When I started my first company Information Experts 22 years ago, every key organizational function was siloed - and they didn't even like each other. Sales focused on sales, Marketing focused on marketing, and HR focused on HR. Fast forward 2 decades and everything is integrated now.

Universum recently released its 2017 survey on Employer Branding, which surveyed 2,500 HR managers, marketing managers, talent acquisition, recruiting and resourcing managers from 50 different countries and 35 different industries.

The results showed how critical social media is now to the overall recruitment effort, and what strategies companies of all sizes are employing to develop strong Employer Value Propositions (EVPs) and attract and recruit the best talent.

Highly Targeted Messaging

Tailoring employer brand activities to different target audiences has risen to one of the top three priority objectives among leading employers of all sizes. Here are some of the specific findings:

  • Almost 60% of the World's Most Attractive Employers (WMAEs) have developed different campaigns for graduates versus experienced hires. Small businesses are getting on board as well. 20% now develop different campaigns for these audiences.
  • Across the board, almost 40% of companies now tailor their communications to different functions/ job families. For small businesses, that number is about 30%.
  • 25-30% of medium and large businesses are now developing different diversity campaigns. About 13% of small businesses are doing the same.
  • About 30% of medium and large businesses tailor communications to different countries; 16% of small businesses do the same.
  • Across the board, about 30% of companies tailor their communications to different regions.
  • Less than 35% of companies now have one global communication strategy.

Advanced Social Strategic Planning

Employers' social media strategies are now essential for sourcing and connecting with the best talent. It's no longer only about brand building and brand management. To keep up with recruitment needs, and to maintain a top-of-mind position with talent, employers are increasingly planning their social media content far in advance.

  • 44% of WMAE companies surveyed plan their content for social media channels 2-3 months in advance.
  • 17% of WMAE companies plan 6-12 months in advance.
  • Only 39% of WMAE companies do no advanced content planning.

The survey also confirmed that people have different content expectations for each channel, so it's no longer effective to simply post the same thing on each channel.

"An employer branding strategy designed for Twitter might not be successful on Facebook, and vice versa. The content needs to be tailored to suit the nature of the channel as well as the user base," said Universum branding expert Claudia Tattanelli.

A Focus on Visual Content

Visual content is the most important and effective type of content across all social media channels. Employee photos and videos moved to first place in terms of the most deployed employer brand content among the WMAEs.

  • 77% of WMAEs are now using video and photos. Approximately 60% of medium and large businesses across the board are using photos and videos, and 36% of small businesses are using them.
  • Employee testimonials are the next most effective use of social media content. 75% of WMAEs use testimonials; about 65% of all medium and large businesses use testimonials, and 44% use them.
  • The third most effective type of social media content is "inside stories" in which companies share what it's like to be an employee. 74% of the WMAEs use this strategy; 60% of large business, 49% of medium sized business, and 36% of small businesses use them as well.

Regarding platform usage, YouTube and Instagram saw a 15% increase in usage compared to 2016, followed by Facebook at 8%.

The integration of HR and Marketing has arrived. Targeting your message, planning your postings, and knowing exactly what to post where are essential strategies for connecting with the talent your company needs to keep growing. Good luck!