Creating A More Efficient Talent Acquisition Strategy Through Multi-Channel Storytelling

It’s no secret that the biotech talent market is tightening. With near full employment across the industry, the Capital Region is feeling the same growing pains as they build out strategic initiatives in the wake of COVID-19. But, with competitors both in and out of the industry, companies are running into a roadblock with the sheer magnitude of opportunities and a scant pool of talent to fill those roles. As a result, companies are asking themselves a big question right now: How do we get our story out to professionals that align with our business needs?

It’s not an easy question to answer. But as we look to mimic success stories from adjacent industries, the concept of ‘employer branding’ is demonstrating the power of effectively packaging up your employer value proposition and its impact on the ability to both attract and de-risk potential candidates.

WHERE TO BEGIN

It is critical to have buy-in for investment and emphasis on a multi-channel, robust employer branding approach from the entire company. A piecemeal employer brand and candidate experience approach that is a second or tertiary priority just won’t cut it in today’s life sciences’ talent market. Intentional, well-thought-out, and consistent employer branding needs to become a company pillar to succeed.

LinkedIn’s ultimate list of employer branding stats makes a strong case for life sciences companies to invest in more potent employer branding strategies. LinkedIn’s ultimate list, which was developed from a variety of survey sources, included the following data, which clearly makes a case for investment in employer branding. Strong employer branding programs resulted in…

  • A 28% reduction in employee turnover
  • A 50% reduction in cost-per-hire
  • A 50% increase in qualified applicants
  • A 1 to 2X increase in time to fill rates

“Executives are starting to understand the value of employer branding. Hitting the ROI is key. When you talk about your recruiting team’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and demonstrate how you can create efficiencies, you should always have an executive’s ear. Ultimately, the value is there; you just have to take the time and, in some cases, find the right partners that can help you deliver before you make that case,” says Jake Thomas, Director of Talent Communities & Employer Brand at Workforce Genetics.

The most effective companies hiring in the space are seeding their platforms with content and creating opportunities for employees to interact, to provide context via interaction, or to generate involvement in the content creation as a means to bolster their team members’ professional brand. Creating lightly branded content on major hiring themes (i.e., diversity, veteran hiring, college hiring, etc.) that partners in the life sciences space can share out and/or add to is where authentic employer branding is taking place in 2021, according to Thomas.

“What you’re getting is increased exposure. You’ll build credibility with your audience…down the road, it’s the association with your brand as being aligned to something intrinsically valuable to them that will affect job-seeking behavior and career choices. This will ultimately benefit your company. As soon as they come into the market, you’ll be the first place they’ll come knocking…,” stated Thomas.

“We’re getting hires from the events we’re putting on and our featured employer campaigns. But what we’re also finding is this: three, six, or nine months down the road, their talent acquisition teams have built and nurtured these relationships, and they’re getting people coming to them saying, ‘Put me in, I’m ready.”

-Jake Thomas


“You’re putting your mission out there. You’re putting what’s exciting about your company out there…if a candidate understands a company’s values, if a candidate understands the value a company can bring to their career, a company will see faster talent acquisition and longer retention. And down the road, maybe they move on in their career, but you’ll have grateful employees to seed an alumni network. Good companies are building on these strong alumni networks, and they’re seeing how fruitful they can be…”, added Thomas. 

Strong, effective employer branding not only attracts talent but also builds company alumni networks that generate talent referrals. In addition, creating a brand environment and strong company culture will have employees that leave for a new opportunity singing your brand’s praises to the next generation of new talent looking to take the next step in their career.

“Employer branding needs to be foundational to everyone involved in the hiring process…The war for talent is real, and those companies that are becoming dedicated to evangelizing their employer brand are going to eat their competitors’ lunch.”  

-Jake Thomas


“At the end of the day, you want to attract talent that shares your values and helps you achieve your mission. So strong employer branding is really a win-win-win,” added Thomas.

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Steven Surdez

Principal at StoryCore
Steve has over 20 years experience in copywriting, developing brand messaging and creating marketing strategies across a wide range of industries, including the biopharmaceutical, senior living, commercial real estate, IT and renewable energy sectors, among others. He is currently the Principal/Owner of StoryCore, a Frederick, Maryland-based content creation and execution consultancy focused on telling the unique stories of Maryland organizations.