How to Build a Remarkable Talent Brand in 3 Steps

January 23, 2015

When Suzanne Myers joined web-based property management software company RealPage she immediately faced a challenge that many startups find themselves up against. As Senior Director, Talent Acquisition, it was her job to help RealPage attract and hire the best talent possible, but that’s a difficult thing to do when the majority of candidates have little to no recognition of your brand.

For Myers, it was clear solving that problem would require a different approach. To build brand awareness and get in front of the right candidates RealPage’s recruiters needed to start thinking like marketers.

By putting in place three key practices, Myers and her team launched an initiative to build RealPage’s talent brand that included defining and sharpening their employer brand message, creating an extensive and well-aligned online/social presence, and emphasizing candidate nurturing as part of their pipeline development.

As a result of the initiative, Myers’ team was able to improve their hiring performance to 4.5 jobs per day with an average fill time of 38 days, as well as increase their referral hires by 39%.

Here’s how they did it.

RealPage’s 3-Step Plan for Building their Talent Brand

Step 1: Get Recruiters to Think Like Marketers

Myers took a page from the marketing playbook, defining their target audiences and creating buyer personas to build their messaging and outreach around (ex: “Trevor Technic,” “Sierra Sales,” and “Olivia Operations”).

Step 2: Update Your Metrics to Reflect Your Strategic Goals

RealPage’s initial performance scorecard tracked traditional recruiting metrics, but it wasn’t going to truly reflect progress against the team’s new strategy. The updated scorecard incorporated a new breakdown, with the focus divided up as follows:

  • 40% measuring against traditional metrics (time to hire, etc.)
  • 35% measuring strategic performance (defined through the strategy teams — see below)
  • 25% measuring against personal development goals

Step 3: Delegate and Empower Your Teams

In addition to their primary roles as recruiters, Myers gave her team members sub-roles and responsibilities that contributed to the branding initiative while also allowing them to add to their skill sets.

Recruiters were divided into four “Strategy Teams” with the following goals:

  • Build the Brand: Responsible for defining the employer brand message, updating the career page, etc.
  • Drive us Digital: Responsible for creating a robust social and online presence that aligned with the brand.
  • Push the Pipeline: Responsible for building and nurturing the pipeline of candidates.
  • Crash the Colleges: Responsible for establishing a college recruiting program (recruiting for the future).

One recruiter was assigned as a leader within each strategy team, but otherwise the teams were self-organizing. They set their own pace and deliverable independent of management.

Every quarter, the strategy teams would present on their results and plans for the upcoming quarter. These updates not only kept everyone aligned and in the loop, they also fostered a healthy competitive spirit between the teams to see which could have the biggest impact.


After the “Drive us Digital” team noticed that RealPage’s online and social platforms were lacking engagement and being underutilized they started a campaign called “Activate your potential,” which became the official employer brand tag line. The team asked employees all over the world to contribute stories about when and where they activated their potential with RealPage, resulting in a 292% increase in Facebook likes.

real page activate your potential

The team also created “Work with us” ads on LinkedIn and encouraged employees to utilize LinkedIn as a referral and outreach tool to help with talent acquisition. The push helped RealPage increase their followers on Linkedin by 153% and boost their talent brand engagement by 93%.

Lastly, the team began creating more visual assets to promote their key open positions. By simply utilizing images and keeping wording to a minimum they found that their postings were getting far more clicks much more quickly.

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.38.50 AM

Bottom Line

The RealPages approach may not be the right solution for every company, but regardless, it serves as a fantastic reminder that you should strive to innovate and think outside the box to build your talent brand. Remember, the stronger your brand, the easier it will make your primary responsibility — recruiting and bringing top talent into the organization.

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Images courtesy of RealPage

Senior Talent Manager, Engineering

<strong>Meghan Maher</strong> is Senior Talent Manager, Engineering, actively recruiting top talent for OpenView and its Portfolio Companies. Her tech background has helped OpenView hire for nearly 20 IT and engineering positions. Meghan began her career at AVID Technical Resources, where she was a Technical Recruiter for two years.