James Ellis produces an astounding amount of valuable content around marketing and recruitment, specialising in employer branding. In this episode, Christina talks with James about the journey of employer branding, why it’s so important, and what we can all learn from it.


  • James recognised that most marketing it is the same: recognise your market, understand what you offer, figure out your channels, measure and adjust. However, employer marketing is different, the goal is quality not quantity. You are just looking for that one right person, anything else is waste. This is why he loves what he does and has so much passion for it.
  • Employment branding began in the 90s in the UK, it was a leap forward at the time but stalled in the US as was very ad based. It isn’t new but the industry is getting better at it, still deciding what the next steps are and what ‘great’ looks like, so it can often still ‘feel new’.
  • We have a lot of examples of what employer branding shouldn’t be, but not much in the way of examples of best practice and what it should be.
  • It’s drummed into us that we have a product or service brand and a personal brand yet not many people talk about their employer brand. This needs more focus. The best brands are the ones where the employer brand is done well and this in turn supports and creates a better consumer brand.
  • Employer Branders generally have either marketing or recruitment experience but they must learn to speak both languages to be truly effective. Understanding the importance and relevance of both areas.
  • By introducing the downsides of a job/company to a candidate, you introduce more realism to the positives you outline at the same time. You are providing them with the whole truth which makes everything feel more authentic and allows candidates to make a better decision.
  • People think about employer branding when it is too late. They only think about it after they start having recruitment problems.
  • Marketing is about telling a story and employer branding is no different. It’s important to recognise that you should tell this story multiple times reaching your audience at as many touch points as possible. 
  • It’s imperative to remember that there is no workplace or brand that everyone wants to work for. It’s not about that, it’s about finding the right fit, for them and for the brand.

Listen to the entire episode here