Joe Escobedo has built a reputation as an exceptional writer through countless contributions in renowned sites such as Forbes, Inc, HuffPost, and other top-tier media, where many of his articles achieved over 1 million views. His book, Asian Growth Stories, has positioned himself as an industry expert on building and managing brands through digital channels.
Escobedo, who will be presenting at the 3rd Annual Digital HR And Analytics, shares his insights on the challenges that businesses faced in building up their digital brands in today’s social media age, what actions that organizations need to take if they want to find and attract the top talents of today, and more.
You’re a renowned presenter on the topic of building and managing businesses’ digital brands. What are the biggest challenges organizations are facing in digital branding? What solutions do you propose for these hurdles?
One of the biggest challenges organizations face when it comes to branding online is not understanding their audience. This causes many brands to develop their brand from the inside-out.
Instead, before you create your employer branding content, ask yourself:
These questions can be answered during the interview process or exit interview. You can also speak with your recruitment team to identify any overlap in the candidate or employees’ responses.
Those common points should form the basis of your employer branding content.
One example of a company that does this is Randstad. With tips on how to avoid being ‘ghosted,’ they’re appealing to candidates’ concerns and are speaking in their language.
Remember, an employer brand is not what you say but what your audience says about you.
Given the widespread use of social platforms, more organizations are boosting their employer brand through social media. What are the essential strategic aspects of utilizing social media for employer branding?
Firstly, the reason perhaps so many organizations are taking to social media to build their employer brand is that they’re able to build relationships with their audience at scale.
But while many organizations are setting up social media pages and sharing content, many are not leveraging one of the most powerful formats on these platforms: videos.
I found out how powerful videos were when I was recruiting interns.
For example, I share a lot of educational videos on social. My goal was not necessarily to attract employees. But when I was recruiting, I received a surprising amount of interest from students at Asia’s top universities.
These same students could work at Google or any other reputable firm but instead, they wanted to work with me.
I asked them, “Why?”
Their answer: “I saw your videos and even though I’ve never met you, I felt connected to you.”
Imagine candidates walking into an interview with a connection to your organization. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Aside from social media, what are the most effective digital technologies to increase employer branding? In what ways are they effective?
Before sharing other digital technologies, I’d say that many brands aren’t fully leveraging their social media channels. Most simply publish posts and that’s it.
So how else can you leverage your social channels?
One way to do this is through online events. For example, you could host a live session on social with one of your company’s executives. During the session, they can answer a potential employee’s questions about the company and culture.
Microsoft does this through their Facebook page: Microsoft Life. They regularly host live interviews with Microsoft’s recruiters. Potential candidates can send in their questions before the event and tune in during a live broadcast. Candidates who weren’t able to follow the live broadcasting can watch the recording of the event on Microsoft’s Facebook career page.
By doing live online events, you’re able to communicate with candidates at scale, while still providing a personal touch by answering their questions on the spot.
We’ve heard of how technology eases and enhances recruitment processes, but which digital innovations can businesses utilize to attract the top and most skilled talents to their organization, and how?
I’m a bit biased towards LinkedIn but I know some companies have found top talent by leveraging Instagram. What channel you decide on though really depends on the type of audience you’re trying to attract.
For example, if you’re trying to attract seasoned executives you may have better luck with LinkedIn. But if you’re trying to recruit talent, for example, you’d be better off leveraging platforms like Instagram or Tik Tok.
With that said, one of the most underutilized tools to nurture candidates is emails. “Results are incredibly high when a link to a short video, describing the company culture or the hiring process, is included in emails to qualified candidates, with click-rates exceeding 50%. Moreover, conversion rates can easily go above 40% when real people are featured in the video or when a gamification aspect is included,” says Adriano Corso, who previously managed digital recruitment across the Asia Pacific at IBM Smarter Workforce.
While you should be experimenting with new channels, don’t forget about the ol’ tried-and-tested ones.
Attracting top talents is essential, but retaining the talents are also of equal importance. What digital strategies do you recommend to organizations for talent retention?
When given the right opportunity, 73% of employees in the Asia Pacific are likely to switch jobs, with 43% on average considering to do so within a year (Work Day and IDC).
Seven out of 10 of your employees are willing to switch jobs. Let that sink in.
So how can you keep your best players on your team?
Give your employees the opportunity to showcase their talents. For example, in my previous organization, we had monthly competitions in which every team member was encouraged to create content based on their specialty. Then we’d showcase their content on our corporate online channels.
The great thing about this is that anyone can take part, from interns to the Managing Director. I’ve implemented the same practice in my organization. Here’s one example of a video one of my interns created on their internship experiences.
The reason that helped retain talent is that we gave employees a platform to shine. I mean who doesn’t like getting acknowledged for their contributions, especially on a larger stage?
If you don’t appreciate your team and show them that, another organization will.
Today, many workforces are comprised of multiple generations. How should organizations approach the different generations in their employer branding and talent recruitment?
Firstly, it’s important not to categorize each generation into one bucket. For example, not all millennials want the same thing from their careers.
So instead of reading reports, I generally recommend speaking with your team to what they want out of their careers. By doing so, you can identify the common points among your talent pool.
For example, after doing so, you may realize that for fresh graduates, it’s important that you showcase their potential career path within your organization? For senior professionals, you may discover that mentoring is meaningful to them.
By understanding what matters to employees at each stage of their career, you can communicate these opportunities via your employee branding.
What other content could you create to give your audience a glimpse into different levels of a career within your organization?
“A day in the life” interviews or videos so candidates can envision themselves in the role. April does a great job and not only showcasing what team members do but also share their personal and professional growth stories.
By doing so, you’re catering to all generations of candidates.
Smart technologies have significantly changed the way employers are branding themselves and attracting talents. How do you see employer branding and talent recruitment evolving in 2025?
I’m no fortune teller so I don’t really make predictions but even if new technologies emerge, brands who focus on their audience and are able to ‘out teach’ or ‘out entertain’ their peers will prevail.
You have spoken to thousands of executives on brand building. What advice can you give to business executives on building their brand for the new digital decade?
One thing that we tend to get excited about is new technology. And while new tech can help boost efficiency or productivity, it’s important to not lose sight of what really matters: your people.
That’s why, whether you’re trying to build a brand in 2020 or 2050, one thing still remains the same. To build a sustainable brand, you have to clearly know your audience and answer the question: “What’s in it for them? (WIIFT),” in every piece of content that you share.
If you have a mindset of genuinely helping others and doing it consistently, you’re setting your company up for success.
Joe Escobedo will be speaking at Management Events’ 3rd Annual Digital HR And Analytics in 18th – 20th November 2020, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Be inspired by Joe Escobedo and more keynote speakers at our B2B networking event! Interested to know more? Please contact Farah Sabri at firstname.lastname@example.org