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Ashley Cheretes faces a challenge familiar to many employer brand leaders: Her company isn’t top-of-mind for many candidates, despite touching millions of lives. “Cigna is the most well-known unknown company,” jokes Cheretes, Cigna’s Head of Marketing, Talent Acquisition. “When you throw in the fact that we are technically an insurance company, we are often not considered a desirable industry.”

How do you grow brand awareness (and sidestep industry stigma) in a position like this? That’s the question Cheretes and her team tackle. They’ve found their answers through research-backed content strategy, innovative event marketing, and a willingness to be flexible about where and how their candidates engage.

Focus on Talent Higher Up the Funnel

Rather than expend all their energy on casual jobseekers encountering Cigna for the first time, Cheretes’ team takes aim at those higher up in the funnel. To do this, the team employs a content strategy designed to feel as little like marketing as possible.

“People don’t want to be marketed to,” says Cheretes. “That is especially true when recruiting for our ‘unicorn’ roles, like data scientist or technologist.”

Diversify Your Distribution Channels

Type of role is one of the factors Cigna’s employer brand team considers when selecting which channels they use to distribute content. Customer service candidates need their content to be mobile-friendly, the team found, while nurses gravitate toward downloadable content.

Age demographic is another factor the team considers, particularly when mapping its social media strategy. When promoting a campaign, Cigna makes sure to share to both Instagram for its younger audience and Facebook for its older audience, guaranteeing its message reaches as wide an age range as possible.

Embrace Virtual Events

Event attendance looks different during COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped Cigna from attracting fresh candidates through virtual events. The employer brand team has embraced online conferences as opportunities to interview prospective hires and offer something valuable to audiences through their own virtual talks.

To promote its own events, the Cigna team uses a combination of social media advertising and event landing pages. As with their content strategy, usefulness is a top priority for their events. Most recently, a fireside chat with Cigna’s new CIO that provided a personal window into her career journey toppled Cheretes’ attendance expectations.

To follow more of Ashley Cheretes’ work in employer branding, connect with her on LinkedIn. For help measuring your employer brand, reach out to us about the Employer Brand Index. Our EBI uses 16 key attributes that measure how you compare with others in your industry.

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