brand is an activity that ought to preface any foray into talent management technologies designed for talent acquisition. Smart organizations look at and make sure they understand their employment brands first. Only then do they turn to and turn on the technology that can capitalize on and maximize the strength of their employment brands, to attract the talent they want and need.
A constellation of companies is developing innovations in the area of talent acquisition, by the way, with implications for strong and weak and good and bad employment brands alike. These companies’ solutions are succeeding on premises such as the following:

  • Social media is improving organizations’ ability to pinpoint the job candidates they most want
  • Technology to mine the web for data qualitative and quantitative is enabling us to generate at once granular, mosaic and broad profiles of targeted job candidates
  • Existing employees, empowered by interactive technology, are finally effective emissaries for the organization

In an upcoming issue of HRO Today, Brent will explore the breadth of these new technologies and new realities, whose confluence takes talent acquisition in promising new directions.
Cost of Your Employment Brand = Practical Reach of Your Recruitment
Employment branding figures into these tools’ utility and, to a limited extent, benefits from their potency. For this Friday we’ll focus less on the technology than we will on figuring out what the reach of your employment brand needs to be and a way to figure out how much that reach would cost. These factors factor into where organizations should sink money into technological tools. They’re factors that factor into smart organizations’ thinking, factors that factor differently for large companies than for small organizations. They’re factors affected by the wide variations in unemployment rates low and high amidst the backdrop of a national rate that’s been north of 8 percent for several years now. They’re factors that hinge on your competitors’ reach and ability to retain their employees, who you want working for you.
#HRTechChat Episode Twenty-Eight: Join Us Friday 8/17 @ 2pm ET / 11am PT
Again, please welcome John Sumser, #HRTechChat’s guest moderator this week. Following are the questions we’ll ask. The first tweets of each question will come from @JohnSumser and @talentmgmttech. Plus, depending on where the questions below take us, look for a “Bonus Round” of additional, surprise questions toward the tail end of the chat.
As always, we thank the #TChat World of Work community for all its support of #HRTechChat. We also thank #TChat's co-founder, Meghan M. Biro (@MeghanMBiro), who is also co-founder, along with Brent Skinner (@brentskinner), of #HRTechChat. And we thank Sean Charles (@SocialMediaSean), ever-loyal and diligent co-host at-large of #HRTechChat, for all his support, too. We look forward to a rousing discussion and thank you, in advance, for tweeting with us.

  • Q1: Do big companies have a cost advantage in talent acquisition? #HRTechChat
  • Q2: Can a small company build a competitive employment brand? #HRTechChat
  • Q3: What is an employment brand? #HRTechChat
  • Q4: How much does it cost to do an employment brand? #HRTechChat
  • Q5: What are some things that increase employment branding effectiveness? #HRTechChat
  • BONUS CONVO: How does and should employment branding inform the selection of recruiting technology? #HRTechChat
  • BONUS ROUND: Depending on where the six above take us, we may tweet a few additional, surprise questions during an extended “Bonus Round” of #HRTechChat, toward the end of our time together online, Friday. Stay tuned.