Which High School Cliche Does Your Employment Brand Embody Most?

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Posted by Guest Blogger

June 7, 2016

Recruiting-Solutions-Your-RPO-Provider-Would-Never-Tell-You.jpgIn many ways, creating and maintaining an employer brand is as difficult as navigating the hallways of high school. You spend a lot of time and energy defining who you are, but one embarrassing mistake and BAM, no one wants to hang out with you.

Luckily, your company can stay true to its employer branding strategy, while being attractive to talent. You just have to understand the pros and cons of the organization’s identity and what to say to those job seekers. 

Which High School Cliche Does Your Employment Brand Embody Most?


The Jocks

The jock employer brand is all about teamwork. Every employee from top to bottom knows success depends on cooperation and respect for each individual’s role. With a tight-knit workforce, it’s easier to recruit more great talent. There’s also a focus on employees’ health and well-being, which lets current and potential employees know that their organization cares about them.


A 2015 Virgin Pulse survey found that for 66 percent of employees, their colleagues positively impact their productivity. Also, for 40 percent of employees, their coworkers are what they love most about their job. In a company like this, employees support each other, thereby creating a fun and attractive workplace.


Jocks are, by nature, competitive. And while a little competition inspires employees to do better, too much can cause co-workers to step on each other in order to be regarded as the MVP. If employees are stealing others’ ideas or don’t own up to their mistakes, it’s time to rethink your recognition program. Make sure that there is enough accountability built into your organization so everyone holds themselves responsible for their own duties and performance.


The Popular Kids

In this type of employment branding strategy, everyone wants in. At least, they think they do. The company has a big reputation to maintain and won’t just hire anybody. Candidates have to go through multiple rounds of screenings to prove that they are actually a great fit and not just trying to get a big name to put on their resume.


A company with an impressive name rarely has trouble attracting talent. Just being asked to interview with the company is kind of a big deal. That makes recruiting a breeze, especially with younger job seekers.  


Many times, being popular goes hand in hand with being superficial. Job seekers might think they want to work at a big company, but once they get to know the organization better, they see there’s little below the surface. That’s why, more and more, job seekers are starting to realize that bigger isn’t always better.

A 2015 LinkedIn report found that factors like the ability to have an impact and a better company culture are drawing talent to smaller, no-name organizations. If a popular employer wants to remain queen bee, they have to continually show employees that the company has more to offer than an established name.

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The Nerds

Having a nerdy employer brand doesn’t necessarily mean the company holds a monthly Dungeons and Dragons night. It just means that not every job seeker gets you. Whether the organization has a quirky culture or an odd benefits package, it can sometimes be difficult to find like-minded candidates.


Although it can be rough recruiting talent, when the company finds a kindred-nerd spirit, that person becomes a very loyal employee. Everyone is passionate about the company mission and highly engaged with their work. Pair that with a strong and unique company culture and there’s very little turnover in these organizations.


Only hiring a specific type of employee leads to low diversity in the office, which can be detrimental. Sure, everyone likes the same things and gets along, but everyone also thinks exactly the same. That can make it difficult to solve problems or adapt to change.

When you think about it, an employer brand and a high school clique really are the same. Working for a company is defined by as many preconceived expectations as eating lunch with a bunch of cheerleaders or band geeks. If you want to make sure your employer brand is an accurate representation of your company, you need to own the stereotypes that job seekers have about the organization and the pros and cons that come along with that.

What are some other factors that define an employer brand? Share in the comments below!

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Author Bio: Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.


Topics: HR Strategies, Corporate Culture, Employee Well-Being, Employment Branding



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