Your employer brand to recruit new employees

You hear it all around you: the job market is tight, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find people. As a field marketing or F2F marketing agency, you probably have to deal with this as well. What can you do to stand out in the job market? Get your brand story straight, know your target audience and use those two elements consistently in your communications. In other words, use employer branding and labor market communication. Specialist labor market communication Kevin van Houten helps you on your way in 3 steps.

Let’s start with some figures. There have never been as many people employed as right now. However, of the 9.5 million people who are employed in the Netherlands, 1.5 million changed jobs last year (source). Moreover, 65% of people who started a new job already think about changing jobs within three months. In addition, 50% of employers are actually not satisfied with the choice they made. This raises two questions. First, is the pond we are fishing in really that small? Second, what goes wrong in the matchmaking process?


“If you know how to properly utilize employer branding and labor market communications, you reach a larger pool of people who are a better match for what you are looking for, making it easier to fill your vacancies.”


So, how to achieve this? First off, we need to look at reach. The group that is latently looking, that is, open to a new challenge but not yet actively looking, is four times larger than the group actively looking for another job. The key difference? The first group does not google job vacancy field marketer. So you can’t reach them with a vacancy on a site. So that group needs to hear from you in a different way. That requires creativity and a little more time, but then your pond to fish in becomes a lot bigger.


Step 1: Your Employer brand story

Every company has a unique employer brand story. Yours too. It has its own genesis and identity. How you run your company, what the atmosphere is like and what you value are all important elements of your story as an employer. Want to avoid a mismatch? Then it’s a good idea to have your core values clear. 

You’ve probably heard of Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. Or of his statement “Start with WHY.” The idea behind it is that people “engage” on shared values, on the why of your business. That determines their attitude toward your company and their subsequent actions. Will come back to that later. That story or your employer value proposition or EVP is the basis for your communication. Important point: your story must be true. People in your company must recognize themselves in it. Because one thing is certain: if your story to the outside world does not match what is going on within your company sooner or later it will backfire. People will talk, online and offline. Gone are great stories.

golden circle


Step 2: Your target group

If you have your company’s core values in place and your employer brand story sharp, then you are ready to share that story with your target audience. If you know what is important to your target group, you can respond to that with your communication.

So the first goal of that communication is getting to know you. Your target audience does not know you yet or may have heard of you but does not know what you stand for. It’s up to you to take them on a “candidate journey. Everything you decide in your life goes through 4 set stages: see, think, do, care.


“Many companies focus their communications entirely on the do phase. ‘Post and pray.’ So then you actually skip two important phases.”


Applied to recruiting, the first phase is about getting acquainted with your brand and tantalizing them with your story. In the second phase, you want to entice them to take the next step by showing them what working for you entails. If this gets them excited, chances are they will check out what vacancies you have next. That is the third phase. 

If you present your vacancies attractively and your application procedure is easily accessible, a candidate who fits the bill perfectly may come into view. Hopefully the match is so good that your new colleague will stay with you for a long time and perhaps even become a brand ambassador who tells others how great it is to work for you. That loyalty is part of the fourth phase. 

A word about that application process. Fundraisers or field agents within the F2F industry (sales, marketing, promotion) are mostly young people.That means you want to get in touch with 18- to 25-year-olds, Generation Z in other words. That generation is used to everything being available quickly and on demand. Their mobile is their most important tool. So if you want to make applying for a job at your company easily accessible, at least make sure your job postings are not pieces of text. 

Maybe WhatsApp is a good alternative for you. Phone number for more information? Perhaps reconsider. In fact, research shows that 25% of 18- to 25-year-olds are “interested. So exactly this kind of thing is why it’s good to delve a bit into your target audience. You probably already have colleagues in that age group. Ask them for tips. 


Step 3: Your communication

Maybe then those colleagues will come up with the following tip: young people are visually oriented. So rather less text and more pictures. Use photos and videos to show what working for you looks like in practice. Large organizations can do that with a nice campaign, such as this one from Defense or this one from IKEA. In both examples, purpose plays the lead role. Defense focuses on doers with their hearts in the right place (Generation D). IKEA shows that their application process fits seamlessly with their core values of “simplicity” and “being meaningfully different. And they are sure to reach a group that already has love for the brand.


But you can also shape your employer branding without a big budget. XXL Nutrition’s ‘end boss’ René van der Zel, for example, posts authentic stories about his employees almost daily on LinkedIn. And Kim Beumer shows on TikTok how things really go at her law firm. This content costs nothing, just some time, but it does get them applicants. Then your job market communication is successful.



Antwoorden op @Lawlover U have two more days to …. #respond #vacancy #lawyer #attorney #law

♬ The Business – Tiësto


So instead of the question “AMC, what can I do with it?” you might want to ask: “AMC, what can it do for me?” Even if that doesn’t rhyme very well.

One last tip. Don’t have the inspiration to come up with posts like this yourself? See if AI can give you a hand. ChatGPT can give you ideas for a text. Or you can let the AI tool combine information about your company and about field marketing into a LinkedIn post. Developments in that area are going fast. Soon you will also be able to have photos or video generated with a few instructions. So maybe in the near future it will become easier to shape your own job market communication with limited resources. But don’t lose sight of your story. That’s what makes you unique. And that employer brand story can ensure that you reach not only a larger group of people, but especially people who are a better fit for you and who might not have considered joining you at all. Until they read your story.

About this article

Kevin van Houten is a labor market communications specialist. After years of working for an agency, he is now self-employed advising companies on labor market communication and employer branding. During our F2Future even in February 2023, he shared his knowledge with us and our clients. This article is based on his keynote.

What does Generation Z care about in work?

Face-to-face (F2F) sales, fundraising and field marketing have been popular (side) jobs among young people for years. It’s no wonder, with its varied work, flexible hours, and a higher-than-average salary compared to other side jobs. That’s always worked in favour of employers. But with an increasingly volatile job market, recruiting good new employees has become a major challenge.

How do you attract the current generation of young people to come work for your company? For that, you first need to know what motivates Generation Z (also known as Gen Z or Zoomers, ages 18-25). What do they find important in work? At our F2Future event we asked Rutger van der Berg, a researcher, speaker and writer who specialises in interactions between youth culture and ‘adult’ society.

To get straight to the point – young people and their more experienced counterparts are not that different from each other when it comes to what they find important. So it turns out, we are not from different planets after all, right? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Because even though both groups find salary, purpose, growth, atmosphere and travel time important, they interpret these factors differently.

Take this example. Both young employees starting out and older, more experienced counterparts rate variety as important in work. But 30-somethings think of variety primarily in terms of tasks, whereas Gen Z defines variety in terms of collaboration with people and the environment in which they work. This seems like a subtle distinction, but it can make a big difference to your recruitment process. So when it comes to field marketing, you’ll want to emphasise that employees are constantly working in different teams and at different locations.

What is work?

Now that we know what young people value in work, it might be good to consider what work means to them. For Gen Z, work is:
– financial independence
– building work experience
– a social meeting place
– a place for self-definition

For the first time in their lives, 18- to 25-year-olds are linking work to financial independence. This explains why salary is still important. In addition, Gen Z sees work as a way to build broad work experience. They’re sampling what’s out there, not looking for niche skills. They want to develop high-level skills that they can use throughout their careers — whatever that may look like.

Furthermore, for Gen Z, work is a social meeting place where they can meet like-minded people. A team or group of colleagues with whom they can level with and have fun. If they can find that with your organisation, it immediately makes work a lot more attractive for them too.

Finally, work is a place for self-definition. Simply put: what you ‘do’ says something about who you ‘are’. Gen Z sees work as a place to form and express their identity. This means they’re more critical of the work (and the employer!) So it’s important to make sure that, as a company, you have a clear understanding and definition of your values. If you can clearly signal what you stand for, they will know faster whether or not there’s a fit with you as an employer. Take note: the significance of your company values may vary for students who do this as a ‘side’ job, since young people may choose the work because their heart lies with a specific customer, for example a charity.

Why do young people look at things so differently?

Everyone grows up interacting with the world around them. And today’s world is radically different than it was 30 years ago. Add to that the fact that young people are still developing, it’s only natural that their view of the world – and therefore of work – is different from yours. As an employer within F2F marketing, you deal primarily with 18-to-25 year olds. At this stage, they are making their own choices for the first time. They’re beginning to ask themselves: what do I want, what can I do, and what does that mean for my future?

Gen Z are taking big steps toward adulthood. This is exciting. And at times, they may find themselves completely overwhelmed with being an adult. How can you take that into account as an employer? By treating them like adults, but also cutting them a little slack for immaturity. Young people seek clarity in tasks but also the possibility to ask questions. So they need to feel a sense of safety with the manager. A little structure and extra support at times helps. They grow from it.

Tip: The Field App from Briggs+Walker supports storytelling and e-learning, so you can coach recruiters remotely and boost motivation by giving them insight into their performance and working with leaderboards.

After all, Gen Z is also competitive

Gen Z looks at things differently precisely because they are a generation. A generation is the product of the zeitgeist in which it grows up. What developments in society are affecting how young people view their work?

Let’s zoom in on the most important three:
– Digitization
– Forever young
– Life is what you make it


Digitization has led to new expectations from you as an employer. Gen Z is the first generation that has grown up — say fused — with smartphone, tablet and mobile internet. They are digital natives. Instant gratification and everything-on-demand is the norm for them. Of course, their default mode of “I want this now” can come across as spoiled or impatient, but keep in mind that this norm has been instilled in them from an early age. As an employer, it’s essential to take this into consideration. An application process that requires emailing your resumé plus motivation letter? Fail. Young people who are self-employed in the platform economy are used to supply-and-demand being brought together with a few clicks.

The same goes for advancement opportunities. Having to wait five years to prove yourself before you can move on to the next position? Hell no! Better chop your employee growth path into smaller steps. That way, young people have the idea that they are constantly developing and growing towards that big step. Breaking things up into smaller steps is a good idea anyway, even for onboarding and work instructions, for example. They are able to gather and process information quickly, but sometimes even a Gen Z’s head can get full after a while.

Forever young

Since the 1950s, youth culture has become increasingly centralised. We all want to be older and wiser, but stay fresh and dynamic. That staying-young mentality also influences how we raise children. Parents are more on equal footing with their children. Result: the negotiating household. Children have a voice within the family, and get to decide on everything from vacations to the new television.

Naturally, they take this habit to work as well. What does that mean? Well, hierarchical structures, so to speak, are not their thing. Transparency and being heard are primary work conditions. Gen Z expects to be heard if they have a thought about something. So find a way to provide that space; it makes you more appealing as an employer. Otherwise, swipe right.

Life is what you make it

Just some numbers coming from Gen Z: 87% expect to make their dreams come true in life. And 94% agree with the statement “where there is a will, there is a way.” The idea of social engineering lives strongly amongst this group. It’s the viewpoint that your success is determined by your personal efforts. That your life is ‘makeable’. They get this message all the time as it is very much part of popular culture. “Go for it and you can achieve anything.”

This message is motivating but also has a downside. If you are successful, it is to your credit. But if you don’t succeed, you only have yourself to blame. The bar is often set high because they mostly see success stories. That creates performance pressure. As an employer, you can stimulate ambition but also show understanding in cases of uncertainty or self-doubt. With these approaches, you can attract and help this group of young adults find their way in the world of work.