You've spent the last few years wrapping your marketing team's head around social media and inbound marketing as a way to attract and retain customers. If your hard work is paying off, then you're likely growing and hiring more staff. Unfortunately, that's not so easy these days. The talent shortage is making it hard for companies to find enough qualified candidates to help them expand and reach their goals.

Recruiting Is A Form Of Marketing

In recruiting, the talent shortage has switched us from a buyer's market to a seller's one. Thanks to the internet, studies show job seekers have become "job shoppers," doing their homework on potential employers beforehand to determine if they even want to apply to their open jobs. As a result, HR and recruiting are hustling to develop and market their 'employer brands' to attract talent. 

Use Employees To Attract Customers AND Candidates

Some savvy companies have realized there's a "two-for-the-price-of-one" opportunity in the challenge above. When you build a consumer marketing campaign that also focuses on marketing the employer brand, you can not only impress customers, you can also get more qualified candidates knocking on your door.

GE's Doing It Right

GE recently created three separate commercials called, "What's Wrong With Owen." They feature a young man who has recently been hired as a software engineer by GE. It showcases him in various scenarios sharing his good news (telling his friends, parents, etc.), only to be met with confusion. These videos convey powerful consumer and candidate messages. First, GE is makes it clear they're looking for people who want to do important global work that will make a difference in people's lives. Second, GE redefines its image and reinforces the company's impact on consumers in a fun and memorable way.

Got A Good Employer Brand? Flaunt It

GE isn't the only company leveraging this strategy. Companies like UPS, Sam Adams Beer, and Foundation Medicine are using this marketing technique with equal success. The only caveat is you have to have a good story to tell as an employer. Keeping in mind, social media is a truth serum, whatever you share about your employer brand better be transparent and authentic, or your company can suffer a backlash. Today, the "uberfication" trend in the workplace holds employers accountable in ways they've never experienced before.  i.e. ex-employees can do some serious damage to your business.

Still, there are many good reasons to showcase your employees as a marketing strategy. As seen above, using your employer brand to increase your approval rating with customers can serve to augment sales and entice talented fans of your company to consider working for you.