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The Power of Employer Branding

Live from TA Week at the Qualifi booth, the boys sit down with Carrie Corcoran, a leading expert in employment branding and recruitment marketing. With her extensive experience in the industry and her passion for helping businesses create inclusive and diverse work environments, Carrie is a force to be reckoned with. In this episode, we dive deep into the world of employer branding and discuss its importance in attracting top talent. Carrie shares her insights on how companies can leverage technology to improve the candidate experience and create a positive employer brand. As the founder of Carrie Cares Employment Brand Consulting, Carrie has helped numerous businesses develop and implement effective strategies to improve their employer brand and recruitment efforts. She is also a strong advocate for the over 50 workforce, believing that they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer companies.


Podcast Intro: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Joel Cheesman: Oh yeah. What's up everybody? It is Taylor Swift's favorite podcast, AKA, the Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel Cheesman. Joined as always the Patrick to my SpongeBob Chad Sowash is in the house. We are here live...

Chad Sowash: I love Patrick.

Joel Cheesman: At TA week from the Qualified Booth and I am just happy to welcome Carrie Corcoran to the show. She is founder of Carrie Care's Employment Brand Consulting. What a welcoming employment branding kind of business name. I like that.

Chad Sowash: It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy already.

Carrie Corcoran: It does. So you know, I had to incorporate the care in my logo because I manage with heart and humor.

Chad Sowash: 'cause Carrie gives a shit was taken. I... What I... Right?

Joel Cheesman:

Chad Sowash: That was taken.

Joel Cheesman: Was taken.

Carrie Corcoran: Yes, that was taken. I did look for that.

Joel Cheesman: Most of our listeners won't know you. Give us a Twitter bio about you as the person. Then we'll dig into the business stuff.

Carrie Corcoran: Okay. I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, living on Tulsa time with my husband Sean and my, and our

French Bulldog Cosmopolitan girl.

Chad Sowash: Cosmopolitan, what?

Joel Cheesman: Is it Cosmo for short?

Carrie Corcoran: Cosmo for short.

Joel Cheesman: There you go.

Chad Sowash: Okay. I Like it.

Joel Cheesman: Cosmopolitan girl. Okay.

Chad Sowash: I'm a dog guy so I love me some Cosmopolitan Girl.

Joel Cheesman: Peepers need some Cosmo time at some point. Can we schedule a play date in Tulsa one of these days?

Carrie Corcoran: Absolutely. She will probably ignore any dog that comes in front of her, but you can try.

Chad Sowash: I don't think Peepers has the ticker for that anymore, so you should probably pull back from that.

Joel Cheesman: He does not.

Carrie Corcoran: I don't think Cosmo does either.

Joel Cheesman: Well maybe it'll work out. So what's the state of employment branding as maybe a better...

Carrie Corcoran: Ooh, that's a loaded question. I think that too many companies do not appreciate the value of what employer brand can bring and what it can do for their company. I mean, when done right it aids in retention. It also aids in attraction and it can also aid in a company's bottom line. So when you have those three things that you do well, you're gonna be more successful and you're gonna have hopefully happier people. Happier, happier employees. And so many executives are ignoring it right now.

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: And they're cutting employer brand people left and right and recruitment marketing.

Chad Sowash: Why are they ignoring it? You said that last, that number three bullet that I hardly ever hear from talent acquisition professionals. So why are they not focusing on their brand?

Carrie Corcoran: So I think it could be a couple of different reasons. Potentially. Perhaps talent acquisition doesn't own the employer brand. And marketing is running the employer brand and talent acquisition as a stakeholder, which has many challenges in and of itself. And you know, it can sit in different areas, but from my experience, it's always worked best under talent acquisition.

Chad Sowash: Uh-huh.

Carrie Corcoran: And honestly, they may not have the right people trying to build their employer brand. They may not be strategic enough, they may not have the right experience. And you have to continually educate people across the company what employer brand is and why they should give a shit.

Chad Sowash: Well you said bottom line though and we hardly ever hear...

Joel Cheesman: Show me the money.

Chad Sowash: People in TA because the CEOs, the entire c-suite, the, the board, they care about the bottom line, but we don't talk about that.

Carrie Corcoran: Correct.

Chad Sowash: We talk about all the warm and fuzzy and fluffy stuff and, and maybe even, you know, time to hire and those things that they don't care about.

Carrie Corcoran: It's true. It's true.

Chad Sowash: Because we're not tying it to bottom line. That was your third bullet. That to me stands out. So what do you do to be able to help your clients, just companies all over to better understand that we have to tie to that bottom line? How do, how do you do that?

Carrie Corcoran: That's a a great question. Um, I haven't quite figured all of that out yet.

Chad Sowash: It's not easy. I mean.

Carrie Corcoran: I was just being honest. Um.

Chad Sowash: From the outside looking in, it's not easy. Right?

Carrie Corcoran: It's not easy. No.

Chad Sowash: But being on the inside it's a little bit easier 'cause you have those connections.

Carrie Corcoran: Right.

Chad Sowash: You can chat with the CRO and the CMO and see what really matters to them.

Carrie Corcoran: Exactly.

Chad Sowash: And how they know that they're impacting the bottom line. Right.

Carrie Corcoran: And the challenge too is how do you measure that it is giving you a better ROI?

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: Or that it, that it is effective besides just looking at the talent acquisition data, which as you know, metrics suck.

Joel Cheesman: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: And you can't tie anything together because systems don't talk to one another.

Chad Sowash: Yeah. Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: And so it's, it's a very hard use case to prove and educating from the highest level down...

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: Is of critical importance. And if you don't have buy-in from the top down, most likely it's not gonna be very successful.

Chad Sowash: Yeah. Which is why they're getting cut.

Carrie Corcoran: Right.

Joel Cheesman: What's your read on the pandemic's impact on employer branding? My own perspective is when everyone's in the office, you can feel the culture. You look at it every day, you can feel it. When everyone's at home working, it becomes harder to justify why are we doing things that are culture based? Why are we building a brand when everyone's at home? What's your take on that? My, because I believe it's more important than ever because people are isolated at home. A solid brand is what's gonna keep them engaged more than just being an island at home. Your thoughts?

Carrie Corcoran: So been remote working for probably the past four years and I, I do think that it's important to have face-to-face connection and interaction maybe once a quarter with your team. Or maybe it's a company all hands or something like that where you really bring everybody in together and they're able to

network and build those relationships with one another.

Chad Sowash: Uh-huh.

Carrie Corcoran: I do think that this is where companies are not doing connecting well and building connection among their employees and building that community. And that's very hard to do virtually. And there aren't many companies that that do it well. But I don't think that you're less productive when you are working virtually.

Chad Sowash: Right.

Carrie Corcoran: And with all of these, you know, Fortune 500, 100 bringing people back to the office, now people are saying, I'm not coming back to the office. No, I've been working with the, you know, for the past three years I've been working from home.

Chad Sowash: Yeah. It's been okay then why not now?

Carrie Corcoran: It was fine now. So, so what's the big deal?

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: And I think people are waking up to the fact that like, I'm not gonna do what you want just because you want me back in the office.

Chad Sowash: Right.

Carrie Corcoran: And maybe they won't quit immediately, but they're gonna look for something else. And there it's, it's bad for retention.

Chad Sowash: So au-autonomy is what I'm hearing, right? That can be a big part of your employer brand and when you lose that...

Carrie Corcoran: Yes.

Chad Sowash: That could prospectively really dramatically impact your employer brand, right?

Carrie Corcoran: I believe so. Definitely.

Chad Sowash: Okay. Okay. Do you think we will see that with a lot of these big brands who are forcing employees back into the office? Do you think we will see that a lot of the, the uh, the talent who wants to... They wanna be treated like adults, they're gonna go to different brands. They, they don't need to work at a Goldman Sachs. They can work somewhere else.

Carrie Corcoran: I think we will see an exodus. I don't think that it's going to happen immediately. I mean it has already started happening I think in certain aspects where, you know, maybe someone's like worked for a Fortune 500 or 100 and they're like, Hey, I've never worked for a startup before. Maybe I wanna go do that route instead and try something different.

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: So I think it's already starting to happen, but you know, people have to have an income and they have to provide for their basic needs and while they have that...

Chad Sowash: They're looking for something else.

Carrie Corcoran: They're looking for something else, but they're not gonna quit.

Chad Sowash: Gotcha.

Carrie Corcoran: And potentially not have anything lined up.

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: I mean, unless you're in a dual income family.

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: Not a lot of people can do that.

Chad Sowash: Well we've seen research actually pop out this week that, uh, demonstrated that they believe people are gonna stay put in 2024, but that doesn't mean that they're not looking.

Carrie Corcoran: Right.

Chad Sowash: Their eyes are wide open, but they're gonna stay put 'cause they're looking for that, that stability and maybe 2025 next thing you know, we, we see job hopping supreme.

Carrie Corcoran: So I, I think the next thing that people are gonna look for is, am I serving my purpose and what is that purpose.

Chad Sowash: Instead of the company's purpose?

Carrie Corcoran: Correct.

Chad Sowash: You're focused more on, I mean 'cause as as we grew up and the boomers raised us.

Joel Cheesman: Yep.

Chad Sowash: We were focused on what is the company's purpose.

Carrie Corcoran: Right.

Chad Sowash: Not really our purpose so much.

Carrie Corcoran: Right. What's your, what's the company's mission? The values?

Chad Sowash: Yes.

Carrie Corcoran: And no. But I think now there's more of a collective consciousness and a raising of that where people are saying what is my purpose and does this job align to what I am truly... What I should be doing?

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: Or is it getting cl... Me closer to my purpose and what that looks like?

Chad Sowash: Feels very Gen Z. Does it not?

Joel Cheesman: Yeah, it does. What's your take on technology's role in all of this? On one hand, ghosting is a huge issue. So automation, chat technologies can kind of get out of the ghost category, but also it's replacing people to do the work that technology is doing. What's your take? Is technology a good thing or a

bad thing for employment brand?

Carrie Corcoran: Oof. I think technology is a double-edged sword. Why I say that is you still, you're always gonna want and need the human in human relations in employer brand, in recruitment marketing. The companies that have that human touch...

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: Are gonna be more successful.

Chad Sowash: It's in the title.

Carrie Corcoran: With their candidates. Exactly. Like keep the freaking human in HR.

Chad Sowash: Yeah. Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: And I do think that technology plays a role and it certainly can help with making things more efficient.

Chad Sowash: Yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: Most companies may be utilized 5% of technology when they purchase it.

Chad Sowash: Yes.

Carrie Corcoran: When it may be capable of 80% more...

Chad Sowash: Right.

Carrie Corcoran: Than what they're looking at. And I'm really bad at math, so I don't know if that added up to a hundred or not.

Joel Cheesman: You're a brand person. It's okay.

Chad Sowash: You're okay.

Carrie Corcoran: And with chatGPT I mean, I'm sorry. Like if I can do a project in five minutes using chatGPT and instead of spending two hours on it...

Chad Sowash: Oh yeah.

Carrie Corcoran: I mean that's efficiency and I'm all about like making it as easy as possible.

Chad Sowash: Do you feel like it's gonna get more vanilla though? Kind of like, uh, adult contemporary radio in the '80s, everything on the radio sounded the exact same, right? Do you think it's gonna be kinda like the same thing?

Carrie Corcoran: Well, everything on the news sounds the exact same, so, uh.

Chad Sowash: Are you saying they're using chatGPT and and Bard, uh, to do these things?

Carrie Corcoran: Well, I wouldn't be surprised.

Chad Sowash: I wouldn't, yeah. I wouldn't be either. Yes.

Carrie Corcoran: Um, I, you know, I forgot the question. So.

Joel Cheesman: Let me pivot to this real quick. I'm always fascinated by the generational divides of what people think are important. Chad mentioned, you know, gen X rub some dirt on it and get back out there versus the millennials and the gen uh, gen Zs are coming up. How do you think as an employment brand

expert, the generations, uh, are separate or how we should be thinking about the generations in different ways?

Carrie Corcoran: So I think, I mean, because I am over 50 and I am Gen X, I believe that there's a huge gap with discrimination for the over 50. And we have so much knowledge and value that we can bring to a company, but because they always say, oh, they're too much money, we don't wanna pay them to do that. Well, would you rather pay someone more money and have faster results? Or would you rather just have someone figure it out themselves who's no offense, like, you know, 25, 26 years old out of college.

Chad Sowash: Right.

Carrie Corcoran: And it takes them a year.

Chad Sowash: Yeah. You're gonna need two or three of those individuals to actually do what one...

Carrie Corcoran: Exactly.

Chad Sowash: Let's a Gen X or, somebody who has more experience, right. Connections, those types of things.

Carrie Corcoran: Right? So there's certainly a different divide. So the millennials, maybe they want more, they're more interested in working for innovative companies, or having a real impact on, you know, how can I help change the world by working for a company and things like that. So there's definitely a divide there with Gen Z. I mean, I, I'm petrified to death of TikTok. It is a way to reach them. But.

Chad Sowash: It's, it's amazing. You should try it out.

Joel Cheesman: You gotta embrace it.

Chad Sowash: Oh yeah.

Joel Cheesman: You gotta embrace it.

Chad Sowash: The best 30 minutes of my day is on TikTok.

Carrie Corcoran: One, uh, one day.

Joel Cheesman: That is Carrie Corcoran. Everybody with the Carrie Cares Employment brand Consulting Business.

Chad Sowash: Carrie Cares.

Joel Cheesman: For those that want to connect with you, learn more about your company. Carrie, where would you send them?

Carrie Corcoran: I would send them to LinkedIn. Look for Carrie Corcoran, Carrie Cares Employer Brand. And I also have a YouTube channel where...

Chad Sowash: Oh, look at you.

Carrie Corcoran: I have many educational videos out there.

Chad Sowash: Nice.

Carrie Corcoran: Carrie Cares Employment Brand on YouTube as well.

Joel Cheesman: Love it. That is one in the can from the TA Tech Week conference live from the Qualify booth. We out.

Chad Sowash: We out.

Podcast Outro: Thank you for listening to, what's it called, the podcast, the Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting, they talk about technology, but most of all they talk about nothing. Just a lot of shout outs of people you don't even know. And yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, Pepper Jack, Swiss is so many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any who be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. That way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit Just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese, is so weird. We out.


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