Hi, (Name Withheld),
Congrats on the “new gig” in the field of employer branding! I sincerely hope you’re doing every bit as well as your profile appears to indicate. My family and I grow more accustomed to our new home with every passing day.
I must confess to a sense of embarrassment: having connected with you more than a year ago, I have done very little to build upon that foundation since. Shame on me.
In my own defense, I have been just a little busy working to support my relocated family. Internet access is occasionally a challenge to acquire: devices with internet capability can be expensive to acquire and maintain, and occasionally one comes home just plain dog-tired. I give you props that you can live in such an environment that you are widely regarded as “the most connected woman on LinkedIn.”
Personally, I think I might be willing to settle for something more like, oh say, “the 472nd most-connected person on LinkedIn.” Don’t get it twisted: I can be competitive, but I can also be pragmatic!
But that’s not why you called. As for employer branding, I think I may have a potential client candidate for you, but I also have one or two questions first…
When an employer is branded, is it painful? You designate your own location as southern California and environs, where many Western traditions are cherished, so I wonder whether the irons you use are brought to a state of glowing readiness in a traditional campfire. I hope so, because the employer I’m thinking of deserves all the traditional touches.
BTW, this employer does NOT appear on my LinkedIn profile. I’ve worked with these folks over the space of three months in the Commercial Cleaning services (what most people would call “Janitorial,”) field. It’s certainly honest work and I think I do it pretty well, but the whole experience is inconsistent with the expert professional orientation I wish to adopt on LinkedIn.
I’m sure you have no idea what I mean by that. Almost nobody will consider hiring a writer if he’s spent significant amounts of his time recently working with a mop and bucket overnights at a local tourist landmark, so my current experience reflects writing skills in keeping with my desired white collar professional goals. You know: dress for the job you want, not for the job you have…
But back to this particular employer: As I would have you know, they’re not bad people, in most cases, they’re actually very good people, but the primary management is ethically challenged beyond compare and the contamination has spread downwards. We need to stop the madness before it can go any further.
And then LinkedIn brought my attention to your “work anniversary,” and I got to thinking about your avowed skill set.
As a result, whenever I see the corporate NewSpeak phrase “Employer Branding,” my instinct is to visualize something much more literally sadistic than I’m sure you mean.
Of course, I will never actually send you this message. It is far too crass and reflects poorly on me. Mocking someone who has accomplished as much as you have is unseemly and my attempt at humor comes across as bitter and unsympathetic.
And then there’s the little matter of the light in which I have presented my former employer, so this epistle has been sanitized to the point of near anonymity.
But at the same time I hope you do realize that the world you appear to inhabit is not real.
The vast majority of people you may encounter on LinkedIn live in a much less rarified or exalted environment where concepts such as “Employer Branding” and “Candidate Experience and Engagement” are pretty much so much double talk.
Like your humble correspondent, they are simply trying to live, to earn, and to survive. Once you have learned to speak to them, then we’ll talk.
In the meantime, thank you for inspiring this little essay.
As sincerely as it gets,