Rhona Barnett-Pierce

RHONA PIERCE

Leveraging Podcasts for Employer Branding: A Guide for TA Teams

female podcaster using smartphone to record video employer branding podcast
Learn how to use podcasting for employer branding and attract top talent with this step-by-step guide. Includes real-world examples and actionable tips

Employer branding has become an important aspect of talent acquisition. A strong employer brand not only attracts top talent but also helps retain current employees. An employer branding podcast offers a unique opportunity to share authentic employee stories, provide valuable insights into your company’s values, and connect with job seekers on a more personal level. By leveraging the power of podcasting, TA teams can differentiate their organization from competitors and build a strong talent pipeline.

Today, I’m sharing the benefits of creating an employer branding podcast and walking you through the process of planning, developing, launching, and measuring the success of your own podcast. Whether you’re an experienced TA professional or just starting to explore new strategies, this guide will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to effectively leverage podcasting for your employer branding efforts.

 

Understanding the Benefits of Podcasting for Employer Branding

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular medium for employer branding, and for good reason. An employer branding podcast offers numerous benefits that can help TA teams attract top talent and improve their overall talent acquisition strategy.

 

1. Humanizing Your Company

One of the key advantages of an employer branding podcast is its ability to humanize your company. As Tannum Sullivan, Golden Hippo’s Employer Brand and People Experience manager, shared when she was on the Throw Out The Playbook Podcast, “The podcast has had such a direct impact on the employee experience and the candidate experience. It’s been shocking, still to this day. I’m like, what? Really? People listen to this, and they’re impacted by it?”

By featuring authentic employee stories and experiences, your podcast can give potential candidates a genuine glimpse into your company’s culture and values. This personal touch helps job seekers connect with your brand on a deeper level and visualize themselves as part of your team.

 

2. Attracting Diverse Talent

An employer branding podcast can also help you attract a more diverse pool of candidates. By showcasing employees from different backgrounds, roles, and experiences, you demonstrate your commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This can be particularly impactful for candidates who may not have considered your company otherwise.

As Lauren Zabel, former member of Twitter’s University Recruiting Team, mentioned in her podcast episode, she shared a story about the DM she received from a working mom in college, “You know, my husband’s in the military. I listen to this podcast, and I feel like I could be in tech. I’ve never had that feeling before because I have so many challenges. That was a population and a candidate pool we had never accessed before and is really hard to engage.”

 

3. Improving Candidate Quality

An employer branding podcast can help improve the quality of your candidate pool by providing valuable information about your company’s culture, values, and expectations. When candidates have a clear understanding of what it’s like to work at your organization, they can better assess their fit and interest in the role. This self-selection process leads to more qualified and engaged applicants, ultimately improving the overall quality of your candidate pool.

Gif of Tannum Sullivan talking on the Throw Out The Playbook podcast

As Tannum Sullivan mentioned when we spoke, “After nearly every episode that gets published, the guest of that podcast will Slack me and say, ‘Hey, I’m getting hit up on LinkedIn because people are listening to this. Candidates have submitted their writing test, listened to the podcast episode, and then went back and rewrote it based on the advice that our guests had given.”

This example demonstrates how an employer branding podcast can directly influence the quality of candidate applications. By providing insights and advice from current employees, podcasts help candidates better understand the expectations and requirements of the role, leading to higher-quality submissions and a more informed, engaged candidate pool.

 

4. Enhancing Employee Engagement and Retention

In addition to attracting qualified talent, an employer branding podcast can also have a positive impact on your current employees. By involving them in the podcast creation process and featuring their stories, you give them a platform to share their experiences and feel valued by the company. This can lead to increased employee engagement and retention.

Tannum Sullivan noted, “To empower our employees to share their story and how they found Golden Hippo and how they found what they love to do, that’s probably been one of the more rewarding goals. We’re giving our employees a platform that they didn’t have before to share their story.”

These benefits demonstrate the power of an employer branding podcast in transforming your talent acquisition strategy. By humanizing your brand, attracting diverse talent, improving candidate quality, and enhancing employee engagement, you can create a strong and sustainable talent pipeline for your organization.

Now that I’ve shared the benefits of creating an employer branding podcast let’s dive into the step-by-step process of bringing your podcast to life, from planning and development to launch and measurement.

 

Step 1: Planning Your Employer Branding Podcast

Before diving into the creation of your employer branding podcast, it’s crucial to lay a strong foundation through careful planning. This step involves defining your target audience, setting clear goals, determining your podcast format and content strategy, and allocating the necessary resources and budget.

 

1. Define Your Target Audience and Goals

Start by identifying your target audience. Who are you trying to reach with your employer branding podcast? Consider factors such as demographics, job roles, and experience levels. Understanding your audience will help you tailor your content and messaging to their interests and needs.

Next, set clear goals for your podcast. What do you hope to achieve? As Jon Gulick from Twitter’s University Recruiting Team stated, “Understand what your goals are as a company. What are the company goals? What’s your tangible ROI going to be for this podcast? Is it branding? Are you doing branding and hiring? Do you want applications?”

Your goals might include increasing brand awareness, attracting diverse talent, improving candidate quality, or enhancing employee engagement. Having specific, measurable goals will guide your content creation and help you track the success of your podcast.

2. Determine Your Podcast Format and Content Strategy

Decide on the format of your employer branding podcast. Will it be an interview-style show featuring employees and leaders, a solo-hosted podcast sharing company insights, or a mix of both? Consider what format will best showcase your company culture and engage your target audience.

Develop a content strategy that aligns with your goals and audience interests. Plan out your episode topics, themes, and guest speakers. As Jon Gulick mentioned, “I thought our topics went well with things that differentiated us at Twitter. We tried to focus on our differentiators and what we were good at when we were doing those podcasts.”

 

3. Allocate Resources and Budget

Creating a successful employer branding podcast requires time, effort, and resources. Identify the team members who will be responsible for planning, producing, and promoting your podcast. This may include recruiters, HR professionals, marketing specialists, and even enthusiastic employees who want to contribute.

While podcasting can be done on a budget, it’s essential to allocate some financial resources for equipment, software, and promotional activities. As Tannum Sullivan shared, “The cost has to go into this, and not a lot of resources have to go into it. It’s just as simple as recording a meeting and maybe editing some audio if needed.”

By defining your target audience and goals, determining your podcast format and content strategy, and allocating the necessary resources and budget, you’ll create a solid foundation for your employer branding podcast. This planning phase sets the stage for the successful development, launch, and measurement of your podcast’s impact on your talent acquisition efforts.

 

Step 2: Developing Your Podcast Content

 

With your planning phase complete, it’s time to focus on developing engaging and informative content for your employer branding podcast. This step involves identifying potential guests and employee stories, preparing interview questions and talking points, and establishing a smooth recording and editing process.

 

1. Identify Potential Guests and Employee Stories

Your podcast guests and the stories they share will be the heart of your employer branding content. Reach out to employees from various departments, levels, and backgrounds who have unique perspectives and experiences to share. As Tannum Sullivan mentioned, “The only employee story that I had to really search for was the first episode. And every single story since then, people have just stepped forward. Like, ‘Hey, Tannum, I have a story, and I want to share it.'”

Consider featuring employees who have:

  • Interesting career journeys or growth stories within your company
  • Insights into your company culture and values
  • Diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Passion for their work and your organization

 

2. Prepare Interview Questions and Talking Points

To ensure your podcast interviews are engaging and informative, prepare a list of questions and talking points beforehand. Your questions should align with your podcast goals and help showcase your company’s unique value proposition to potential candidates.

Some potential topics to cover include:

  • The guest’s role and responsibilities
  • Their career journey and growth within the company
  • Challenges they’ve faced and how they overcame them
  • Advice for job seekers interested in joining your organization
  • What they love about your company culture and values

 

3. Develop a Content Strategy and Topic Selection Process

When it comes to selecting topics for your employer branding podcast, there are various approaches you can take. While Tannum Sullivan’s method focuses on featuring authentic employee stories, Lauren Zabel and Jon Gulick from Twitter’s university recruiting team took a more strategic approach to topic selection.

As Lauren shared, “We wanted ours to be educational and instructional. It was not a long-form conversation podcast. We had different sections, different formats, that were really like you could take notes. We had a whole section for how to show up and stand out at a conference, and there was a whole section by a recruiter with things you should do.”

To develop a content strategy like Lauren and Jon’s, consider the following steps:

  1. Identify your differentiators: Focus on topics that highlight your company’s unique strengths and differentiators. As Jon mentioned, “Our topics went really well with things that differentiated us at Twitter. We tried to focus on our differentiators and what we were good at.”
  2. Align with your goals: Choose topics that align with your podcast’s goals, whether it’s improving candidate quality, showcasing your company culture, or providing valuable advice to job seekers.
  3. Brainstorm with your team: Involve your recruiting team and other stakeholders in the topic selection process. Lauren and Jon used a collaborative approach: “We set the kind of mission statement that every idea is a good idea. Every idea would be heard. We sat there for hours, and we pitched every idea that we had.”
  4. Create a content calendar: Plan your episodes in advance by creating a content calendar that outlines your topics, guests, and release dates. This will help you stay organized and ensure a consistent publishing schedule. Consider using a tool like Publer to streamline your content planning and scheduling process. Publer is an all-in-one social media management tool that allows you to plan, create, collaborate, and schedule your content across multiple platforms, making it an excellent choice for managing your podcast promotion as well. It’s what I use to manage my content calendar.

 

By combining Tannum’s approach of featuring authentic employee stories with Lauren and Jon’s strategic topic selection process, you can create a well-rounded content strategy that showcases your company culture, provides value to your target audience, and differentiates your employer brand in the marketplace.

 

4. Establish a Recording and Editing Process

To produce high-quality podcast episodes, you’ll need to establish a smooth recording and editing process. While you don’t need expensive equipment, investing in a reliable recording setup can make a significant difference in the overall quality of your podcast.

As Tannum Sullivan shared, “Our laptops are equipped beyond belief. You can hit record on a Google meeting or a Zoom meeting, and it will capture your audio and video. That is what you need for a podcast.”

GIF of Rhona Pierce talking on the Throw Out The Playbook podcast

For even better audio quality and a more streamlined editing process, consider using a tool like Riverside.fm. Riverside is an all-in-one platform that allows you to record high-quality audio and video interviews remotely, with features like local recording, automatic backup, and easy editing tools. By using Riverside, you can ensure that your employer branding podcast sounds professional and polished without breaking the bank.

Once you have your recording setup in place, develop a workflow for editing your episodes. This may include:

  • Removing any awkward pauses or mistakes
  • Adding intro and outro music
  • Inserting sponsor messages or calls to action
  • Equalizing audio levels for a consistent listening experience

 

By identifying compelling guest stories, preparing thoughtful interview questions, and establishing a smooth recording and editing process, you’ll be well on your way to creating engaging and informative content for your employer branding podcast. Remember, the key is to showcase your company culture and values authentically while providing value to your target audience.

 

Step 3: Launching and Promoting Your Employer Branding Podcast

With your podcast content developed and recorded, it’s time to launch and promote your employer branding podcast to your target audience. This step involves choosing a podcast hosting platform, distributing your episodes, and promoting your podcast through various channels to maximize its reach and impact.

 

1. Choose a Podcast Hosting Platform and Distribute Your Episodes

To make your podcast available to listeners, you’ll need to choose a podcast hosting platform. Some popular free options include Spotify and Apple Podcasts. These platforms offer basic hosting and distribution services, making them a great choice for those just starting out or working with a limited budget.

However, if you’re looking for more advanced features and analytics, consider using a professional podcast hosting platform like Transistor. Transistor offers a user-friendly interface, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and advanced analytics to help you track your podcast’s performance. It also provides seamless distribution to all the major podcast directories.

In addition to hosting your podcast, you may want to create a dedicated website for your show. While not essential, a podcast website can help you showcase your episodes, display show notes, transcripts, and guest bios, and create a central hub for your podcast marketing efforts.

If you decide to create a podcast website, you can either use a free website builder like WordPress or Wix or opt for a specialized podcast website platform like Podpage. Podpage allows you to easily create a professional, mobile-friendly website for your podcast without any coding skills and offers integration with Transistor for automatic episode updates.

Remember, while tools like Transistor and Podpage offer advanced features and can save you time in the long run, they are optional. You can still launch and grow a successful employer branding podcast using free hosting and website options, especially if you’re just starting out or have limited resources.

 

2. Promote Your Podcast Through Various Channels

To ensure your employer branding podcast reaches your target audience, it’s essential to promote it through various channels. Here are some effective ways to spread the word:

  1. Social media: Share your podcast episodes on your company’s social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Create engaging posts that highlight key takeaways or tease upcoming episodes to generate interest. As Tannum Sullivan mentioned, “We get a ton of our podcast traffic from LinkedIn. One from the campaign that Haley runs on the Golden Hippo side, but also from the resharing of the guests’ personal platforms as well.”
  2. Employee advocacy: Encourage your employees, especially those featured in the podcast, to share episodes on their personal social media profiles. This helps amplify your reach and adds authenticity to your promotional efforts.
  3. Company website and blog: Feature your podcast on your company website and blog, making it easy for visitors to discover and listen to episodes. Consider creating a dedicated podcast page that includes episode descriptions, transcripts, and subscription links.
  4. Email marketing: Promote your podcast through your company’s email newsletters, targeting both internal employees and external job seekers. Share episode highlights, behind-the-scenes content, and upcoming guest announcements to build anticipation.
  5. Paid advertising: Consider investing in paid advertising on social media or podcast ad networks to reach a wider audience. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn offer targeted advertising options that can help you reach your ideal listener demographics.

 

3. Leverage Podcast Promotion Tools

In addition to manual promotion efforts, there are various tools available that can help you streamline your podcast promotion and reach a wider audience. One such tool is OpusClip, an AI-powered audio marketing platform that helps you create engaging audiograms, transcriptions, and social media posts from your podcast episodes.

By using OpusClip, you can easily repurpose your podcast content into eye-catching visual assets that are optimized for social media sharing. This not only saves time but also helps you create a consistent brand experience across all your marketing channels, driving more traffic to your podcast and career pages.

Remember, launching and promoting your employer branding podcast is an ongoing process. Consistently share new episodes, engage with your listeners, and monitor your analytics to refine your promotional strategies over time. By leveraging a combination of organic and paid promotion channels, as well as powerful tools like OpusClip, you can maximize the reach and impact of your podcast in attracting top talent to your organization.

 

Step 4: Measuring the Success of Your Employer Branding Podcast

Once your employer branding podcast is up and running, it’s crucial to track its performance and measure its success in achieving your goals. By monitoring key metrics and analyzing your results, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your content, promotion strategies, and overall impact on your talent acquisition efforts.

 

1. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

To effectively measure the success of your podcast, you need to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals. Some important KPIs to consider include:

  1. Download numbers: Track the total number of downloads for each episode and your podcast as a whole. This metric gives you an overall idea of your podcast’s reach and popularity.
  2. Listener engagement: Monitor metrics such as average listen duration, completion rate, and audience feedback. These indicators help you gauge how engaged your listeners are with your content and whether they find it valuable.
  3. Subscriber growth: Keep an eye on your subscriber count and growth rate over time. A steady increase in subscribers indicates that your podcast is resonating with your target audience and attracting a loyal following.
  4. Talent acquisition metrics: Measure the impact of your podcast on your talent acquisition efforts by tracking metrics such as application volume, candidate quality, and offer acceptance rates. Look for correlations between podcast episodes and spikes in these metrics.

GIF of Jon Gulick speaking on the Throw Out The Playbook podcast

As Jon Gulick from Twitter noted, “One thing we found is the weeks we launched podcasts, or we launched episodes of our podcasts, our applications that week would go up about by about 60%. We looked at applications over time saw all these spikes for every week that we launched our podcast.”

 

2. Track and Analyze Metrics

Once you’ve identified your key performance indicators, set up a system to track and analyze these metrics regularly. Most podcast hosting platforms, like Transistor, provide built-in analytics dashboards that allow you to monitor your download numbers, listener engagement, and subscriber growth.

For talent acquisition metrics, work closely with your recruiting team to track the impact of your podcast on your hiring efforts. Use tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) and candidate relationship management (CRM) software to monitor changes in application volume, candidate quality, and offer acceptance rates.

 

3. Gather Qualitative Feedback

In addition to quantitative metrics, it’s essential to gather qualitative feedback from your listeners and stakeholders. Encourage your audience to leave reviews, ratings, and comments on your podcast episodes. Engage with them on social media and seek their opinions on what topics they’d like to hear more about.

Internally, seek feedback from your employees, hiring managers, and leadership team. Ask them how the podcast has impacted their work, whether they’ve received positive feedback from candidates, and what improvements they suggest.

 

4. Refine and Optimize Your Podcast

Based on the data and feedback you collect, continuously refine and optimize your employer branding podcast. Identify which episodes, topics, and formats resonate most with your audience and double down on those elements. Experiment with new ideas and adjust your content strategy based on your findings.

Keep an eye on your talent acquisition metrics and look for ways to better align your podcast content with your hiring goals. Collaborate with your recruiting team to ensure that your podcast is effectively supporting their efforts and attracting the right talent to your organization.

By regularly measuring the success of your employer branding podcast, you can demonstrate its value to your stakeholders and make data-driven decisions to improve its impact over time. Remember, success doesn’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort and optimization, your podcast can become a powerful tool in your talent acquisition arsenal.

 

Real-World Examples: Lessons from Twitter and Golden Hippo

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the steps and strategies for creating a successful employer branding podcast. Now, let’s take a closer look at two real-world examples – Twitter and Golden Hippo – to uncover valuable lessons and insights that you can apply to your own podcast.

 

1. Twitter’s University Recruiting Podcast

Twitter’s university recruiting team launched their employer branding podcast, #BuildingCharacters, with the goal of attracting diverse talent and showcasing their company culture. Their approach focused on strategic topic selection, employee storytelling, and measurable results.

Key lessons from Twitter’s podcast:

  1. Align your content with your differentiators: Twitter focused on topics that highlighted their unique strengths, such as their remote work culture and commitment to diversity. By showcasing what sets them apart, they attracted candidates who were a strong fit for their organization.
  2. Collaborate with leadership: Twitter’s podcast featured interviews with senior leaders, including their CFO and VP of Engineering. This high-level involvement demonstrated the company’s commitment to the initiative and added credibility to their messaging.
  3. Measure and report on success: Twitter closely tracked the impact of their podcast on application volume, candidate quality, and offer acceptance rates. They used this data to demonstrate the ROI of their efforts and secure ongoing support from stakeholders. By regularly measuring and reporting on the success of their podcast, Twitter was able to make data-driven decisions and continually optimize their content and promotion strategies.

 

2. Golden Hippo’s Employee Story Podcast

Golden Hippo, a direct-to-consumer marketing company, launched its employer branding podcast with a focus on authentic employee storytelling. Their approach centered on showcasing diverse perspectives, driving employee engagement, and repurposing content across multiple channels.

Key lessons from Golden Hippo’s podcast:

  1. Embrace authenticity: Golden Hippo’s podcast featured unscripted, genuine stories from employees across different departments and levels. This authenticity resonated with listeners and helped build trust in their employer brand.
  2. Empower your employees: By giving employees a platform to share their experiences, Golden Hippo fostered a sense of pride and ownership among their team. This led to increased employee engagement and advocacy, as well as a steady pipeline of podcast guests.
  3. Repurpose and distribute content: Golden Hippo maximized the impact of their podcast by repurposing episodes into blog posts, social media content, and targeted email campaigns. This multi-channel approach helped them reach a wider audience and drive traffic back to their podcast.

 

By studying the successes and unique approaches of Twitter and Golden Hippo, you can gain valuable insights into what makes an employer branding podcast effective. Whether you choose to focus on strategic topic selection, authentic employee storytelling, or a mix of both, the key is to stay true to your company’s values and differentiators while providing genuine value to your listeners.

Remember, building a successful employer branding podcast takes time and iteration. Take inspiration from these real-world examples, but don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your organization. With persistence and a commitment to continuous improvement, you can create a podcast that not only attracts top talent but also engages and delights your existing employees.

 

Conclusion

Launching an employer branding podcast may seem overwhelming, but as we’ve seen through the examples of Twitter and Golden Hippo, the benefits are well worth the effort. By showcasing authentic employee stories and providing valuable insights into your company’s culture, you can attract diverse talent, improve candidate quality, and boost employee engagement.

The step-by-step guide outlined in this blog is designed to help you navigate the podcasting journey with confidence. From planning and content development to launch, promotion, and measurement, you now have a roadmap to create a show that resonates with your ideal candidate and drives real results for your talent acquisition efforts.

But remember, success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication, experimentation, and a willingness to learn and adapt based on data and listener feedback. So, start small, stay consistent, and keep refining your approach as you go.

If you found this guide helpful, consider sharing it with a colleague or friend who may also benefit from exploring employer branding podcasts. And if you have any questions or experiences to share, leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

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Rhona Pierce

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