Skip to content
The Employer Branding Hero’s Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition
Campfire – Employer Branding 3 June 2024

The Employer Branding Hero’s Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition

3, 2, 1, mine! Whether it’s moments of happiness when buying a new handbag at an auction, getting an appointment with a specialist or applying for your new dream job – the happiness hormones that are released when you click on the last button are very similar. But how do we as an organization manage to attract, convince and ultimately retain the best talent when looking for a job? The answer is: with the Employer Branding Hero’s Journey. It’s not just a buzzword, but a strategic approach to strengthening your own employer brand and reaching and inspiring potential applicants.

Blogpost Employer Branding im Recruiting extern - The Employer Branding Hero's Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition

In order for us to understand the “new employee” target group and get to know their needs, however, a detailed analysis and elaboration of their “hero’s journey” is inevitable for us and is part of the standard process in our client work. We took a close look at the recruiting process and developed an employer branding funnel with seven stages from awareness to reputation. Each of these stages shows how storytelling shapes the employer brand. After all, authentic stories not only attract talent, but also retain it in the long term.

We also spun this funnel further and turned it into an employer branding hero’s journey. In this blog post, we would like to show you which stages are of particular importance for external recruiting and how the factors awareness, consideration and interest interact significantly here.

Employer Branding Hero's Journey


Blogpost Employer Branding im Recruiting extern 2 - The Employer Branding Hero's Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition

But how do we approach future employees? How do we get talented people to take notice of our company in the first place? The employer branding hero’s journey begins with creating awareness and positioning ourselves as an attractive employer in the minds of potential applicants. This requires clear communication of corporate values, corporate culture and career opportunities.

The first step in the employer branding hero’s journey is to identify the target group. This is followed by the selection of suitable channels to reach them. From social media and career websites to industry events – the possibilities are many and varied. Through appealing content, stories and visual elements, companies attract attention and encourage potential applicants to find out more about them.


Blogpost Employer Branding im Recruiting extern 3 - The Employer Branding Hero's Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition

As soon as awareness is created, the contemplation phase begins. This is where potential applicants consider whether we as a company match their professional goals, values and ideas. It is crucial that companies provide relevant information at this stage to pique the interest of job seekers and encourage them to engage further with the employer brand.

Stories from current employees, insights into everyday working life and information about development opportunities help to maintain interest and convince potential specialists that the company could be the right employer for them.


Blogpost Employer Branding im Recruiting extern 4 - The Employer Branding Hero's Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition

Finally, we reach the phase of interest. Talents have gathered enough information here and are ready to actively get in touch with us as an organization. Now is the time for companies to nurture the relationship and guide potential new colleagues through the application process.

A clear and simple application experience, a personal approach during the selection process and transparent communication will determine whether we can keep job seekers interested and convince them that our company is the ideal place for them to work.

Continue the journey

However, the employer branding hero’s journey does not end with the recruitment of new employees. Maintaining the employer brand must be continuous in order to retain and motivate colleagues and attract new talent. Through constant communication, employee engagement initiatives and a positive work environment, organizations ensure that their employer branding hero journey remains a success.

At a time when competition for talent is intensifying, the employer branding hero’s journey is therefore an indispensable tool for attracting the best specialists and achieving long-term success. By shaping the recruiting journey through awareness, consideration and interest and strengthening our employer brand, we as a company become the heroes of our own talent acquisition story.

The Recruiting Journey as a Storytelling Hero’s Journey

In addition to our model of the employer branding funnel, the recruiting journey of talents can also be depicted in a circle. The stages of the classic hero’s journey help employers to identify relevant milestones along which they can align their storytelling for successful recruiting and sustainable employee retention.

Hero's Journey in Employer Branding

The question now is how we get candidates from the familiar world over the first threshold: Among other things, with the help of a credible reputation, which in turn is provided as an elixir by transformed heroes (employees).

Between the first stage of the hero’s journey (Familiar World), the current job or completed studies and the application to a new company (First Threshold), there are also some hurdles for employers to overcome. When it comes to motivating candidates to reorient themselves, we rarely have any influence on the push factors, e.g. working conditions, low salary, boreout, etc.. Instead, we have to create a “pull effect” at several points of contact and with persistence.

The employer branding hero's journey_familiar world
The employer branding hero’s journey_familiar world

Blogpost Employer Branding im Recruiting extern 5 - The Employer Branding Hero's Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition

The problem: Despite the desire for change, talents also carry critical rejections (refusal) with them, e.g. reservations about certain industries and professions or negative voices that they hear from their environment or on glassdoor / kununu. There may also be concerns about the working atmosphere or promotion opportunities. There are many reasons for doubt and skepticism. Employer branding is therefore not about promising the golden job as an omnipresent barker.

Blogpost Employer Branding im Recruiting extern 6 - The Employer Branding Hero's Journey: The Road to Talent Acquisition

Instead, companies should activate their role as mentors with brand storytelling. You need to get to know and understand the true needs and values of the candidates. Only when you know what motivates them, what puts them off and what inspires them can the right content and stories be developed. In their role as mentors, employers also convey an understanding of the company’s values, the culture, and how it is practiced.

The Step over the Threshold opens up the Journey inside the Company

So if the call to adventure encourages talented people to look for new employers, they must first become aware of companies. They then examine the company philosophy and values and may encounter an initial refusal due to external factors. However, after considering the facts and with the support of a mentor role that gives them a jolt, they continue to build up interest and finally decide on a company. The external part of the recruiting process is now complete. The threshold is now crossed and the adventure inside the company begins with the application and recruitment process.

When building their own employer brand, companies should therefore always be aware of these stages in the recruiting process and take the stages of the employer branding funnel and the recruiting hero’s journey into account when designing and implementing all measures in order to attract the interest of talented people and inspire them.

You can find more information about the employer branding hero’s journey in Miriam’s blog post.

Share this article